Exchange DetailBACK TO MAP
In December, ACYPL sent a delegation of seven leaders from across the United States on an exchange to Tunisia and Morocco. The delegates represented an array of professions from locally elected to government relations experts. Over ten days this diverse group comprised of three Republicans and four Democrats immersed themselves in the diversity of this fascinating region. In Tunisia the in-country program partner was the Tunisia American Young Professionals, marking our fifth year working with this organization. In Morocco the in-country program partner was the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The program started in Washington, D.C with a lunch hosted by Ambassador Faycal Gouiaa of Tunisia at his residence. The afternoon was filled with lively discussion about the emerging economy in Tunisia. The delegation also had an insightful meeting at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco about the bilateral relationship between the United States and Morocco as well as Morocco’s influential role in North Africa.
Upon landing in Tunisia, the delegates traveled to Kairouan to visit the Amphitheater of El Djem, and the Great Mosque of Oqba ibn Nafi. Their first meeting was with the Honorable Oussama Sghaier a member of the National Assembly. This meeting helped the delegation better understand the concerns of the Tunisian constituents, the Islamic party and the political situation within the country. Many of the delegates noted that they deeply enjoyed meeting the President of Tunisia’s chief of staff Selma Elloumi and members of the Tunisian American Chamber of Commerce. These meetings assisted the group in developing an understanding of the challenges local businesses face, and how common many of these issues are in the United States. Two members of the group were able to participate in a radio show, where they were asked about their experience in Tunisia and speak about the work they do as public officials in their localities.
Following their time in Tunisia, the delegation traveled to Morocco where they visited Rabat, and Casablanca. Their first meeting was with the Parliament where they met with Member of Parliament Azzaddine Zekri and Abdelouahid Khouja who is the clerk of the Chamber to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the Parliament. The delegation also met with members of the Ministry of Interior and Khalid Zerouali Director of Migration and Border Surveillance to learn about the challenges Morocco faces with combating extremism and protecting human rights.
This exchange presented the current issues that both Morocco and Tunisia are facing in a way that was representative of their societies. The delegates not only learned from the meetings but from each other as well, which is what made this year’s exchange such a success.