Sidi Moumen is a northeastern suburb of Casablanca, and one of the poorest quarters of the city. But street fashion has a prominent place in Sidi Moumen, despite low incomes, and in contrast to the reputation the neighborhood has in the wider world. For Sidi Moumen is also known as the birthplace and nurturing ground of the men responsible for some of highest-profile terrorist attacks of the past few years.
The authorities now claim to have eliminated terrorism cells in such neighborhoods, but many people in Sidi Moumen remain cripplingly poor. Various initiatives have been introduced to improve conditions and prevent marginalized youth from feeling alienated and becoming radicalized. Large new social-housing projects are underway, and with the help of private funding, the local mayor has built a cultural center, which also serves as headquarters for a corps of community organizers, on a former garbage dump. The aim is to lure youth away from drugs and extremism with educational and artistic projects.