Hearts of Lionesses

The phenomenal success of the Moroccan women’s football (soccer) team in the World Cup thrilled me even more than the historic victories of the men’s team in Qatar.

When I was a teacher in Morocco, I was equally concerned about every student, and I tried to give each student the help and attention they needed to success. Time, class size, and other distractions meant that I inevitably fell short, of course. I wanted every student to know that I cared about them. To those I helped, I am gratified, and to those whom I did not, I apologize.

One thing that encouraged me, however, was the number of young women in my class who were just as devoted to learning as the men and every bit as talented. Even then, I saw the potential for achievement by my young women as well as my young men, and it was important to me to encourage them.

Poignantly, I recently met a young Moroccan woman who asked if women would ever have equal rights in Morocco. I responded by asking whether women will ever achieve equal rights in America. Anyone who has seen the new Barbie movie would take my point.

Sport may not be my preferred way to put women on the map, but it is one way, and yet another way that women defy expectations. Congratulations to the Atlas Lionesses for putting Morocco on the World Cup map a second time.