Fierce Moroccan Females: Ismahane Elouafi, PhD

Fierce Moroccan Females: Ismahane Elouafi, PhD

The empowerment of girls and women has become one of the main focuses of my Peace Corps service so far, and because a myriad of Moroccan women have made great strides in the world as professionals, scientists, and athletes, I decided to create a recurring series all about them. Who run the world?

Dr. Ismahane Elouafi initially sparked my fascination because she has a PhD in Genetics from the University of Córdoba, and genetics was actually kind of my thing in college. Read More

Moroccan Elections

Morocco Election: Everything You Need to Know

The Kingdom of Morocco has a multi-party system, with several parties ranging from far-leftist to Islamist. Its legislative election occurred yesterday, and let me just say, the hype was REAL. Our cohort had a meeting in Meknes on Thursday, and the streets were jam-packed: young men hung out of cars, people of all ages tossed fliers, and an overall feeling of enthusiasm filled the air. Despite the excitement I witnessed, only around 40% of registered voters cast their ballots in this election. An article written by Ahmed El Amraoui of Al Jazeera explains the election in a generally unbiased manner, so I thought I’d share it with you. It was written prior to the election, but it explains Moroccan politics incredibly well. If you’re looking for a spoiler alert, the Islamic Justice and Development Party (PJD) won, and it has been running a coalition government since 2011. Peace Corps is apolitical, so I won’t be sharing any of my own opinions. However, I encourage you to read this article, then explore the list of Moroccan political parties at the bottom of the page. Chukran bzaf! Read More

Moroccan Mondays: Meet the World’s Oldest University and Library

The Peace Corps has three main goals, with the Third Goal focusing on bringing our host countries to our readership. With that being said, understanding my host country is exceedingly important to me, and one of my own goals is to bring a deeper understanding of everything Morocco to all of my readers. “Moroccan Mondays” are blog posts specifically catered to educating all of you about my host country, not necessarily the Peace Corps.

A few days ago, my cousin tagged my name in the comments section of a Facebook video titled, “The World’s Oldest Library was Created by a Muslim Woman,” and I was immediately intrigued by it. Muslim women are constantly accused of being subservient or illiterate, and Donald Trump’s opinion of Ghazala Khan’s silence at the Democratic National Convention is a recent example of this xenophobia. Publicizing that the world’s oldest library’s founder was not only a woman, but a Muslim woman, can help change the way Westerners, specifically Americans, view Islam and its practitioners. Oh, and by the way, this library’s founder was Moroccan. Read More