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The Sidi Moumen Cultural Centre

Saturday night in Casablanca was a long one. Mexican dinner followed by a club at the waterfront and conversation until very late back at our host Zaki’s apartment. After just a few hours sleep, we were on our way to the Sidi Moumen Cultural Center run by the Neighborhoods Association IDMAJ. Idmaj means “integration” in Arabic.

Sidi Moumen Cultural Center signThe Sidi Moumen Cultural Center

We headed over there from downtown Casablanca at the invitation of Nicole Matuska, who works with the girl’s football team at the centre. We thought we were turning up for a kick-about. Nothing more, nothing less.

Andrew meets some of the young female footballersAndrew meets some of the young female footballers

As we entered the centre’s club house, hundreds of kids from this notorious socially-disadvantaged neighbourhood welcomed it with songs, chants, rapping and speeches. We were overcome with emotion. What a surprise. What a welcome.

Rappers from Sidi MoumenRappers from Sidi Moumen

Then it was time for football. Andrew ran some exercises with the children so that everyone who wanted to would get the chance to kick The Ball. We felt truly honoured by the disciplined behaviour and the boundless enthusiasm. The Ball acquired hundreds more signatures.

The point of The BallThe point of The Ball
Spot The Ball?Spot The Ball?
Everyone wants to sign The BallEveryone wants to sign The Ball

What an inspiring place. We are full of admiration for the centre and the opportunities it offers the young people who attend. Many thanks to Vice-President Mohammed Aaitouna who led us around on the tour and to Asmaa, Rabab, Hassan, Housine, Chaima, Said, Ilham, the kids of the centre and the Tacharouk Football Association kids. Special thanks to Nicole and Lisa Matuska.

Written by on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

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The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.