LAWRENCE – Abdelmajid Hannoum, University of Kansas professor of anthropology, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to travel to Morocco to conduct research on African migration to Europe.
Beginning this fall, Hannoum will spend a year conducting an ethnographic study of African migrants in several Moroccan cities and the Moroccan-Spanish border, focusing on the risk of death among Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrants. During his time in Morocco, Hannoum will be affiliated with the Institut Universitaire de la Recherche Scientifique (IURS) at the University Mohamed V.
Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers over 400 awards in more than 130 countries.
Hannoum’s research will be part of a project tentatively titled “In Search of Life: Risk and Danger Among African Migrants in Morocco,” which will build on Hannoum’s work on African migration to Europe. In particular, he will explore the question of death and dying among North and West African migrant youth in the actual crossing of the Mediterranean Sea and in climbing the 6-meter-high fence at the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
The Fulbright award will allow Hannoum to visit several areas of Morocco:
- Oujda, located on the Algeria-Morocco border where the migrants enter.
- Rabat, which hosts an unofficial embassy, an office organized by the undocumented migrants themselves, where migrants make contacts with other migrants and smugglers to obtain all the necessary information for their endeavor.
- North of Morocco, between Ksar es-Sghir and the Moroccan side of the border with the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Mediterranean Sea, where West Africans attempt to and often do cross.
“The award will help me not only conduct one year of fieldwork but also learn more about the social and political changes ongoing in Moroccan society and the culture of youth migration,” Hannoum said. “This award is meant to facilitate interactions and understanding among people and create real bonds of mutual trust and respect. This makes it very meaningful to me.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.