On January 23, 2016, Farid Reza started running. He ran for 31 miles. The next day, he ran for 31 miles again. And the next day as well. Farid plans to run 31 miles per day for 37 consecutive days, running more than 1135 miles in total.
At first, he wanted to run from Houston, TX to Chicago, IL, where the Karam HQ is. The total distance he would have to run would have been 1135 miles. However, planning it proved to be too difficult logistically, as Reza would have had to ensure he was getting enough nutrients and recovering properly in a new place every night. He quickly changed it so that he would be running 1135 miles around Houston.
Farid Reza isn’t doing this because he loves running that much, or because he wants to see Houston in ways that he hasn’t before. He’s running these miles to raise awareness and hopefully to raise over $11,350 for Karam Foundation’s Innovative Education programs, beyond the miles that he is running. He wants every mile to spark a conversation, awareness, and initiatives for Syrian refugees.
“Every step, every mile I run seems to have its own reasons and meaning,” Reza said in an e-mail to the team when asked about his motivation. “But the general theme has always been the same. And that is of humanity. The distances I run forces me to look underneath my exterior facade and discover the rawness of what it means to be a human. And at the very elemental level we are all the same. We need compassion and kindness to ourselves and others. Running seems to tap into this humanness in me and once I realized this I wanted to be able to translate this beyond my running and beyond myself.”
He went on to say a few words to those who are on the fence about volunteering their time and energy to help, “I would say is that it is a privilege for me to undertake this challenge. If we understand the mission of the program it's hard not to be moved and inspired. Those who have children can understand the primal need to protect them, provide the best preparation and opportunities in life through good education. For those who don't have children remember the innocence and joy of our childhood. How fortunate we were to receive the education which propelled us to wonderful opportunities and freedom and the lives we lead today. Every child deserve this. So please support with your hearts, with the remembrance of our own childhood and dreams.”