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About MBS

Moroccan Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Mr. Mohammed Belmahi

The Moroccan British Society, under the able chairmanship of Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, has witnessed a genuine revival of its activities. It has rapidly become a hands on and an effective player in fostering Moroccan-British relations notably in the cultural and academic fields.

In June 2004, the MBS has accomplished an agreement with Oxford University, establishing the King Mohammed VI Fellowship for Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies within St Antony’s College. This agreement constitutes the building blocks for establishing sound academic relations between our two Kingdoms, such as the creation of a Scholarship Fund for Moroccan top students enabling them to access the best British Universities; and also the establishment of an academic network involving several UK Universities and think tanks willing to conduct joint Moroccan and Mediterranean studies in collaboration with the newly established Fellowship at Oxford University.

Within the cultural field, the MBS, in conjunction with the British Library and our Embassy in London, is spear-heading the organization of a major exhibition of the sacred books of the three monotheistic religions.
This exhibition, planned for 2006, will be a World premiere, advocating tolerance, inter-faith dialogue and insufflating a very much needed spirit of Ijtihad.

The MBS has thus rapidly become an NGO to reckon with as well as a major catalyst in building up bridges between the peoples and the cultures of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United Kingdom

Former British Ambassador to Morocco, H.E Mr Hydon Warren Gash

The Moroccan British Society is young in years, but not in ideas. When I first arrived as British Ambassador in Morocco, two and a half years ago, it was hardly more than a gleam in the eye. Today, it is a fully-fledged association, with a distinguished membership in Morocco and in the UK. Its achievements include, notably, the setting up of the King Mohammed VI Fellowship in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. The establishment of the MBS website marks another big step forward.

That so much has happened so quickly is due, above all, to the dynamism and dedication of Her Highness Lalla Joumalla. As the Moroccan British Society President, she has worked tirelessly to bring people together, and to turn ideas into practical reality. She has my fullest admiration.

The MBS has come into existence to fill an important gap. As cultures, we still know sadly little about each other. There is much that the MBS and its members can do to bridge that divide. The Society has, absolutely rightly in my view, focussed on the fields of education and culture. These are key areas, too often left on the sidelines of traditional diplomacy. The Society is uniquely well placed to carry forward exciting new schemes and ideas in these domains, reflecting shared interests and values but also, importantly, looking to the future, and to what we can do, together, to build better understanding.

I wish the MBS and this newsletter every success. It can continue to count on my fullest support.

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