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PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh

posted on: Jun 30, 2016

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh

Daily Mail

Michelle Obama and her daughters indulged in a traditional Moroccan iftar with Princess Lalla Salma, the wife of King Mohammed VI, on Tuesday evening.

The Obamas were joined by actress Meryl Streep and other members of the Moroccan Royal family at the sumptuous dinner to break the fast during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan at King’s Palace in Marrakesh.The group touched down in Spain on the latest leg of their trip on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday night, Michelle wore a conservative $2,995 dress by Altuzarra while Malia opted for an even more expensive outfit by Burberry Prorsum – worth $4,295.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mrs Obama told Moroccan teenage girls that her parents knew the value of education, her brother set an example ‘and I thought if he can do it, then I can do it, because I know I am smarter than him!’

Streep and actress Freida Pinto joined the first lady’s encounter with two dozen young women in Marrakesh to discuss the challenges girls around the world face in getting educated.

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
The Obamas (from left, Sasha, Malia and their mother Michelle) donned traditional patterned outfits to dine with Morocco’s Princess Lalla Salma (right) in Marrakesh on Tuesday evening
PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
Michelle Obama (left) and her daughters indulged in a traditional Moroccan iftar with the wife of King Mohammed VI (right) on Tuesday

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
The Obamas attended the sumptuous dinner to break the fast during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan at King’s Palace in MarrakeshIn the North African kingdom of Morocco, only 36 percent of girls continue school beyond the primary level.

 

‘We have to change those notions that girls are only valuable for their reproductive capacity or their ability to do manual labor,’ Obama said, adding that 62 million girls worldwide do not have access to education for an array of reasons, from a lack of resources to cultural norms.

The first lady’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, joined their mother in Marrakesh but did not take part in the event.

The ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative, launched in March 2015 by President Barack Obama and the first lady, is to be extended to Morocco, the White House announced Tuesday.

It said the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government foreign aid agency working in partnership with the Moroccan government, is investing nearly $100 million to transform secondary education in the country.

USAID is also giving $400,000 to create five new girls’ dormitories to improve educational opportunities for girls from rural areas.

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
They were joined by actress Meryl Streep and other members of the Moroccan Royal family in Marrakesh on Tuesday evening

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
Meryl Streep (left) an actress and advocate for girls education, and Princess Lalla Hasnaa (right) attend an Iftar dinner at the palace
PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
Malia Obama (left) and Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco both dressed up for the lavish Iftar dinner at the royal palace in Marrakesh

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
A massive floral centerpiece decorated the table as the guests tucked into traditional Moroccan delicacies during the meal

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
Malia Obama, 17, who recently graduated from high school, sat next to Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco at the dinner

‘The investment in an education now will reap benefits (in) years to come and that is what my family knew instinctively,’ the first lady said.

‘My parents didn’t go to university. We didn’t have a lot of money. But one of the things … was that my parents understood the value of an education. And they fought for me, they sacrificed, they saved.’

The group met in the courtyard of Dar Diafa, a historic riad that has been converted into a restaurant.

One young woman taking part, who identified herself only as Karima from Ouarzazate, in south-central Morocco, said her parents ensured she had a primary school education but discouraged her from focusing her secondary education on science technology, a field dominated by men.

A school bus helped 16-year-old Hannan Amin, from Ifrane, get to school and avoid a 4.3-mile trudge on foot.

‘Every single person’s story is different,’ said Streep, who advised the young women never to give up and said she was the first in her family to get a university education.

‘In my own life, I know that losing heart is the most dangerous thing. You can put any obstacle in front of me and I will jump over it, but when I lose heart, you lose everything,’ she said.

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
Earlier on Tuesday, first lady Michelle Obama (pictured) spoke about education with teenage girls in Marrakesh, Morocco

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
One young woman taking part, who identified herself only as Karima from Ouarzazate, in south-central Morocco, said her parents ensured she had a primary school education but discouraged her from focusing her secondary education in science technology

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
The first lady’s meeting heralded an announcement that the Let Girls Learn initiative, created March 2015, would bring more than $100million of foreign aid going towards transforming secondary education in the country

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
Meryl Streep (right) joined Mrs Obama for an event focusing on the challenges Moroccan girls face to continue their schooling

PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
Michelle Obama and her daughters Sasha and Malia were welcomed by Princess Lalla Salma (center right) at Menara Airport in Marrakesh
PHOTOS: America's First Family are joined by Meryl Streep for lavish dinner with Moroccan princess at palace in Marrakesh
King Mohammed VI’s wife Princess Lalla Selma (rear right) met Michelle Obama (left) and daughters Malia and Sasha at the airport