IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and others attended the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc kickoff party in NYC. We were on the scene!
At the endlessly charming Rotisserie Georgette restaurant in NYC, the endlessly charming Dominque Serra along with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde spoke excitedly and confidently about the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, the women-only automobile rally taking place in the Moroccan desert March 17 and April 1, 2017., now entering its 27th iteration.
To call the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc an ambitious effort would be selling the effort short. The Rally is perhaps one of the most improbable and provocative programs on earth, a feminist statement by every measure: for women, by women. The Rallye, founded by Dominique Serra, invites women from all over the world to engage in the challenges of the Moroccan desert via 4×4 off-road vehicle. Rallies are often associated with men in snowy conditions in a timed mission. For the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, the objective is different: with no speed and no GPS, there is a heightened sensitivity for the women participating to reach the destination with a steady, cautious pace on their own. However, they are not alone. The old-fashion sense of adventure is paired with state-of-the-art satellite system for tracking the teams as well as safely checkpoints. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, The Rally respects its scenic host country and its people through the actions of the Rallye’s non-profit, Cœur de Gazelles, which engages and supports those who find themselves along the path of journey. Wells have been dug providing water as well as countless other charitable contributions to these communities. This caution extends to the environment: the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is the only motor rally in the world with ISO 14001 certification. All Rallye participants, known as “Gazelles” will end their journey having been pushed to their limits and facing themselves, traveling great distances from their daily lives as women. But, it’s so important to know the Rally is a community exercise: there is also a strong element of sharing and mutual aid.
The New York event was honored to host guest of honor Mrs. Christine Lagarde (Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund), Abderrafie Zouiten (Director General of the Moroccan National Office of Tourism), Mardochée Devico (Président Directeur General des Conserves de Meknés), Dominique Serra (Founder of the Rallye Aïcha Des Gazelles Du Maroc) and many others including Christine Cachot, Liza Bensimon, Jean Shafiroff, Lauren Day Roberts, Paola and Arnie Rosenshein and Sara Johnson-Kaplan.
Attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while learning more about the world’s first all-women off-road rally. Dominique Serra took to the stage to thank guests for attending the event and for their interest in learning more about the 27th annual rally. A speech by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde involved sharing how she saw herself as the godmother of the “Gazelles” and her longstanding involvement with the rally.
With its unique concept and perfect execution, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is changing the way people view automobile use especially in a increasingly global world.