Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, wore a scarf with Islamic art themes that she had unexpectedly been given by a tour guide in Granada, southern Spain, where European Union leaders were meeting on Friday.
On Thursday evening, Von der Leyen was touring the renowned Alhambra Palace and castle in Granada, which was constructed in the 13th century by the city’s Muslim lords, when she complimented tour guide Sumaya Abdelbi on her silk scarf. It had a gazelle print that was modeled from artwork from the castle.
All the female staff working at the Alhambra during the gala dinner of heads of state wore such scarves. Abdelbi, who was born in Germany and is of Moroccan origin, briefed Von de Leyen and her husband on the palace.
“I told her that she was now also part of the history of the Alhambra and she was very impressed,” Abdelbi told Reuters. “She noticed my scarf, she said it was very beautiful and asked me if she could touch it.”
As Von der Leyen was leaving the event, Abdelbi saw her again and shouted: “I want to give you my scarf!”.
The EU leader walked back to accept the gift and take a selfie with Abdelbi.
The scarf, which usually can be bought at the Alhambra souvenir shop, was sold out on Friday morning.