Riding for Ahmed: Mid-March saw hundreds of cyclists take to the roads of Kuwait for the first ever Global Biking Initiative Tour of Kuwait. A worldwide organisation focused on doing good and raising money for a variety of charities. The event saw a team of cyclists, led by Ahmed’s mother Ninon, complete the route from the north to the south of the country.
It is said, and perhaps a little too freely these days, that the brightest stars shine for the shortest time. However, these words are apposite of few more than this son of Kuwait – Ahmed Hashim Bader Al-Gharabally.
His was a life best described through series of superlatives; and, without exception, Ahmed inspired those around him. A tireless worker for others, he nonetheless carved out a rewarding life for himself – but it was a life based on giving: giving time, giving advice, giving an ear, giving solace, giving support… while the most valuable message he delivered was to “never give up”.
A ‘serial entrepreneur’ in the country long before this too became an overused description for those with ‘butterfly’ minds, Ahmed established a slew of successful startups – masahati.com, INDUSTRIES.IO, and ADLYX… they’re all his. More than this, Ahmed was always eager to offer advice and critical thinking for others involved in establishing their own fledgling company, be that from the basic tenets of establishing a business, through to financial management and social media management.
With barely a thought for himself, Ahmed was an active volunteer at Sout AlKuwait Civil Society Lobbying Group, as well as a member of the Kuwait Rights and Progress Forum, and a co-founder of Kuwait Rights. Much of his final year was spent focused on growing the Legalize Kuwait campaign aim at legitimising home businesses and which ultimately got approved shortly after his death. A nature-lover too, Ahmed founded and financed the Mantaqame Project aimed at improving public parks in the country.
A humanitarian, Ahmed saw no distinction between skin colour, race, religion nor social status. Envisioning a world truly democratised, through social media he initiated a campaign to encourage humane treatment and respect for Kuwait’s street cleaners. The street cleaners found love in what they’d felt was a hopeless place. Today, his mother, Ninon Al-Gharabally, continues his work by cooking for street cleaners “to keep his legacy alive,” she says.
Almost two years after his untimely passing, a group of friends and supporters – fellow nationals as well as those from outside the country’s border – gathered to take part in the Kuwait edition of the Global Biking Initiative.
They came to Kuwait to cycle for a cause… to highlight the scourge of child labour, child trafficking and child abuse – and all in the name of the late Ahmed Hashim Al-Gharabally.
He crammed more into his youthful years than most of us will do even if we live to 100. What more he could have added? We are merely left to ponder. However, while there remain others who continue to follow his vision, and continue to work in his memory then Ahmed Hashim Bader Al-Gharabally will truly live on.
The second anniversary of his death will be marked by family and friends on May 30th. Perhaps, with time having passed, this is the moment for the whole community he left behind to band together and move forward in a unified moment to ensure the works of this young man are maintained for the next generation. Who’s going to step forward and take up the reins of this remarkable man?