The British Council in partnership with Cambridge University, Centre Talal Ben walid, University Hassan II, University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, University Mohamed V and Morocco British Society organised for the first time in Morocco, “Symposium Cambridge in Morocco “Perspectives on Islamic and North African Studies’ “from 16 to 20 April in Fez, Rabat and Casablanca.
The event covered prominent academic institutes in three Moroccan cities, where the Cambridge and Morocco scholars gave presentations on their own research and brought together an intellectual community of scholars with cognates interests at the Universities of Cambridge, Mohammed V in Rabat, Hassan II in Casablanca, and Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah in Fez.
These covered a range of topics, looking at Morocco from a regional perspective, considering its connections to the Mediterranean as well as other parts of the Arab world (history of the Mediterranean, the Arab intellectual, social transformations, conflict management, EU policy in the region, relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council).
The aim of "Cambridge in Morocco: Perspectives on Islamic and North African Studies" was to build research and education links between Morocco and Britain to explore the difference that global and political location makes on the academic study of the Maghreb and Middle East and North Africa,
The British Council is looking to build institutional capacity in Morocco's university sector, partly by fostering institutional connections between Moroccan and UK universities; and "Cambridge in Morocco" as we hoped contributed to this effort.
There were also public events in each city provided with simultaneous translation into French, with keynote speeches given by Cambridge academics. These brought in other players in the research and educational world in Morocco, diplomats, press, literary figures, and civil society organisations.
Finally, there was a workshop on Humanities and Social Science research which discussed the challenges of developing an infrastructure for university research in the respective countries.
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