Some courses are offered exclusively in English, Arabic, or French. Other courses are offered partly in one language and partly in another language. For example, a lecture may be in Arabic with a recitation in English. Please see the course list below to explore courses offered in each language or language combination. To learn more about the courses we offer, please click on the course title for a detailed description.

Arabic Literature in Translation

  • 1.5 hours of lecture and 1.5 hours of discussion. This course introduces student to the roots of modern Arabic literature through a consideration of pre-Islamic and early Islamic works, the non-Arab view during the time of colonialism, and important modern works by Arab writers of the 20th century. All works are translated into English. The literary works represent a range of styles, viewpoints from different Arabic speaking nationalities, and across a significant modern time period. Stories, essays, poems, and excerpts from novels by authors from Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine and Kuwait, both men and women, writing in Arabic or French.
  • This course aims at an adequate exposure to two linguistic and cultural codes of the source and target languages through a well-guided assimilation of the basics of the craft of translation. The operating language pair of translation is English-Arabic and vice-versa. Through an overview of the translation process and deep structure of both source and host texts, students will be able to make the difference between translation as a process and translation as a product. Since translation has been regularly defined in the literature as an “act of communication,” not only will students upgrade their language proficiency in both languages, but they will equally enhance their oral and written communication skills.

Cross-Cultural Communication in the New Millennium

  • The dual philosophy that guides the preparation of this module is, primarily, based on the assumption that people must share the planet’s limited resources to improve intercultural communication. The phenomena of diversity, interculturality and hybridity have sprung to the forefront as issues to be examined, probed, and taught due to their important role in cross-cultural communication context. Contrasted with the amplified interaction resulting from globalization are both the confident and destructive aspects of the xenophobic efforts of localism. The theme of this module seeks then to minimize and examine the context of these problems within the spheres of education, language, culture, religion, identity and society.

The Gateway to Europe: Perspectives on Migration to and Through Morocco

  • Since the beginning of the 1960s Morocco has been a country of emigration thanks to a convergence of needs between certain European countries (France and Belgium in particular) and its own economic and social policies. Since the beginning of the 1990s, it has further developed into a transit country for migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa on their way to Europe, and today is becoming a receiving area for immigrants, not only from Sub-Saharan regions but also from countries in economic crisis, such as Spain, or in civil war, such as Syria or Libya. This course covers the history of Moroccan migration policy as well as contemporary issues facing Morocco.

Introduction to the Qur’an

  • 1.5 hours of lecture and 1.5 hours of discussion. This course introduces students to the Qur’an’s content, history, and structure using the Qur’an itself as a primary source, along with accompanying secondary sources. We will also look at the purpose of the Qur’an, and how the Qur’an’s message explains this. Students will learn more about major figures of the Qur’an as well as their importance in the context of the Abrahamic religions from a comparative perspective. We will also discuss the themes and message found in the Qur’an’s 114 surahs, and how this message and these instructions found in the Qur’an are interpreted, debated, and implemented today.

Islam and the History of Islam

  • With 1.8 billion followers, Islam is the second-most popular religion in the world after Christianity. This course aims to illuminate the foundational tenets of Islam through exploring its articles of faith, acts of worship, and societal life. It goes on to cover the history of Islam, its various schools, and the various manifestations of Islamic culture around the world.

Islamic Civilization and Artistic Expression

  • This course is a broad overview of historical and contemporary cultural contexts, bridging diverse domains from religion and politics to architecture, music, and popular culture. This course aims equally at bringing history and culture to bear upon contemporary global issues that frequently involve the Muslim and Arab worlds such as universal human rights, peace and conflict, cross cultural communication, and cultural critique. Rather than being merely exposed to the subject matters relating to Islamic civilization, Muslim culture, and artistic expression, students will be initiated into developing deeper insights of the daily Moroccan cultural intricacies as well as how Islam and art cohabitate.

