Crossing Borders Education is a non-profit organization for cross-cultural education developed in response to the current world political situation. The main activities of the international organization include: inter-cultural and academic Morocco Exchange programs, interactive materials, intercultural videos and feature documentary films. Since 2003, CB-Education has organized over 400 intercultural Morocco Exchange programs and introduced more than 5000 students and faculty to the culture. The feature film Crossing Borders was selected at 12 International Film Festivals and is used by CBE facilitators to initiate intercultural student dialogues on campuses across the US, the Middle East and North Africa with thousands of students.
Crossing Borders Education works in collaboration with Michigan State University, the International Beliefs and Values Intstitute (IBAVI), Search for Common Ground, the Langcom Institute in Rabat, the Asociación de Programas Universitarios Norteamericanos en España (APUNE), the University Hassan II in Rabat, the Moroccan Association of Teachers of English (MATE), the Dutch Institue for higher education in Morocco (NIMAR), the Ecole Superieure Roi Fahd de Traduction in Tangier, and with NGOs such as the DARNA womens center in Tanger, the Masal youth project in Salé, the Chaouen Rural, the World Womens Banking (WWB), and the High Atlas Foundation (HAF).
Some of the American study abroad programs in Spain (organized by APUNE) that are participating in the Morocco Exchange programs of Crossing Borders Education: Arcadia, Boston College, Boston University, Central College, CIEE in Sevilla, IES in Granada, New York University, Syracuse University, University of California.
ARND WÄCHTER is the Founder and Managing Director. Arnd completed his MA and Post-Graduate Certificate in Education at Brunel and London University. He has over fifteen years experience of living abroad, and has taught Cross Cultural Education, World Religions and German for the past twelve years in the UK, Japan, USA, New Zealand Morocco and Spain. Arnd's fascination for foreign cultures and for the transformative power of journeys has led him to explore a wide range of travel destinations on six continents. In 2008/9 Arnd produced the feature-length documentary Crossing Borders which won several awards. Currently he is facilitating faculty programs for American universities, is presenting regularly at intercultural conferences, and is developing an intercultural film series in which CB-Education is partnering with Michigan State University.
ALLEN HOPPES, started traveling in his teens. He has visited over 30 countries in Africa, Europe, SE Asia, the South Pacific and North America. He has worked in conservation and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa. He speaks English, Spanish, French, rusty Bambara and is improving his Moroccan Arabic. He has lived in Spain for the past nine years, originally as an English teacher and now organizing and facilitating Morocco Exchange programs. In his free time, he travels to World Music festivals. As Associate Director of Morocco Exchange, Allen maintains personal connections with colleagues and host families in Morocco and handles all program logistics. He also frequently facilitates groups as a Program Leader.
CHRISTINE HARTMANN was networking for different NGO’s and worked as editor/writer for a local newspaper and magazine in Germany. Through work and private engagement supporting sustainability in so called ‘developing countries’ she discovered how important it is to create circumstances which enable humans to live in peace with each other as well as in harmony with nature. Living this discovery has become a prime motivation in her life. Christine loves travelling and has been in many countries, especially focussing on Africa and Europe. Now having settled in Scotland she took on the role of Admin Manager and Development Coordinator EU for Morocco Exchange. In her spare time she likes being in nature, writing poems and acting in a theatre group.
Facilitator for Post-Screening Discussions
NOOR DARWAZEH was born in Dallas, Texas but was mostly raised in Amman, Jordan where she also got her education and graduating with a BA in Graphic Design from Yarmouk University before moving back to the states, aside from her passion to the arts she always believed in the power of communication, celebrating diversity and learning along the way, all of that was truly realized when she got introduced to an inter-cultural and inter-faith NGO in Jordan seeking common ground, over the years that turned out to be the most amazing and nourishing experience, and it was through her volunteering work three years ago that Noor met and was introduced to the inspiring work and founder of Morocco Exchange and the documentary Crossing Borders, Noor loves reading a good book, listening to beautiful music and sketching whenever she gets a chance.
JESS STEPHENS has lived in the Fez region of Morocco since 2007. Before this enriching experience Barcelona, Spain was her home-base for 8 years. Originally from Wales , U.K. she studied Fine Art at BA and MA level. Interested in cultural exchange, rich visuals and the theatre of everyday life in Morocco Jess believes that (all-be-it often a challenge,) being a Moroccan resident is never dull, always enriching and constantly rewarding. The desire to share her encounters with Moroccan people, it's culture and landscape is what draws Jess to become a program leader. A practicing visual artist and natural nomad she thrives on making new discoveries and leading a creative and exploratory life. Jess speaks English, Spanish, Dariija and some French as well as the language of images.
FELICIE REID is a French- born aspiring writer with a degree in Environmental Science. Her passion for nature, travel, and adventure has taken her across much of Europe, the United States, South America, and Africa. She was an Environmental Action volunteer in Benin with the Peace Corps from 2005-2007 and enjoyed the experience so much she went for a second Peace Corps tour in Morocco from 2010 to 2012. Felicie lived in a village outside Marrakech and spent her two years working with local associations on capacity building initiatives and women’s empowerment projects. She acquired firsthand knowledge about the culture and way of life of Morocco and looks forward to sharing what she learned with anyone willing and interested. Felicie speaks English, French, Moroccan Berber, and some Arabic and German.
SARAH ROBYN caught the travel bug at a young age. Travelling extensively throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Mongolia, the Middle East, and South East Asia, its hard to picture her life back at home in Philly….although she misses her Cheesesteaks and Kenzingers. After graduating Temple University with at BA in Political Science, and studying abroad in Amman, Jordan, she joined the Peace Corps as a rural health educator in the Fes-Boulmane region of Morocco. After her completion she has many accomplishments including speaking a Tamazight language useless anywhere but in her rural village, and being able to construct a squat toilet blindfolded. Loving the Moroccan people, culture, and crafts she wasn’t ready when Peace Corps was over, so she joined the Morocco Exchange team and can not wait to share her love of the country with others.
TRACY SANDERS has a BA in Communications and Criminal Justice from the University of Minnesota. After graduating, she spent time working in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Her passion for travel and wanting to help others led her to the Peace Corps. She worked as a community health educator in rural Morocco. In her free time she enjoys salsa dancing, eating sushi and playing tennis. She is excited to work with people interested in learning about Morocco. Tracy speaks English, Moroccan Berber and some Arabic and Spanish.
BLAIRE MODIC joins Morocco Exchange in hopes of contributing to its work of bringing together people from different cultures. A perpetual traveler and student of languages, Blaire's first experiences in the Arabic speaking world occurred in the not so distant past. He believes that the freshness of his experience allows him to relate to students who will themselves be in contact with Arab culture for the first time. In the past year Blaire has studied Arabic in Morocco, Egypt, and Jordan. He is a ten year veteran of international educational programs in countries ranging from Costa Rica to the Czech Republic, and he humbly begins his work in Morocco with the belief that Morocco Exchange's programs will help bring about a better world.
LINDSEY LUDWIG holds a B.A. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University. Lindsey Ludwig loves drinking coffee; she learned to perfect the latte while spending her Junior year in Australia. After studying primates in Nicaragua, she soon joined the ranks of Peace Corps Morocco. There, in the Middle Atlas Mountains, she managed to branch out to mint tea. She also learned the true meaning of culture shock, kindness of strangers and unforgettable memories. After 27 months of speaking Moroccan Arabic, teaching environmental education and empowering women, she joined the Morocco Exchange team as a program leader.
KATHERINE MCCONNELL , Newhouse School of Public Communications, B.A. Mass Communications, Syracuse University. Kate thrives on travel to exotic places, from Mexico to Maui, Belfast to France. Inspired by her work with Green Team Advertising, she was possessed to give sustainable development work a stab and get down and dirty in the Peace Corps. She served two years as an environment volunteer in the middle of nowhere, Morocco, drinking mint tea, speaking in Berber tongues, and establishing income generating crafts projects with the women in Toubkal National Park. In her spare time, she waxes poetic, rides bikes, and talks to strangers.
KATHRYN MILLER is an Assistant Professor for the History Department of Stanford University. She received her Doctorate in History from Yale University in 1998. Her teaching experience includes courses in religion, medieval cultures, Islamic Law, and Mediterranean routes. She has published numerous articles on Muslim History in Spain and continues to study the historical relationship between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
DWIGHT F. REYNOLDS is professor of Arabic language & literature in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Over the past twenty years he has conducted fieldwork on musical, folk, and literary traditions of the Middle East in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. Recent publications include
WILFORD H. WELCH, former US diplomat, chairman Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation. Wilford received his BA from Yale University, a Law Degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PMD degree from the Harvard Business School. For over forty years Wilford's professional career has been devoted to understanding and interpreting global trends. This includes six years as a U.S. diplomat in Asia. He currently serves on the board of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs where he serves as board liaison to The Center for International Conflict Resolution. He is on the board of the World Affairs Council and a member of the Explorers Club.
ALI AZERIAH is professor of English and Head of the English Department of L'Ecole Superior du Traduction in Tangier, Morocco. Professor Azeriah will assist in program development and provide students with an introduction to cultural diversity in Morocco.
ALMUDENA ARIZA is an adjunct history professor for both New York University and Syracuse University in their study abroad programs in Madrid, Spain.
REINHARD HAUSER, Ph.D., is a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice in Zurich, Switzerland and international trainer and founder of process work training programs.