During the holy fasting month of Ramadan, daily life in Tangier goes on as usual, and work and learning continue. Early in the month, Moroccan high school students sat for their national baccalaureate examinations. Our 16 Legation STEEM (science, technology, engineering, English and mathematics) scholars also began intensive, 6-days a week Ramadan English classes at the Tangier American Language Center.
This week, in partnership with Casal dels Infants, TanjaZoom and the Tamkine Foundation, TALIM sponsored a 2-week film making workshop for public high school students and other youth who have abandoned school at the Dar Al Ma3rifa Center in Zouitina, an outlying Tangier neighborhood. 10 girls and 6 boys (nearly the same gender ratio as our STEEM classes) are attending a film making workshop led by Adil Machkor. TALIM hopes to host one day of the workshop at the Legation and also offer these students a tour of our museum We look forward to sponsoring a second workshop after Ramadan in a different Tangier neighborhood. Inch’Allah, we’ll also host a third workshop in July at the Legation for our STEEM scholars and perhaps some of their moms!
In this second podcast from TALIM’s 2017 April Seminar,“Tangier 1947 — Two Speeches: Independence and Women’s Education,” Dr. Assia Bensalah Alaoui, Ambassador-at-Large of HM King Mohamed VI, speaks about “The Primacy of Education, Especially of Women, in the Progress of a Nation.” In addition to her prepared remarks, Amb Bensalah Alaoui shared moving personal anecdotes about how King Mohammed V’s push for girls education enabled her and her sisters to go to school.
In subsequent podcasts Dr. Karim Bejjit, Professor at Abdelmalek Essaadi University, speaks on “US-Moroccan relations in the 1940s: A New Beginning”; and Dr. M’hamed Benaboud of Tetouan Asmir Association speaks on “Princess Lalla Aisha’s Historical Speech in Tangier of April 1947 in the Light of the Varela Archives.”
In this fourth podcast from TALIM’s 2017 April Seminar, “Tangier 1947 — Two Speeches: Independence and Women’s Education,” Dr. M’hamed BENABOUD, from Tetouan Asmir Association, discussed Spanish archival materials outlining the intrigue behind Franco-Spanish efforts to delay or obstruct Sultan Mohammed V’s visit to northern Morocco. He drew links between how Lalla Aicha in her speech was an archetype of the modern Moroccan citizen who would form the state her father sought to create.
In this third podcast from TALIM’s 2017 April Seminar, “Tangier 1947 — Two Speeches: Independence and Women’s Education,” Dr. Karim BEJJIT, Professor from Abdelmalek Essaadi University, discussed the nuances of US support for Moroccan sovereignty and King Mohammed V in light of Cold War relations with France and Spain.
In subsequent podcast Dr. M’hamed Benaboud of Tetouan Asmir Association speaks on “Princess Lalla Aisha’s Historical Speech in Tangier of April 1947 in the Light of the Varela Archives.”
Seventy years ago, on 9 April 1947, King Mohammed V delivered a speech in Tangier calling for Moroccan independence. Two days later his daughter, Princess Lalla Aicha Alaoui, gave her own speech calling for the education of women. This year’s annual April Seminar, held in partnership with the Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP), focused on “Tangier 1947 — Two Speeches: Independence and Women’s Education.” Presenters considered the historic nature of the speech and its reverberations in Moroccan society to the present day.
This first part includes opening remarks by TALIM President Dr. Dale F. Eickelman, Professor Emeritus at Dartmouth College (14 min), and a presentation by Dr. Bernabé López Garcia, professor from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, on “The Events of April 1947: A Spanish Perspective” (33 min).
In subsequent podcasts Dr. Assia Bensalah Alaoui, Ambassador-at-Large of HM King Mohamed VI, addresses “The Primacy of Education, Especially of Women, in the Progress of a Nation”; Dr. Karim Bejjit, Professor at Abdelmalek Essaadi University, speaks on “US-Moroccan relations in the 1940s: A New Beginning”; and Dr. M’hamed Benaboud of Tetouan Asmir Association speaks on “Princess Lalla Aisha’s Historical Speech in Tangier of April 1947 in the Light of the Varela Archives.”
Our deepest thanks to Australian artist Bryan Dawe for his generous donation of “Beit Hahayim,” the Jewish Cemetery of Tangier, which now hangs in our art gallery, where it stands as a stirring memorial to Tangier’s multi-faith heritage.
On Saturday April 9th, just as our 40th anniversary festivities were coming to a close, we had the opportunity to meet over 40 returned Moroccan alumni of US exchange programs. These professionals are at all stages of their careers, some are students, some teach and many others work in the private sector or in other areas of Moroccan civil society. They were involved in a variety of projects while in the U.S. and they shared with us some of their aspirations for the future.
Our day began with professor Dale Eickelman of Dartmouth College, who gave a talk titled “New Directions: The Tangier American Legation since 1976”. He spoke about TALIM’s transformation from its inception as a non-profit organization to its work today. The Legation and TALIM are opening up to more community involvement through events and programs. Professor Eickelman unveiled our latest initiative during his talk. The “Legation Scholars” program, developed by TALIM and local partners, aims to provide high school students from the Old Medina of Tangier with English language training and baccalaureate support so that they may pursue higher-level studies in the STEM fields. Many of the Moroccan U.S. alumni present at the talk expressed interest in becoming involved in these kinds of programs, through mentorships and other types of collaboration. Continue reading “Ending Our 40th On A High Note”
Today’s Museum Week challenge asks us to zoom in on a particular item in our collection.
Over the past few weeks we have had several visitors with a keen interest in seeing Villa Perdicaris in its old splendor. There was the restoration crew charged with bringing Villa Perdicaris, also known as Villa Aidonia, back to its original glory and researchers from the BBC working on a documentary that will feature the ever-infamous Perdicaris incident.
Thanks to a generous donation from local resident Jonathan Dawson, we have a photo album that once belonged to the British Minister in Tangier, Sir Arthur Nicolson composed of photos taken during his mission in Morocco from 1895 to 1904.
The photos capture mostly quotidian things, a child in Victorian-era dress riding a mule, for example, and many fascinating shots in and around Tangier and Rabat. Two pictures in particular caught our eye, however, a shot of Villa Perdicaris looking rather pristine, and another of the Perdicaris family lounging outside their villa.
Without these photos, we may never have known what Villa Perdicaris looked like when it was inhabited by its original owners.