Morocco/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and civil initiatives  

8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs

Cultural Houses are responsible for:

  • Providing cultural and artistic services, and creating spaces for creativity and communication
  • Remaining open to cultural and artistic developments around the world
  • Stimulating and encouraging artistic creativity and expression

To achieve these objectives the cultural house:

  • Organises professional exhibitions and cultural events to stimulate artistic and cultural movement
  • Facilitates access to and use of modern communication techniques
  • Establishes specialised cultural clubs for the exchange of views and perspectives between artists and audiences

The size of cultural houses varies according to the number of people they serve and the variety of services they offer. They are classified as:

  • Cultural House class (A): 50 - 100 thousand inhabitants.
  • Cultural House class (B): 30 - 50 thousand inhabitants.
  • Cultural House class (C): 15 - 30 thousand inhabitants.
  • Cultural House class (D): 5 - 15 thousand inhabitants.

Although, these cultural houses are not widely used. Not all areas and regions in the kingdom take advantage of the services of these cultural institutions which are vital in terms of mainstreaming cultural proximity. Main cities of 24 regions have no cultural centres, where in rural areas the coverage does not exceed 50%, while the share of rural communities from reservoirs and reading centres does not exceed 10%. Thus, because of this, the Ministry was allocated an increased budget, rising above 185 million Dirhams in 2014, to fill the gap.

Number of existing cultural houses as of 31 December, 2013:

  • 20 MoC-affiliated cultural houses.
  • 19 renovated cultural houses in partnership with local groups.
  • Cultural houses under construction through cooperative financing with the European Union and stakeholders - Qal’et M'gouna, Tiznit, Sidi Rahal, Azrou, Zmamra, Al Hoceima, Zagora, and Kasbah Tadla.      
  • Cultural houses programmed in the medium to long term in Figuig, Oued Zem, Ait Ourir, Mishra Belkasiri, Zmoor, Al-Faqih Bnsaleh, Azilal, Ouarzazate, Taourirt, Sidi Kacem, Burkan, Beni Mellal, Kenitra, Martel, Sooq Al-Arbaa, Sefrou, Ben Ahmed, Bouarfa, Al-Hajeb, and Wazan.        

These cultural houses are considered MoC priorities and will be established according to the funds available to the Ministry and the stakeholders.

In addition to cultural houses, a scattering of cultural spaces (such as literary receptions, cultural centres and clubs) are overseen by public figures. The efforts of these figures contribute to enriching the Moroccan cultural image by organising cultural activities, intellectual, literary and artistic meetings as well as receptions, centres, clubs and publications. Some of these spaces that still regularly operate are the Al-Jirari Club in Rabat, supervised by Dr Abbas Jirari, the Mohammed Aziz Hababi House in Rabat (known as Al Nadwa), supervised by Dr Fatima Al-Jami’i Al-Hababi, the Tariq Bin Ziad Center in Rabat, supervised by researcher Hassan Orid, the Twenty Companions literary reception hall in Casablanca, supervised by the woman of letters Zahra Zirawi, and the literary reception hall in Rabat, supervised by the poet Fatima Al-Zahra Al-Idrissi.

Meetings, seminars, and activities are held in supervisors’ personal homes, with the exception of the Tariq Bin Ziyad Centre, which owns an independent space in the middle of Rabat. Each of these spaces has a unique cultural atmosphere, produces activities of varying quality, operates during different hours and releases different publications.

Facebook helped establish some reading clubs that held discussions either on the web or in public spaces. The most important of these groups is the Rabat Book Club, composed of nearly thirty readers who meet monthly to discuss global humanitarian literature. The club is now becoming a legal association that promotes knowledge construction among its members through reading.


Chapter published: 05-05-2016