Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


Regional Powerhouse: Al Akhawayn Youth Hold Their Own

On Sunday, October 21st, the Azrou Badminton Club won second place in the Badminton Throne Cup Competition which took place in Azrou. Fourteen badminton clubs participated from various different regions in Morocco, namely Azrou, Kenitra, Marrakech, Mohammedia, Guelmima, Casablanca, Safi, Ain Harroud, and Fez. The first place winner was the Marrakech club, a veteran team in the competition of seven years, with Azrou coming in second. The Azrou club was composed of 28 players from ASI. 

Alumna Makes AUI Proud

AUI Alumni continue to represent the University well. Last week Asmae Berrada, a SSE Alumna, won first prize for the Talent Award for Research and Innovation given by Masen, a Moroccan Energy organization based in Rabat that focuses on renewable energy. Asmae was awarded the prize for her PhD thesis which was co-supervised by Professor Loudiyi and Professor Zorkani. 


Seemingly Unstoppable: AUI Wins National Competition Fifth Consecutive Year

Once again Al Akhawayn University has displayed its excellence on the national level. This past weekend the National Programming Competition was held in Khouribga on the 13th and 14th, and for the fifth year in a row AUI came out on top. The event took place at the new OCP-Sponsored 1337 School, and saw 67 teams participate with over 200 students from prestigious national schools and universities, including ENSIAS, INPT, EHTP, and UM6P. The winning AUI team for this year included Omar Moussa, AbdelMajid Essofi, and Ahmed Lekssays, and was co-coached by former champion Khalil Ait Brahi.

Building Relationships: From Morocco to Florida

On Thursday October 4th, Al Akhawayn University signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Central Florida (UCF), creating an international partnership to promote faculty exchanges, joint classes, research and other activities. The agreement was signed by AUI President Driss Ouaouaicha and UCF President Dale Whittaker at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center in Florida. In addition to President Ouaouaicha, Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoul, who is also the Moroccan Ambassador to the United States, and a number of Moroccan journalists were present during the event. The agreement has been in the works for about a year, and is predicated on previous interactions between the institutions, and the lengthy and historic relationship between Morocco and the United States. 

Lounnas Co-Authors Two International Publications

AUI continuously shows its international reach through the actions of its staff, faculty and students. Most recently, Assistant Professor of International Studies, Dr. Djallil Lounnas, co-authored two working papers as a part of the MENARA Project (Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture). The first working paper, titled "The Libyan Security Continuum: The Impact of the Libyan Crisis on the North African/Sahelian Regional System", was co-authored with Dr. Virginie Collombier of the European University Institute and is based on extensive field work and countless interviews conducted by both Dr. Lounnas and Dr. Colombier in Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Mali and Mauritania during 2017 and 2018. 
The paper analyzes the current, past and most recent security developments in Libya, and how it has impacted the security and economy of Algeria, Tunisia and the Sahel. The second publication by Dr. Lounnas is titled, "Jihadist Groups in North Africa and the Sahel: Between Disintegration, Reconfiguration and Resilience", and was a part of the H2020 European financed MENARA project as well. Key actors regarding these issues were interviewed by Dr. Lounass in Algeria, Tunisia and the Sahel, and in the paper Dr. Lounass analyzes the recent dynamics and reconfiguration of the radical organizations in the North African-Sahelian regional system. In the paper Dr. Lounass argues that these organizations operate within a fragmented environment and that they themselves are fragmented along similar lines found in the Middle East, however with different outcomes in North Africa.
Both publications can be accessed through the following links: