Thaqafat Association is a non-governmental Moroccan organization (NGO) dedicated to fostering cross-cultural respect and appreciation within Morocco as well as internationally.
Thaqafat is located in the heart of Morocco’s capital city, Rabat. The city is surrounded by 12th century ramparts and reflects two main historical periods. The Old Medina reflects Rabat’s Medieval period while the colonial boulevards and neighborhoods reflect Rabat’s 20th century European occupation. These architectural contrasts mirror the complex cultural and social contrasts and fusions that still exist in Morocco.
Thaqafat was launched in 2002 to fill a gap in restructuring volunteerism in a culture where volunteering was viewed more as a form of charity than a win/win opportunity for all involved. Through volunteer projects, Thaqafat hopes to realize cross-cultural learning and growth as well as development in Morocco.
Thaqafat also strives to connect with younger generations–with summer camps, exchange programs and trainings– to promote youth participation, citizenship and human rights education in a spirit of intercultural dialogue and living together.
“Providing opportunities for people of various backgrounds to exchange their ideas and perspectives through projects building mutual respect is at the core of Thaqafat‘s philosophy,” says Director, Farah Cherif D’Ouezzan. “The eagerness of Thaqafat members to teach and learn, their motivation to work for a better future for all, and their openness to diversity have gained them the respect of the local community and that of partner organizations.”
In addition to serving as a founding member of Thaqafat, Farah Cherif D’Ouezzan is the founder and Director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Learning of Morocco (the parent organization of Thaqafat). Since its creation in 1995, the Center has served as the partner organization of World Learning’s SIT Study Abroad Program in Morocco.
“Being able to build relationships and to promote cultural understanding is an important goal in my life,” says Farah. “When we accept each other, when we understand that we can be different without being enemies, and when we try to make life better for all of us, we make the world a better place.”
About Farah Cherif D’Ouezzan, founding Director of Thaqafat Association, EIL Morocco: Since 2003, Farah has been involved with the Council of Europe Directorate of Youth and Sports, the Anna-Lindh Foundation, Adyan Foundation and the Euro-Med organization. She is a freelance trainer, a consultant and an expert in the field of Intercultural Learning, Human Rights Education, Youth Participation in Civil Society and Conflict Resolution. She also conducts trainings for trainers in different fields of non-formal education. One of her main achievements in Thaqafat has been structuring a culture of formal volunteerism in Morocco and enhancing cooperation in the area of volunteerism between Morocco and international NGOs.
Farah received a B.A. in Arabic Language and Literature, a Master in Comparative Literature and Religion from the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences at Mohamed V University in Rabat, Morocco and a Post-graduate European Certificate from the International Women’s University in Hanover, Germany.