Morocco, The Land of the West: Politics, Culture, and Economy

  • 1.5 hours of lecture and 1.5 hours of discussion. This course introduces students to the domestic state of politics, economy, and culture in Morocco as well as Morocco’s relationship with its neighbors and countries it has a colonial history with. Each of these relationships will be evaluated for how they affect Morocco and the nations and groups with which it interacts. This is meant to add context to the personal experience of students in Morocco and enhance their knowledge of Morocco’s place in the global context.

Morocco Through History

  • Morocco is a vast and varied territory that was only relatively recently united into a modern nation state. Its long history records the rise and fall of powerful dynasties, the creation and collapse of mighty empires, and, from the 18th century, manipulation and exploitation by European powers seeking to expand their empires. This course explores the history of the land called Morocco from prehistory through the age of independence and modernization.

World Conflicts and International Law

  • This course aims at a profound understanding and analysis of historical and contemporary world conflicts via opening up to diverse disciplines such as history, history of political ideas, sociology, the politics of conflict resolution, geopolitics, and the recommendations and stipulations of human rights to geostrategy. This course aims equally at bringing world conflicts and international law under the limelight to see how the lawbreakers become local lawmakers and to critically approach contemporary global issues that frequently involve the international community in matters of human rights interference.

Current Topics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Each week is dedicated to an in-depth look at a topic of current interest and importance in the MENA region, through advanced, authentic reading texts, and extensive listening sessions, as well as student discussions. The specific goals of the course are to increase student vocabulary, improve oral and written expression in paragraph-length production, improve listening skills and provide information of current interest in the region. By the end of the class the student is expected to comfortably discuss or write about these issues, using persuasion, argument, analysis, comparison and analogy.

Management and Culture

  • Two 1.5-hour lectures per week: 1 in English, 1 in Arabic. What are the various functions and roles of managers in their various environments? This course examines questions of communication, decision-making, goal setting, planning, human relations, motivation, negotiation, dealing with conflict, and leadership. The student is asked to address the basic question, “How does management differ in an Arab-Islamic cultural setting such as Morocco as compared to an American setting?” In weekly “workshop” sessions students will meet guests from various fields and businesses.

The Modern Middle East: Unraveling the Past and Present

  • Two hours in English, 1 hour in Arabic. This class considers the modern history of the Middle East and North Africa, including the end of colonialism and the rise of nationalism and independence. Students will develop a context for better understanding the complex issues that affect the region today, as well as a layered historical understanding of the MENA region.

Unrest and Conflict in the Modern Middle East and North Africa: Civilian and Military Considerations

  • Two 1.5-hour lectures per week: 1 in English, 1 in Arabic. What is the strategic military policy of the United States in the Middle East and North Africa? How do we define the MENA region and who are the players influencing it from the outside and how do they interact with US policy in the region? We will consider a selection of countries in the Middle East and North Africa, their recent history, their current situations, and their possible futures. We will outline the government and military structure of each one and draw conclusions about the defense structure, strategy, roles, and missions of the various militaries.

Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa

  • Two lectures per week: 1 in English, 1 in Arabic. Few topics have been more obscured in the Western consciousness than women and gender in MENA. The first part of this course aims to ameliorate this through a deep dive into this subject from many angles. Students will emerge with a nuanced understanding of women and gender in various societies throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) from pre-Islamic times to the present. How has the idea of gender developed in the region historically? The second part of the course features a series of case studies, exploring the unique circumstances surrounding women and gender in a range of MENA countries, before concluding with a comparison between MENA and the West.

Ancient History of North Africa | التاريخ العتيق لشمال أفريقيا

  • This course covers the ancient history of North Africa from the North African, rather than the Euro-centric viewpoint. The student will understand the major methods of historical research and the major historical events in the period covered. We will analyze historical information on the ancient history of North Africa and discuss it from various perspectives.

The Anthropology of Islam | أنثروبولوجيا الإسلام

  • This course covers historical and contemporary trends in the anthropology of Islam in order to arrive at a fuller understanding of how different thinkers and societies have studied and written about Islam. It covers Orientalist discourse on Islam from its foundations of knowledge to its ideological dimensions. It goes on to illustrate how Islam has been considered as a subject in anthropology, since the beginning of the scientific establishment of the discourse of the West on the East. We will discuss how the French and American ethnographers grasped Islam, as well as how indigenous people, Arabs, and Muslims have studied Islam. Finally, we will look at contemporary issues in the study of Islam as a subject of anthropology.

