Round table: Multilingualism in Moroccan Education

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03/31/2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Alliance Française at the Joly Family Center for International Understanding

Join Alliance Française and special guests from the Moroccan-American community, as well as the University of Minnesota and Fulbright for an important conversation on Moroccan education.
This event will close our series celebrating Morocco.

Cost and Registration

$15 General Public; $10 AFMSP members
Refreshments will be served

Reserve your spot HERE.

The Arabization of the Moroccan education system has steadily increased since Morocco declared independence in 1957. Still, many institutions of higher education are primarily or only taught in French.
English and Amazigh  language instruction also play a role. The use of these competing languages stirs up questions around identity and opportunity in Morocco.
Through considering history, personal experiences and the current situation of education in Morocco, we’ll discuss the impact of the language used in Moroccan academic institutions.

A panel of Moroccan-American individuals and professionals who have worked with Moroccan academic institutions will discuss these questions and more.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. James Miller, former executive director of Fulbright’s Cultural Education exchange program in Rabat
  • Sam Kaplan, former US Ambassador to Morocco, and Sylvia Kaplan
  • Youssef Achy, a Moroccan student currently pursuing his bachelors in engineering at the University of Minnesota
  • Lamiaa Mouhine, a Moroccan-American who attended private French school while growing up in Morocco
  • Dana Lindaman, University of Minnesota-Duluth professor who has developed a program pairing U of M students with Moroccan students and scholars for academic, linguistic and cultural exchanges.

Panelist Bios

Sam Kaplan

Sam Kaplan, a St. Paul native, is a businessman and attorney and is the president of the law firm of Kaplan, Strangis and Kaplan which he co-founded.  In addition to his business and professional responsibilities, he is a well-known and respected community leader and political activist.  He served as United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco from 2009 to 2013.

Sylvia Kaplan

Sylvia Kaplan has been a newspaper reporter, a university instructor, a clinical social worker, and a restaurant owner. She has been a strong advocate for economic and social justice, believing the greatest contributions for those causes can be made through the political system.  She and Sam collaborate in hosting fundraisers for political candidates and civic causes.  In Morocco, Sylvia was fully in charge of the entertaining required at the ambassador’s residence, and such occasions were regarded as very special by the diplomatic community.

Lamiaa Mouhine

Lamiaa Mouhine grew up in Casablanca, Morocco where she studied in a French school. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s in engineering. She now works for 3M in Minnesota.

Youssef Achy

Youssef Achy grew up near Rabat, Morocco. He received instruction in Arabic, French and English during his schooling in Morocco. He is currently pursuing a bachelors in engineering at the University of Minnesota and is a regular volunteer with Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul.

James Miller

James Miller served as Executive Director of the Moroccan-American Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (MACECE, the Fulbright Commission for Morocco in Rabat) from 2009 to 2018.  He is Associate Professor Emeritus of geography at Clemson University, where he taught from 1980 to 2009.  Miller has conducted a variety of research projects in Morocco, and his co-authored book, The Last Civilized Place:  Sijilmasa and Its Saharan Destiny (U. Texas Press, 2015), details the findings of a joint Moroccan-American archaeological mission at a medieval center of commerce on the edge of the Sahara Desert.  His current work focuses on the significance of the expatriate American writer Paul Bowles to American audiences today.

Dana Lindaman

Dana Lindaman did his undergrad work at the University of Minnesota and his graduate work at Columbia and Harvard. He has lived and worked extensively in Europe and Africa. In 2017, he and a colleague took 23 undergraduate students to Morocco for research as part of the SPAN program at the University of Minnesota. The students that went were forever changed by their experience, in particular by the friendships they formed with their Moroccan peers. 

This is the final event in our Mois de la Francophonie series celebrating and centering Morocco. More info here.


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Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul
227 Colfax Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Tel: 612 332 0436

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