A group of eight American Women Polo players of the American Polo Association, led by its Commissioner Michael Farah, enjoyed a week in Rabat and Marrakech playing polo to commemorate 200 years of friendship between the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco.
Members of the American Polo Association (APA), the premiere group promoting women in the sport of kings around the world, visited Morocco to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the American Legation in Tangier as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. Rabii Benadada, the Governor for the APA in Morocco, organized a four-day women’s polo event involving two teams, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The delegation has inspired the organization of the first Moroccan women’s polo team.
The American Embassy in Rabat, Morocco greeted the American delegation the first evening at dinner with Cultural Attaché Stephen Weeks. Stephen personally gave a tour of the US Embassy exhibition “Of Voice and Stone: 200 Years of History in the American Legation Building and Morocco” at the National Library in Rabat. The exhibit features a range of historic items representing the political, security, economic, and cultural ties between Morocco and the United States—from a Lego model of the Mars Rover to Jimi Hendrix’s boots to Nawal El Moutawakel’s Olympic gold medal and track shoes. The exhibit even features a dress worn by pop star Lady Gaga.
“This exhibit tells the story of people-to-people relationships, of how ordinary Moroccans and Americans have accomplished extraordinary achievements together over the past years, decades, and centuries. Founder of the American Polo Association Michael Farah shares, “These achievements have left a permanent mark on our shared culture, in music, science, art, sports, and so many other areas.”
One of the highlights of the trip was Michael’s speech of goodwill appreciation between the two countries and presented an American Polo Championship medal.
In addition to playing polo, the guests went on camel rides and shopping excursions to the local markets in Rabat and Souks at the old Medina of Marrakech. They also enjoyed a traditional Moroccan dinner and folklore showing a quintessential Moroccan Riad, where the design and people watching was as delicious as the food, allowing the polo players to live like a local while in Morocco.
The delegation included the Hollywood women’s polo team, Captain Rosy Keyfauver (California), Kendra Lauren Gros (Colorado), Julie Empey (California), and Kelly Coldiron (Oklahoma). Meanwhile, the Beverly Hills women’s team was led by Captain Megan Judge (California) and included Susan Harris (California), Mary Linares (New York), and Kerstie Allen (Florida).
This was the start of a worldwide tour including events throughout the United States featuring women’s polo teams traveling for charity and goodwill tours.
Photographs by Mark Beaumont