The events that occurred during the winter of 2011 surprised and destabilized Arab intellectuals. The large majority of the latter did not foresee the changes and even theorized a lack of change, convinced that the long-standing regimes were set to stay.
In order to understand and analyze this unsynchronized attitude, the role and status of intellectuals within authoritarian regimes should be examined, as well as the complex inter-relations between the intelligentsia and power -a political relationship strictly linked to the evolution of contemporary Arab societies and cultures (19th-20th centuries), influenced by reformism and torn between “Oriental” and “Western” political imaginaries.
The meeting, due to be held on 17 and 18 May 2014 at the Hotel Mövenpick Gammarth in Tunisia, does not aim at establishing an academic update of the situation, but rather at rethinking the itinerary of Arab intellectuals through an historical perspective, in order to understand their discourse and positions within a fast changing intellectual and political space. The study will therefore question the interweaving of the intellectual and political spheres in so far as intellectuals are both producers of sense and aspire to play a political role meant to change society and culture.
The reflection, which will mainly deal with the relationship of Arab intellectuals with politics, will focus on four axes or panels:
• Arab intellectuals in history;
• Arab intellectuals, Islam and otherness;
• Youth, new media and social networks;
• A final round table on Arab intellectuals and political power.
Organised by the Moulay Hicham Foundation, the Conference is convened by Khadija Mohsen-Finan and Mohamed Kerrou.
Inaugural Conference of the Middle East and North African Studies Program, Notherwestern University (PDF) by Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdallah
Friday, October 23, 2015
An article by Moulay Hicham in the French publication 'Pouvoirs'
Morocco five years from now, in the aftermath of the “Cumin Revolution” : through such a projection and without any recourse to political fiction,the article draws an a posteriori balance sheet of the current stalemate by looking at the solutions proposed. Such a reversal of perspective makes it possible to raise old questions, left unanswered, in a new form. In this light, the “new Morocco” seems like a pipe dream, the confinement of the country into a waiting room following the current wait-and-see policy, a real utopia. Yet, the other Morocco – a country where life would be easy and pleasant – is within reach.
Clip from Prince Moulay Hicham’s Opening Remarks at the World Premiere of “A Whisper to a Roar” at the Directors’ Guild Theatre in Los Angeles on October 3, 2012, where he speaks to “the conflict between human nature and the human spirit.”