Nadia Yassine Builds Bridges of Understanding

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Madame Nadia Yassine a guest of honor in a dinner ceremony at Dartmouth College

(New Britain, PA, 05/10/06) – Madame Nadia Yassine has successfully completed her visit to the US from April 3 to April 22 where she presented her new book Full Sails Ahead, recently published in the US by Justice and Spirituality Publishing.

The book tour had as main objectives to open avenues of dialog, build bridges of understanding with the people of the West, and clarify some misunderstandings about Islam.

Nadia Yassine was invited to talk about the Mudawwana (Moroccan Family Code) and a series of topics such as: the Justice and Spirituality Association, Islam and democracy, the rights of women in Islam, elections and the political situation in Morocco, and her ongoing trial for having voiced a preference for a republican form of government over an autocratic regime.

Madame Yassine also gave interviews to researchers including a postgraduate student, a faculty member, and a journalist.

The audience was impressed by the way Madame Yassine presented her book and articulated her views about the current challenges facing Morocco and the Muslim World. They particularly appreciated her oratory skills and sense of humor.
The following is a brief report on each of the four stations of the book tour:

Dartmouth College, Hanover (State of New Hampshire)

On Thursday, April 6, Madame Yassine had a seminar at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding in Dartmouth College. Madame Yassine responded to a series of questions that included:

-Your movement is not officially recognized as a political organization in Morocco. Still, you have a vision of how the Moroccan society should change. What is this vision, and what is to be changed?
-Why, in your judgment, did the Moroccan government take the risk of bringing you before courts when the result has been to enhance your public image?
– Many people find it easy to call you Islamist. What do you call yourself?

Madame Yassine during the seminar at Dartmouth College

The seminar was followed by a dinner ceremony where Madame Yassine was the guest of honor. The dinner was attended by some faculty members and students who are interested in Islam and the Middle East. Before the seminar, Madame Yassine was given a campus tour. On the last day, she visited the surrounding area to get an idea of life in northern new England away from universities.

Harvard University, Cambridge (State of Massachusetts)

On Friday, April 14, the Islamic Legal Studies Program, with the Moroccan Studies Program at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies hosted Madame Nadia Yassine along with discussants Professor Emad Shahin (American University of Cairo) and Professor Ann Mayer (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.)

The title of the talk was: “Legal Reforms in Morocco: views of a Moroccan Feminist Dissident.” The audience was made of faculty members, researchers, students, and journalists. Much of the discussion was focused on the Mudawwana and women’s rights in Islam. The full text of Madame Yassine’s presentation may be found at
A reception and book signing ceremony followed the discussion. Madame Yassine then gave an interview to Kyle McEneaney, a student researcher from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The interview was mainly about the Justice and Spirituality Association in Morocco.

Fordham University, New York City (State of New York)

On Tuesday, April 18, Madame Yassine presented her book “Full Sails Ahead” at Fordham University Law School. The event was hosted by the Middle East Studies Program.

Besides asking Madame Yassine about her book, the audience, made mostly of students, requested her opinion on other matters such as Jihad, Ijtihad, and the relationship of Islamists with the West.

The talk was followed by a book signing ceremony. At the close of the ceremony, Professor John Entelis, renowned for his works on Islam and democracy, offered in the company of Father Patrick Ryan, Vice President of “Mission and Ministry” at Fordham University, a dinner ceremony in honor of Nadia Yassine.

Georgetown University, Washington DC

On Thursday, April 20, Madame Yassine gave another presentation of her book “Full Sails Ahead” at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The audience was made mostly of Moroccan students. A variety of issues, political, social, as well as spiritual, were raised during the talk.

The talk was followed by a book signing ceremony. Then, Madame Yassine gave an two interview to a faculty member, Dr. Margot Badran.

The book tour was organized by Justice and Spirituality Publishing in collaboration with the aforementioned four colleges and universities.

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