Home » Thank you letters between two Moroccan women changing the face of travel

Thank you letters between two Moroccan women changing the face of travel

written by Intrepid Travel April 28, 2020
Zina and Hafida together

To help us all feel a bit closer while we’re physically apart, we’re sharing letters to and from those who made their adventures extra special. Share your story with us today.

Dear Hafida,

I will always remember what you said the first time I tried to connect with you. “Who are you? Sorry I am busy climbing Toubkal”. And then you hung up on me and went back to climbing the highest mountain in Morocco.

I called back and introduced myself as the General Manager of Intrepid in Morocco. “I am looking for female guides and I want to meet you, just for 5 minutes!” You replied that you weren’t interested.

READ MORE: MEET ZINA, THE INTREPID GENERAL MANAGER FIGHTING FOR GENDER EQUALITY IN MOROCCO

But I knew you were the first female mountain guide in Morocco and I didn’t want to give up. I was impressed by the fact a woman like you existed – there’s only 10 female guides in the entire country. And I knew something was connecting us – above just being Moroccan women working in tourism – but I didn’t know what.

And then I met you.

Hafida

Hafida was the first female mountain guide in Morocco.

And I convinced you to lead us, along with BBC journalist Cat Moh, on our new Women’s Expedition in the Moroccan High Atlas Mountains. A tour we designed knowing only someone like you could lead.

We spent 4 days travelling and trekking together. I learnt how much generosity you have behind your warrior princess exterior. And you taught me that women can do any job in the world.

Thank you for filling my job and my life with so much meaning.
Love Zina.

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Dear Zina,

As you know, I’ve been hiking Moroccan mountains and deserts for 25 years. There aren’t many women out here. We spend most of our nights in our tents, or under the stars after long hours of walking and hiking to reach summits. I am often the only women amongst my male colleagues.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WOMEN’S EXPEDITIONS IN MOROCCO

My goal was to share my passion for the High Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert with rural Moroccan women. To give them the chance I have been given and to help them succeed. This was a dream I only half believed in when I started… But destiny made that dream happen earlier than I thought. I can’t believe I could have missed it totally! But thanks to you, your dedication, generosity, intelligence, strength and dynamism, now WE have achieved this dream together.

Zina

Zina is a passionate advocate for gender equality in Morocco, and Managing Director of Intrepid Travel’s EMEA business.

I want to thank you, but also all the women and men of Intrepid in Morocco, guides and colleagues who helped to make the Women’s Expeditions and all the other empowering projects happen. Thank you too, to all the men and women from Intrepid in Australia, London and other places around the world. Thank you to the extraordinary women of the BBC, Cat and Elaine who made the amazing video that gave rural women of Morocco a voice and a face for the first time in their lives.

With love,
Hafida.

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3 comments

Adrar Travel May 27, 2021 - 2:48 am

Very lovely story, we are pretty proud to have her as a female guide in Morocco!

Reply
R L Lively May 4, 2020 - 11:29 am

I would have LOVED to have her for a guide in Morocco. had a sexist guy who spoke to the men in the tour group and basically ignored the females.
Our tour guide in Fez in the maze left me and several others behind. I was on a cane and told him I might be a bit slow. He warned us to not be lost… and then he left me behind with several other tourists behind me. One of the tourists in front of me ran back to tell me which way to go or I (and others behind me) would have been lost. The local tour guide had turned down an alley.
Eventually, I breathlessly, because I had been running with my cane as fast as I could, found my way to the store where they dyed and sold leather goods. The smell was atrocious. I sat on a bench and tried to breathe.
The local guide came out to sit with me. All I could get our was “YOU LEFT ME!”
NOT a good experience. I didn’t get to see the dye-makers at work. I didn’t get a chance to buy anything in the shop. I just sat on the bench and tried to catch my breath.
NOT a good experience!

Reply
Toubk May 4, 2020 - 6:43 am

Wow it’s a great story about hafida…

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