Dynamics of the Rural Environment | دينامية المجال الريفي

  • Rural Morocco evokes many of the classic images we associate with North Africa: stunning mountains, deserts, coastal plains and the diverse peoples that inhabit these landscapes. While these people have held onto their ways of life, they have also continuously adapted. This class will analyze how the rural environments of Morocco differ from its urban environments. Students will come to understand, within this larger context, the particular characteristics of Moroccan rural environments and the challenges they face. Finally, the class will consider how the rural environment is changing and why, particularly in terms of agriculture, demographics, employment opportunities, standards of living, and forms of production.

Ethical Philosophy | الفلسفة الأخلاقية

  • This course will focus on the mechanisms of reading texts of political philosophy, from examination, analysis, synthesis, discussion, evaluation, and expressing opinions. We will cover several philosophical traditions, including Greek, Islamic, and modern philosophy before touching on the contemporary philosophy of thinkers such as Hannah Arendt. Students will understand philosophers in terms of their motives, principles, foundations and values in philosophical systems throughout the history of philosophy. Students will also learn to recognize models and theories in the history of philosophy.

The French Revolution of 1789 | الثورة الفرنسية في عام ١٧٨٩

  • This class gives a historical overview to the French Revolution of 1789. The first part covers the philosophers who influenced the generation of the revolution and the motives behind the revolution. The second part covers the course of events of the revolution and the success of the demand for a representative national assembly. The third part covers the results of the revolution, from the change into a republic and the later rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Students will gain an understanding of how the revolution led to the concept of the nation state as well as how it influenced France, surrounding countries, and the world itself.

The History of Islam from the Beginning to the Abbasid Era | تاريخ الإسلام من البداية إلى الخلافة العباسية

  • This course covers basic units in the emergence of Islam: the era of the Caliphate, the Umayyad state, and the Abbasid state. The first section of the class is a methodological introduction, in which the instructor will present some of the topics related to the study of biography and its importance as a fundamental stage in the dynamics of Islamic history. The second section of the course is devoted to studying the Prophet Mohamed from his birth, to his mission, and the most important events that characterized this period. During the third section of the course, students will learn about the life of the Caliphs, i.e., after the Prophet’s death, the problems that beset the path of the First Caliph, and the challenges of confrontation and succession. Finally, students will learn about the Umayyad and Abbasid period and the foundations of their respective administrative, political, economic, cultural, and military systems.

International Economic Relations | العلاقات الاقتصادية والدولية

  • This course aims to study the development of international economic relations. It will present briefly the most important economic theories of international trade so that we can understand some of the current features of the globalization process. In order to determine the size and importance of trade and financial exchanges between countries, we will shed light on key indicators such as trade balance, balance of performance and accompanying systems of exchange for international money. The course focuses on: theories of international trade exchange, characteristics and stages of the evolution of globalization, key indicators of foreign financial inter-state exchanges, trade balance, capital movements, and the international monetary and exchange system.

Sociology of Social Movements | سوسيولوجيا الحركات الاجتماعية

  • This course begins by analyzing the context through which social movements emerge and develop. It discusses theoretical and epistemological issues in defining social movements, then goes on to cover how sociologists have historically analyzed traditional social movements, including the Marxist, functional, structural-functional approaches, and the events of May 1968 and the formation of new social movements in the West. The course concludes by discussing social movements in Morocco and the Arab-Islamic world.

Urban Dynamics – The Example of Morocco | الشبكات الحضيرة – مثال المغرب

  • This lecture and discussion based course covers global urbanization and demographic growth in the urban environment. The professor refers back whenever possible to the case of Morocco, comparing and contrasting this country’s situation to those of other developing and post-industrial nations. He discusses the different types of cities in the world and the distinguishing features of each type of city. Among these are megalopolises, residential corridors, and urban complexes. Once the student has grasped the concept of dynamic urbanization and the various types of cities throughout the world as well as the defining characteristics of each, they are ready to focus on Morocco, the types of cities present in that country, and the various problems that they face. The latter part of the course considers potential solutions which have been proposed to combat these difficulties.

