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'NIMAR can build bridges between the Netherlands and Northwest Africa'

The new mission of the Netherlands Institute in Morocco, NIMAR, is a broad one, in which the focus is on strengthening knowledge of each other's societies, languages and cultures. Leiden University will be responsible for research and education within the NIMAR.

Het Nimar is gevestigd in de Marokkaanse stad Rabat.
Het Nimar is gevestigd in de Marokkaanse stad Rabat.

Such has been decided by minister Bussemaker (OCW, Ministry of Education) and minister Koenders (BZ, Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The ministry of OCW has budgeted €1.8 million to realise this, while Foreign Affairs contributes € 0.6 million. The money will be made available to Leiden University, which will be responsible for research and teaching at NIMAR.

Countering radicalization

‘With the knowledge about Arab language and culture that NIMAR harbours, the institute can play a vital role in the discussion on social issues like integration’ says Bussemaker. The NIMAR functions as a centre for research and education in and about Morocco; a hub for students, researchers and teachers, as well as research and education institutes. Moreover, the institute may play a role in the training of authoritative and moderate Muslim community leaders who can counter Islamic radicalism. The NIMAR is an asset to higher education in the Netherlands.

Connection with the Arab World

According to minister Koenders, the institute strengthens the position of the Netherlands in the Arab region. Research and education play an important role in our connection with that region. Besides, the institute can contribute to the building of bridges between the Netherlands and Northwest Africa, and be instrumental in integration, de-radicalisation and improvement of relationships’ 
The grant has been awarded for four years, after which the institute will be evaluated. The NIMAR has an Advisory Council, the head of which is Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam.

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