CMES Logo (2)



Call for Applications

Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad
2017 Summer Program in Morocco
Jews and Muslims
Middle and High School Teachers
June 24-July 25, 2017


Program Description

At the crossroads of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Europe stands Marrakech, one of the Islamic world’s greatest capitals. As the preamble to the 2011 constitution of Morocco proclaims “[The Kingdom of Morocco’s] unity is forged by the convergence of its Arab, Islamic, Berber, and Saharan components, nourished and enriched by its African, Andalusian, Hebraic and Mediterranean influences.”

Jews and Muslims will delve into that convergence during a month-long program dedicated to the study of the ethnic, cultural, and religious complexity of Morocco through study of darija (the local Arabic dialect) and Moroccan Jewish civilization with renowned specialists Professor Emily Gottreich (UC Berkeley) and Professor Aomar Boum (UCLA). 

Participants will live and study within the madina, a walled city and UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the heart of Marrakech in the 11th century CE. A few minutes’ walk brings one to Jma al-Fna, a plaza like no other in the world. Every night it comes alive with acrobats, storytellers, fortune readers, dancers, musicians, food stalls, traditional dentists and healers, snake charmers, and as of late, a man who dances with three large owls. The nearby Gueliz district reflects the colonial past of Morocco, and excursions to the mellah— the historic Jewish quarter— and various shrines and pilgrimage sites lend nuance and depth to participants’ understanding of interaction and syncretism among adherents of Judaism and Islam. Other, longer trips to the high Atlas Mountains and the Atlantic coast are planned.

The program leaders are UC Berkeley’s Amber Zambelli, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) Outreach Director and Project Coordinator, and Shane Carter, Office of Resources for International and Areas Studies (ORIAS) Coordinator and Project Evaluator. In addition to extensive pre-departure and post-return programming, participants will learn techniques for recording and analyzing information systematically, based on ethnographic research techniques used by anthropologists and other qualitative researchers, in order to develop concrete lesson plans.

This opportunity is open to California middle and high school teachers in the humanities, social sciences, and/or area studies. All participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and employed full-time. The program is fully funded by Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA). Participants are only responsible for a non-refundable deposit and local transportation for pre-departure and post-return programming.  


Eligibility requirements

An individual is eligible to participate in a GPA project if s/he is:

  • A citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States; and
  • Currently employed full-time in a U.S. school system, institution of higher education, Local Education Agency or State Education Agency (not applicable to students); and, at least one of the following:
    • A teacher in an elementary or secondary school;
    • A faculty member who teaches modern foreign languages or area studies;
    • An experienced education administrator responsible for planning, conducting, or supervising programs in modern foreign languages or area studies at the elementary, secondary, or postsecondary levels.


Application requirements

To apply, please submit the following items online (instructions below) no later than January 3, 2017:

  • Completed application form
  • Series of brief personal statements (submitted within form):
    • Describe your strengths as a teacher.
    • How will this project assist you in your teaching?
    • How will your students benefit from having you participate in this project?
    • What do you expect to gain from this experience?
    • Describe a lesson/project that you might implement based on this experience.
    • Describe an experience from your own life that you have shared in the classroom as part of a lesson/project.
    • How will you share this experience with colleagues in your school, district, or beyond?
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Letter of recommendation from principal on school letterhead

Applicants will be notified by February 28, 2017 if they have been accepted to the program.

Upon acceptance to the program

All selected participants must:

  • Confirm participation and pay $500.00 non-refundable deposit
  • Possess a valid passport with expiration date after January 1, 2018. Non-US citizens should alert us immediately in case visas are needed
  • Attend orientation meeting in late May
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the program

Terms and conditions

Please read the following Terms and Conditions. You must understand and agree to these terms by signature during the online application process.

Costs and Travel Restrictions

  • Participants in the GPA must comply with all terms and conditions of the award and directions from program staff. If a participant fails to comply with these terms and conditions and any additional directions, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies may terminate the grant, require the participant to repay the program for any funds spent to support the participant or bar the participant from any future programs.
  • Participants are responsible for additional expenses which may include the following: passport fees; inoculations; the purchasing of gifts to bring for any visits during the seminar; charges for telephone calls and/or faxing; the purchasing of books/curriculum materials during the seminar; gratuities and personal expenditures. We recommend that each participant bring $500 or more US to exchange for Moroccan dirhams (MDH) once in Morocco.
  • All seminar participants are required to have valid health insurance. It is the responsibility of the participant to check with the insurance carrier regarding reimbursement for services obtained overseas.
  • Travel must be taken in accordance with the ticket issued by the Summer Institute once purchased. No changes will be allowed.
  • The participant understands that this is a round-the-clock professional educational experience. Being joined by dependents, relatives, or friends in the host country during the period of the seminar is not permitted.


Decorum and Participation

  • By accepting this award, the participant agrees to comply with all laws of the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco.
  • The participant agrees not to engage in any activities that are likely to give offense to the host country or to bring the United States into disrepute.
  • By accepting this award, the participant agrees to attend and participate in all seminar activities.
  • In accepting this award, the participant understands that the program will include various personal challenges, including (but not limited to) extreme heat during daytime hours, unfamiliar foods, complex cultural interactions, and a rigorous pace. The participant acknowledges that these challenges are an integral part of educational travel and understands that full participation in the program includes meeting these challenges.
  • The candidate must be willing and able to participate in all aspects of the seminar. Participants are required to notify our office of any change that might inhibit their ability to participate in any aspect of the program prior to the beginning of the seminar.
  • Participants are required to develop a lesson plan that will be available to other teachers; to give a demonstration lesson or presentation once during the 2017-2018 school year; and to show examples of student work based on the developed lesson plan.


