AMCN in the News
AMCN Follow-up Forum in Rabat (June 15, 2013)
In collaboration with the Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Residing Abroad, AMCN co-sponsored a follow-up forum in Rabat on June 15th, 2013. The goal of this forum was to mobilize and engage the Moroccan Diaspora in the socio-economic development of Morocco. To this end, 31 projects were presented by members of AMCN spanning the fields of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Energy & Environment, Higher Education & Scientific Research, and Health & Biomedical Sciences.
Over 100 Moroccan local partners from industry, academia, and government were present to discuss the projects and brainstorm way to implement them on the ground. At the forum, several Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) were signed, and several others are in the works. These MOUs specifically outline the engagements from both AMCN and the local Moroccan partners in implementing and completing the agreed upon projects. Several local and international media provided the coverage of this first and unique event between the US and Morocco.
Retained projects from the American Moroccan Competencies Network Forum
The ministry of Moroccans Living Abroad in Rabat, announced on Thursday the retained projectes that will be presented at the follow-up forum in Morocco. In June 2013, Moroccan project holders came from across the country to present their ideas at the first preparatory meeting of the Forum for American-Moroccan Competencies Networkin in New York City. Projects varied between trade, technology, social sciences, education, and health.The main goal of this initiative is to integrate the expertise of American-Moroccans in the development process of Morocco.
New Online Platform Dedicated for Moroccans Living Abroad
The ministry in charge of Moroccans living abroad launched an online platform to help connect Moroccan competencies around the world. According to Abdellatif Maazouz, Minister in charge of Moroccans living abroad, the platform was launched on www.maghribcom.gov.ma to serve as a interaction bridge that connects the economic and social institutations in Morocco with the expertise and know-how of Moroccans living abroad.
Islam and Science: The Road to Renewal
After centuries of stagnation science is making a comeback in the Islamic world
THE sleep has been long and deep. In 2005 Harvard University produced more scientific papers than 17 Arabic-speaking countries combined. The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims have produced only two Nobel laureates in chemistry and physics. Both moved to the West: the only living one, the chemist Ahmed Hassan Zewail, is at the California Institute of Technology. By contrast Jews, outnumbered 100 to one by Muslims, have won 79. The 57 countries in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference spend a puny 0.81% of GDP on research and development, about a third of the world average. America, which has the world’s biggest science budget, spends 2.9%; Israel lavishes 4.4%.
Many blame Islam’s supposed innate hostility to science. Some universities seem keener on prayer than study. Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, for example, has three mosques on campus, with a fourth planned, but no bookshop. Rote learning rather than critical thinking is the hallmark of higher education in many countries. The Saudi government supports books for Islamic schools such as “The Unchallengeable Miracles of the Qur’an: The Facts That Can’t Be Denied By Science” suggesting an inherent conflict between belief and reason.
Many universities are timid about courses that touch even tangentially on politics or look at religion from a non-devotional standpoint. Pervez Hoodbhoy, a renowned Pakistani nuclear scientist, introduced a course on science and world affairs, including Islam’s relationship with science, at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, one of the country’s most progressive universities. Students were keen, but Mr Hoodbhoy’s contract was not renewed when it ran out in December; for no proper reason, he says. (The university insists that the decision had nothing to do with the course content.)
But look more closely and two things are clear. A Muslim scientific awakening is under way. And the roots of scientific backwardness lie not with religious leaders, but with secular rulers, who are as stingy with cash as they are lavish with controls over independent thought.