A native of Taloust, a village in the Aït Baâmrane region of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, Si Hmad Derhem made his fortune in commerce early in his life. By the end of the 1930s, his enterprise and commitment had contributed significantly to the growth of his native region. The founders of Dar Si Hmad took inspiration from the moral principles of Si Hmad Derhem, a gifted, inquisitive, and self-taught individual. He facilitated access to and diffusion of knowledge. With the participation of the people of Ait Baâmrane and the Sahara, he developed a system of communal aid to improve the living conditions of the region.
Si Hmad Derhem’s heirs founded first The Derhem Foundation, Dar Si Hmad’s major trust-fund, in order to promote his values and pass on his legacy.