Professional Participation

  • Participants will share their curriculum projects with colleagues and conduct outreach activities in their schools and communities upon return to the US.
  • Participants will provide a final participant evaluation to Fulbright-Hays and participate in final interviews about the program. (Participants will be asked to submit a detailed dissemination report on how this was accomplished.)

Academic Disclaimer

  • All announced seminars are subject to the availability of speakers, funds and the cooperation of foreign nations. Seminars can be cancelled or changed due to a decrease in funding or circumstances in the host country.

Revocation or termination of the award

Participation in the program may be revoked or terminated. Grounds for revocation may include but are not limited to: (1) violations of the laws of the United States or of the host country; (2) misconduct; (3) failure to observe satisfactory academic or professional standards; (4) physical or mental incapacitation; (5) acts likely to give offense to the host country; and/or (6) engaging in political or unauthorized income-producing activities; or other activities which in the discretion of Project and CMES administration are inconsistent with the best interests of the program.

In accepting an offer to attend the 2017 Group Project Abroad, successful applicants must agree to all of the Terms and Conditions outlined in this statement.


Pre-departure workshop series

Sessions will be held at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (340 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley) and the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (2121 Allston Way, Berkeley). Dates are subject to change.

  • May 24, 2017: Evening orientation, with opportunities to meet other participants and program staff, review expectations, itinerary details, and a brief syllabus of materials
  • June 10, 2017: “Mirrors for the Maghrib: Language and Culture in North Africa” daylong program at CMES, with introductory lecture from Professors Gottreich and Boum, as well as introduction to darija language and Arabic alphabet
  • June 17, 2017: “Material Culture and Memory as Tools for Storytelling” daylong program at the Magnes Collection, with collection tour, introductory lecture on Judaism and the Jewish diaspora, and a variety of tools for capturing history and experience for personal and classroom use.
  • Materials, continental breakfast, and lunch provided each day

Travel program

Participants will travel as a group from San Francisco (SFO) to Marrakech and stay together in a riad (traditional Moroccan house with interior garden) in the medina. International airfare from San Francisco, lodging (double occupancy), most meals, bottled water, materials, transportation, and excursion costs are included.

Darija instruction will take place in the morning, and afternoon seminars with Professors Gottreich, Boum, and guest specialists will cover Jewish origins and Berber autochthony in Morocco, the arrival of Islam in North Africa, the influx of Sephardic Jews and Andalusi Muslims after their exile from Spain, and contemporary issues in majority-minority relations in Morocco and the MENA more broadly, including the impact of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Arab spring on inter-communal relations.

Day trips and excursions will introduce participants to aspects of life and history in and around Marrakech. Two longer trips, the first to visit the rural Arab and Berber Jewish communities of the Atlas Mountains, and the second to the historical Sephardic settlement at Atlantic fishing village of Essaouira, will provide breaks from the classroom and relief from the Marrakech heat.

Carefully planned project assignments will scaffold learning and support the primary goals of this project: 1) enabling participants to access high-level international and area studies through various learning modalities, with an emphasis on MENA languages and cultures; 2) improving participants’ research skills through different recording, analytical, and writing techniques; and 3) building teacher learning community and lesson planning skills around high quality curriculum content related to the Islamic World, North Africa, and Jewish civilizations.

Upon return

In the months following the program, participants will:

  • Meet to share personal narratives, identify learning objectives, and set goals for lesson building
  • Develop, test, and implement and standards-based curriculum module
  • Have leaders and program evaluator observe implementation of lesson plan
  • Deliver standalone units to CMES to make available online
  • Provide a final participant evaluation of the program to the US Department of Education


How much will this program cost out-of-pocket?

The only out of pocket expenses associated with this program are a $500.00 non-refundable administrative fee, as well as any transportation to/from SFO. The cost of international airfare, your accommodations, transportation within Morocco, and meals at itinerary locales are provided by the program. We recommend that participants bring $500 or more to spend while in Morocco, for souvenirs, snacks and meals on your free time.

When do I need to provide payment?

Payment is due upon acceptance to the program.

Do I need to obtain a visa?

No, US passport holders do not need a visa for visits to Morocco under 90 days.

Can I bring a friend, family member, or partner if I pay for them myself?

No. This is an educational, staff development program geared directly to school studies. The program only allows accepted participants to travel.

If I pay for the travel myself, can I stay in Morocco and travel independently?

Travel and other arrangements have been made on a group basis. The airfare is purchased as a group to establish the best rate, and special requests regarding arrival or departure date cannot be accommodated.

Am I eligible to apply if I am a substitute or retired teacher?

No. All participants must be full-time classroom teachers.

How are participants selected?

In order to ensure the best experience for all participants, enrollment is extremely limited. Once all the applications have been submitted, an admissions committee will review them and schedule individual interviews. The purpose of the interview is to learn more about each applicant, their teaching experience, and how they might relate to the program and the group as a whole. Selected candidates, as well as alternates, will be notified by February 28, 2017.

Do I need special vaccines?

There are no mandatory vaccines for travel to Morocco, but the CDC recommends that in addition to all routine vaccinations, one should consider a Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccine as a safeguard against food- and water-borne illnesses.

As a woman, am I required to cover my hair in Morocco?

No. But modest dress (no tank tops or shorts) is appropriate for all.

To apply

The application form may be found at this link. It is possible to save and return to the application at a later date, but please be prepared to upload and submit materials.


For more information, or for assistance with application materials, please contact CMES Outreach Director Amber Zambelli, azambelli@berkeley.edu 510-642-8208.



Apply Now