Going to Great Lengths in Aid of Children and Wildlife Conservation
You can’t tell from his photo but Christian Ghammachi has been practicing law for over 20 years in various countries. However, recently, he decided to pursue his enduring passion for photography on a full-time basis. In November, Ghammachi embarked on an ambitious motorcycle road trip that will take him across the length of Africa from South Africa to Dubai, braving miles of inhospitable terrains to photograph and volunteer with charities including SOS Children’s Villages and wildlife conservation organizations, throughout his journey.
Ghammachi explained his motivation for his expedition: “Over the past 20 years, I have been donating my photographs to a number of fundraising purposes, especially those of children’s welfare and wildlife conservation organizations. This time, I will also contribute by documenting their work and providing them with the photographs and video footage for free.”
Ghammachi plans to visit and stay at all SOS Children's Villages in Africa, where family-based care services for abandoned, destitute and orphaned children are provided. In addition, he will also be visiting wildlife conservation organizations, and spend a great part of the remaining journey camping in the wild and staying in local villages.
On a quest to explore and help
Emphasizing that the trip is about a quest for images and to help — rather than to achieve it in record time — Ghammachi estimates that the entire trip will clock some 30,000 kilometers of mileage and may last from six months to a year.
Christian at the outset of his long journey
Supporting Ghammachi on his trip, Thuraya equipped him with a set of the latest satellite equipment, including Thuraya XT, Thuraya IP+ and Thuraya SatSleeve, to help him carry out his photography work with ease and stay connected even in remote locations.
Besides depending on the ‘always on’ mobile broadband access of Thuraya IP+ to facilitate his work in areas where the communications infrastructure is unreliable, the robust and lightweight features of the terminal is an added benefit for Ghammachi because of the demanding nature of the expedition.
He said: "The main challenges I expect to face are undoubtedly the weather conditions and demanding terrains. Traveling solely on a two-wheeled vehicle, I need to ensure that I bring along only the minimum load. The equipment I carry must be able to withstand the tough conditions that I will be operating under. The Thuraya XT is the ideal satellite handset for use in these harsh, unpredictable environments.”
Navigating through unfamiliar geographies
Another key challenge for Ghammachi is the need to maintain voice and data connectivity at all times, to navigate his way through unfamiliar geographies and also cope with unforeseen adversities.
The vast expanse of the African savanna
“There may be potential danger in some of the areas that I will visit, where robbery and kidnapping incidents in Africa are real threats. Knowing that I am in constant contact with emergency services and family and friends gives me peace of mind,” Ghammachi said.
Ghammachi will also be identifying organizations in need that are not served by terrestrial networks, for Thuraya has offered to set up public calling offices supplied with Thuraya’s products.
He added: “I will be pairing my iPhone with the Thuraya SatSleeve in order to easily access data applications and keep connected with the rest of the world via Twitter and Instagram. I look forward to providing regular updates on my journey and raise awareness about my activities!”
Christian Ghammachi’s trip kicked off in South Africa on November 7.
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