By Yossef Ben-Meir
The High Atlas Foundation had the great pleasure to welcome former Fulbright Scholars from the United States to its office in Marrakech. It was a great feeling to be together, people with the shared commitment to utilize opportunities for research and education to measurably move forward the people’s development. Our recent visitors also host international participants of the Professional Fellows Program. One HAF colleague, Kamal Akaya, is already an almuni of this educational and cultural exchange program, run by the U.S. Department of State. A second colleague, Said Bennani, will be embarking on this six-week leadership- and partnership-building journey in the United States later this month.
The topics that we discussed together with the former Fulbrighters went to the heart matters: What obstacles do women face as they pursue the change that they seek in their lives? What priorities do rural communities identify in order to fulfill their dreams? How and why is Morocco a bastion of opportunities, and how may its people be in a better position to better fulfill them? Who are we as an organization of people dedicated to Moroccan sustainable development, how have we come to this point, and what are and were our journeys to make us unified and determined to hear communities and assist them in implementing their goals?
Guests of the High Atlas Foundation typically hear from all of us who work everyday to advance its human development mission. They hear our stories of volunteerism and experiences seeking to reconcile the divergent forces that can make what we all may all agree to be a shared good, but that are most often times incredibly challenging to achieve.
The group of Fulbrighters came directly to our office after traveling from Ourzazate over the Tishka mountain pass. We receive them immediately, being there first stop after their long journey. We shared tea, lunch, thoughts, photos, and passing moments realizing first that we are among immediate friends, sincerely appreciative of one another, wanting to hear more from each other, inevitably parting ways after a sincerely memorable afternoon. Thank you for making HAF part of your Moroccan Journey.