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    ICESCO Director-General Receives the Ambassador of China in Rabat

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), met with H.E. Mr. Li Changlin, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Morocco, to explore prospects for cooperation between ICESCO and several Chinese institutions in the fields of education, science, and culture.

    At the outset of the meeting, held on Monday, 4 December 2023, at ICESCO Headquarters, Dr. AlMalik noted the success of the Silk Road International Conference, organized by ICESCO in partnership with the Institute of Silk Road Strategy Studies (ISRSS) of the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). The Conference witnessed high-level participation of officials, professors and experts in the field.

    Dr. AlMalik reviewed the main lines of the Organization’s vision and strategic orientations, founded on openness and cooperation with all, to benefit its Member States and Muslim communities worldwide and promote communication between countries and the Islamic world, allowing non-member States to join as observers.

    Moreover, Dr. AlMalik underscored ICESCO’s efforts to shape and develop the skills of youth across all fields through its initiatives and programs, encourage them to delve into space sciences, modern technology, and entrepreneurship and promote dialogue and tolerance to build the societies we want and contribute to sustainable development.

    For his part, the Chinese Ambassador lauded ICESCO for its efforts in its areas of expertise, noting the importance of this meeting to discuss future cooperation programs between ICESCO and various Chinese bodies in the fields of education, science and culture, thus bringing China and the Islamic world together.

    ICESCO and Shanghai International Studies University hold International Silk Road Conference

    The headquarters of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), in Rabat, hosted the International Silk Road Conference, organized by ICESCO in partnership with the Institute of Silk Road Strategic Studies for Shanghai International Studies University, in China. The event witnessed a high-level participation of officials and ambassadors, as well as international experts and professors from several prestigious universities to present an ambitious and realistic vision of the new Silk Road.

    The conference kicked off on Monday (December 4, 2023), with a general introduction by Ambassador Khalid Fathalrahman, Director of ICESCO Center for Civilizational Dialogue. Afterward, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General, gave an address, wherein he stressed that the historic Silk Road demonstrates that China and the Chinese people have a longstanding heritage of will and intelligence in human interaction, as it stands as a witness to the rise and fall of many global powers, and constituted a pivotal link between different cultures and civilizations.

    Moreover, Dr. AlMalik underscored the historical role of the Silk Road in facilitating stable commercial transactions that led to the development of political, economic and cultural relations between the Silk Road countries, stressing that the Hajj Road is an extension of the Silk Road in propagating culture and spreading the morals of peaceful exchanges, which ICESCO is seeking to revive through its joint project with the Saudi Ministry of Culture.

    ICESCO Director-General added that China is taking the initiative once again through Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announcement of the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, noting that the conference comes within the framework of forward-looking and open civilizational dialogue, and affirms that the Islamic world and China share large areas of interest more than they differences they have.

    In his address, Mr. Li Changlin, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Morocco, stressed that the historic Silk Road was not limited to trade exchange, it also included cultural and civilizational interactions, noting that the conference is an opportunity to open dialogue and discussion on topics that would strengthen the Belt and Road Initiative, and enhance communication and cooperation between participating countries.

    In her intervention, Dr. Ma Lirong, Dean of the Institute of Silk Road Strategic Studies, reviewed the Institute’s efforts on the Silk Road and the Belt and Road Initiative, and the research and academic cooperation between the Institute and many organizations and institutions in the Islamic world.

    The first working session, titled ‘New Silk Road and Chinese-African Relations,’ brought together international experts from Turkey, China and Morocco, followed by a session on the Silk Road’s cultural ties, which saw rich discussions between university professors and experts from Uzbekistan, Qatar and Morocco, in addition to a session on the travelogues of Ibn Battuta and the cultural exchange between the Islamic world and China.

    Three Winning Technological Projects at close of ICESCO’s Youth Training Program in Azerbaijan

    At the close of its program for training youth in creating and developing small projects in the field of technology and innovation, the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) announced the three winning teams among 12 teams and 90 participants in the Republic of Azerbaijan, one of the ten beneficiary countries of this Program. The program is implemented by ICESCO’s Science and Technology Sector in Azerbaijan in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, the “New Space Innovation” incubator, and Kapital Bank.

