Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


SHSS Student Publishes Report on the Complexity of Iran-Tunisia Relations

Al Akhawayn student Hafssa Fakher el Abiari conducted foreign policy research at the Center for Iranian Studies in Ankara this summer. Her research shed light on the relationship between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Tunisia from the reign of Habib Bourguiba to the presidency of Béji Caïd Essebsi. Hafssa’s work is culminated in a published report entitled, "Inside the Complexity of Iran-Tunisia Relations: Khomeinism, Bourguibism, Realpolitik.”  

Hafssa studies International Relations at Al Akhawayn University and her report can be found at the following link:

Dr. Oumlil Presents at Yale University

On November 6, Dr. Kenza Oumlil gave a talk at Yale University hosted by the Center of Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) Colloquium on the media interventions of North American Muslim women artists. Oumlil presented her forthcoming book project, which focuses on the possibilities of constructing discourses of resistance to domination. Within a context of mainstream media representations of oppressed and passive Muslim women, the presentation discussed how North American Muslim women artists “talk back” to dominant discourses about their identity. Through an analysis of the media interventions of exceptional women artists – including the visual art and films of Iranian-American Shirin Neshat and the films and television comedy of Pakistani-Canadian Zarqa Nawaz – Dr. Oumlil examined the ways in which the artists circulate alternative discourses and call for a redistribution of symbolic power. 

Kenza Oumlil is an Associate Professor in Communication and Gender at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI), Morocco. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. She has published widely on representation, gender, and media, including articles in the Journal of North African Studies, Arab Studies Quarterly, Journal of Middle East Media, and Al-Jazeera English. She is currently working on a manuscript titled ‘North American Muslim Women Artists Talk Back: Assertions of Unintelligibility.’

Dr. Lounnas Releases New Book

Congratulations to Al Akhawayn Professor Dr. Djallil Lounnas on the publication of his most recent book, Le Djihad en Afrique du Nord: d'AQMI a Daech  (Jihad in North Africa: From AQIM  to Daech). The book is published by Les Presses de La Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique/L'Harmattan
Based on eight years of field work in North Africa and Sahel, the book draws from over 300 interviews concerning the topics of radicalism and violence. It analyses the trajectory of jihadi organizations in the region from their emergence in the early 1980's up until 2017, as well as state responses and perspectives for regional cooperation against this phenomenon. In the book, Dr. Lounnas explains the itinerary of the radical jihadist movement in the Maghreb-Sahel and offers a new light on cooperation schemes and the rivalries between these organizations.

Three AUIers Take Part in the WikiArabia 2019 Conference

On October 4-6Al Akhawayn students Abdelghani Lebrini, Hamza Elmoubarik, and Mohamed Reda Benkhadra took part in WikiArabia in Marrakech. WikiArabia is a three-day conference where participants present their experiences and perspectives on Wikimedia projects in the Arab  region. It is the largest regional meeting of Arabic Wikipedia, including participants from the Wikimedia FoundationRoyal Institute for Amazigh Culture, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Southampton, Google MENA, and the Kiwix organization. 

Dr. Cavalli-Sforza Recognized for Data Science Research

Dr. Violetta Cavalli-Sforza presented a keynote speech at the International Conference on Smart Systems and Data (ICSSD’19) on October 3 and 4, 2019. Held at L’Ecole des Sciences de l’Information (ESI) in Rabat, the conference is an international forum for the exchange of original research about data science. Dr. Violetta Cavalli-Sforza's talk was entitled "Supporting Human Intelligence and Learning with Moderately Intelligent Tools.” Working at AUI since 2008, she serves as an Associate Professor of Computer Science in the School of Science and Engineering.  

In addition to her keynote talkDr. Cavalli-Sforza collaborated with Ph.D. students to write papers that were recently accepted to two conferences“Imikode: A VR Game to Introduce OOP Concepts” was accepted at the 19th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research. The conference will be held November 21-24, 2019 in Koli, Finland. The 4th International Workshop on E-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies (E-LIP’19) and the Fourth International Conference on Big Data and Internet of Things (BDIoT’19) accepted Dr. Cavalli-Sforza's paper MoSAR: Modern Standard Arabic Readability Corpus for L1 Learners.” These conferences will take place October 23-24, 2019 in Tangier-Tetuan, Morocco.