May 2012 : Donation from the Getty Junior charitable Foundation,

thanks to longstanding member of the BMS, Christopher Gibbs.  donated £50 000 to the BMS with a view to support all our charities in Tangiers. Thank you.

 5 march 2012 :

The 4th edition of the Marrakech biennale concluded yesterday Sunday and as one of its partners, the British Moroccan Society can be proud to have been associated to what can be called a resounding success.
This Biennale puts Marrakech firmly on the international art and literature festival scene due to the quality of the participating artists and the truly international audience. Thanks to a serie of workshops and internships, many Moroccan students of the University of Marrakech were involved and active participants.The “Higher Atlas” exhibition in the unfinished Theatre Royal is an absolute must if you are in Marrakech. It showcases 32 exciting young artists from China to the USA and Iceland to Morocco who produced large site-specific installations in collaboration with local artisans. The exhibition is on until 3 June 2012, open daily 11am to 6pm. There were many terrific off Biennale exhibitions as well.
On the literature side, Geoff Dyer told us about his favourite writer John Berger, Ruby Wax, the comedian and mental health campaigner and Jane Bussman, the celebrity writer and aspiring foreign correspondent made us laugh, Ben Okri mesmerised us by telling us about an 11th century Persian poem translated in English in the 19th century starting with the magical word “Awake”, Touria Binebine recounted her efforts to get Moroccan girls to school, Pankaj Mishra debated about what modernity means generally and more specifically for India, “partners in crime” Anthony Horowitz and his wife producer Jill Green talked about their collaboration on 2 very successful ITV shows : Foyles’War and “Collision”. To find out more about all the participants, have a look at the Marrakech biennale
Story telling is a subject always present when in Marrakech. Katie Kameli, a Franco-Algerian artist shows one of her work at the Theatre Royal, a video of a story teller on the Place Djemaa El Fna


Rickshaw run :

Blenkinsopp Hall, Haltwhistle, NE49 9LY

Tel: 0780 847 6873


Dawn Boys-Stones and Fo [Fiona] Lees-Millais are 2 Posh 2 Push!

Dawn, mother of 4, runs a small boutique hotel in Marrakech with her husband, Francis.  When not attending to their guests’ every need, she is to be found in her workshop creating wild and whacky metal sculptures.

Fo, mother of 2, is married to Patrick and lives in rural Northumberland.  She is a magistrate in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, farms and runs an embroidery group in Frankland Prison for Fine Cell Work

In April 2012 we are going to attempt to do The Rickshaw Run – it is a challenging adventure over thousands of miles of atrocious roads, from Kochi in South West India, to Shillong in the North East.  We will have to negotiate dirt tracks, monsoons, jungle, quagmires, potholes and bandits in between. Once we hit the road on 5th April 2012, you can follow our steady progress as we blog our way across India by going to

Our vehicle for the journey (Doris) is a 145cc, 3 wheeled, 2 stroke, auto rickshaw with a top speed of 34 mph.  Loud, uncomfortable and prone to breaking down, this is possibly the least suitable machine to tackle the entire length of the Subcontinent in 2 weeks.  Though this may appear foolhardy, and our husbands think we have lost our marbles, there is a serious side – to raise as much money as possible for our 2 chosen charities.  The Adventurists, who organize many things besides the Rickshaw Run, raise £1 million every year for charity.  Our two chosen charities are:

FRANK WATER (reg. charity No. 1121273)

“Access to safe drinking water is a fundamental human right”

Founded by Katie Alcott in 2005, this charity funds sustainable clean water projects in developing countries across the world, and since then, they have benefitted more than 400,000 people.  In the West, we take clean water for granted; yet across the world, every 20 seconds a child dies from water related diseases.



This adventure is self-funded by the team members, so 100% of your donation will go to Frank Water & The British Moroccan Society

With your donations, we will make such a difference to so many people’s lives, so please give us your support.


Yours faithfully


Dawn Boys-Stones & Fo Lees-Millais



List of auction donours at the gala dinner 2011 :

* Lot 1 : 1 flight in Hot Air balloon in Marrakech for 2 people offered by  Shared Flight and Complete tour’s general manager Lesley Sanchez.

* Lot 2 : 3 nights at the 5 star Meridian hotel in Marrakech offered by Omar Benjelloun ,marketing and commercial director.

*lot 3 : 2 nights at the 5 star hotel and Spa Widiane including two massages. The hotel is 2 hours drive from Marrakech near Beni Mellal. Offered by Younes Laraqui.

* Lot 4 : 2 nights stay at the Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort in a deluxe room including breakfast with two Royal Air Maroc  business class flights London-Casablanca

* Lot 5 : 2 nights at the 5 star hotel Les jardins de la Medina in Marrakech. offered by the director general.

