Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


Dr. Lounnas Published Once Again

Dr. Djallil Lounnas has once again been published in the Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture papers (MENARA)The MENARA Project aims to study the geopolitical order in the making, identify the driving forces behind it, shed light on bottom-up dynamics and assess the implications of these processes on the EU and its policies towards the Middle East/North Africa region.
Dr. Lounnas and Dr. Mehdi Lahlou, a Professor of Economics at the National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (INSEA) in Rabat and member of the AUI MENARA team, conducted a series of field works in the Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia between 2016 and 2018. These field works led to multiple studies and reports for the EU on illegal activities in the region. 
The first paper, which is drafted by Dr. Lounnas, observes the links between armed groups in the Sahel and the illegal trafficking as a means of finance. The paper shows that while these are real and genuine, they have been exaggerated. The second paper, drafted by Dr. Lahlou, focuses on the patterns of migration between the Sahel and Morocco. With these two reports, AUI has successfully completed all of its commitments to the MENARA Project. 
The two papers can be found here:

AUI Cycling Team Wins Big in Competition

On Sunday December 2nd, AUI's Cycling team attended the 2nd National University Cycling Competition hosted by the University of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah in Fes. The team had an outstanding performance, and saw two of its members, Taha El Messaoudi and Houssam Gouraizim, winning the Silver and Bronze medals respectively. The event was organized by the federation of university sports, and saw the attendance of the President of the University of Fes and the President of the Royal Moroccan Federation of Cycling. 

AUI Faculty Member Attends Rabat Film Festival as Judge

From November 16 through the 24th, the 23rd edition of the "Festival International Du Cinema D'Auteur De Rabat" was held in Rabat, featuring the attendance of AUI Faculty member, lecturer and filmmaker, Noelia Santos, who not only attended the international film festival, but was also one of the Critical Judges of the festival's competition. Ms. Santos has been making independent documentaries and short films since 2011, and has had her films screened at film festivals all around the world, including the ColorEs Festival in Amsterdam, the Queensworld Film Festival, New York Jazz Film Festival and New Filmmakers festivals in New York, as well as others in Bogota, Colombia and Lucern, Switzerland.

The festival aims to promote the dissemination of a demanding cinema, and feed the Moroccan public's desire for cinema by bringing them auteur films that have almost no other opportunity to be screened in the country.

AUI faculty to Attend AT-SGIRES EU Training Conference

In February, Dr. Ahmed Khallaayoun and Dr. Mhammed Chraibi will be representing Al Akhawayn University at the Advanced Teaching and Training on Smart Grid and Grid Integration of Renewable Energy Systems (AT-SGIRES) group meeting. AT-SGIRES aims to to introduce the topic of Smart Grid and Grid Integrated Systems to the curricula of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in different MENA and EU universities, and to deepen the understanding of the smart grid projects and grid connected system among the communities, working force and university renewable energy faculty members and graduates in the MENA region. In addition to this, AT-SGIRES aims to improve of the quality of renewable energy integration and smart grid courses offered in partner universities, develop and implement more easily accessible online teaching modules in the field of smart grid and integration of renewable energy sources, enhance cooperation amongst Jordanian, Moroccan and Syrian Universities and EU Universities the field of smart grid technology and grid connected systems and to build the capacities of the university teaching staff in partner universities through training workshops and exchange activities. 

In addition, they will attend a conference/workshop about smart grid technology. While the teaching materials generally target graduate and postgraduate students, the training courses are designed to train the teachers involved in the process as well. The teaching modules will be prepared by the project partners in close cooperation with industrial stockholders. AUI, along with 6 other universities from England, Germany, Cyprus, Jordan, and Syria, is part of the consortium. 
For more details on the project, click the following link:

Maghrebi Relations: Dr. Lounnas and Dr. Messari Publish Paper for MENARA Project

Dr. Djallil Lounnas and Dr. Nizzar Messari have once again co-authored a new paper that was published as a part of the Middle East and North Africa Research Architecture papers (MENARA), a research program which aims to spread light on the historical, political, economic and social dynamics that are affecting the Middle East and North Africa. The paper, titled "Algeria-Morocco Relations and Their Impact on the Maghrebi Regional System", is based on interviews conducted in Algeria and Morocco and looks at the key issues over which the two states disagree, the divergent narratives on those issues, and the modes of overcoming them. The paper also examines how these differences impact the stability of the North-African-Sahelian regional system. 

The publication can be accessed by the following link: