A B O U T
Truth is, she’d prefer not to be regarded as the leader. She never seeks out the cameras for self-attention. She honestly wishes others were called to the microphone at evening banquets. But let’s face it, Detta Regan from the United Kingdom is the ever so humble powerhouse behind Follow the Women. Without her galvanizing energy, indefatigable commitment to human rights and creative vision, Follow the Women would not exist.
- Photo #1 Detta in front of FTW poster
- Photo #2 Detta in another publicity shot
- Photo #3 Detta speaking at Hezbollah Resistance Museum
When Detta and Colleen McGuire (USA) went to the region in January 2004 to scout the first ride, finding bicycles was a priority. They stumbled on Jawad Sbeity, manager of Beirut By Bike who listened politely as they explained that 100 women needed bikes to cycle from Lebanon to Jordan. He thought “These ladies are crazy”and forgot about it. But following a flurry of local media coverage, when Detta and Colleen returned Jawad realized they were serious and he immediately jumped on board. Jawad and his crew have been with Follow the Women ever since. Without Jawad’s passion, patience and professionalism FTW could not happen. He is our most adored angel.
- Photo #1 Jawad at Baalbek
- Photo #2 Jawad with Fouad Makhzoumi
- Photo #2 Jawad at the 2004 FTW
Origin of the FTW name. Through her European youth work in 2003 Detta visited Egypt. She pondered about venturing to Lebanon and Syria and wondered if she could bike there. That led to the idea of several women biking together. Well, ha ha, that would make the evening news now, wouldn’t it? The light bulb clicked. Under a media spotlight Detta realized that a bevy of international women cyclists could capture mass attention with messages of peace and justice. Detta asked, “Well, Hani, what will you do during the ride?” And he replied, “Well, I guess I’ll just follow the women.” Boom. Follow the Women was born.
- Photo #1 Detta with Sahar al-Fayaz of Jordan
- Photo #2 Detta, Fotouh Younis, Her Majesty Queen Rania
- Photo #3 Detta with Governor of Madaba, Jordan