28 August 2015

NIMAR can build bridges

The new mission of NIMAR, the Netherlands Institute in Morocco, is a broad one. Its focus is on increasing our knowledge of each other’s societies, languages and cultures. Leiden University will be responsible for the research and teaching at NIMAR.

The above has been decided by Minister Bussemaker (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; OCW) and Minister Koenders (Ministry of Foreign Affairs; BZ). To achieve this, OCW will provide €1.8 million and BZ € 0.6 million. The money will be made available to Leiden University, which will be responsible for the research and teaching at NIMAR.

Countering radicalisation‘With its knowledge of Arabic languages and cultures, NIMAR can make a vital contribution to the discussion on social issues such as integration,’ said Bussemaker. NIMAR’s role is as a centre for research and teaching in Morocco and about Morocco. It is a hub for not only students, researchers and lecturers but also for research and teaching institutes. Moreover, the institute may be able to help train moderate Muslim community leaders who are figures of authority. This could help counter Islamic radicalism. NIMAR is an asset to higher education in the Netherlands.

Ties with the Arab WorldMinister Koenders believes that NIMAR strengthens the position of the Netherlands in the Arab region. ‘Research and teaching are an important aspects of the Netherlands’ ties with the region. The institute will also help build bridges between the Netherlands and Northwest Africa, and will be instrumental in integration, de-radicalisation and improving relationships.’
NIMAR has been awarded an initial four-year grant, after which time an evaluation will be carried out. NIMAR has an Advisory Council, chaired by Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam.