Silvia Irace

Silvia Irace (Ain Leuh Weaver's Cooperative): Silvia was born and raised in Naples, Italy, where she studied Arabic for her BA at “L’Orientale” University. To help her studies, Sylvia travelled to Cairo and Saudi Arabia, where she interned at the Italian Embassy in Riyadh. In Riyadh, she taught Italian language and culture at cultural associations affiliated to the embassy. Sylvia was studying for an MA in Arab Studies at Georgetown University on a Fulbright scholarship when she went to Morocco for AP. After her fellowship she wrote: “I have learnt about the legal steps to set up a non profit in the Moroccan legal framework, how to frame an Association mission, as well as video taping, editing, and using social media in a more effective way. I improved my Wordpress and website building skills, and my knowledge of Amazigh and Moroccan culture and language. Finally, I have learnt some handicraft skills, by weaving for advocacy.” Email:

Ramadan Karim

29 Jun

Last week here in Ain Leuh has been pretty intense. The women at the cooperative have been taking the first steps towards the constitution of an association aimed at preserving and perpetuating their cultural heritage.

The first meeting has been a pretty interesting one, where they had the chance to go through a number of issues of internal organization: some of them highlighted their desire to become more involved in the administration and running of the future jama’iyah; questions about what name they would choose and how the new board of directors would be selected started to pop up. Activities have been an important point of discussion, although these ladies are so resourceful that we will soon be able to finalize them.

Meeting is ongoing

The cooperative has been offered support by the director of a non profit in the nearby village of Toufselt – where my host, Khadija, acts as treasurer – in order to help them to navigate the Moroccan bureaucracy in matters of registration with the authorities and the likes. Obtaining non profit status might take up to five months in Morocco and requires a remarkable commitment.

Needless to say, political parties have started to materialize immediately, and we have been receiving the first of a probably long series of would-be patrons on Friday – cous cous day – at lunch!

On a lighter note, Ramadan has finally arrived and I have been asked the inevitable question: “Are you fasting?”. Well, I could have said no, but after seeing all the women today – the first day of Ramadan – waking up early in order to start collecting material to upload on the website, standing  outside under the burning sun, and then patiently sitting with me at the new PC to learn how to upload the pics online, I could not but reply: I am fasting too. Stay tuned.

Naima poses with her hanbel

Posted By Silvia Irace

Posted Jun 29th, 2014


  • Karin

    June 30, 2014


    Silvia- It’s such great news that Ain Leuh is pursuing non-profit status. This new development will be very important for them as they move forward and try to grow. Best of luck on fasting during Ramadan and remember to stay hydrated!

  • Katerina Canyon (CONCERN)

    July 2, 2014


    Silvia, very interesting indeed! Have any political parties provided any challenges?

    • Silvia Irace

      July 5, 2014


      Hey Katerina!

      Great to hear from you, I am following you blog on CONCERN and I hope you have recovered fast! Indeed, news here in Morocco can spread pretty fast, but I am not really surprised: consider that, no sooner had I stepped in the village, that I had to be registered at the police station, so I did not marvel when the representative of a political party here showed up for lunch offering its “services”. Nevertheless, we have decided to go on our own way and so far things seem to go smoothly. Fingers crossed!

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