Today there was a mixed reaction from shopkeepers in the Marché Centrale about plans to modernise the market and change its location. Yesterday Helen Ranger posted a report on the situation ( See it here ). Today our Special Features Editor, Zany, took time off to talk to stallholders and customers.
"They've been talking about it for years," said Tarik, who was minding
his father's cheese shop. "Who knows if it will ever happen?"
The market is slated to move in 2010 to make way for an office block
and underground parking.
While Tarik looks forward to the change at the new location near the Hotel Sofia on the Rue Arabie Saoudite, other merchants are less enthusiastic. "My brother and I have been working here for more than 20 years," says rose-seller, Mustapha. "We like being here and think the change is not a good thing. It is an historic site and should stay here."
The general opinion among the fishmongers is that it is difficult to
compete with the new supermarkets. There are now three in Fes who
often undercut their prices, although the produce may not be as fresh
or the service as personal.
Long-time customer of the Marché Centrale, Mr Ghazali, believes that, "Change is inevitable. Perhaps if it is presented in a more modern way, more people including tourists will come to the Marché Centrale and that will be better for the merchants."
But if the market is moved from the historic building it now occupies,
could it be in danger of losing its character and charm and becoming
just another one of many modern, sanitised places to shop?
All photographs: Suzanna Clarke.
Tags: Morocco Fes, Maghreb news