A Royal Endowment in the Atlas

The Chairman of HI made a somewhat surprising discovery on September 16th, 2013, up in the Atlas Mountains, in a region of valleys, forests, lakes and other natural and man-made places of interest. He went to a small town of about 13,000 people, called Ifrane, which has a palace of the King of Morocco and another one under construction for the Emir of Qatar. It has a ski resort called Michlifen Ski Resort. It is only 61 km from the ancient city of Fes, which has been described in The Rough Guide to Morocco as "perhaps the most beautiful of all Arab cities' p.6). Fes is only about 22 km from the Thermal Baths of Moulay Yacoub (, a special place described by one visitor as "more than gold!"

Ifrane is also the location of an academic institution called Akhawayn University. The Chairman met Dr Driss Ouaouicha, the President, and discussed the opportunities for developing academic relations in Africa and contributing to the training of African business persons and diplomats.

In 1995 His Majesty King Hassan II and Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abdel-Aziz of Saudi Arabia inaugurated Al Akhawayn ('the Two Brothers' in Arabic) University. As reported in the school catalogue, AUI (for short) 'redefines the classic American liberal arts educational experience on an architecturally stunning modern campus amidst the beauty of Morocco's Middle Atlas Mountains.'

It boasts:
  • A uniquely international common core program for all undergraduate students, providing the basis for a well-rounded global education. It has a 40 percent international faculty, 10 percent international students and over 90 active international agreements forresearch and education on five continents; � Rich academics, in English, encouraging choice and experimentation, in all schools and programs of study;� A comfortable, safe, exciting residential student life on campus, featuring hundreds of University student-run activities, with over 96 percent of undergraduates living on campus with roommates from around Morocco and the four corners of the world; and � The peace and pleasures of Ifrane, a center for outdoor exploration of mountains, streams, lakes, and more, with many entertainment options and easy access to major cities such as Rabat, Casablanca, Fez, Meknes, and more.