The Kaftan: Culture to Culture

The Kaftan: Culture to Culture
A Photography and Art Installation
By Kamal Zeghari and Nassim Benkirane
Opening: Saturday, March 27 at 6 PM
ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha, Fez Medina

Artist’s statement
Inside every Moroccan house, the matriarch keeps some antique kaftans that remind her of her youth and her marriage. In this installation, we present some extraordinary kaftans that we photographed in remarkable settings in Fez that have witnessed the transitions between generations.
The city of Fez, from the beginning of the 13th century (around 600 Hijri – the Islamic calendar), was renowned for its textile factories, with 3,046 textile factories at one time.
The word “kaftan” in Morocco is commonly used to mean “one-piece dress.” Alternative two-piece versions of Moroccan kaftans are called “takchita.” The takchita is also known as “mansouria,” which derives from the name of Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, who set the trend of wearing a two-piece kaftan.
Historically, there are many versions of the Moroccan kaftan, which varied depending on the cities: Tetouan, Fez, Rabat, Sale and Marrakech each had their own styles. Kaftans were made of brocade, velvet, silk, and many other fabrics. They can still be worn on both casual and formal occasions, depending on the materials used. Today in Morocco, kaftans are mostly worn by women for special ceremonies such as marriages, circumcisions, and Eid festivities. The traditions of the kaftan are still thriving in modern society just as strongly as when they were born centuries ago.
In this installation, we offer participants the opportunity to explore the journey of the kaftan in its various incarnations, and to draw their own conclusions regarding its forthcoming transformations.
Space is limited
Please sign up by sending an email to

Islamic Geometry Workshop led by Aiysha Amin

Islamic Geometry Workshop led by Aiysha Amin
Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 PM
ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha

About Aiysha Amin:

Aiysha graduated from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in 2013. She received training in many different forms of traditional disciplines, and the language that connects them all, such as sacred geometry, islimi or arabesque designs.

After graduating she set out to travel for a year to several countries as a personal spiritual pilgrimage. The journey opened up many vistas of understanding and brought to the surface questions pertaining to faith, spirituality, ritualistic practice and in general how we view and our relationship with the Sacred.

Aiysha’s recent collection deals with these themes and ideas; in an age in which the ‘sense’ of the Sacred is being lost, and only a few fragmented traces of origins of Sacred history and sites remain.

Alongside this deeply personal project Aiysha works for the Greensville Trust (Liverpool, England) where she has been curating an exhibition called The Prophetic Relics for the last two years.

This workshop is organized by the ALC-ALIF Cultural Heritage Club and is free of charge. There is a limit of 10 participants; please sign up on the white board at the ALC/ALIF or contact Hamza directly.


4th International Artists Gathering of Fez
“Arts and Social Responsibility in the Arab World”
17-20 January 2019

Fez Gathering is a dynamic Fez-based network of artists from Morocco and other African countries. It offers an international platform to artists to discuss, explore and combine the potentials of art in a modern world.
On its fourth edition in January 2019, the Fez Gathering will explore the role and challenges of the arts with social responsibility in Morocco and in the Arab world.

You are all welcome.