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Posted On: 16 June 2021 03:00 pm
Updated On: 16 June 2021 11:09 pm

Qatari National Team cyclist Marwan Aljalham is on a winning ride!

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Qatari national team cyclist Marwan Aljalham is on a winning ride!

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 (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.

1. How did you become a cyclist and then part of the Qatar National Cycling team?

    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.

    2. How many medals and awards have you won?

    Marwan Aljalham is making Qatar proud with his cycling skills
    Image credit: Marwan Aljalham

    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.

    3. What are your favourite sports, besides cycling?

      Marwan: Running, swimming, squash, and I love playing football, even though I’m not really good at it.

      4. Who is your favourite sportsperson?

        Marwan: In the world of cycling, I like Matthieu Van Der Poel. He is a Dutch cyclist and is one of the best nowadays.

        5. What’s your favourite place to bike in Qatar?

        Marwan: In the good weather, of course, the Olympic cycling lane, but in the summertime my home under the AC!

        6. Out of all the races you’ve been in, which is your favourite?

          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.

          7. Where will you go from here?

            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.

            8. Who is your inspiration?

              Marwan Aljalham is making Qatar proud with his cycling skills
              Image credit: Marwan Aljalham

              Marwan: My family. And, I have great friends. We always inspire each other.

              9. What would you like to be remembered for?

                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.

                10. What do you consider to be your career highlight?

                  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.

                  11. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful in what you do?

                    Marwan Aljalham is making Qatar proud with his cycling skills
                    Image credit: Marwan Aljalham

                    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.

                    12. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make?

                      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.

                      13. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

                        Marwan Aljalham is making Qatar proud with his cycling skills
                        Image credit: Marwan Aljalham

                        Marwan: Approachable (easy to be friends with), amusing, kind, loyal, and honest.

                        14. What's the best thing about what you do?

                          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.

                          15. What are you most passionate about?

                          Marwan: Cycling; and I would love to see our young generations get into cycling.

                          16. What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you are?

                            Marwan Aljalham is making Qatar proud with his cycling skills
                            Image credit: Marwan Aljalham

                              Marwan: Hard work and education. Also, you must love what you do to be good at it.

                              17. What are your future plans?

                                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!

                                18. What is your ultimate goal?

                                  Marwan: To have a club or academy for beginner cyclists that help them improve and get them in good shape for the national team.

                                  19. What skills should someone in your field have?

                                  Video credit: Marwan Aljahlam

                                  Marwan: Braking, balance, shifting, pedalling and descending.

                                  20. What is your hobby?

                                    Marwan: Travelling.

                                    21. What is your favourite travel destination?

                                      Marwan: My favourite destination is USA.

                                      22. What is your favourite food?

                                      Marwan: My favourite foods are chicken, pasta, pizza (the less unhealthy ones), biryani, majboos, and of course, fruits.

                                      23. What is your motto in life?

                                      Marwan: Take it easy, train hard and race easy.

                                      24. Is there any message you’d like to give the people in Qatar?

                                        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.

                                        Know more about Marwan Aljahlam through his social media page:

                                        Cover image credit: Marwan Aljahlam