First day of cooking at Amal center





Now that the remodeling is DONE at the Amal center, we’re focusing on equipment, furniture and beautification.

I chose traditional round wood tables instead of square (more practical) ones.  In the end, beauty and soul win out over sheer practicality for me.  The idea of sitting around a table is very symbolic, as opposed to parallel and perpendicular lines.  The round table is the heart of every Moroccan family’s home, it generously allows you to fit one or two more people around it.


Here’s some detail on our Moroccan couches.  I love the 16-pointed star and it is one of the core elements of Islamic art.DSC_0292



Here’s the reception area before: this is the first thing you see when  you come in the front door of the Amal center.  You can see right into the bathroom.  Totally wrong feng shui.DSC_0076

But now…by moving the door over to the side, we maintain the flow of energy.  We scored this awesome sweets display case from Kary’s Cupcakes after they closed down.  


Remember the kitchen before?


And now!  Thursday March 28th was the first day we cooked anything here at the Amal Center!  It feels SO GOOD to see this.  My heart is full of joy and gratitude that this dream has actually manifested.  And I’ve realized that although these women have difficult stories, the Amal center is not a depressing place, it’s full of joy and REAL HOPE just like its name.  For myself, the volunteers and the trainees we are all just blown away by this experience.  The intention, the prayers, the doing of it all and now this joyous beginning.  DSC_0304



Did I mention how hard it is to make the warqa dough?  I’m in awe of our trainer Sabah.DSC_0307


Here is the fantastic professional food processor that we were able to buy from the benefits of the American International Women’s Association of Marrakesh (AIWAM) fundraiser.  DSC_0296


Here’s our side garden beforeDSC_0068

And now…it’s not scary anymore, yay!DSC_0302





Our dear children’s space coordinator Shauna has been working every day for weeks and weeks…and all sorts of volunteers have left their mark here in the kid’s corner.  The Amal center will be opening *very soon* insha Allah.


22 thoughts on “First day of cooking at Amal center

  1. Molly says:

    MashAllah, Nora, so happy for you that the “end” is near and that the center can start reaping the benefits. May Allah bless you and all of your giving. Let us know when opening day is and I hope to visit with you soon. You are welcome to come out and see me and have a coffee! Just let me know. Salams to everyone.

  2. Ann lopata says:

    Looks great. Can’t believe how quickly everything has progressed since I was there just a few weeks ago! Best of luck. Can’t wait to follow the opening

  3. You are truly a supersoul! Mabruk to you and all the women, may the Amal centre always be a place of joy and growth and togetherness, amin. Much love to you and your family, I’ll be seeing your padres soon inshallah! xxxxx

  4. Sara says:

    Oh How Beautiful! What an acomplishment! All Praise to you, your wonderful circle of volunteers and cooks supreme, and to the Divine Inspiration and Fashioner behind it all! May this space nourish all who come, who work, who eat and who play there! (Maybe now we know why your name is Nora…Norisher of all…)

  5. clare says:

    Looks like such a wonderfully cheery and peaceful place,mashAllah,may Allah reward you for acting upon this great idea.It is sure to bring lots of happiness to so many people inshAllah.

  6. Hi Nora and all who are creating the beautiful Amal Center.. Beautiful work ! I believe the center will enhance many women s lives. Some day i hope to visit.
    Bravo and many blessings on you and the Center.
    Maureen Simon

  7. Jeanette says:

    Congratulations Nora. I remember the day we went to the cite and were dreaming up which walls to take down, how to do the side garden for dining and changing the front entrance on the street. I see you remembered my feng shui advice, well done indeed. Wishing you all the best Nora. I shall return to RAK in June and will look forward to coming by to see you and the ladies. Jeanette Lowdon

  8. This is FAB mashallah!! I’m thrilled for you and proud of all the work you did!!! May Allah bless the efforts of everyone involved and make it a rousing success!!!! Hope to be back in Marrakech soon. I want some of that bastilla!

  9. What a great initiative! Can’t wait to check it out. I am a Canadian expat married to a Moroccan living in Marrakech and working in tourism. We create personalized do-it-yourself itineraries for visitors and we love finding new and interesting places to recommend to people. We will definitely be by soon to see the Amal Center in the flesh, but congratulations on an amazing project!
    (We recently started our own blog on our site to talk about morocco, its people, its culture and initiatives like this that make Morocco such an amazing place. I would love to mention you in one of our upcoming posts, and even get some feedback from some experienced bloggers like yourselves! I would love to hear from you and hope to talk to you soon!)

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