University Alumni Explore Social Media and Public Opinion at Annual “Ftour Debat”


Casablanca, Nearly 150 Al Akhawayn University alumni and guests from the political and media worlds attended the 8th annual “Ftour Débat,” organized by the Alumni Association the evening of August 17, 2011. The topic of the 2011 event was “The Impact of Social Media on the Formation of Public Opinion,” with guest speakers Nabil Benabdellah, general secretary of the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), Driss Ksikes, writer and director of studies at the Social Center for Social Economic and Managerial Studies (CESEM), and the blogger Anas Filali.


In the presentations, Benabdellah suggested that social media are providing a new platform for public debates, which is encouraging the emergence of new, as yet unstructured, freedoms of expression and a form of “collective intelligence.” Ksikes noted that the political debate is about to move definitively online, and social media are already positioned as alternatives to traditional media. And Filali said that the web has “loosened tongues” with regard to many political, institutional, social, and cultural issues, but stressed the need to strengthen the “culture of participation.”

The vigorous discussion that followed focused on the emergence of a new political elite, the concept and definition of “justice” among citizens, youth involvement in politics and the role of the political establishment, and the rapid social evolution enabled by new technologies.

The Al Akhawayn University Alumni Association represents the nearly 2,800 graduates of the University, and organizes dozens of gatherings throughout the year to connect alumni with each other, provide networking opportunities while enriching key national debates on topics of current interest, and to advance and support the mission of Al Akhawayn University. For more information please visit