19th Century French Poetry | Poésie Française du 19ème Siècle

  • This course will analyze and situate poetic works, such as the19th century poetry of Charles Baudelaire. Its goals are to understand and analyze: the situation of the poet in relation to their century; the Flowers of Evil: a well-structured compendium; separation between ethics and aesthetics; double postulation and baudelairien tearing; the ut pictura poesis or urban representation; from mimesis to poièsis or the reign of imagination.

Amazighs in Morocco: a “Minority” Majority | Les Amazighs du Maroc: une Majorité “Minoritaire”

  • The situation of Amazighs in Morocco is unique and paradoxical. The majority of Morocco’s population is of Amazigh origin (about 60% of the population), yet Amazigh people are described as a “cultural and linguistic minority.” And what about the culture of the Amazighs? It has been folklorized and made as a product that can be sold to tourists. Amazigh cultural movements emphasize that this amounts to marginalization and cultural discrimination. Amazigh movements have long accused the state of marginalizing their culture particularly in the media and education. According to Mohamed Chafiq, historian and former rector of the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture (IRCAM), the origin of this marginalization lies in the history of modern Moroccan nationalism, which sought in Arabism a homeland for its identity. This course will explore Amazigh identity in modern Morocco.

Dangers that Threaten the Environment in Morocco | Dangers qui Guettent l’Environnement au Maroc

  • As the repercussions of the global environmental crisis manifest, Morocco worries about the degradation of its environment and struggles with the means at its disposal to mitigate its destruction. This degradation pollutes the air and water and causes desertification. Morocco continues to make great efforts to help raise the world’s awareness of this danger, through efforts like organizing the COP22 that brought together more than 200 countries. Morocco encourages the use of green energy, water conservation, better reuse of different types of waste, replanting of forests, and mitigating the various degradations that affect the environment.

History of Literature, Ideas, and Arts | Histoire de la Littérature, Idées, et des Arts

  • This course will discover and analyze literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. Its goals are to understand and analyze the history of societal mentalities, the history of literature, and the history of arts. The student will expand their French reading skills; ‬develop speaking, ‬listening and writing skills in academic level French; ‬work on expanding vocabulary and understanding nuances; master details of French grammar; carry out basic literary analysis of French texts; and express comparative and contrasting observations in a synthetic whole in the discussion of these texts.

Human Rights in Morocco | Les Droits de l’Homme au Maroc

  • Following the referendum of 1 July 2011, Morocco adopted a new constitution that enshrines human rights as universally recognized and stipulates the protection of these rights, taking into account their universality and indivisibility. The Moroccan constitution has adopted all the human rights provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, enshrined the primacy of international conventions ratified by Morocco in national legislation, and affirmed Morocco’s commitment to harmonize legislation with the provisions of these conventions. The rights guaranteed by the constitution include equal rights for men and women, non-discrimination in rights, the right to life, and the right to security of the person. This course will analyze the effect of the 1 July referendum and how these rights are applied in Moroccan society.

The Moroccan Folk Tale | Le Conte Populaire Marocain

  • In the Moroccan cultural landscape, the folk tale is one of the most spectacular manifestations of the coalescence of collective and individual memory. This memory is oralized, told, sung, poeticized, revived, and revisited around a gifted speaker who carries an inheritance in words that he transmits orally. The question of safeguarding this cultural issue, recently declared by UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, is a question of life and death in the proper sense of the term. While in many countries action has been going on for a long time to ensure the safeguarding of national folktales, in our country, questions remain on the agenda: the preservation of folk tales is an emergency, certainly, but what actions need to be taken? What are the theoretical and practical steps to follow? How to combine backup and viability of the folk tale? During this course, we will look at the different forms of the folk tale and discuss its historical, cultural and educational scope. The storyteller is everything: they bring together the actor, the artist, and the director on stage. They must have undeniable gifts to be able to take the viewer on a journey in time and keep the listener suspended between imagination and reality.

