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Academic Staff

About Amideast Faculty in Morocco:

Students enrolled in AMIDEAST’s Education Abroad Program in Rabat will have opportunities to study a diverse number of topics related to the Middle East and North Africa in a program based at AMIDEAST’s facilities in Rabat. AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program courses are taught by a select group of professors from a variety of institutions in and around Rabat. These lecturers possess a strong instructional experience in English-speaking environments. All faculty members have received post-graduate degrees from North American or European universities, or have spent considerable time at English-medium institutions as students, faculty members, visiting faculty or visiting researchers.


Dr. Rachid Touhtou (Academic Coordinator and Area Studies Professor)

Dr. Rachid Touhtou earned his first Master’s degree in 1999 in Teaching Pedagogies, Applied Linguistics, and English as a Foreign Language Teaching from the École Normale Supérieure in Rabat. His second master’s degree was earned in 2003 in Gender Studies, Linguistics, and Development Studies from the Sidi Mohamed Ibn Abdellah University (Fez) and the Free University of Amsterdam’s Cultural Studies Department. From the same university, he attained a PhD in Gender and Development Studies. Dr. Touhtou began his professional career as an Assistant Professor at the National School of Statistics and Applied Economics in Rabat in 2008, which he continues to teach. From 2010-2012, he was the Department Head of the Social Sciences, Communication, and Languages department. In 2009, he started lecturing on Civil Society, Gender, and Migration at various institutions including the Dutch Institute in Morocco, the Moroccan American Commission for Education and Cultural Exchange, and the Center for Cross Cultural Learning. Dr. Touhtou has published several publications and a book about civil society and gender dynamics in Morocco. In 2014, he was a research fellow with Arab Reform Initiative Think Tank in Paris working on research linked to volunteering and public policy in Morocco. In 2015, He was a fellow researcher in Humphrey School of Public affairs in Minnesota University in USA and in Cambridge University in the UK working on a research project related to human rights and civil society.

Dr. Mohamed Ismaili-Aloui (Arabic Coordinator)

Dr. Mohamed Ismaili Alaoui received a Doctorate in Applied Linguistics and Teaching of Arabic for non-native speakers from Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences in Meknes, Morocco.  Prior to receiving his degree, Dr. Ismaili Alaoui was the head of a research group looking at “Applied Linguistics and Information and Communication Technology” at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, in Meknes (2004-2010). Since finishing his doctorate, he has served as an Associate Professor in linguistics disciplines at universities around Morocco including at Sultan Moulay Ismail University (2007-2010), in the Faculty of Letters in Meknes, Morocco (2011-2012), and at the Faculty of Letters in Beni Mellal, Morocco (2012-2015). In recent years he has also served as an Associate Professor at the Sultan Moulay Sliman University and Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI), Morocco.  At AUI, Dr. Ismaili Alaoui was an Assistant Professor and trainer in the “Arabic and North African Studies” program, where he taught Arabic to non-native speakers. He also has served as Director of Arabic Language program for non-native speakers at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences in Beni Mellal, Morocco.

Dr. Ismaili Alaoui serves as the director of the Moroccan scientific journal Linguistics and Discourse Analysis and is certified by ISESCO to train Arabic Language teachers for non-native speakers in the Africa and Asia.  Dr. Mohamed Ismaili Alaoui has published many articles and spoken at a variety of international conferences on teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. Dr. Ismaili joined the AMIDEAST team in Morocco as the Arabic Coordinator and Professor of Arabic in 2016.

Dr. Assia Belhabib (Area Studies Professor)

Dr. Assia Belhabib is a professor of French literature and French language at Ibn Tufail University in Kenitra. She earned her Diplome des Etudes Superieures degree in 2003, master’s in 1992, a graduate diploma in 1989 and her BA in 1988.  Her research has addressed different Maghreb and Francophone authors and is concerned with the exploration of literature in its universal dimensions.  She has published La Langue de l’Hôte: Lecture de Abdelkébir Khatibi (2009), the editor of the collective work  Littérature et altérité (2009),  and Le Jour d’après (2010) which is a tribute to the late Abdelkébir Khatibi. Dr. Belhabib also hosts a monthly discussion meeting with writers at the National Library in Rabat.

