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The hive of women in the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou

The Tawesna restaurant in the ksar of Aït Ben Haddou

The women of the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou carry the torch of action. They assert themselves as responsible and committed individuals. They demonstrate wills that gradually transform their lives into a buzzing hive. The establishment of a restaurant called Tawasna exemplifies one of the objectives of the local development dynamics initiated and led by Loubna Mouna Guenoun as part of the activities of the “We Speak Citizen” association within the ksar territory: both to generate income for the female community and to empower women as agents of development. These women have indeed risen to take control of their destiny by turning a small-scale project into an opportunity to improve their socio-economic situation and to flourish personally.

The emergence of an inspiring feminine dynamic

Tawasna” means craftsmanship in the local Amazigh language, and it is the chosen name for the tea salon project initiated and driven by a dozen women from the ksar of Aït Ben Haddou.

The choice of this name for the initiative carries significant symbolic importance as it represents, in a very concrete way, the awareness of rural women that they possess the ability to improve their own living conditions, and therefore have the responsibility to take action to achieve this. This embodies the model of a wise economy where women, regardless of their level of education, value their talents and put them in the service of their community, no matter how small. Tawasna is truly a buzzing hive of labor, solidarity, and fulfillment.

These women have freed themselves from the oppressive tradition of passivity that confined them to a stereotyped role where rural women resigned themselves to always being relegated to the background. The Tawasna project is nourished by the experience of each of the women who carry it, from their lives as wives and mothers, and especially as women aware of their new challenges and ambitions.

The Tawesna restaurant in the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou
The Tawesna restaurant in the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou

Work, a key to the fulfillment of rural women

Tawasna is a project built by and for women. It represents a space of fulfillment for its caring actors towards one another. In addition to their duties as homemakers, they take on the role of project managers with determination: they plan, organize, animate, and consult to ensure the smooth running of their enterprise, which allows them to weave and strengthen intimate bonds conducive to team cohesion.

All these women see their work within Tawasna as a key to their personal development and also a source of happiness because their commitment reflects back a more productive image of themselves. Above all, it is the discovery of self-confidence, of this ability to take charge autonomously, that fills them with pride. This energy drives them to strive harder to improve their situation, to give their best to enhance their immediate living environment, and to develop their personality.

This adventure brings together female volunteers from different backgrounds around the project. Elderly women from the ksar of Aït Ben Haddou position themselves as seasoned mentors. Fadma Ihho is the perfect example: a self-taught and inspiring sexagenarian woman who exudes her aura over all her colleagues. Her profile as an actress imbued with patience and serenity gives her the status of a charismatic leader.

Alongside Fadma, educated young girls gather. They represent the modern younger generation of Aït Ben Haddou, proud of their origins. Laila Azdou, the manager of the Tawasna project, embodies this model. After higher education at university and teaching experience, she decided to return to her native village. For her, life in the ksar is in perfect harmony with her personality. She then decided to put her knowledge and skills to work for her colleagues mobilized in the Tawasna project.

Laila Azdou, the manager of the Tawasna project
Laila Azdou, the manager of the Tawasna project

These local forces are supported by other individual goodwill, such as young girls and boys from different countries who intend to contribute to the project. These volunteers have also embraced the Tawasna project and participate with dedication in its development.

As for Loubna Mouna Guenoun, she plays her role as conductor by ensuring not to interfere too much in the project. True to her own expertise, she oversees the project from a distance but with vigilance: she coaches, advises, coordinates, and energizes… in a collegial approach that leads to autonomy, the primary guarantee of the project’s sustainability.

The women of Aït Ben Haddou have managed to simultaneously enhance the tourist wealth of their territory and their own personal potential. The Tawasna restaurant deserves to be known and visited because this micro-project demonstrates how every woman in Morocco has all the potential required to undertake where she is. It is the perfect illustration of a small community that has decided concretely to “cultivate its garden.”

To contact Tawasna :
Laïla Azdou – Tel: 00 212 669 94 40 75 / Email: tawesna.sdt@gmail.com

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