THE EMBASSY KINGDOM OF MOROCCO BILATERAL RELATIONS MOROCCAN SAHARA COMMUNICATION SERVICES



   

Cultural cooperation

With the view to strengthen the ties of their cultural cooperation, the governments of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Kingdom signed on 27th October 1980, an agreement providing for education and cultural cooperation
In accordance with the terms of this agreement, the Cultural Service of the Embassy has as main tasks:

To promote Moroccan art and culture in Great Britain

To initiate cultural and educational exchanges between universities of both countries

To enhance the mutual understanding between people  and a better understanding of Moroccan civilization

 To encourage  all forms of art events, including art exhibitions and cinema

To facilitate contact between professionals working in this field

 To develop exchanges of visits (artists, intellectual….)

MOROCCAN STUDENTS IN UK
Most of Moroccan students don’t receive UK scholarship and do self-finance their studies. Their inscriptions do not pass obligatorily by the Embassy or the Ministry in charge.
Chevening scholarship
The British council, who acts as a facilitator between ONGs of each country and the British universities, devote about 3 Million Pounds Sterling to Chevening scholarships, which benefit foreign students registered in 109 British universities.
Within this framework, it would be adapted to recall that since the introduction of this program “Chevening” in 1983, Morocco profited from a hundred purses intended for the young Moroccan executives continuing their postgraduate degree in the United Kingdom, in the following fields: public administration, Human rights, political sciences, the intercultural and interreligious dialogue, economic development, environment, journalism and high technology.
Profile of Moroccan students
According to the statistics of the Moroccan Ministery of education, each year 15% Moroccan graduates go abroad to continue their higher learning.

  

Like the graph illustrates it, above, France remains the first destination for the Moroccan students. The strong Moroccan presence in the French universities is in line with the long tradition of cultural exchanges and intellectuals between both countries; it is understandable because of the geographical and linguistic proximity.
According to the data of British Council, the number of the Moroccan students registered in British universities, represents only one negligible percentage (7%) of the whole of the foreign students registered in the British universities, (either 235 on a total of 330.000 according to The Observatory one Borderles S Higher Education, 2007).
This under representativeness is explained by several factors, in particular, the exorbitant cost of the school fees, the excessive cost of the life, the linguistic factor and the absence of bilateral conventions.
However, the number of Moroccan students in the United Kingdom knew a light progression from 2002 to 2007 (1.4%,), it passed from 165 to 235 (This could be interpreted by the backward flow which certain Anglo-Saxon European countries knew, in particular, the United Kingdom, after the attacks of September 11, 2001).


 Number of Moroccan student registered in British universities
(2002-2007 (source: British Council)


According to the same sources, and as the graph below underlines it, the disciplines most coveted by the Moroccan students in England, are: Business administration (Finance, Marketing, Accounting, 45%), Social studies and English literature (20%), the Engineering and Computer § IT (10%).


ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT
The exhibition Sacred

Sacred was held from 27 April 2007 to 23 September 2007,  provided under the High patronage of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh,  in partnership with the British Library and the representative of all three faiths, including the Coexist Foundation, Saint Catherine Foundation and the Moroccan British Society chaired by H.H Princess Lalla Joumala.
The exhibition was inaugurated the 26th of April 2007 by H.R.H My Rachid and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Towards the end of 2003, the Kingdom of Morocco, through its embassy in London, suggested that the British Library host the said exhibition on the subject of the here faiths Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Sacred attracted record numbers of visitors, making it the most successful British Library exhibition to date. The exhibition, considered as an ambitious undertaking in itself, with a varied events programs (public tours, educational workshops and web resources).
It is immensely gratifying to consider that over 200,000 visitors - both of faith and of no faith - came to think, to debate and learn. I
The main goal of the exhibition Sacred was to contribute to a greater understanding of the three faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, their historical roots, and their significance in the world today."
The exhibition offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the general public to see so many of the Library's sacred texts showcased at the same time, with around 230 manuscripts, texts and other objects displayed in a unique and compelling modern context.
Sacred sees priceless examples of the Torah, New Testament and Qur'an mounted alongside each other - not individually in separate zones. The texts were treated thematically, exploring points in common, looking at the ways in which they have been produced, interpreted and used. By integrating material in this way, the exhibition has shown how these faiths have interacted and influenced one another.

Among the treasures displayed were:

  1. Codex London: One of the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, written by the Prophet Moses at divine dictation. This rare early copy was made in the Middle East, perhaps Palestine, in the 10th century.
  2. Codex Sinaiticus: It is the oldest complete manuscript of the New Testament in Greek is absolutely key in the history of Christian textual scholarship. It was produced around 350 AD, possibly in Palestine, but its name derives from the still active Monastery of Saint Catherine near the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt where it was preserved for many centuries.
  1. Ma'il Qur'an: One of the earliest Qur'ans in the world to have survived these dates from the beginning of the 8th century AD. That equate to the 1st century in the Muslim Hijri calendar, which means that this manuscript was penned within 100 years of a key event in the founding of Islam i.e. the hejira or flight of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD to escape his enemies. It was produced on the Arabian Peninsula.

