His dream is to teach Moroccan girls to ride horses.

His dream is to teach Moroccan girls to ride horses.

you don’t know how old you are can neither read nor write. He lives alone in the mountains and has been in a serious car accident on the way. pick strawberries, Zehra Sidki She is wearing an orthopedic corset.

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However, after reaching mata International Equestrian Festival, to the applause of the attendees, to ride a horse, until it stops on the rump. The cries of admiration follow each other because this petite and wiry woman is a Symbol in Morocco: The only person to compete in an old equestrian race. Alone among 200 men.

“I was a naughty girl, she beat me with all the kids, she was very bad and always stole my dad’s mare to get around. When he started riding horses every day to bring food to his father, all I wanted was to ride,” she says.

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horseback flyer

He remembers a fig tree from his childhood that his family owned, whose fruits served to sweeten an extremely difficult life, where school was a delusion and you had to attend even if you were very young. his escape mare escape, to feel that indescribable emotion that always accompanies him on horseback. As it went on, his mind drifted away.

Although she says it is very difficult for her to explain what riding means to her, Zohra admits that she felt a great rush when I got on a horse. I feel completely free”, therefore “how much my father told me not to do it, this is not my world, because this is men’s work, although I could not listen to him, pay attention to him, because neither I felt that I could not be compared with anything else”.

That’s why he found out ten years ago that he was going to pick up his career. kill Moussem, Knowing that only men compete, she decided to sign up. He got them to accept him and impressed them by running faster than any of them. Additionally, Zohra had some unexpected allies, the Baraka family.

Culture, dialogue and development

Baraka family, descendants of poet and Sufi saint mulay abdeslam, nominated as a Cultural and World Heritage by UNESCO and King VI. “Our father, Abdelhadi Baraka, has worked hard to preserve the universal heritage of this cultural space for dialogue,” explains Mata’s older brother Nabil Baraka, who heads his organization.

this Mata International Equestrian Festival It has been held for three days for ten years in the Beni Arós region, 46 kilometers from Tangier and 110 kilometers from the city of Ceuta. It is made on a wide promenade where several tents are erected.

Mata International Equestrian Festival.

Mata International Equestrian Festival.

One holds meetings with authorities, visitors and organizations and includes unforgettable snacks based on Moorish tea, natural juices and delicious desserts. Opposite is a large pavilion where you can buy local products and learn about entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment projects.

Alongside the street stalls selling cotton candy and other trinkets and a children’s playground, a gentleman offers his camels for a photo shoot or a short walk. The plain slopes towards the area where the participants run in this equestrian event commemorating the Mata Moussem race, whose origins are more than 800 years old.

Mata, bareback, means to ride a bareback horse. It is also the name of the rag doll, with which initially only the most experienced men in the region competed.

Among the awards received by the winner was his marriage to the most beautiful woman, as well as bringing everyone’s respect and honor to his village. Today, they have stopped treating women as prizes to give more importance to the role they play in ceremonies. who are they they make the baby cup and perform the henna ritualAdditionally, his aspects as an entrepreneur are promoted through the Alamia Laaroussia Association.

Horseback riding for boys… and girls

On this occasion, the race is held in the autumn as it is a very difficult year. In July, the Baraka family lost their head. Just a few weeks later, several fires destroyed thousands of olive trees and claimed the lives of three people. Therefore, this year Mata has a lot of respect and endurance. Three Baraka brothers continue to work to preserve this heritage.

“Our beloved father, a wise man, left us a seed, and the people here who are our people welcomed us again,” explains his younger sister, Lamia Baraka, who serves as the clan’s representative. President of Alamia Laaroussia, unable to attend due to health reasons. “She doesn’t exist, but she has spirit,” she says, explaining that one of the purposes of this celebration is to empower women in the region.

Zohra is the first woman to join and we are proud of her. We hope it will help us teach girls to ride horses. We want young people to be able to follow this tradition and it is very important for them to be able to learn”, says Lamia Baraka. He talks about a riding school they are planning to open in the area and how horseback riding has become a symbol of equality: “We want to push the girls from the countryside here, show them that they can be very useful and ride like men. We would love to have an all-female team to join Mata. “

One of the clear objectives is to bet on development in the region and this includes encouraging and engaging women’s work. “Its role in this festival is absolute. In this area, women run the house, work in the fields, do the men’s work,” explains Lamia, who attends all the ceremonies with the women, wearing her traditional straw hat and colorful tassels.

The harmony and love between them is evident. Visiting the pavilion, he is also interested in different stands, most of which are run by women, where cosmetics made from aloe vera or argan oil, which are considered the best in the world, are offered, henna, kohlrabi and dried fruits. , sweets and delicious infusions from local herbs, as well as the famous Moorish tea.

Zohra’s grandchildren

The desire to promote women has a lot to do with promoting development. Zohra’s story represents the plight of women in the region. It is difficult to exist in this world.

Zehra Sidki

Despite being a symbol, she is an exceptional woman and even Spanish filmmaker Brais Revaldería is making a documentary about her. New Yorker, Zohra lives in poverty. “People in Spain or France see me on TV or look at my videos on YouTube and They send me money to help me survive“, invoice.

His situation is very complicated before he can work for another seven months due to a traffic accident injury that causes severe pain. But no one would say that to see him clamoring at the feast, being greeted like a hero, or riding a horse a few times.

“I’m happy to be meeting with women from NGOs and associations and my fellow racers today, but I feel like it’s here to stay because there’s no way it will continue. And that would be a shame,” Zohra explains.

Zohra, the mother of a girl who gave birth to four grandchildren, enthusiastically tells that her only daughter gave her “four grandchildren, two daughters”. and a boy, they’re still small, but I’m going to teach them to ride. I would love for one of them to follow my path.”

On the third and final day of the festival, there are more people than ever before and a steady stream of people. The great race is celebrated, but it is said to be almost the least important thing. What else are fake bridges? By celebrating their culture and also opening the door to the development of traditions, the ancestral tradition of Mata Moussem can be key to the economic development of the region and the region. advancement of women’s rights.

When Zohra arrives, she is honored by her people once again. The doll is respectfully delivered. He smiles, stands up again on the back of a horse, and, with his fist raised, shows the doll’s mug to an audience devoted to this woman of the wind. he just feels totally free when he rides a bike and dreams of owning a school that will teach riding to girls who yearn for freedom like him. Hopefully.

#dream #teach #Moroccan #girls #ride #horses

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