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Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion IMG_8637

A new exhibit came to the Gallery of Arts and History in Epcot’s Morocco pavilion last month, and, earlier this week, I had a chance to stop by and take a look around.



Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion IMG_8663 IMG_8663

Race Against the Sun: Ancient Technique to Modern Competition focuses on the people of Morocco, and their ability to thrive in the harsh landscape of the Sahara desert.

As soon as guests enter the gallery, they discover a driving simulator and photo op that helps them to understand the desert terrain and challenges that the off-road race teams who participate in the Rally of the Gazelles face.



Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion IMG_8638 IMG_8638

To the right of the driving simulator, guests will find a display case filled with pictures, information, and items from and about the only all-female rally race in the world: the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc (Rally of the Gazelles). Each March, race participants traverse the Saharan terrain in a competition that began as an effort to inspire female empowerment.

Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion IMG_8639 IMG_8639

According to the information in the gallery, the rally is now the largest all-women motorsport competition in the world. Participants win not by being first, but by traversing the course most efficiently, and driving the shortest distance. There is no prize money for those who win the Rally of the Gazelles as all proceeds from the race go toward environmental, medical, and educational needs for the inhabitants of the most remote regions of Morocco.

Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion IMG_8642 IMG_8642

Next to the race display case, guests are invited to learn more about the original inhabitants of the Maghreb area of northwest Africa: the Imazighen or “free people.“ In Western culture, the Imazighen are known as Berbers. Over the course of history, Berbers transported salt, gold, and various goods in caravans along the trade routes that cross the Sahara. Berbers now largely lead an agrarian lifestyle.



Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion IMG_8643 IMG_8643

Throughout the gallery, guests learn about the cultural traditions that the Berbers have established over the course of 5,000 years in order to thrive in their challenging environment.

Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion IMG_8655 IMG_8655

In the area of the gallery across from the display for the Rally of the Gazelles, guests are invited to learn about a race of a different sort that takes place annually in Morocco: Marathon des Sables (Marathon of the Sands).



Taking a Closer Look at the New Exhibit in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion IMG_8659 IMG_8659

The Marathon of the Sands is a six day, 250 kilometers ultra-run across the Saharan landscape.

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Many marathon artifacts are displayed, a large amount of them belonging to Lahcen Ahansal. Ahansal has won the Marathon des Sables ten times, with nine of them being won consecutively.



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The new exhibit is a celebration of the people who see the Sahara as “a wellspring of life and livelihood.” Over thousands of years, they have learned to thrive in, and ultimately master, their awe-inspiring desert environment.

Deni loves all things Disney, and, in 2013, moved to the Magic from Maryland. Walt Disney World is her happy place, and she loves getting to share it with others. Deni and her husband of almost 26 years have 2 grown children. Her favorite WDW snack? A Mickey Bar, of course. Is there any other?!













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