 

  1. Syriac Pentateuch: The earliest known dated Biblical manuscript. This copy of the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy in Syriac is the earliest known dated Biblical manuscript. This version of the Bible became important as the origin of most of the translations made into other languages of the Eastern churches, including Armenian.
  1. Carpet page from a Qur'an, 14th Century, Morocco. The design of this magnificent carpet page and the style of its illumination are typical of decorative frontispieces produced in North Africa and Andalusian Spain. Gold, red, blue and green are the colours most often used in the decoration of manuscripts from this region.

 

  1. The curtain covering the door into the Ka'bah Stone at Mecca. The most distinctive feature of the Grand Mosque at Mecca, the holiest site of Islam, is the black stone structure in the centre. This is known as the Ka'bah, and is the focal point for worship during daily prayers.

Sacred was made possible by the generosity of donors from all three faiths:
Coexist Foundation, The Moroccan British Society, Saint Catherine Foundation, The Clore Duffield Foundation, Sami Shamoon, The Dorset Foundation, William & Judith Bollinger, The Samuel Sebba Charitable Trust, The Horace W Goldsmith Foundation, The Eranda Foundation, The Rubin Foundation, New Star Asset Management, Sir Harry Djanogly CBE.
The Moroccan British Society was supported by: Maroc Telecom, Omnium Nord Africain, Compagnie Marocaine des Hydrocarbures, AKWA Group, Office Cherifien des Phosphates, Office National d'Electricité, Office National Marocain de Tourisme, Banque Centrale Populaire, Caisse de dépôt et de Gestion.

H.M. Mohamed VI Fellowship in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies

The King Mohammed VI Fellowship in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies was established in 2004 as the fruit of an agreement between the Moroccan British Society (MBS) and St Antony’s College, Oxford University. As well as strengthening and promoting Moroccan-British ties, the new Fellowship aimed to promote study of Morocco in Britain through the endowment of an academic position at Britain’s most prestigious university.

In October 2004 the formal agreement between St Antony’s College and the MBS was signed at a ceremony in Rabat by Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, President of the MBS, and Sir Marrack Goulding, Warden of St Antony’s. The same month the first holder of the Fellowship, Dr Michael Willis, began work at the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s.

In its first two years, the Fellowship organized a number of events at Oxford. These included a lecture series on the theme of ‘Morocco in the Contemporary World: The Road Ahead’ in spring 2005 that comprised contributions from a range of academics and politicians, including former Prime Minister of Morocco, Mr Ahmed Osman. In June 2006 a conference entitled: ‘Truth, Justice and National Reconciliation: The Moroccan Experience in Comparative Perspective’ was held and invited members of Morocco’s Equity and Reconciliation Commission to discuss Morocco’s approach to issues of national reconciliation with experts on similar processes in other countries.

At the level of teaching and students, the Fellowship has established several new courses related to Morocco. A number of Master’s and Doctoral students have now begun research on Morocco, under the supervision of Dr Willis, looking at themes as diverse as youth and politics in Morocco and Morocco’s sugar industry.

In addition to teaching and supervising students, Dr Willis has spoken at a large number of international conferences and seminars both in and outside Britain and has made regular contributions about Morocco to the media.

Future projects for the Fellowship include the establishment of a visiting Fellowship for Moroccan academics to come to Oxford and the creation of a scholarship fund for outstanding Moroccan students to study at Oxford.

e The King Mohammed VI Fellowship in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies was established in 2004 as the fruit of an agreement between the Moroccan British Society (MBS) and St Antony’s College, Oxford University. As well as strengthening and promoting Moroccan-British ties, the new Fellowship aimed to promote study of Morocco in Britain through the endowment of an academic position at Britain’s most prestigious university.

In October 2004 the formal agreement between St Antony’s College and the MBS was signed at a ceremony in Rabat by Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, President of the MBS, and Sir Marrack Goulding, Warden of St Antony’s. The same month the first holder of the Fellowship, Dr Michael Willis, began work at the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s.

In its first two years, the Fellowship organized a number of events at Oxford. These included a lecture series on the theme of ‘Morocco in the Contemporary World: The Road Ahead’ in spring 2005 that comprised contributions from a range of academics and politicians, including former Prime Minister of Morocco, Mr Ahmed Osman. In June 2006 a conference entitled: ‘Truth, Justice and National Reconciliation: The Moroccan Experience in Comparative Perspective’ was held and invited members of Morocco’s Equity and Reconciliation Commission to discuss Morocco’s approach to issues of national reconciliation with experts on similar processes in other countries.

At the level of teaching and students, the Fellowship has established several new courses related to Morocco. A number of Master’s and Doctoral students have now begun research on Morocco, under the supervision of Dr Willis, looking at themes as diverse as youth and politics in Morocco and Morocco’s sugar industry.

In addition to teaching and supervising students, Dr Willis has spoken at a large number of international conferences and seminars both in and outside Britain and has made regular contributions about Morocco to the media.

Future projects for the Fellowship include the establishment of a visiting Fellowship for Moroccan academics to come to Oxford and the creation of a scholarship fund for outstanding Moroccan students to study at Oxford.


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© Copyright Embassy of The Kingdom of Morocco 2009