After almost one year of undergoing restoration, Kissariat Al Kifah in Fez is opening its doors once again to the public.
Before the month of May comes to a close, King Mohammed VI will inaugurate the famed shopping district for handicrafts. Storekeepers will be happy to know that the market will open by Ramadan as it’s the most thriving season for crafts.
Stall owners are excited, hoping that the recent facelift of Kissariat will support their business interests. For; the past 10 years, business in the said shopping center has declined disturbingly. A lot of people pointed a finger on the former mayor of Fez for transferring the adjacent park lot to Babjdid.
Most of the customers come to the market by car and the decision to transfer the parking space produced a fatal setback to the business district. Stall owners reported that many customers coming from far away place to buy handicrafts in Fez has strongly declined.
Today, business owners are hopeful that the renovated Kissariat with support from the Morocco king will bring new life to the market’s activities.
The first phase of restoration started last September 2016 projected to last for 5 months but continued on until May.
Still, there was some glitch during the process of restoration. A shop owner commented that they received just a small budget of about 3,500 Moroccan dirhams from authorities to have their shops renovated.
In previous months, a lot of craftsmen made a complaint about not getting any indemnities from local authorities who assured they get compensated for losing their job in the meantime. The market area is regarded as the country’s cornerstone for Moroccan handicrafts and thousands of employees depend on it five hundred shops.
The delay worried the workers and took a negative effect on their livelihood, especially if they skip the holy month of Ramadan where their trade is at all time high.
The concern grew stronger as their expenses are said to increase during the summer holidays, after Ramadan and then followed by the next school term.
Additionally, aside from its significance to the economy of Fez, the old district is also a historical site. It was called Al Kifah which means “the resistance” following its locals who opposed the French colonization.
Opening up once again the “Kissariat Al Kifah” will mean connecting the past and the present, remaining the importance of the crafts in the market and its local residents.
In spite of the disagreements and delay, the project completion headed by King Mohammed VI will hopefully present the much-celebrated city the needed rehabilitation.
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