Rabat – Hassan Samrhouni, a Moroccan businessman, former soccer player, and social and cultural activist, has spent more than 30 years trying to build a cultural bridge between Morocco and the US, and his efforts are indeed paying off.
As the CEO of Morocco Premier Events and President of Casablanca Travel & Tours, Samrhouni has played a key role in promoting the Moroccan culture in the American continent.
Calling itself “Your open gateway to Morocco in the US”, the Moroccan Premier Events is the initiative of a Moroccan man who made his duty the promotion of the Kingdom in the US. The organization’s showroom, which combines entertainment, business, visual treats, and an overall appreciation of Moroccan cultural products, is set in the heart of Washington D.C.
Samrhouni has long been known for the role he plays in the Moroccan-American community in the US, organizing events and special productions featuring Morocco cultural displays, music, and performances. He has now established a permanent venue as the focal point of his special events services offered throughout North America.
Through his travel agency, “we managed to organize many guided tours to Morocco, taking students from well-established universities to discover the wonders of our country,” Samrhouni told Morocco World News. But the CEO’s ambition to make known his Moroccan heritage did not stop there. “There’s only so many people you can take to visit Morocco, so it is time to bring Morocco to the US.”
Strategically located near Dulles Airport, the showroom is filled with intricately handcrafted metals, tapestries, leather goods and the intoxicating smell of Moroccan mint tea. From the colorful woven rugs, the handmade jewelry, to the wrought iron furniture, every piece seems to tell rich, layered stories of Morocco.
Samrhouni is now taking his mission as a cultural ambassador to the next level, opening the gates of Moroccan artisanal traditions to American designers who wish to introduce Moroccan handicrafts to American homes.
“Moroccan handicrafts have a very strong and authentic identity, which, while portraying the unique culture of Morocco, can be sometimes a little outdated for the American taste.” Through a collaboration with Citizenry, a global luxury home decor brand, Samrhouni gave the American design company some insight and assistance by contacting many Moroccan artisans.
“With the help of Morocco Premier Events and Permanent Showroom representatives, we have been able to discover and better understand the beauty of Moroccan handicrafts and establish a promising partnership with Moroccan artisans,” states Citizenry.
Samrhouni organized a sourcing trip to Morocco where the design company discovered the unique craftsmanship of Moroccan handicrafts. Thanks to Morocco Premier Events, Citizenry managed to contact their first supplier in Morocco, La Maison Méditerranéenne, helping them in all the steps of the production of their exclusive collection of leather poofs and wood furniture.
“Our collaboration with citizenry opens the American market to Moroccan artisans,” explains Samrhouni, “this project is taking Moroccan artisanal crafts to the next level by developing the sector to meet the American market’s criteria, and [evolving] from home decor products to everyday consumable ones.”
“We’re trying to act as a linking bridge between Moroccan artisans and American firms to help not only promote business between the two parties, but market Morocco as a tourist and culturally rich destination,” Samrhouni adds.
Saad Kabbaj, Sales Manager of La Maison Méditerranéenne and Citizenry’ first customer in Morocco, thanked Samrhouni for his collaboration and efforts in helping them promote their handicrafts products. “Samrhouni played a crucial role in establishing contact with our first client Citizenry on the American market.”
“This partnership is an opportunity for traditional Moroccan artisans to showcase their products and creations on the site. There are currently 364 manufacturers offering their products and benefiting from Citizenry services. They are able to sell their goods at good prices,” explained Samrhouni.
Morocco Premier Events has recently moved to High Point in North Carolina. Samrhouni explained the choice of the new city for hosting the Antique & Design Center of High Point Market, a favorite destination for talented interior designers seeking exceptional, one-of-a-kind pieces for their bespoke interiors. The sheer density and concentration of antiques and vintage items in one spot makes it a phenomenal place to shop.
“High Point constitutes a real opportunity for Morocco Premier Event to promote Moroccan artisanal crafts on an international level,” explained Samrhouni, who participated in the High Point Market this last April 20, highlighting the beauty of Moroccan culture with an array of handicrafts.