J-Term Distinguished Lecturers, Authors & Diplomats
IAU College has been proud to host numerous distinguished scholars from various academic fields ranging from journalism and literature to politics and diplomacy. Below are several revered academics who have participated in past travel seminars.
Aboubakr Jamai was born and raised in Casablanca and educated in Morocco, France, and England. He was a Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University in 2007. After beginning his career in the business sector, he started writing for newspapers in 1995 and founded his own newsweekly, Le Journal Hebdomadaire, in 1997. Breaking several taboos in Moroccan journalism, such as criticizing the shortcomings in the king's democratic opening, publishing a photograph of the Danish cartoon crisis, and interviewing the leader of the Polisario, the paper regularly suffered from fines, politically motivated lawsuits, financial hardship due to diminishing advertisements from a business community concerned with its reputation in the palace, and government ordered suspensions. He was forced to leave Morocco in January 2007. A devout Muslim whose father was abducted by the Moroccan secret police and who continues to be part of the struggle for freedom of the press worldwide, Aboubakr is a recipient of the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Abdelilah Hamdouchi is one of the first writers of police fiction in the Arabic language, was born in Meknès, Morocco, in 1958. His police novels—which dialogue with current democratic and human rights reform in Morocco—include The Blind Whale (1997), Saint Janjah (1999), The White Fly (2000), The Final Bet (2001), and Bled Dry (2009). The Final Bet was published, in Jonathan Smolin's English translation, by American University Press in Cairo in 2008. Hamdouchi is also a prolific and award-winning screenwriter. Among his many film and television credits, he has written the scripts for seven police thrillers. He lives in Rabat, Morocco.
Living in Marrakech's medina, Spanish novelist Juan Goytisolo has published at least 15 works of fiction in English, and the most recent, The Garden of Secrets, like most of his preceding works, is in part an attack on the author's native Spain and, in particular, on Franco and the fascists. Indeed, like James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard and other great writers who lived in exile and often loathed their homelands, Goytisolo has spent most of his life attacking the values present and past of his own country. His most recent (and as yet untranslated) novel, Carajicomedia (A Cock-Eyed Comedy) – now a bestseller in Spain – attacks the Spanish Catholic Church and its ancillary secret society, Opus Dei.
Yasmina Khadra is the pen name of the Algerian author Mohammed Moulessehoul. Moulessehoul, an officer in the Algerian army, adopted his wife's name as a pseudonym to avoid military censorship. Despite the publication of many successful novels in Algeria, Moulessehoul only revealed his true identity in 2001 after leaving the army and leaving for France. He left the army as a major in 2000. Anonymity was the only way for him to survive and avoid censorship during the Algerian Civil War. In 2004, Newsweek acclaimed him as "one of the rare writers capable of giving a meaning to the violence in Algeria today."
His novel set in Afghanistan under the Taliban, The Swallows of Kabul, was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (2006), as was The Attack (2008). L'Attentat won the Prix des libraires in 2006, a prize chosen by about five thousand bookstores in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada.