The First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden, took to the ancient streets of Marrakech advocating for women’s rights, after her arrival in Morocco last Saturday.
On Sunday, Jill Biden explored the old city of Marrakech, visiting several historical sites alongside a group of Moroccan and American officials. Amid the ancient alleys, “Madame” Biden was spotted wearing bright red attire and sporty shoes, walking alongside Ghita Mzade, a young Moroccan doctor-in-training and social media content creator, and Saad Abid, founder of the “Bahri” association, who is also an active internet activist.
At midday, the First Lady visited the Ben Youssef School, one of the most renowned historical and cultural sites in the city. She was briefed on the establishment, which was founded in 1565 as a center for Islamic education. It functioned as a religious college hosting students from all over North Africa and beyond.
Upon her arrival at this tourist hotspot, she was welcomed by Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, the Minister of Youth, Culture, and Communication, Karim Kassi Lahlou, Governor of the Marrakech-Safi region, Fatima Zahra Mansouri, President of the Marrakech Municipality, and Samir Koudar, the Regional Council President.
Biden was notably captivated by the school’s architecture, attentively listening to the tour guide narrating the history of the building. It was established during the Saadian dynasty by Sultan Abdullah al-Ghalib and named after Marinid Sultan Abu al-Hassan Ali bin Othman, also known as Ben Youssef, who reigned in the early 14th century.
The First Lady also visited a center dedicated to combatting gender-based violence, which provides vocational training to at-risk women. She delivered a speech praising Zakia Mrini, who founded the association in 1998 as a center for survivors of violence.
Addressing Mrini, Jill Biden stated, “What you have done here is not just saving the lives of survivors by providing counseling and skills training. You are also helping countless Moroccans who you will never meet, but whose lives have become better because this association has strengthened women’s rights.”