| Professor Mahdi Elmandjra graduated from Cornell (USA) and obtained his Ph.D. (econ.) from the London School of Economics. He teaches international relations at the University of Rabat since 1958. He was Director General of the Moroccan Broadcasting Service and Counselor of the Moroccan Mission to the UN. He occupied various functions in the UN System (1961 to 1981) including that of Assistant Director General of UNESCO for Social Sciences, Human Sciences and Culture and of Coordinator of the Conference on Technical Cooperation between Developing countries (UNDP).
He was President of the World Future Studies Federation and of Futuribles International (Paris) as well as the Founding President of the Moroccan Association of Future Studies and the Moroccan Organization of Human Rights. He is a member of the African Academy of Sciences and of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco. He has been a Visiting Professor to Tokyo University (1998) and a Visiting Scholar of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at the Tokyo Keizai University (1999).
M. Elmandjra has published over 400 articles in the fields of the human and social sciences. He is a co-author of "No Limits to Learning" (Report to the Club of Rome, 1979) and the author of several books including "The United Nations System" (1973), "Maghreb et Francophonie" (1988), "Premiere Guerre Civilisationnelle" (1991), "Retrospective des Futurs" (1992), "Nord-Sud, Prelude a l'Ere Postcoloniale" (1993), «Cultural Diversity Key to Survival» (1995), «Dialogue about Communication» (1996), «Decolonisation Culturelle : Defi majeur du 21e Siecle» (1996), and «Aoulamat El Aoulama"» (Reglobalization of Globalization, 2000)
Professor Elmandjra received the Prix de la Vie Economique 1981 (France), the Grand Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (1984), the distinctions of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (France, 1985) and of the Order of The Rising Sun (Japan, 1986). He also received the Peace Medal of the Albert Einstein International Academy and the Award of the World Future Studies Federation (WFSF) in 1995. He has been selected by the International Biographical Center (Cambridge, UK) as one of the "2000 Outstanding Scholars of the 20th Century" to be published in mid 2000.
wafin.com: Tbarkellah alla Si Mahdi. Mrehba bik f Wafin.com
wafin.com: A lot of Moroccans are wondering what you are up to lately. Can you tell us about your latest research?
Dr. Elmandjra: My latest research is around the phenomenon of "intifida" (which I translate as "upheaval" rather than uprising). This is a deep and authentic collective reaction against injustice and for the defense of human dignity. A justified phenomenon which no one can stop. The Palestinian tragedy is an excellent example. My next book to be published in March or April will be entitled "Intifadate" (upheavals). Another preoccupation is the role of the "elites" in the third world, in general, and the arab world in particular, which has not been as constructive as was expected because of cultural alienation and a too rapid absorption by the power structures in the case of a sizeable number of them.
wafin.com: Do you have any comments on the recent discovery of Oil in Morocco?
Dr. Elmandjra: I have no comments because so far there is no oil. I pray God that we do not find more than what we need for our local needs. Many years ago (1988) I wrote that the countries who have oil are those that God has damned. I still think so.
wafin.com: What would you tell Moroccans who reside in the U.S if you had to advise them?
Dr. Elmandjra: To be themselves. To learn and take socially and culturally advantage of the environment which surrounds them and to adapt to it but without losing sight of their cultural values.
wafin.com: what do you think of Wafin.com? What would you suggest to improve our services?
Dr. Elmandjra: It would be pretentious of my part to tell a young initiative like "wafin.com" what to do. I think it has to learn from experience and to concentate on the needs of its public, their needs, their aspirations and their hopes and dreams ... The visitors of the site are those who will determine their future. So just LISTEN to them. Good continuation.
wafin.com: Si Mahdi, thank you so much for your time. We wish you the best of luck in your research.
Dr. Elmandjra: Many thanks for your kind initiative. Having gone to the United States to study as a young school boy more than fifty years ago as the first Moroccan student in America, I continue to have a lot of sympathy and compassion for all the compatriots there. Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to be in touch with them.
You can learn more about Dr. Mahdi Elmanjra by going to his site: http://www.elmandjra.org/