Dr. Khalid Chegraoui (Area Studies Professor)

Dr. Khalid Chegraoui is a professor of history and political anthropology at the Institute of African Studies at Mohammed V University (Souissi), in Rabat, Morocco. Dr. Chegraoui received his PhD from Mohamed V University in history, with a focus on African Studies. As an educator, researcher and historian, Dr. Chegraoui has served in the Department of History at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences at Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah University, in Fez, Morocco; as a member of the Board of the Moroccan Association of History; and as a active member of the Council for the Development of Social Science and Research in Africa.  Dr. Chegraoui has conducted research on the history and political anthropology of northwest and sub-Saharan Africa, and political Islam. Currently he is coordinating a research group on Africa: Geostratic Space and Civilization. Dr. Chegraoui’s recently published articles include: State and Islam in West Africa (in French); Trade Routes: Trans-Saharan Caravan Enters the Maghreb and Sudan (in Arabic); Ottomans in Traditional Moroccan Historiography (in Arabic); The Voyage of El-Hadjj Umar in the Middle East or The Search of Political Power; and Ideology, Religion and Ethnocentrism in the Maghreb, Monarchy and political islam in Morrocco (translation).  Dr. Chgraoui participated in an April  2008 program on Context of Culture: Islam : The Moroccan Experience, at Maricopa Community Colleges in Phoenix, Arizona.  He is also a columnist and consultant to Moroccan and international media outlets, including Medi 1 radio, Medi 1 Sat (TV), Al Jazeera TV, and Radio Sawa Washington.

Dr. Mohamed Chekayri (Arabic Language Instructor)

Dr. Mohamed Chekayri is Associate Professor in the Arabic Department of Mohammed V University – Agdal where he teaches courses in theoretical, Arabic and general linguistics and supervises undergraduate research papers and doctoral theses at the graduate level.  Dr. Chekayri was trained at Mohammed V University in Rabat where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in linguistics.  He also attended special summer courses in Damascus immediately following after earning his undergraduate degree. He has published three books used in courses at Mohammed V University and journal articles.  Dr. Chekayri is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Kuwait University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.  His outside interests include reading, cultural studies and plastic arts. 

Dr. Mohsine El Ahmadi (Area Studies Professor)

Dr. Mohsine El Ahmadi is professor of political sociology in the Faculty of Law at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakesh, Morocco, a position he has held since 1999. In 2009-10, Dr. El Ahmadi was a Fulbright scholar at Georgetown University.  During that year he also lectured at Lewis and Clark College (Oregon), The Library of Congress, and Colorado College (Colorado Springs). Since 2011-2012 he has been teaching for the AMIDEAST Education Abroad program in Morocco. Dr. El Ahmadi earned his M.Phil and Ph.D at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris.  His master’s thesis was on political program and religious ideology of Islamist movements in Morocco.  His doctoral thesis was on Islamism and Modernity in Post-Colonial Morocco.  Dr. El Ahmadi has published six books (in French) on topics such as Qur’anic schools in Morocco (2010), Islamist Movements in Morocco (2006), The Monarch and Islam (2006), and Dreams of the Young (with Fatima Mernissi in 2008).  He also has published numerous articles and review articles in journals in France, Morocco, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, and Spain, and press articles in the U.S. for the organization Common Ground News. In 2014, he and Dr. Stuart Schaar published The Birth of The Arab Citizen and the Changing Middle East (Interlink Publications), a series of essays about the Arab Spring.

Ms. Meriem El Haitami (Area Studies Professor)

Ms. El Haitami recently completed the coursework for her doctoral program at the University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah in Fez, Morocco. Her PhD research explores the dynamics of women’s religious authority and activism in Morocco. In particular, El Haitami’s research focuses on state sanctioned female imams and their particular role in nation-building and in the war on terror. From 2015-2016, El Haitami was a Rice Fellow and visiting lecturer at Yale University, where she taught courses on Islam and gender in North Africa. During the 2012-2013 year, El Haitami was a Fulbright Scholar at SUNY Binghamton, where she conducted research in affiliation with the Political Science Department. Her research during this period explored Sufism as a global Islamic movement. In spring 2015, El Haitami was a Carnegie Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, where she carried out research related to modes of religiosity and attitudes towards human rights in Morocco. 

Dr. Mohammed Ezroura (Area Studies Professor)

Dr. Mohammed Ezroura is Professor of English and former Vice Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Mohammed V University. He earned his PhD in Comparative Literature and Critical Theory from the University of British Columbia (Canada), his MA in the Sociology of Literature from Essex University (UK) and his undergraduate degree in English from Mohammed V University. He served for many years as resident director of the Vassar College study abroad program in Morocco and has been a visiting scholar or professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the American Studies Research Center in Hyderabad, India, University of British Columbia, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Vassar College, Lincoln University, Connecticut College, Seoul National University (Korea), Cairo University (Egypt), Edinburgh University (UK) and Stirling University (UK).

Ms. Touria Guessous (Arabic Language Instructor)

Ms. Touria Guessous retired in 2004 after a long career as a school administrator in Rabat.  She was trained in Fez, Paris and Mohammedia and served for more than 30 years as a senior administrator at secondary schools in Fez and Rabat, the last 27 as Director of Lycée Halima Saadia in Rabat.  During that time she worked in partnership with Lycée Descartes, the Rabat American School, Collège Saint Expery in Rabat, and other schools in France.  She has been teaching Arabic for AMIDEAST and other programs for American students in Rabat since 2004.  Her outside interests are music, cooking, sports, travel and literature.

Dr. Driss Maghraoui (Area Studies Professor)

Dr. Maghraoui is an associate professor of history and international relations with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Al Akhawayn University (AUI) in Ifrane, Morocco. Dr. Maghroui received his Ph.D. and MA in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition to teaching at AUI, Dr. Maghroui also served as a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale University, and a Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Maghroui is widely published in several international academic journals and edited books. He is the co-editor of Reforms in the Arab World: the Experience of Morocco - Mediterranean Politics and the editor of Revisiting the Colonial Past in Morocco by Routledge. Dr. Maghroui’s most recent publication include “Searching for Normalization: The Party of Justice and Development in Morocco,” in Strategies and Behavior of Islamist Political Parties: Comparative Lessons from Asia and the Middle East, “The Moroccan ‘Effort de Guerre’ in the Second World War” in Africa and The Second World War, and “Morocco: Obedience, Civil Resistance, and Dispersed Solidarities” in Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring:Triumphs and Disasters.

Dr. Nacef Mouri (Area Studies Professor)

Dr. Nacef Mouri is dean of faculty and associate professor of marketing at the Rabat Business School at the International University of Rabat (UIR). Prior to his position at the UIR, Dr. Mouri was a professor at George Mason University, VA where he chaired the annual Mason Entrepreneurship Research Conference (MERC), bringing together scholars from various fields and different countries to build a community of entrepreneurship researchers across various disciplines. Dr. Mouri’s research interests lie in strategic alliances, innovation, sustainability, and international business. His dissertation was a finalist for both the Academy of Marketing Science and the Society for Marketing Advances dissertation awards. Dr. Mouri’s research work has received numerous awards and has been published in a number of journals including the Journal of Business Venturing, Decision Sciences Journal, Industrial Marketing Management, the Journal of Marketing Management, and the Journal of Travel Research, as well as in several conference proceedings. Dr. Mouri has taught a variety of business and economics courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as in executive education (in English and French). He received multiple teaching awards including UCF's College of Business Teaching Award, the University of Central Florida’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Most Influential Faculty Award. Dr. Mouri has also served as a consultant to several international firms in the U.S. and abroad, and is active in various professional associations. He was the President of the Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators in 2013-2014 and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Business Disciplines.

Dr. Raja Rhouni (Area Studies Professor)

Dr. Raja Rhouni is professor at Chouaib Doukkali University in El Jadida, Morocco. She studied English literature and cultural studies in Rabat, earning her Doctorate in 2005 from the Cultural and Development Studies program at Mohammad V University.  During the 2006-2007 academic year, she was a Fellow in the multi-disciplinary research program “Europe in the Middle East: the Middle East in Europe” of the Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin.  Her project dealt with "Islamic feminist hermeneutics of the Qur'an."  She is the author of Secular and Islamic Feminist Critiques in the Work of Fatima Mernissi (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010).