* Lot 6 : 1 limited edition print of a landscape by Lydia Bauman, an artist collected by many people including the Saatchis and our regular guide at the National gallery.

* Lot 7 : 2 nights at the 4 star hotel Dellarosa in Marrakech offered by Souad Ait Bahia, Sales manager.

* Lot 8 : Mrs. Elisabeth Bauchet?Bouhlal is pleased to welcome you for a weekly stay at the Palace ES SAADI for 2 persons on Bed & Breakfast bases. Including :A Dinner for 2 at La Cour des Lions, our famous Moroccan restaurant, a lunch for 2 around the pool at Lagon et Jardin –            A dinner for 2 at the gastronomic restaurant of the ES SAADI Hotel –    A lunch for 2 at le Bio du Bled restaurant inside the Es Saadi Spa Palace , A dinner for 2 at l’Epicurien inside the Casino de Marrakech

* Lot 9 : 2 litres of Argan Oil produced by the ladies at the Outoul Centre in Tafraoute that Ahmed Nait sponsors and to which BMS contributes

* Lot 10 : A beautifully hand embroidered traditional Moroccan kaftan offered by the designer Hicham Dimokrati

* Lot 11 : a beautifully hand embroidered table cloth offered by our dedicated committee member Fatima Khouchoua

* Lot 12 : 2 nights at the 4 star hotel Diwane in Marrakech offered by Ndia Amouch, director general.

list of raffle donours :

1ST prize : 2 bmi return business class tickets Heathrow- Marrakech

3 nights at Riad Cinnamon in Marrakech ( and a henna session at Henna Café (, offered by Mike Wood. Valid according to availability until 1st November 2012

2 theater tickets for an exciting new play inspired by the life and times of Khalil Gibran author of the Prophet.. ”Rest Upon The Wind” , Writer: Nadim Sawalha, at Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden, donated by Nabil Elouahabi

1 restaurant voucher for dinner for 2 people, with chicha included, at Dar Marrakech on Edgware Road, kindly donated by Mr Zacaria Idrissi.

1 bottle of Argan oil with vanilla in a handcrafted silver bottle donated by Nacera Gomez of House of Argan ( )

1 restaurant voucher worth £50 for dinner in one of the 3 following restaurants The restaurants are: Souk Bazaar   Leicester square wc2 h9nj., Souk Médina,  Covent Garden wc2h9at.        Aqua River brasserie    Saint George wharf Vauxhall

2 hours of bliss at Spa Marrakech situated in Holiday Inn, Borehamwood-Elstree WD6 5PU

Moroccan Exfoliation, Rassoul Body Wrap, Moroccan facial, Body massage with 100%  Argan Oil Bio.All treatments come with complementary Moroccan Tea As well as free use of the pool, Jaccuzzi, Sauna, and steam room. Value £130

1 dinner for 4 people at Knouz Restaurant – 453 North End Road – Fulham Broadway – SW6 1N – 07540543314. This is a brand new Moroccan restaurant opened by Atika, owner of Marrakech Lounge. This is valid from December onwards.





News November 2011:

In my last visit to Marrakech 2 weeks ago, I met Meriem whose heart operation and medication the BMS is contributing to pay for (20,000 dirhams). She’s a lovely 12 year old girl who hasn’t been able to go to school for a year but we’re very much hoping she’ll be able to go back after her operation. She’s with me in the picture along with 2 of her 6 siblings.
We’re also helping Ayoub Saou who’s also 12 and diabetic by paying for his insulin. This is through the Foyer ded Jeunes Diabetiques, Centre de sante Said Noussairi in Tanger (25000 dirhams).
And of course there’s Youssef Ben Omar, the heavily handicapped 18 year old boy who was brought to Casa Nazareth and is now happily settled (7000 dirhams)
And there are many more children we try to help all this thanks to your memberships, donations and participation in our events.

FCO reception 19th May 2011 :

On the 19th May, the Middle East and North Africa Directorate (MENA) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) kindly agreed to host a reception for the British Moroccan Society.

The highlight was an address to the  guests by Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala (Cousin to His Highness Mohammed VI, King of the Kingdom Morocco).


Our chairman Anthony Layden CMG: Former British Ambassador in Morocco, from 1999-2002, started proceedings introducing Mr. Patrick Davies, head of MENA at the FCO, who spoke eloquently about general sensitivities across North Africa and the Middle East; closing with an introduction to Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala who holds the positions; Moroccan Ambassador to the United Kingdom: President of the Moroccan British Society and also President of the British Moroccan Society.

Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala spoke at length regarding the strong and special relationship held between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Kingdom. Princess Lalla Joumala also raised the emotive issue of the recent bomb attack in Marrakech, passing on her personal condolences to Peter Moss, the British travel writer, who was among 16 victims of the remote-controlled bomb explosion at the Argana cafe. Conclusively Princess Lalla Joumala was highly optimistic for tourism in Morocco and indeed the special relationship that UK travellers enjoy from the hearts of the people of Morocco

HH Lalla Joumala with Patrick Davies and Anthony Layden CMG

BMS/RAM trip to Marrakech and Talataste 5-8 May 2011 : what our chaiman says :

I returned late yesterday from a very enjoyable 3-day visit to Marrakesh.  Benedicte Clarkson, Lord (Francis) Newall and a number of other BMS members joined me on a visit to our Learning Centre in Talataste; we were also joined, at Asmaa Hassouni’s initiative, by a group of 8 UK tour operators who were on a travel industry familiarisation visit as guests of RAM and the Moroccan National Tourism Office.  The British Ambassador, Tim Morris, joined us for dinner on Friday evening at Ryad El Fenn; he was in Marrakesh for a meeting with the British community to reassure them after the tragic bomb attack on a café in the Jmaa al Fnaa.  We also had dinner in the Yacout restaurant as guests of the British Honorary Consul, Mohamed Zkhiri.

Anthony Layden CMG and halima

Lord Newall and school children

our Learning Center

Christmas news letter :

Dear member

It has been a wonderful year for the British Moroccan Society with many new members joining us, the opening of our first Learning Center in Talataste and our continuing support of a dozen small charities in Morocco. We have even been contacted through our website by English and American Muslim couples who wish to adopt in Morocco from the orphanage we have been supporting. Nadia Lavalle in Tangiers has been helping them as much as possible.

As usual we had a variety of events throughout the year culminating with the Gala dinner where for the first time we were entertained by two professional opera singers from Operacatz. Some new events were introduced such as a golf day in Moor Park and a garden party in Wimbledon.

This year the committee is joined by three new members : Ahmed Nait, our contact and organiser in Marrakech,also MD of Travellink; Vanessa Branson, president of the Arts in Marrakech Festival and Samira Melloul, event manager.

As part of its cultural mission, the British Moroccan Society is happy to announce that it will help and support the Arts in Marrakech Festival which will take place beginning of March 2012.

We are in the process of planning next year’s events and we welcome your suggestions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us : .

Our first event next year will be our usual drinks party at Momo’s Bar Kemia, generously offered by Mourad. Momo will provide the food and the music. Entrance is £15. The date is Wednesday 2nd  February 2011, 6pm-9pm.

All of us on the committee would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Anthony Layden, chairman

Thursday 23 Septmber 2010

Our chairman Anthony Layden and myself ( the Hon Sec) were invited to lunch by Mr Zaheeruddin , chairman and chief executive of Shahzad International Petroleum Exploration along with about 10 companies interested in oil and gas exploration in Morocco.

Edwin Bowles of Rj energy presented us with a cheque for £1000 to be used for our Learning Center in Talataste. Thank you Edwin.

AGM 15 september 2010, Travellers Club :

About 50 people, members and friends,  turned up in the Library of the Travellers Club where the AGM was taking place. The presentation went very well: our chairman Anthony Layden thanked Princess Lalla Joumala for her continued support and detailed all the events organised by the BMS throughout the year. He also reported on the charities we support  and the film of Talataste where we opened our first Learning Center for children and women  was very well received.  Richard Niblett, head assistant to Latymer Upper and responsible for organizing a trip to Marrakech and Talataste for 30 students aged 15 and 17 year  explained how much his students had enjoyed their stay in Morocco.

The british writer Tim Macintosh-Smith used a power point presentation to follow the famous Moroccan traveller Ibn battuta on his travels as described in his third book in his trilogy : “Landfalls” ( which was on sale after the talk).

The writer Tim Macintosh-Smith with an original book written by Ibn Battuta

Talataste, our first ever Learning Center was officially opened on Wednesday 23rd June 2010 in the presence of local dignitairies, BMS committee members, the families of Talataste and high school students from London Independent school Latymer Upper. The news made national TV :  : , we appear at about the 19th Minute or if you scroll down the linked videos on the right, it shows girls with a book. Click on that.

At the same time, on a BMS initiative, Intel and the Ministere de l’education Marocain delivered 25 CMPCs or sturdy children’s laptops to Talataste local school:

The event was sponsored by Travellink and Ahmed Nait provided a wonderful tent, food, drinks and musicians :

the nursery children with the local dignitaries