The World Languages & Cultures Department welcomed another Fulbright Scholar this week from Marrakesh, Morocco.
El Houcine Amouzoun earned his bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics and his master’s degree in Translation from universities within Morocco. He is also qualified with a teaching certificate.
Amouzoun’s first language was French, which is common in Morocco. Amouzoun has done much work in translation between Arabic and French to English, as well as work experience within the classroom. In Morocco, he taught English at a high school level, and taught language classes to adult learners at night.
Amouzoun is one of 38 Fulbright scholars coming to United States institutions to share their language and culture this year.
The Fulbright program is very well known in Morocco, which made Amouzoun aware of the opportunities it could provide for him to study and teach in the U.S. He chose the Fulbright program over others because the opportunity lasts the entire academic year instead of only a semester and has a wide variety of schools.
Under the same program, American students also have the opportunity to apply to go abroad themselves.
The Fulbright Program is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and Mercyhurst participates by taking two Fulbright scholars each year.
Typically our visitors come from Russia and Morocco. This year Amouzoun will be joining Lidiia Novichkova, the second Fulbright scholar from Siberia, Russia.
Amouzoun has expressed his excitement for studying and teaching the Arabic language. Considering he is used to only translating it, he looks forward to seeing his native language in a new light and improving his English at the same time.
“I have never taught Arabic before and my interest in the language led me to wanting to teach it,” Amouzoun said. “This experience will be a new, exciting one for me.”
Amouzoun has expressed interest in organizing activities for the Arabic Studies students, as well as getting involved in cultural programming on campus. He wants to share the culture of Morocco with the students and create activities that could involve the whole student body.
Amouzoun has also joined the Mercyhurst International Students Organization, is attending campus events and is hoping to contribute cultural writings to the Merciad.
For him, diversity is central to his mission here.
“As I view it, diversity is the driving force for both societies and individuals. Not only does it enable the society to benefit from each constituent part of its multiple elements, cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities and thoughts push the individual to step outside their comfort zone to meet new people. Diversity means we expect and accept distinct ideas, embrace new horizons and thus make unexpectedly significant changes in our lives,” Amouzoun said.
Furthermore, Amouzoun is exploring American culture and using how it relates to his own to have a positive impact on students here.
“Extraversion and openness to experience new and different perspectives are two essential elements of my culture in Morocco. These may be unheard of before which is why I would like to share them with both my colleagues and students at Mercyhurst,” Amouzoun said. “The ‘melting pot’ aspect of the American culture is what I would most like to discover and experience first-hand.”
Amouzoun is excited to be here and immersed in Mercyhurst. He most looks forward to sharing academic skill and forging positive diversity.
He is excited to meet all students and staff who wish to pay him a visit in Preston 207 and learn more about Morocco or his life.
Welcome, El Houcine Amouzoun!