KSU partners with Moroccan museum to promote understanding of Muslim culture

Prestigious grant strengthens relationship with Hassan II University

Georgia (Jul 6, 2009) — KSU partners with Moroccan museum to promote understanding of Muslim culture

Anna Tucker


Director of University Relations
Frances Weyand Harrison

Contact Writer: Anna Tucker‚ 678−797−2083 or atucke20@kennesaw.edu

KSU partners with Moroccan museum to promote understanding of Muslim culture
Prestigious grant strengthens relationship with Hassan II University

KENNESAW‚ Ga. (June 30‚ 2009) — Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education (MHHE) has been awarded a grant by the American Association of Museums and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to fund an oral history project with a community museum in Casablanca‚ Morocco. The MHHE was one of only five museums in the U.S. to receive the prestigious grant.

The $72‚000 gift enables the MHHE and the Ben M’sik Community Museum (BMCM) to gather oral histories and develop public programs that will foster greater understanding of the Muslim culture in Morocco and the U.S. The project is titled “Creating Community Collaboration.”

“This grant helps us reach into a community with whom we have not yet connected‚” said Catherine Lewis‚ associate professor of history and MHHE director. “The dialogue and faculty and student exchanges built into this grant will help us all be better citizens of the world.”

The grant grew out of a 2005 partnership between KSU and Hassan II University in Casablanca‚ Morocco. The first exchanges involved various academic departments‚ including American Studies and foreign languages‚ and in 2007 expanded to include museums. KSU helped Hassan II University expand its recently established Ben M’sik Community Museum‚ located in the poorest of Casablanca’s six districts.

“We firmly believe that this project of gathering oral histories in Morocco and U.S. will certainly promote global peace‚ mutual respect and understanding between both countries‚” said Professor Samir El Azhar‚ co−coordinator of the BMCM and a professor of English and American Studies at Hassan II University. “The exchange of information and histories will dispel stereotypes and misunderstanding and will promote values of trust and dialogue.”

The oral history project will provide the foundation for several community−based programs‚ most notably “Coffee and Conversation‚” which will showcase findings from the oral histories. Following these initial programs‚ each museum and their communities will begin work on a collaborative exhibit.

“We believe the outreach process established in this project will be a replicable model for other university−based museums in many countries‚” said Lewis.


Kennesaw State University is the third−largest university in Georgia‚ offering more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including new doctorates in education‚ business and nursing. A member of the 35−unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21‚500 from 142 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu