This summer, I traveled to Spain and Morocco through a program called “International Faculty Development Seminars” offered by the Council on International Educational Exchange. For two weeks, I studied alongside twenty other faculty and administrators from colleges and universities across the U.S. We learned about the history, culture, and contemporary social issues of both countries, but our primary focus was on immigration from African nations into Europe.
While in Sevilla, Spain, we went to the Mujeres Entre Mundos Association (“Women Between Worlds”), where we met Gloria Peter Echereuwen and her staff. This organization is a resource center for immigrants arriving to Sevilla, most often from Africa. Gloria herself migrated to Spain from Nigeria twenty-five years ago. We had the privilege of hearing from three individuals who journeyed from sub-Saharan Africa across the Mediterranean and into Spain. Their stories were piercing. A mother of six described walking across the desert for days without food and water. Another told of risking his life trying to scale the massive barbed wire fences outside a Spanish enclave in northern Morocco. When we asked them whether or not the trauma of what they endured in order to live in Spain was “worth it,” their answer was resounding. “Yes,” they all said without hesitation.
For more information about migration and human rights as related to Morocco, visit the display on 2nd floor behind the Reference Desk. And I’ll be posting more stories later — so stay tuned!