    During the close meeting in Baku, the participants pitched their technological projects before a jury consisting of Dr. Muhammad Sharif, Advisor to ICESCO Science and Technology Sector, along with several experts from the Ministry of Culture, Kapital Bank, the “New Space Innovation” incubator, and a host of international investors.
    At the end of this meeting, the three winning projects were announced, respectively: “Documood”, a cloud platform for creating and signing legal contracts. “Snack Pack”, a project that allows hotels and restaurants to sell surplus food and reduce food waste, and “Agroefficient”, a project on contributing to agricultural efficiency and rationalization of water resources through the use of “hydrogel” technology.

    The Program is part of ICESCO’s strategy of supporting startups in the field of innovation and technology in Member States. It was implemented in 10 Islamic countries in its first edition in 2022 and will be implemented in 10 other countries by the end of 2023.

    ICESCO Director General receives the First Lady of the Republic of the Gambia

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), received Ms. Fatoumata Bah Barrow, First Lady of the Republic of the Gambia, and her accompanying delegation, during her visit to ICESCO Headquarters, on Friday, December 1, 2023, to take part in the opening of the 6th edition of the Pioneering Women Oscar.

    At the outset of the meeting, Dr. AlMalik welcomed the First Lady to ICESCO and reviewed the main aspects of the Organization’s vision and strategic orientations, as well as its activities, programs and initiatives, particularly on capacity building and skills development for women and girls, stressing that they are top priority at ICESCO given their essential role in the development of societies throughout the Islamic world.

    For her part, the First Lady of the Republic of the Gambia commended ICESCO’s efforts in developing the fields of education, science and culture in its Member States, expressing her willingness to strengthen cooperation between ICESCO and the Gambia in the implementation of joint programs and projects to support and develop basic education and combat school dropout among girls.

    After the meeting, Dr. AlMalik took Ms. Fatoumata Bah Barrow on a tour of ICESCO Headquarters, where she learned about the Organization’s working mechanisms, its major programs and projects, and the development and modernization of its organizational structure.

    Afterward, the First Lady of The Gambia visited the International Exhibition and Museum of the Prophet’s Seerah and Islamic Civilization, currently housed at ICESCO Headquarters, as part of a strategic partnership with the Muslim World League (MWL) and the Mohammadia League of Scholar.

    ICESCO hosts the launch of the sixth edition of the Women Pioneering Oscar

    The headquarters of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) hosted the opening of the sixth edition of the Women Pioneering Oscar, organized by Cultures Without Borders Association, in collaboration with ICESCO, the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication, and the Wilaya of Rabat-Salé-Kenitra Region of the Kingdom of Morocco.

    The event celebrated female leaders in Africa and drew the participation of high-profile figures, including prominent women, officials, experts, specialists, and representatives from various civil society organizations.

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General, started his opening remark by welcoming Ms. Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, First Lady of the Republic of the Gambia, as the guest of honor of this edition. Dr. Almalik affirmed that the empowerment of women and the pursuit of gender balance have consistently stood at the forefront of values essential for forming the foundation of Islamic civilization. Furthermore, he emphasized that achieving sustainable development, peace, and prosperity in societies is challenging unless the rights and well-being of women are secured comprehensively across all facets of life.

    Dr. AlMalik pointed out that the Women Pioneering Oscar is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and success stories of women, highlighting that ICESCO’s commitment to advancing women goes beyond mere rhetoric, it is a deeply rooted conviction actively put into practice. Moreover, he stressed ICESCO’s dedication to empowering women and girls and prioritizing their issues, as demonstrated by the Year of Women 2021, enhancing their contribution to building thriving societies. He also provided an overview of key programs launched and implemented by ICESCO in the fields of education, science, and culture for the benefit of women.

    In her address, the First Lady of the Gambia expressed her joy at participating in the opening of the Women Pioneering Oscar and outlined prominent programs and initiatives she oversaw in supporting women, and children, improving their living conditions, and encouraging the education of girls in the Gambia.

    Ms. Naïma Badaoui, President of Cultures Without Borders Association, affirmed that the sixth edition of the Women Pioneering Oscar aims to strengthen South-South cooperation and underscore the central role of African women in development.

    Following the remarks, Ms. Badaoui presented an honorary shield to the ICESCO Director-General in appreciation of the Organization’s contributions to supporting women’s issues, empowerment, and enhancing their status in society.

    Additionally, she presented another honorary shield to the First Lady of The Gambia, acknowledging her tireless efforts in supporting women and children.

    Subsequently, three scientific sessions were held, discussing topics related to women’s contribution to health, the interplay between women’s rights and family matters, and the role of university education in cultivating women’s leadership capacities.

