Introducing Arts and Culture to Disadvantaged Youth in Morocco - Les Étoiles de la Medina Centre Culturel, Marrakech

Fondation pour l’éducation et la santé PIOU REDO

The Cultural Centre in Marrakech offers a space for Moroccan youth to nurture their creativity and engage with culture with the ultimate goal of promoting social cohesion.


Celebrated French-Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch's carreer was inspired by his encounters with a youth cultural centre while growing up in the outskirts of Paris. With the goal of promoting arts and culture as a tool for self-expression, personal development and social cohesion, Ayouch founded the Fondation Ali Zaoua, named after one of his films.


Deeply affected by the Casablanca bombings in 2003 and 2007, Ayouch believed that access to arts and culture could deter disadvantaged youth from turning to terrorism and other antisocial activities, and further promote social cohesion. With this in mind, Ayouch sought to create a youth cultural centre in the neighbourhood, Sidi Moumen, from which these terrorists hailed. The project, called "Les Étoiles de Sidi Moumen", was launched in 2014. 


In the years since, the Fondation Ali Zaoua has launched additional youth cultural centres in Tangiers (2016), Agadir (2019), and Fes (2020). The launch of the "Les Étoiles de la Medina" in Marrakech marks the fifth cultural centre launched under this project.


The Fondation PIOU REDO under the aegis of the Fondation de Luxembourg supported the creation of the Les Étoiles de la Medina cultural centre in Marrakech. Opened in 2021, it seeks to uplift disadvantaged youth in the city through the power of culture. It serves as a space for expression, learning, and discovery through initiation into different forms of artistic expression (music, dance, theater, visual and fine arts …), learning foreign languages (French, English, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean …) and discovering the cultures of the world.



Set in the heart of Marrakech in a completely restored riad spanning 100m2 and steps away from Jamaâ El Fna square, the Les Etoiles centre accommodates 500 to 600 young beneficiaries. Its cultural programme - spanning artistic courses such as theatre, dance, music and visual arts - highlights the city’s heritage and introduces young people to the most contemporary artistic expressions. Foreign language courses are also on offer in order to expose young people in the medina to foreign cultures.