Friends of Orient-Occident Foundation

Friends of Orient-Occident Foundation is a Moroccan Association established in 1996 in Delaware and since 2023 with a branch in New York City (6th Avenue). Its mission is the promotion of partnerships and projects in the field of migration, culture and art, as well as the enhancement of research and knowledge of migration in Africa (with a particular focus on Morocco). Friends of Orient-Occident Foundation is an extension of the Moroccan non-governmental organization Fondation Orient-Occident.

Over nearly 30 years of fieldwork, Fondation Orient-Occident has amassed substantial knowledge of migration and refugee integration processes. It is renowned for its innovative and “anticipatory” approach to contemporary societal challenges, making it a point of reference for journalists and researchers from universities and the private sector.

The Foundation has collaborated on field projects with major European and other countries’ Cooperation and Development Agencies, the European Union, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the State. Simultaneously, it has actively promoted research initiatives, contributing to legislative changes in favour of human rights, particularly migrant rights. FOO’s commendable efforts have been acknowledged through various awards, including “The Human Rights Prize” of the French Republic in 2008 and the “Social Entrepreneurship” award (received by Yasmina Filali) from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in 2016. The Foundation engages in international advocacy work by participating in WEF meetings across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the USA.

Furthermore, Fondation Orient-Occident has consistently championed an innovative approach, especially in the realms of culture and art, considering them as universal tools for dialogue and union, fostering encounters and understanding among people.

Presently, we are inaugurating an internal research centre – Migration Lab – which aims to enhance knowledge production on migration in and from Morocco. The Migration Lab will:

  1. Promote exchange and collaboration with other research institutions, universities, and cultural foundations.
  2. Conduct research (anthropological, historical, sociological, etc.) based on the expertise gained over 30 years of work on topics such as sub-Saharan migration, refugee integration, environmental migration, human trafficking, unaccompanied minors, sexual and gender-based violence, and interculturality.
  3. Make research outcomes accessible by establishing a dedicated website and organizing conferences, seminars, and study days (FOO can provide housing to researchers).

Moreover, we offer researchers and students the possibility to follow an applied training course on different topics touching upon the wider question of migration. The participants will have the opportunity to:

  1. Learn more about the FOO’s listening and social assistance services to migrants and refugees
  2. Conduct research and fieldwork under the supervision of University professors and Fondation Orient-Occident’s experts on sub-saharan migration to Morocco and the Middle East.
  3. Gain experience in leading migration-related projects
  4. Implement FOO’s migration-related projects in partnership with the major institutions dealing with the topic: IOM, UNHCR, etc.
  5. Have meetings with migrant networks
  6. Make field visits to the southern and eastern hotspot routes for sub-Saharan migration to Morocco and the northern preferred areas for migration attempts to Europe.
  7. Participate in thematic conferences and forums





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