Marwan Aljalham is 31-years-old. He's an award-winning cyclist with the Qatar National Cycling team who has a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. When he's not cycling around Qatar and the world, he works with the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority at Hamad International Airport as an electrical engineer in the maintenance team of the airport's electrical substation. He was born on 4 March 1990 and is proud and honoured that he gets to represent Qatar in the world of cycling around the world. He is also a husband and the proud father of two handsome boys: Nasser and Khalid.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team had the chance to do an exclusive Q&A session with Marwan and got to learn more about his life as a cyclist for the Qatar National Cycling team, along with who he is as a person.
Marwan: It all started back when I was in high school. The Qatar Cycling Federation used to do cycling races for the schools in Qatar. I raced for the first time ever and I got first place. After that, I continued with good results in the school's cycling league and led my school to win first place overall. After that, I got a call from the national team to travel to a camp in Belgium which I did join. And, that was my start in the world of cycling.
Marwan: MTB (mountain biking): Al Adaid Desert Challenge 2018 (bronze), 2019 (gold), 2020 (silver); MTB league 2019 (silver); MTB Al Khor XC Race 2020 (silver); Rasen Al Zubarah 6H XC Race (gold); Duhail MTB Race 2020 (silver); Duhail Three-Hour Race for the Under 40 category (gold); Lusail MTB XC Race 2018 (gold).
Road races: RAM league 2019 (bronze); Al Bidda Park Race 2019 Category B (gold); and the Al Thakira Season Opener (silver).
Category C: Al Guwairiyah Road Race 2018 (gold); Qatar National Championship 2018 (silver); Lusail Night Crit Series-Overall League Results 2019-20 (gold); Lusail Night Criterium Series-Race 1 (gold); Lusail Bight Crit Race 3 (gold); and the RAM League Race 1 Al Thakira Road Race (bronze).
Triathlons: Dukhan Triathlon 2019-Team Relay (gold); Katara Triathlon 2019-Team Relay (gold); Pearl Triathlon 2019- Team Relay (silver); Lusail Triathlon 2020-Team Relay (gold); and the Katara Triathlon 2020-Team Relay (silver).
In addition, I have been a finisher of one of the hardest MTB (mountain biking) Races in the world; finisher of MTB Stage Races in Poland, and 4islan Stage Race in Croatia.
Marwan: Running, swimming, squash, and I love playing football, even though I’m not really good at it.
Marwan: In the world of cycling, I like Matthieu Van Der Poel. He is a Dutch cyclist and is one of the best nowadays.
Marwan: In the good weather, of course, the Olympic cycling lane, but in the summertime my home under the AC!
Marwan: The six-hour MTB endurance race at AL Zubarah Farm was organised by Rasen Adventure shop. I won that race over my coach and among other strong riders. I remember feeling good from the start of that race.
Marwan: I will continue my cycling and try my best to win medals for my country. Also, I would like to help improve the cycling prospects for the young generation.
Marwan: My family. And, I have great friends. We always inspire each other.
Marwan: I would like to be remembered for my respect towards my competitors. I want to be remembered as someone that helps others to get into cycling and helps them improve.
Marwan: I’m working with the best team who is handling the six main substations at the airport in one of the most critical places in the country. I’m also handling some projects to develop the work and save money.
Marwan: Family support is always there. Add to that, your spirit and how bad you want to be something good, and how hard you work for it. I am a hard worker; I do my best to get what I want and to reach my goals.
Marwan: Getting married in the USA was a tough decision but at the end of the day I found out that it was one of the best decisions that I took in my life.
Marwan: Approachable (easy to be friends with), amusing, kind, loyal, and honest.
Marwan: I share what I do and try to inspire others to do so. In the cycling world, I try my best to take care of the beginner riders and guide them through till they become good cyclists.
Marwan: Cycling; and I would love to see our young generations get into cycling.
Marwan: Hard work and education. Also, you must love what you do to be good at it.
Marwan: As I mentioned before, it's not too late to try winning medals for my country. If not, I would love to get into cycling coaching and try my best to train riders who would win medals for our country one day, Inshallah!
Marwan: To have a club or academy for beginner cyclists that help them improve and get them in good shape for the national team.
Marwan: Braking, balance, shifting, pedalling and descending.
Marwan: My favourite destination is USA.
Marwan: My favourite foods are chicken, pasta, pizza (the less unhealthy ones), biryani, majboos, and of course, fruits.
Marwan: Take it easy, train hard and race easy.
Marwan: Everyone has goals, plans, and dreams. Never stop fighting for your dreams till you achieve them. Never give up on your future plans; one day you will get there. My advice to everyone is to set up your lifetime goals, plan how you will achieve those goals, and take them step-by-step towards success. With focus and hard work, you will get there. Never rush. Failure is just one step towards success, so if you ever fail never give up and stand up stronger than ever.
Cover image credit: Marwan Aljahlam
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