    ICESCO Launches Contest to Select and Publish the Best Graphic-Story Script on School Bullying

    The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) calls on literati, writers and amateur writers for children and adolescents to submit their graphic-story scripts on school bullying. A jury of multidisciplinary experts will evaluate the participating scripts and select the best ones to be published in a special edition after preparing the appropriate graphics.

    The story scripts aim to raise awareness and help teachers to better understand and support children in their experiences of school bullying while reinforcing the prevention mechanisms within education institutes.

    Persons wishing to participate are invited to submit their story scripts in Arabic, English, or French via the following email shs@icesco.org, no later than December 30, 2023, while meeting the requirements detailed below:
     A curriculum vitae including a brief description of the author, including the postal address, telephone number, and email in addition to their literary writings;
     The story script must be original and never published elsewhere or considered simultaneously for submission or publication by other parties;
     The story script must match the aims and scope of the contest’s concept note, accessible via the following link, https://icesco.org/b1lg;
     The story script should serve as a guide, designed to help teachers and families better support children with experiences of school bullying;
     The number of balloons or bubbles, featuring speeches, mood and tone, emotions, figurative language, and puns, if any, is limited between 150 to 200 balloons or bubbles.

    Following the assessment conducted by the jury, ICESCO will contact the winning story author to sign a copyright agreement to prepare the appropriate story graphics and publish it in a special edition.

    In solidarity with the Palestinian people, ICESCO provides financial support to Palestinian students in Morocco

    As part of its observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1977, the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) welcomed over a hundred young Palestinian students studying at various Moroccan universities. The gathering took place at ICESCO headquarters in Rabat, where the Organization unveiled its initiative to provide financial grants to these students, in order to offer support amid the challenging circumstances confronting their families in Palestine due to the brutal Israeli aggression.

    Addressing the Palestinian students on Thursday 30 November 2023, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General, expressed his joy at their visit to the Organization’s headquarters, and recognized their symbolic representation of the Palestinian cause and the ongoing sacrifices and honor it embodies. He noted that ICESCO, along with all its leaderships and staff, shares the students’ grief for those the martyrs, beseeching Allah Almighty for the prompt recovery of the wounded, the release of the captives, and the safe return of the displaced to their homes.

    Dr. AlMalik affirmed that ICESCO’s support for the Palestinian students in Morocco reflects a sincere effort to demonstrate solidarity, highlighting the Kingdom’s warm embrace of these students and acknowledging the care they receive from the officials of the State of Palestine and its Embassy in Rabat.

    Moreover, he called on the Palestinian students to empower themselves with knowledge to actively support their country with enthusiasm and determination, recognizing the honor this endeavor holds. He further stressed that the youth and children in Palestine are capable of writing a history marked by dignity, heroism, and sacrifices, notwithstanding the challenging events unfolding in their homeland.

    Mr. Jamal Al Shobaki, Ambassador of Palestine to Morocco, commended ICESCO’s initiative, emphasizing its alignment with the Organization’s noble mission within its areas of competence, especially amid the unprecedented aggression by the Israeli occupation forces against all Palestinian State facilities.

    Mr. Mohamed Salem Cherkaoui, Acting Director of Bayt Mal Al-Quds Al-Sharif Agency, highlighted the Agency roles and efforts to support the Palestinian cause. With unwavering conviction, he affirmed that the Palestinian people will rise from the ruins to rebuild all that has been ravaged by the occupation.

    In his remark via video conferencing, Dr. Dawas Tayseer Dawas, Chairman of ICESCO’s Executive Council, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Commission, shed light on ICESCO’s leading role in protecting the cultural and scientific capabilities in Palestine, and emphasized that the recent aggression prevented over 600,000 Palestinian students from continuing their education.

    Representing the Palestinian students, Majd Ghaben expressed deep appreciation for ICESCO’s support and took pride in the Organization’s youth-centered programs and initiatives. As a token of gratitude, he presented Dr. AlMalik with a Palestinian kuffiyeh, symbolizing acknowledgment of his and ICESCO’s efforts in supporting the Palestinian cause.

    Following the remarks, the students were given the opportunity to engage in discussions and share their opinions, aspirations, and expectations regarding the programs and initiatives they hope ICESCO will implement for their benefit.

