Fez Riads was set up with the express intention of supporting restoration work in the Fez medina carried out in a private capacity.
December 2006 saw the first projects get off the ground, and Fez Riads would like to thank all the guesthouses featured on this site, who have contributed a minimum of 2% of clients’ accommodation costs to the restoration fund.
From 2016, we are changing this approach and are supporting instead the High Atlas Foundation alongside our sister site, Concierge Morocco. Booking with Fez Riads or Concierge Morocco means that you automatically support this foundation that funds grassroots development in predominantly rural disadvantaged communities in Morocco. The projects on the go now include women’s cooperatives, fruit tree agriculture, clean drinking water, highly profitable and ecological irrigation, and participatory planning and management training in partnership with Hassan II University in Mohammedia.
FONDUK LIHOUDI FOUNTAIN (October & November 2011)
In our most ambitious and expensive fountain restoration so far, we chose the very large, working fountain at Fonduk Lihoudi in the north of the medina. It was very badly degraded with missing zellij, large chunks of missing plaster that had also been damaged by fire, a great deal of mould and calcification and lots of general filth and rubbish. Map reference 12
Zelliji and plasterer Noureddine Hilal of the restoration company T2M worked on this fountain to produce excellent results that have delighted the local residents:
R’CIF FOUNTAINS (December 2010)
The first fountain here is in Qettanine (Map reference 8), and the small one below in Zqaq Labghel (Map reference 9). Both were restored by Si Mohammed Mouaniss and his team at T2M, as were most of the others.
LIHOUDI AND ZENJFOUR FOUNTAINS (July 2010)
The grand fountain in Lihoudi had damaged zellij and needed a clean. It’s not connected to the water supply. In Derb el Miter, Zenjfour, this fountain also had damaged zellij and needed cleaning.
Now that the Zenjfour fountain has been repaired, Ahmed Azami, owner of the nearby Dar Anebar, has offered to connect it to his own water supply and provide a pump so that the local community can use it. (Map reference 10)
HAFFARINE & SIDI AHMED BINYAHYA FOUNTAINS (June 2010) Map reference 6 & 7
This fountain in Haffarine was in a sorry state, with missing zellij (mosaic tiles) and damaged surround. It is not supplied with water. The restoration has now been completed. We’d like to thank Wendy and Ray Ackerman from Cape Town for their donation towards the restoration of this fountain.
The fountain in Derb Sidi Ahmed Binyahya is connected to the water supply. There’s a tap in a box on wall adjacent. It was very dirty and needed a lot of cleaning.
DERB RIHANA FOUNTAIN PROJECT (April 2010) Map reference 5
The small fountain in Derb Rihana is well-loved by local residents who care for the garden around it. But its zellij (mosaics) were falling off, it had lost decoration at the top, and the basin was covered with earth. There’s no longer a water supply to this fountain. We have now planted several plants here that have survived and the local population have added several more.
Work on this fountain and the one in Derb Bouhaj was carried out by the restoration company T2M and the zelliji is Noureddine Hilal assisted by Adnan Chaouqi.
DERB BOUHAJ FOUNTAIN PROJECT (April 2010) Map reference 4
This small fountain at the lower end of Derb Bouhaj near the skin-washing facility had lost most of its mosaic tiles and was filled with rubbish. There’s no longer a water supply to this fountain.
As an on-going project, Fez Riads employs Saïd Moussaïd on a part-time basis to keep the fountains we’ve restored in good condition. He works through each Thursday night cleaning, sweeping and arranging for a donkey to remove rubbish if necessary. He also reports on the condition of fountains so that we can go back to repair the surrounds or replace missing zellij.