Salam Aleikum

Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.



My family and I moved to Marrakech 6 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakech, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal. On top of this it had to feel right at a soul level for my husband and I, both who are from very different backgrounds.



Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.

Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.



Land in Marrakech particularly, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this my husband said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'



I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end.......

Sunday, September 8, 2013

TEDex Marrakech 2013

Very excited about the next TEDex Marrakech, but absolutely gutted that I cannot go!!! I'm catering for 150 people wedding dinner on the Saturday which is the main day of TEDex Marrakech.  The wonderful new British Ambassador Clive Alderton will be there as well as Josh Shoemake probably talking about his recently launched book on Tangier.  Mamoud Chouki my favourite Moroccan musician will be playing and there is also a speaker form the High Atlas Foundation.  Lastly I wanted to meet my neighbour Andrea Kolb owner of Anayela our neighbour riad who kindly shares her wonderful guests with us.  Oh well, I will have to book Marcus a ticket instead!  Be there and be round, book your ticket now!

If you need to book a room or lunch we are next door at Zamzamriad@gmail.com - www.riadzamzam.com

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxMarrakesh, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxMarrakesh event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.




What to expect:
  • Innovative thinking
  • Ideas worth spreading
  • Exclusive networking
  • Open-minded discussions
  • In one of the most historic places in the world: The Medina of Marrakesh
  • Two international hosts Andrea Kolb & Vanessa Branson
  • 100 carefully selected guests 
  • 10 mind blowing, inspiring speakers

Vanessa Branson • Host
Riad el-Fenn
contact@riadelfenn.com
00212524441210

Andrea Kolb • Host
andrea@andreakolb.de
491749208641

Alia Radman • Event Director
Alia@animusmarrakech.com
002126033344182
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