Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


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: 

From AUI Students to International Journalists

Two AUI students, Mohamed Reda Benkhadra and Nizar Touhami Chahdi, were recently published in Akita International University’s Student Journal of International Liberal Arts.

Mohamed, who is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts International Studies program at AUI, wrote an article titled “Sociological Understanding of the Arab Uprising” which analyzes the incentives that led to the outbreak of the Arab Spring from a sociological point of view. Nizar, a recent graduate of AUI’s Bachelor of Arts in International Studies program in 2018, wrote his article titled “Science and Religion in Conflict” which explains the conflictual relationship between religion and science through analysis of their epistemological incompatibility.

You can find both articles here.

A Gathering of Literary Minds

A Delegation of British Moroccan Society members visited Al Akhawayn University on September 17, 2018, and three of its members gave presentations about their recent publications in the framework of the Authors@AUI Series at the Mohammed VI Library.

Dr. Ali Bahaijoub presented his book, Sahara Conflict: Historical, Regional and International DimensionsSaeida Rouass  presented  her newly published book,  Assembly of the Dead,a thriller that takes place in Marrakech in 1906, and Richard Hamilton discussed his collection of Jamaa Lfna storytellers included in his book, The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco.


SHSS Prof. on Community-based Citizenship Classes for Bhutanese Refugee Elders

Dr. Brian Seilstad, Assistant Professor at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences published an article entitled “Partially shared objects and the (Elusive) potential of expansive learning: the case of “jury” in community-based citizenship classes for Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugee elders”, in the journal Mind, Culture, and Activity.

Academia webpage: