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Marathon from Amman to Baghdad


The Palestine-Chronicle Report -

Jordan Weekly Star
2 March 2000

                   Marathon from Amman to Baghdad

    ITALIAN UNION Sport for All (UIST) in cooperation with "Bridge to
Baghdad," and in agreement with the Iraq Olympic Committee, will
organize on 9 April the "Vivicitta" (live city) competition in Baghdad.

    The Iraqi runners will be joined by 10 Italian athletes, several
French and other nationals. The UIST decision to organize Vivicitta in
Baghdad is expressly related to the demand for lifting the economic
sanctions. This international competition is heavily covered by the
Italian mass media. In preparation for the competition in Baghdad, the
Italian Athlete Giuseppe Pagllialuca will reach Baghdad running 1000
kilometers across the desert from Amman to Baghdad. 

    This marathon is expected to take 30 days to complete. It will begin
from Amman on 8 March. Mr Pagllialuca will run wearing shirts displaying
slogans condemning the sanctions and will be accompanied by a journalist
and an activist from the Bridge to Baghdad organization. The organizers'
intention is to take the opportunity of the 30-day-run to promote an
international media campaign to focus on the conditions of the Iraqi
people under the sanctions. 

    UIST is the largest European Sport Association with 980,000 members.
Vivicitta is a running competition which covers 12 kilometers and takes
place every year in about 50 cities in Italy and in another 20 around the
world simultaneously. 

    The Bridge to Baghdad is coordinating the first leg of the marathon
(Amman-Baghdad) with the National Hall for the Defense of Iraq (NHDI)  in
Jordan. The National Hall hopes to be able to find Jordanian athletes who
can join the 30-day marathon. 


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