Middle East studies in the News
Bouhlal to Provide Mississippi State University with Moroccan Insight [incl. Michael Galaty]
by D.J. Wormley
The International Institute of Mississippi State University will welcome Moroccan ambassador Rachad Bouhlal on Jan. 20 to speak about the Arab Spring in Morocco and Morocco's strategy in fighting radicalism.
Jon Rezek, interim associate vice president of international programs at MSU, said Ambassador Bouhlal will visit because MSU is creating an engineering program with a university in Morocco, a sentiment the ambassador will discuss upon his visit.
"There are several reasons behind the ambassador's visit. First, MSU is initiating a dual academic program in engineering with a very dynamic university on Morocco's capital of Rabat," Rezek said. "We invited the ambassador here to get a sense of some of the capacity — both in terms of facilities and human capital we have on campus in the area of mechanical engineering, particularly as it relates to the automotive industry. There are great opportunities for the two universities to collaborate in this and other areas to the benefit of citizens of both Mississippi and Morocco."
Rezek also said the ambassador will provide a public lecture on campus concerning a highly relevant and timely topic.
"The Arab Spring and Morocco's effort is to combat radicalism in its region," he said.
We hope to give students an opportunity to learn about these topics from someone with a unique local perspective," he said.
According to Rezek, Bouhlal will travel to Jackson to meet with a group of Mississippi business leaders as part of the Executive Lecture Forum sponsored by the Radvanyi Chair in International Relations and Security.
"He will also meet with officials of the Mississippi Development Authority and the governor while in Jackson to get a better sense of investment and business opportunities in the state and how Morocco may fit into our economic development plans," he said.
Rezek said the department is looking forward to building professional relationships with Morocco and being able to promote the university.
"We are very excited about the partnership we are initiating, including the joint academic and research opportunities this relationship entails. We are very much interested in showcasing our university as one that houses world class faculty and facilities," he said.
Jason Keith, interim dean and professor in the college of engineering, said Morocco's economy is based mainly on agriculture and concentrating on manufacturing, and he looks forward to working with the Universitie Internationale de Rabat (UIR) and working closely with researchers at the university in Morocco.
"Morocco has an agriculture-focused economy and is growing their focus on manufacturing. We're excited about our collaboration in engineering and in other ways to collaborate with researchers at UIR," Keith said.
Michael Galaty, professor and department head of anthropology and Middle Eastern cultures at MSU, said MSU's Middle Eastern Studies program is thriving, and he believes having important officials visit is extremely important to the work in which the program participates.
"MSU has a small and growing program in Middle Eastern Studies, defined broadly to include North Africa," Galaty said. "Having dignitaries from the region visit is crucial to the work we do in AMEC, both in the classroom and in the field."Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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