Iran: Running for peace

Mojtaba Yadegari, a youth member of the Iran Red Crescent Society, has been running for peace since he was nine years old. Lately he ran for 17 consecutive days, throughout Iran’s 31 governorates, covering an amazing 310km.

“I really enjoy running and I enjoy it more when I do it for a purpose such as advocating for universal peace and friendship,” said Mojtaba, from the Red Crescent’s Markazi Provincial Branch.

“So far, I have done 27 sport activities totaling about 3,000km,” he said. “My objective is to follow the principles of Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. I want to use my efforts to strive for global peace and friendship and to serve as an ambassador for the Iranian Red Crescent.”

Through his sporting achievements, Mojtaba hopes to promote a culture of non-violence and peace, familiarize the public with the work and objectives of the Red Crescent, and encourage other young people to become volunteers.

The 17 days of running were not easy, and the weather was sometimes a problem. However, “Each time I felt weak, I told myself I shall continue until I reach my objective no matter how hard it might be. I kept telling myself the finish line is not so far. I've come all the way! So, I can do the rest,” he said.

The people in the villages and cities that Mojtaba ran through have been a constant source of encouragement. “Each time I arrived in a new city, people cheered for me and even accompanied me in my run as a gesture of solidarity and friendship.”

After crossing all Iran’s governorates, Mojtaba now plans to run for peace outside Iran. “My motto is to advocate for peace around the world. I do this in my own country, but I dream of doing it elsewhere as well. My dream is to go to Geneva, Switzerland and run 10km for peace there.”

On his arrival at the Iranian Red Crescent Headquarters in Tehran, Mojtaba was welcomed and honored by Secretary General of the Red Crescent Society, its Head of Youth Organization, the Managing Director of the Tehran Provincial branch, senior directors, and many youth members and volunteers.

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