December 22, 2015
University of New England scholar, professor and administrator Anouar Majid, Ph.D., vice president for Global Affairs and Communications and founding director of the UNE Center for Global Humanities, recently attended a convocation in New York City honoring King Mohammed V of Morocco.
Hosted by KIVUNIM, an organization that facilitates travel experiences for students to learn about Jewish culture and history, the event honored the legacy of the Moroccan king who stood up against hatred to protect Morocco’s Jewish citizens during World War II.
At a time when the Nazis and pro-Nazi governments were persecuting the Jews, Mohammed V opposed the occupying French forces that were trying to enact laws hostile to Morocco’s 250,000 Jewish citizens.
At the gathering, the late Mohammed V was presented the inaugural “Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel Award.” The award offers an opportunity for KIVUNIM students to acknowledge “…an elder for actions and values they seek to emulate.”
Princess Lalla Hasna accepted the award on behalf of her brother, the current King of Morocco, and her grandfather, Mohammed V. The Honorable Andre Azoulay, counselor to the current King, presented a special message on behalf of King Mohammed VI.
“I was honored to be the personal guest of Peter Geffen, the founder of KIVUNIM, and to witness this tribute to King Mohammed V and the pledge of KIVUNIM students to make his legacy known around the world,” said Majid. “The joyous celebration of Morocco’s culture of openness and tolerance -- attested by the presence of high-ranking U.S. officials -- is a bright light of hope in our troubled world.”
In addition to Majid, the royal ensemble, and other Moroccan dignitaries, the event was attended by more than 300 KIVUNIM students and alumni, members of New York’s Jewish community, Christian and Muslim religious leaders, and other invited guests.