On January 16, 1995, King Hassan II inaugurated the Al Akhawayn University (w aui.ma) on the northern edge of Ifrane, its chalet-style buildings, cream walls and russet-tiled roofs the design of Michel Pinseau, the architect behind the king’s showpiece Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. The name Al Akhawayn (“Brothers” in Arabic) denotes it as the brainchild (and beneficiary) of the Moroccan king and his “brother”, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia; it has also been funded by the United States and, to a lesser extent, the British Council. The undergraduate and postgraduate curricula are modelled on the American system of higher education, and English is used for lectures.
King Hassan was keen to underpin his creation with the religious and cultural values of Christianity and Judaism as well as of Islam. The university is dedicated to “practical tolerance between faiths” and a mosque, church and synagogue are on campus to provide, as the king put it, “a meeting place for the sons of Abraham”, a concept endorsed by the Prince of Wales when he visited Ifrane in 1996.
You can arrange to visit the campus by contacting the Office of Admissions in advance (t 0535 862086 or e [email protected]); try to go on a weekday afternoon when the students are about.