Call Us Today 1-855-778-5444
March 1, 2023

Henna and the Strength of Moroccan Women, with Siham Essahiri - Ep. 29

Henna and the Strength of Moroccan Women, with Siham Essahiri - Ep. 29

One of the highlights of a visit to Morocco is getting a henna art design, something as authentically Moroccan as tagines and desert camping. More than just a decorative activity, henna has deep cultural roots in Morocco, particularly for women.

Siham Essahiri is an expert henna artist, offering design experiences to travellers from around the world out of her home studio in Marrakech. Many listeners and guests on the podcast have had this experience themselves.

But few of us have known her remarkable true life story, until now. Born in a mountain village in the High Atlas mountains, Siham was put into an arranged marriage in the mid-2000's, and became pregnant at the age of 19. Despite being worldly and well-educated, she was facing a bleak future in a society of pre-determined roles and customs.

In today's episode, Siham shares how she took control of her and her daughter's lives, making bold choices and becoming self sufficient. Key to this achievement was her ability as an artist, which opened doors and opportunities in tourism and beyond.

Azdean and Siham talk about the power and strength of women in Morocco, the many barriers that still exist, yet the inspiring examples of Siham and others like her.

We learn about the history of henna, and the many occasions where it is used. Siham explains how henna parties are a part of a bride's wedding preparation: more than just an art session, it's a major event!

And being so popular an activity, scams to hook tourists in will inevitably abound, at the Jamma el Fna square in Marrakech in particular. There are numerous reasons to avoid these and other scams, and Siham shares some horror stories of "tattoos" gone wrong and exorbitant fees charged.

If and when you're in Marrakech, go for the real deal: an all-natural, custom-designed henna experience from an authentic artist. Siham is a wonderful artist, host, cook, guide and more, and will welcome you into her home with open arms.

You're about to learn:

  • What exactly is henna, the plant.
  • How henna differs around the world, and the Moroccan interpretation of it.
  • How henna paste is made, and when it should be made.
  • Why authentic, hand-mixed henna paste is not just better quality but will last much longer than what you find in the square, where it is chemical and cheap.
  • Can you buy the hand-mixed paste and do it yourself?
  • What tool Siham uses to create her designs.

This Episode is sponsored by:

Travel Anywhere - One stop for all your travel needs.

Resources Mentioned in this episode:

Visit Siham on Instagram.

and on Facebook.

Siham's website.

Follow, Share and Participate:

Learn more about the show on our Podcast Website

Find beautiful pictures on our Instagram!

Help people find us: Leave a Review in Apple Podcasts

Help us grow: Rate us on Spotify

Become a Guest on the Show!

Visit Destination Morocco Travel Agency