At 25, he walks from Paris to Jerusalem for peace and ecology

At 25, he walks from Paris to Jerusalem for peace and ecology

How did you come up with the idea for this big project?

During my profession of faith, my grandmother gave me a book on the pilgrims of Compostela. Due to my involvement with the Scouts and Guides of France since my childhood, I already loved adventure and traveling on foot. Also, I made this pilgrimage from Paris the summer I turned 21, from June 2 to August 6, 2018. It was an incredible experience that I recommend to everyone because it is accessible.

I then thought about going to Rome on foot by the Via francigena and, if I had time, one day, to Jerusalem. I had this time at the end of my studies. As soon as I received my diploma in international relations, I left for the Holy Land from Notre-Dame de Paris, on October 1, 2022.

What were your motivations?

The promotion of peace, ecology and the place of youth in the society of the future. Faith too, of course, even if I spoke less about it, out of modesty. Finally, the taste for adventure, which comes to me, as I said, from my involvement in the scouts.

How did you spread this message during your pilgrimage?

I favored social networks (TikTok, Instagram and Facebook) under the name “Forward Jerusalem 2023”. The goal was not so much to attract an audience as to give news to my family and friends. Many strangers subscribed to my accounts and got involved in my approach; I thus received regular moral support. Furthermore, I was able to contact numerous scout groups via Facebook and thus organize meetings.

So scouting played an important role in this adventure?

Yes, and that’s why I wore my scout scarf! When we get involved in this movement, we don’t say “I do scouting”, like we would say we do swimming or basketball. Onne do not scouting: we East Scout. With 20 million members, scouting is the largest youth movement in the world. It was obvious to me to meet as many as possible and to carry our colors high.

What were your biggest difficulties?

Dogs and snow, one being more recurring and the other more dangerous. I was also mistaken for an Arab by Israeli nationalists but I managed to escape them!

And your greatest joy?

The arrival! I think that the pilgrimage is not one of those journeys where they say that the most important thing is the path that leads to it. Indeed, this path only exists because it leads somewhere. The two feed each other. Also, reaching the goal is a wonderful experience, which brings a few tears.

How did you feel when you set foot on the Holy Land?

That Jesus is not there, since he ascended to Heaven! He then declared: “Go into all the earth and proclaim the Good News to the nations.” For my part, I think that, for believers, it is important to go to Jerusalem. But this should not overshadow our necessary involvement “at home”, in our respective countries.

To know more

TikTok: @edgarlebras

Instagram: @enavantjerusalem2023

Facebook page : Forward to Jerusalem 2023

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