Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


SSE Faculty Coauthors Book on Gravity Energy Storage

A recently published book, Gravity Energy Storage, was coauthored by AUI faculty member Dr. Loudiyi and AUI alumna Dr. Asmae Berrada. The book provides a comprehensive analysis of a novel energy storage system that is based on the working principle of well-established, pumped hydro energy storage, but that also recognizes the differences and benefits of the new gravity system. This book provides coverage of the development, feasibility, design, performance, operation, and economics associated with the implementation of such storage technology. In addition, a number of modeling approaches are proposed as a solution to various difficulties, such as proper sizing, application, value and optimal design of the system. The book includes both technical and economic aspects to guide the realization of this storage system in the right direction. Finally, political considerations and barriers are addressed to complement this work.

The book can be found here:

Trip to Zawiya Ahansal

The field trip with undergraduate and graduate students of North African Politics and Government taught by Dr. Katja Žvan Elliott to Zawiya Ahansal was a complete success. In this three-day trip, students had a chance to learn about the rich political and religious history of the area, about the importance of Zawiyas in rural areas, and about the successful participatory development projects carried out by the Atlas Cultural Foundation. Students participated in the tutoring program for local children, talked to the Sheikh and women of the co-op, hiked a bunch, and much more. Thank you to Cloe Medina Erickson and Ismail Barda for organizing and for being great hosts, to Dr. Doris Gray and Smita Kumar for accompanying the group, to SHSS for funding part of the trip, and to Chakib and Farid for being amazing drivers. 

Festival national universitaires des sports individuels

The festival knew the participation of all state universities and 140 students took part in the competition that include 4 sports namely: Badminton, swimming, 8 pool and chess.  Outdoor sports such as tennis and archery were cancelled because of rain. AUI student’s athlete performed well individually and also managed to win the first place in the overall standing. Please find below individual results:

Women chess: 

  • Jalal Imane won the bronze medal

Women badminton: 

  • Furuta Shku won the gold medal
  • Berriane Zineb won the silver medal

Men badminton:

  • Harrabida Mohamed Amine won the gold medal,
  • Messari Youness won the silver medal

Women Swimming

  • Meriem Eide won the gold medal in the 50 m butterfly and silver medal in 50M freestyle
  • Jihane Sellaq won the Bronze medal in the 50 M breaststroke 

Men Swimming

  • Ahmed Bennani won the gold medal in the 50 M breaststroke, silver medal in the 50 M butterfly
  • Harrabida Mohamed Amine won the silver medal in 50 Meters back stroke
  • Dassouli Mehdi won the bronze in the 50 M breaststroke
  • AUI swimming team won the gold medal in the 50m freestyle relay

Lounnas on the Tunisian Jihad

Dr. Djallil Lounnas, Assistant Professor of International Studies at AUI, recently published a paper titled "The Tunisian Jihad: Between Al Qaeda and ISIS" in the journal Middle East Policy. The paper is based on extensive interviews with various ex jihadists, NGOs, officials, and Tunisian citizens from areas where young people were recruited to join radical organizations. It examines the origins as well as the trajectory of Radicalism in Tunisia. The paper explains how radical ideas spread into Tunisia after the Arab Spring and the dynamic of rivalry ensued between armed organizations linked to AL Qaeda and ISIS as well as the phenomenon of foreign fighters. A big thank you goes to Dr. Dr. Peter Borowsky, for editing the paper.

The paper can be found here:


Oumlil's Study Translated to Arabic

Dr. Kenza Oumlil, Assistant Professor of Communication and Gender at Al Akhawayn School of Humanities and Social Sciences, recently had her study of women's representation in Moroccan television talk shows translated from English to Arabic, by Al Jazeera Centre for Studies.

For more information on the study, please visit the following link: