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WRITER: PANKHURY BATRA
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

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.