I was an early and strong supporter of John’s candidacy, among a very competitive field of applicants for this job. He had visited us at the Legation after learning of the job opening, and we were impressed with his enthusiasm, imagination, and his knowledge of Morocco.
John has known Morocco since his days in the 1980s as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and has kept his links – and his knowledge of Moroccan Arabic – alive in the intervening decades, when his diplomatic career took him to other countries in the region (Tunisia, Egypt, Niger) and beyond.
This sentiment of leaving the Legation in good hands has only been reinforced by a period of overlap, where we had plenty of time to discuss the range of activities that is TALIM. And John was able to witness first hand many of these in a particularly busy May and June, meeting many in our network of supporters in the bargain. It’s been optimum preparation for his taking the helm.
So this is not yet goodbye – we’ll save that for the “last post” – but rather Welcome to the New Mudir (Arabic for Director). I daresay John will fall in love with this venerable building as we have. As those of us who know it best will appreciate, it deserves all the loving care we can give it.