I am an assistant professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and Religious Studies Program at the University of Arizona. I also hold a courtesy appointment with The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies. I was born and raised in the oasis of Mhamid, Foum Zguid (Province of Tata, southern Morocco). I received a Ph.D. in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Arizona in 2006, with a minor in history and a minor in Near Eastern studies. I also hold an M.A. in applied humanities from Al-Akhawayn University, Ifrane (Morocco) in 1997, and a B.A. in English language and literature from Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh (Morocco) in 1993. Before joining the University of Arizona, I taught at Portland State University (2006-2008) as a tenure-track assistant professor of International Studies and Islamic Studies. I also serve as the Vice President of AIMS (American Institute for Maghrib Studies)- 2010-2012. I am also a regular contributor to The North Africa Post and H-Maghrib co-editor.
My research area revolves around the Middle East in general and North, West, and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular. Although my research focus and interests include Moroccan history and historiography, ethnic and religious minorities in Africa and the Middle East, Islamic movements, Moroccan politics, Islam, urbanization, traditional Islamic and modern education, Arab media, internet, youth movements, migration, folkdances and water politics and issues, my main research explores how different generations of Moroccan Muslims remember, picture and construct Moroccan Jews, Jewishness and Judaism. I have published a number of articles on the history and historiography of the Jewish communities of southern Morocco, Jewish-Muslim interfaith dialogue, representation of Jews in Moroccan museums, Jewish migration in the context of Arab nationalism and Zionism, and the Alliance Israélite Universelle in rural Morocccan communities.