Potential explored for establishing ties with
universities in the Middle East and India
The Morocco Initiative is just one part of the University's ongoing effort to promote
international understanding and opportunities both on campus and abroad.
In addition to Al Akhawayn University (AUI) in Morocco, members of IWU's administration
made recent visits to Al Zaytoona University and Arab Open University in Amman, Jordan,
as well as several universities in India.
The initiatives with the universities in Morocco and Jordan began two years ago, when
President Richard F. Wilson attended a conference in Istanbul, Turkey, hosted by the
Hollings Center, a U.S.-funded, non-governmental organization, which helps promote
ties between the United States and predominantly Muslim countries.
During the conference, Wilson met with representatives from higher-education institutions
in Muslim countries, including AUI and Al Zaytoona. IWU submitted a grant request
to the Hollings Center and received funds for University faculty and administration
to make initial trips to these universities.
This fall, Illinois Wesleyan also welcomed two Moroccan professors to campus. Saloua
Zerhouni, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Mohammed V University--Souissi in Rabat,
will teach courses in Arab history as well as "Women, Gender and Politics in North
Africa." Accompanying her was her husband, AUI Professor Driss Maghraoui, who will
serve as an adjunct political science professor.
Saloua Zerhouni from Mohammed V University--Souissi in Rabat, will teach courses in
Arab history as well as "Women, Gender and Politics in North Africa."
"We are building bridges," said Provost Beth Cunningham, who was one of 10 people
nationwide chosen to visit universities in India as part of a program through Fulbright
and the United States-India Education Foundation. Traveling in March, Cunningham
and other administrators worked with university officials in the cities Delhi, Mumbai
"When we meet face-to-face with faculty and administrators from other nations, we
create links and the foundation of international and cultural understanding," said
Cunningham. "Illinois Wesleyan is becoming a global campus. We are carving paths
that will help students for generations to come."
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