Morocco: Arabic Language and Community Service (Summer)
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Faculty and Staff
Farah Cherif D’Ouezzan, Academic Director
Farah Cherif D’Ouezzan received a BA in Arabic language and literature and an MA in comparative literature and religion from the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco. She also has a postgraduate certificate from the International Women’s University in Hanover, Germany. Farah is a founder of the Center for Cross Cultural Learning and has been the Center’s director since its creation in 1995. Farah has been teaching Arabic to non-native speakers since 1989, and she has taught at SIT, Marlboro College, and various French and Moroccan schools in Morocco. She has taught Arabic for SIT Study Abroad programs in Morocco since 1992, and she is the author of Arabic language textbooks used on SIT’s Morocco programs. Farah has been a co-director of the SIT Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights program, a lecturer on gender and religion for SIT, and an Independent Study Project (ISP) advisor for many SIT students. In 2004, Farah became the academic director of SIT’s summer Morocco program.
Since 2003, Farah has been working as a freelance trainer and a consultant for the Council of Europe Directorate of Youth and Sports, the Anna-Lindh Foundation, and Euro-Med. She is an expert in the fields of intercultural learning, human rights education, youth participation in civil society, and conflict resolution. She has led trainings for trainers in three different languages (Arabic, French, and English) in different fields of non-formal education. Farah has participated in workshops, conferences, and seminars in several countries including Hungary, France, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.
Farah is active in civil society and is a founding and leading member of the Moroccan NGO Thaqafat; Thaqafat is the Moroccan association of the Federation EIL, the worldwide network of The Experiment in International Living. Through her work with Thaqafat and EIL, Farah has developed summer programs aimed at introducing youth to Arab and Muslim culture through community service projects and courses in Arabic and Berber for World Learning high school students. Two of her main achievements working with Thaqafat have been to structure a culture of formal volunteerism in Morocco and to enhance cooperation in the area of volunteerism between Moroccan and international NGOs.
Abdelhay Moudden, PhD, Senior Advisor
Dr. Abdelhay Moudden earned his PhD in political science from the University of Michigan and has been a professor of political science and international relations at Mohamed V University in Rabat since 1978. He was been the academic director of the SIT Study Abroad Multiculturalism and Human Rights Morocco program from 1992 to 2013. In 1995, Dr. Moudden founded the Center for Cross Cultural Learning and since that time has served as the center’s academic director. In 2013, he was appointed Senior Advisor to SIT programs in Morocco. Dr. Moudden is a member of the Consultative Council on Human Rights and a former member of the Moroccan Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2004–2005). He has published several articles on Moroccan politics and culture and two novels, the latest of which, The Farewell Sermon, won the Morocco book award for 2004.
Abdelaziz Agunaoun, Program Assistant
Abdelaziz joined the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL) as an Arabic instructor in 2001. He teaches Fus’ha (Modern Standard Arabic), Darija (Moroccan dialect), and Tamazight (Berber dialect). In addition, he works as a coordinator of several CCCL programs while also teaching and partaking in other programs at CCCL.
Abdelaziz received a BA in Arabic literature from Mohammed V University in Rabat in 1995. Abdelaziz has worked as a teacher in the field of adult education and has also volunteered as a teacher for orphans. His interests include reading, traveling, cross-cultural exchange, and literature.
Doha Lmachichi, Homestay Coordinator
Doha has worked for the Center for Cross Cultural Learning since 1997 as a language instructor in both Fu’sha (standard Arabic) and Darija (Moroccan dialect). She is the homestay coordinator for all the programs at the Center.
Doha has been coordinating the program’s homestays for about a decade. She is a great resource for all issues pertaining to the homestays throughout the program. She organizes the homestay orientation for families and students so all have a good understanding of one another’s cultures. She also matches students with host families, helps students if they have any issues with their host family, and meets with students if they need to discuss cultural aspects of family life they do not understand.
Doha holds a BA in Arabic language and literature from Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco. She was born and raised in Rabat’s medina, where most of the program’s host families are located. Doha knows every family SIT works with.
Bouchra Sahimda, Language Coordinator
Bouchra is responsible for supervising the Arabic language placement test, holding regular meetings with language instructors, teaching when needed, and overseeing the smooth progress of the Arabic language program. Along with other language instructors from the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL)—the program’s host institution—she brings years of language teaching experience to the classroom.
Bouchra was born and raised in Rabat. She received a BA in international relations from Mohammed V University, Faculty of Law. She joined CCCL in 2003 as an Arabic instructor and then became the language coordinator starting in 2005.
Mohammed Hassar, MD, Health Counselor
Professor Mohammed Hassar is an internist, clinical pharmacologist, and emeritus professor at the Rabat Medical School, Morocco, from which he graduated in 1968. He served as director of the Institut National d’Hygiène, Rabat, from 1989 to 1993 and as director of the Institut Pasteur du Maroc, Casablanca, from 2001 to 2010. During his tenure, he started and developed several initiatives including an anti-poison and pharmacovigilance center; genetic units; and a food, water, and environmental safety center.
Professor Hassar has been active in global public health for the past two decades. He serves on several WHO committees and panels and has been on the governing board of the WHO-UMC for drug safety in Sweden for nine years. He was also a board member of International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).
His interests include rational drug use and drug safety, food safety, and biosafety, as well as capacity building in health research. He has given numerous lectures, has several publications, and has performed thesis supervision related to the above subjects.
He has been running SIT Study Abroad’s health orientation for students in Morocco, as well as delivering lectures on health issues, since the inception of SIT’s first program in Morocco in the late 1980s.
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