Moroccan Music: Between Traditional & Modern | La Musique Marocaine Entre Traditionnelle & Moderne

  • Morocco is a meeting place of different cultures. The many civilizations that have risen and fallen here have left their footprints and traces on its society, culture, religion, and economy. Naturally, Moroccan music has been influenced by different trends and currents: African, Jewish, Andalusian, Arab, Amazigh, etc. This course explores Morocco’s many rhythms and sounds. The country is home to a large number of festivals dedicated to different musical varieties: spiritual music, Andalusian music, gnaoua, jazz, rhythm of the world, and fusion, to name a few. We will analyze these different genres and discuss how they contribute to a diverse Moroccan society.

Moroccan Women’s Journey to Emancipation | Le Voyage des Femmes Marocaines vers l’Émancipation

  • In this course we will examine the long struggle of Moroccan women through a century to win emancipation, and compete with men in the various areas they have traditionally dominated. Moroccan women, who had no rights in traditional Moroccan society apart from taking care of the house, giving birth, and raising children, demand access to education and work. They aspire to positions of responsibility and equality with men, to break through in the political world, preside over the courts, gain access to parliament, and become ministers. This journey, full of pitfalls, disappointments, glimmers of hope and victories, has led to a modern society in which women continue to strive for advancement and equality.

Traditional Moroccan Cuisine | La Cuisine Traditionnelle Marocaine

  • Traditional Moroccan cuisine has become one of the most famous cuisines in the world. Traditional Moroccan cuisine draws its richness from the history of this land and from its ancient cultures. The peoples who have traded with Morocco over the centuries, or even invaded the country, have left traces of their passage in art, architecture, and gastronomy. These influences come from the indigneous Amazigh peoples, the arrival of the Arabs, the Romans, Andalusians, and Jews expelled from Spain, the Ottoman empire, and the ethnic diversity of Morocco. The loans and imports of these different cultures have contributed to shape a world famous cuisine. Known for its aromas, spices, and the hospitality of its inhabitants, this destination in North Africa is becoming more and more coveted for its cuisine: an art intimately linked to the history and customs of the country.

Traditional Moroccan Festivals and Ceremonies | Les Cérémonies, et Fêtes Traditionnelles Marocaines

  • Morocco’s cultural heritage is maintained in its many traditions and customs. Like thousands of civilizations around the world, Morocco is keen to revive and rejuvenate itself by remembering its historical legacy. This opportunity is offered to Moroccans at various festivals and ceremonies such as engagements, weddings, baptisms, the first day of fasting for youth, and the feasts of Mawlid, Eid al-Adha, and Eid al-Fitr. At each occasion there is a specific ceremony to observe. This course will aid the student in understanding these important ceremonies and thereby gain a deeper appreciation of Moroccan culture.


Current Topics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Each week is dedicated to an in-depth look at a topic of current interest and importance in the MENA region, through advanced, authentic reading texts, and extensive listening sessions, as well as student discussions. The goals of the course are to increase student vocabulary, improve oral and written expression in paragraph-length production, improve listening skills and provide information of current interest in the region. By the end of the class the student is expected to comfortably discuss or write about these issues, using persuasion, argument, analysis, comparison and analogy.

It only took me a few weeks here to confirm that AALIM deserves its reputation as the premier program for language immersion in Morocco and one of the best in the Arab world. In addition to teaching top-notch classes that cover topics as diverse as current events, Arabic literature, Islamic culture, and the history of Morocco, my professors have always made themselves available outside class to help me cement new concepts and explore additional interests. The Moroccan students from Moulay Ismail University with whom AALIM connected me to practice Arabic, meanwhile, have become some of my closest friends in Meknes, a city that serves as an excellent introduction to Morocco as a whole. I’ve loved my time at AALIM, and I’d recommend the program to any students of Arabic committed to language immersion.

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