    ICESCO and King Faisal University in Chad Agree to Develop Cooperation

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), paid a visit to King Faisal University in the Republic of Chad, during which he was received by Dr. Mahamat Boukhari Hassan, Rector of King Faisal University. The two leaders held a meeting to explore prospects for cooperation between ICESCO and the University in the field of Arabic language, translation, higher studies and scholarships.

    The meeting, held on Tuesday, 28 November 2023, as part of the official visit of Dr. AlMalik to N’Djamena, reaffirmed the importance of keeping the momentum that marked the last two years of cooperation between ICESCO and the University and expressed their keenness for greater coordination to implement practical programs and projects in areas of mutual interests.

    In the same vein, Dr. AlMalik reviewed the main lines of the Organization’s vision and strategic orientations, founded on leadership, excellence, continuous development, and international talent pooling, in addition to rehabilitating youth to cultivate future leaders.
    Moreover, Dr. AlMalik stated that ICESCO places the African continent at the heart of its major priorities, initiatives and programs, highlighting the recent developments in the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), affiliated to ICESCO, to enhance its support to universities through the creation of a set of scientific chairs in different disciplines at prestigious universities in the Member States and beyond.

    For his part, Dr. Mahamat Boukhari expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude for ICESCO’s support, pointing out the University’s aspiration for further support, especially in academic skills and expertise necessary to open a doctoral program and in its endeavor to establish a university center for languages and translation as well as a faculty of graduate studies.

    The meeting saw the presence of Mr. Adel Bouraoui, Advisor to ICESCO Director-General for External Centers and Academic Chairs on Arabic Language, in addition to a host of officials and deans of faculties at the University.

    Prior to this meeting, Dr. AlMalik held a meeting at ICESCO’s Regional Educational Centre in N’Djamena with the alumni of the “Training Primary School Arabic Teachers in Chad” program, during which he affirmed ICESCO’s unwavering support for them and youth in general, evidenced by the Organization’s proclamation of 2023 as the Year of Youth, calling on students to work hard to assume leadership responsibilities and contribute effectively to the development of their country.

    ICESCO congratulates Saudi Arabia on Riyadh winning the bid to host Expo 2030

    The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) extends its congratulations to the esteemed leadership, government, and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the well-deserved win to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh, by securing two-thirds out of 165 votes, as reported by the International Bureau of Exhibitions.

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General, commended this victory, stating that it is yet another major score to be added to the remarkable achievements of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the wise leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, H.R.H. Mohammed bin Salman. Dr. AlMalik further highlighted that this milestone is a tangible manifestation of the success of Saudi Vision 2030, which aspires to position Riyadh among the top 10 global cities.

    Moreover, he underscored that hosting this international event in Riyadh is an opportunity to showcase the rich cultural aspects of the Islamic world and their contributions to human civilization throughout history, within its areas of expertise, conveying his strong belief that Riyadh will present an exceptional edition of the Expo, captivating the world through this monumental international event. The Director-General also expressed the Organization’s keen interest in taking part in the preparations for “Expo Riyadh 2030.”

    ICESCO Deputy Director-General receives AAYC delegation

    Dr. Abdelilah Benarafa, Deputy Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), received a delegation from the Afro-Arab Youth Council (AAYC), headed by Dr. Abbas Agaba, Council Secretary-General. The two parties discussed prospects of cooperation between ICESCO and the Council to promote youth involvement and build their capacities.

    During the meeting, held on Monday, November 27, 2023, at ICESCO headquarters, Dr. Benarafa reaffirmed the importance ICESCO accords to training youth, building their capacities and encouraging them to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship paths. He added that to achieve this goal, the Organization implements a number of programs and initiatives, notably its proclamation of the Year of Youth and its launch of key programs such as the Leadership Training in Peace and Security Program (LTIPS) and the Young Professionals Program.

    For his part, the AAYC Secretary-General stated that the Council seeks to disseminate and promote the values of peace, democracy and human rights, anchor unity, solidarity and sustainable development, and support African and Arab youth to overcome the challenges they are facing. Dr. Agaba also reaffirmed his keenness to build fruitful cooperation with ICESCO in areas of common interest.

    Two ICESCO officials, namely Ms. Ramata Almamy Mbaye, Head of the Sector of Human and Social Sciences, and Dr. Omar Halli, Advisor to the Director-General for the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), attended the meeting, along with Ms. Amina Hilmi, Coordinator of Northern Africa Affairs at the AAYC.