AALIM has three buildings within minutes of each other in the Old City of Meknes. The original center is called "AALIM Center" and the second is "AALIM Qaa Warda" and the third is "AALIM Annex".
The AALIM Center is a splendid, restored riad, or traditional Moroccan home built around an interior courtyard. During the five years necessary to restore it to its former glory–while adding modern amenities such as air conditioning, internet cabling and up-to-date sanitary facilities–master craftsmen worked painstakingly to match, replace, repair architectural details. The results, seen above, are an academic and cultural center that could pass for a museum.
AALIM Qaa Warda is a more recently constructed riad, conveniently located right across the narrow street (called a "derb" in Moroccan Arabic) from the AALIM Annex. The Qaa Warda center is beautifully decorated in Moroccan style (below) and its ten classrooms and three offices are equipped with new furniture and computers.The roof of this center has a small snack bar that sells water and simple food at reasonable prices , plus plenty of couches and shaded areas for relaxing. It's a great place to hang out after class and many students take advantage of this space and the wifi to skype their families at home or do homework.
A few steps away, a beautiful public garden is home to a small zoo and has an area dedicated to outdoor music and theater productions in the summer.
The most recent addition to the AALIM architectural family is the Annex, a bright spacious area across from the Qaa Warda center, which provides extra office and meeting space, a large open floor plan lounge and a computer lab for student use. We use the space for parties, and students use it for informal meetings among themselves as well as for studying. The facility also boasts a very large kitchen which is the site of cooking lessons and the cooking club offered with certain programs. A dozen or more students easily work in the kitchen under the practiced eye of our experienced Moroccan cooks. A great way to practice your language skills as well as learn new culinary tricks!