WRITER: PANKHURY BATRA
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: June 21, 2002
CIVIC hosts two Moroccan visitors in June, July
Two visitors from Morocco - a prominent activist with women's and children's
issues and an expert in disability policy - will visit the local community
during two separate visits through the Council for International Visitors
to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) in late June and early July.
Zakia Mrini, professor of geology at Cadi Ayad University, Marrakech, and
president of a non-governmental organization (NGO), the Ennakhil Association,
will visit Sunday, June 23, through Wednesday, June 26.
The other visitor, Adnane Jazouli, is a sociologist and assistant professor
of education science at the School of Education, Mohammed V University, as
well as an advisor on the Integration of Disabled People to the Minister in
Charge of Programs for Women, Family, and Handicapped Persons in Morocco.
He will visit Saturday, June 29, through Wednesday, July 3.
Mrini and Jazouli are coming to discuss a variety of social issues. Both
speak French and Arabic and will be accompanied by interpreters.
Mrini, an activist on women's issues and rights for 20 years, is one of
the most active NGO leaders in the greater Marrakech region. Her NGO, Ennakhil
Association, created in 1997, focuses mainly on the promotion of women, development
and children's rights. This year, Ennakhil opened the first center for battered
women in the southern region of Morocco, providing women with legal and psychological
assistance, as well as making the center a recipient of a royal donation,
the highest possible level of official recognition of serious work on behalf
of Morocco's citizens.
During her stay, Mrini hopes to meet with women active in the public sector.
Other topics and visits will include: exploring the role and organization
of NGOs, discussing women's issues, meeting with women leaders in economics
and politics, discussing with specialists the types of therapeutic approaches
provided to women who are victims of violence; and discussing with legal specialists
the legal and health protection provided to women who are victims of violence,
among other issues.
On Sunday, Mrini will visit members of the Islamic community in Cedar Rapids
especially people from Morocco or who have a connection with Morocco. Monday
and Tuesday, she will: visit Handicare in Coralville; meet with Marilyn and
Earl Rose to discuss volunteering with the Mediation service; meet with some
members of the Iowa City Community School Board; visit the Emma Goldman Clinic,
and visit United Action for Youth (UAY) to observe its programs for youth.
Jazouli, the second Moroccan visitor, was recently recruited by the Moroccan
minister in charge of social issues (women, family, children and disabled
people) as an expert for the integration of disabled people. One of Jazouli's
major projects is to draft a national policy for the disabled, but he is very
active on several fronts including investigating the needs and desires of
Morocco's disabled people with regard to their social integration, legal status
and access to education, training, and employment
While in the local community, Jazouli hopes to focus on the political, social,
and cultural dimensions of life in the United States and the role they play
in trying to better the conditions of disabled people. He plans to meet with
Peter Blanck, Adrian Wing, and James Schmeling at the UI College of Law to
talk about laws affecting those with disabilities.
He will visit with members of the Iowa City municipal staff about measures
taken to accommodate people with disabilities. Jazouli will meet with university
staff members who deal with matters affecting people with disabilities, including
Cambus staff who will talk about how the Bionic Bus serves transportation
needs of people in the university community with disabilities.
CIVIC is a community organization of volunteers "serving and hosting
international visitors as a means to promote international understanding on
a person-to-person basis," said Tom Baldridge, the organization's executive
director. Every year CIVIC volunteers help arrange programs for 60 to100 visitors
from around the world. Since its inception in 1985 CIVIC has hosted more than
900 visitors, representing more than 120 different countries.
CIVIC is part of UI International Programs, which consists of a number of
offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and
services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International
Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community
and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.
For more information about CIVIC or a complete itinerary of either Moroccan
visitor's schedule, contact Baldridge at (319) 335-0351 or Jeanne Cadoret,
CIVIC board president, at (319) 644-2746.
Morocco is located in northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean
and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara. For more information
on Morocco, visit the CIA World Fact Book on-line at http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/mo.html.