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Learn More About Association Zawia Oued Ifrane
Association Zawia Oued Ifrane's Listed Products
Meet the Artisans of Association Zawia Oued Ifrane
Hennu Fazi Amrani
About Association Zawia Oued Ifrane
At the base of moss-covered cliffs carved by water from the Ifrane spring rests the idyllic village of Zaouit Ifrane. Seemingly omnipresent water flows from the cliffs through each cobbled alley of the rock-strewn village and feeds the growth of the surrounding oak forest. The forest is as beautiful as it is lucrative, attracting both local villagers and city-based loggers in search of wood to meet the ever-growing demand for firewood. Starting in the early 90’s, many villagers of Zauoit Ifrane realized that the speed of logging and local foraging was stripping Zauoit’s mountains of the resources that the village depended upon. As a result, a group of thirteen villagers formed the Association Zaouit Ifrane for Development and the Environment in 1998 to find the solutions needed to protect their forest. The association started its work by creating an agreement with the local forest guard to protect the forest by restricting city-based loggers from accessing the area. The agreement helped, but it did not resolve the fact that the villagers still heavily foraged for wood to fuel their livelihoods. The association felt that until all the villagers, particularly women, increased their income so that they could afford propane gas in place of foraged wood, the forest would continue its hurried pace to complete deforestation. To push back against the receding forest, the association organized the Zaouia women in 2007 to form a weaving group that could provide that extra income. The women drew upon their traditional knowledge of weaving passed down through multiple generations in order to create a vibrant collection of hanbel and azrbyia rugs. Many of the listed carpets are defined by motifs that derive their meaning from the surrounding forest – in essence, weaving the balance that the association seeks to maintain between the villagers and their environment into each carpet. With every purchase, you’ll not only support the women of Zaoia, but support them as they continue to preserve their delicate environment.