Filmmaker: Merieme Addou
Morocco, like much of North Africa, has often been portrayed in the West as mysterious and exotic, a land of belly dancers, enticement and Arab enchantment. This outmoded stereotype is firmly laid to rest by the country’s burgeoning combat sports scene.
In Casablanca Fight Club, the regional qualifying stage of the Moroccan amateur boxing championships is just weeks away and the young boxers at the Bateha club are training for the biggest fights of their lives. It’s here that a 75-year-old parking attendant and former Moroccan featherweight champion, Saleh Rouman, mentors fresh young boxing talent.
“There are kids without any education or trade,” explains Saleh, Bateha boxing club’s head coach. “I save them from the street and encourage them to be productive. I