The Qaraweyeen Library was founded in 859, as part of the Qaraweyeen Mosque and University in Fez, Morocco [...]

24 October | 7 - 8pm
The Atrium, Building 4, Dubai Design District (d3)

The Qaraweyeen Library was founded in 859, as part of the Qaraweyeen Mosque and University in Fez, Morocco. The Qaraweyeen complex (Mosque – University – Library) is considered the oldest existing, continually operating and the first degree awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO. The creation of the Qaraweyeen complex was the brainchild of a woman and Fes Resident, Fatima El-Fihriya who wished to make knowledge available to all residents of her city and beyond.

Through the restoration and adaptation of the library’s historic buildings to meet the needs of local users, the recent restoration of the library by architect Aziza Chaouni was an opportunity to further extend and develop Fatima El-Fihriya’s legacy. 

About Aziza Chaouni

Aziza Chaouni studied civil engineering and architecture at Columbia University and Harvard Graduate School of Design where she graduated cum laude (2000) and with Distinction (2005) respectively.

In 2007 she co-founded Bureau E.A.S.T. with Takako Tajima, before launching her own practice, Aziza Chaouni Projects (ACP) in 2011. Together, Bureau E.A.S.T and Aziza have won several top design Awards and Recognitions including the Holcim Gold Award for Sustainable Construction (2009).

Aziza has been honored with a TED Talk for her architectural work in reviving the Fez river that runs through her hometown of Fez, Morocco. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Daniels School of Architecture Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, where she leads the Designing Ecological Tourism Lab (DET).

In 2012, Aziza was commissioned by the Moroccan Ministry of Culture to oversee the lengthy restoration of the oldest functioning library in the world, at Qarawiyine University in Morocco.