Hassan Aourid: A Senior Civil Servant and Man of Letters

Hassan Aourid was born on December 24, 1962 in Errachidia, into a modest Amazigh family. His father was a teacher in the neighboring villages before leaving to France to teach Arabic. Thanks to his exceptional performance at school, Hassan was able to become a classmate of HM King Mohammed VI at the Royal College of Rabat, while he was still Crown Prince, until he obtained his baccalaureate.

Hassan Aourid, who is fluent in French, Arabic, English and Amazigh, obtained a Bachelor’s degree in public law and then a Diploma of Advanced Studies, before defending a PhD thesis in political science on the theme of protest discourse among Islamist and Amazigh movements in Morocco.

Hassan Aourid has served several times as a senior civil servant. Thus, during the reign of the late HM King Hassan II, he worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before being appointed as a political adviser to Mohammed Benaïssa at the Moroccan Embassy in Washington, before returning to Morocco and working as a teacher at the National School of Administration and the Faculty of Law in Rabat.

Upon his accession to the throne of his ancestors, HM King Mohammed VI appointed his classmate, Hassan Aourid, as official spokesman of the Royal Palace in 1999, a position that has never existed before. He remained there until 2005.

Afterwards, Hassan Aourid was appointed Wali of the Meknes-Tafilalet region and then Historiographer of the kingdom in 2009, before leaving all official duties. He devoted himself to writing, teaching, publishing articles for specialist magazines (scientific adviser and columnist for the monthly magazine Zaman), and managing the Tariq bin Ziyad Center for Studies and Research, of which he is president.

Hassan Aourid has carried out other missions of a political nature, such as bringing the Palace closer to important political actors and opening channels of dialogue with a number of political actors known for their rebellion and criticism of the Moroccan system, such as the famous trade unionist Noubir Al Amaoui and the guide of the Justice and Benevolence movement, Abdessalam Yassine.

Aourid was also the first official to welcome the activist Abraham Serfaty at the airport after his return from exile, following a personal move from HM the King as part of the opening of a new page with former opponents to the regime of his father, HM King Hassan II.

In addition to his interest in politics, Aourid is passionate about literature. He is the author of numerous novels, including “Rawa’a Makkah”, “Sirat Himar”, “Rabi Kortoba”, “Al-Moriski” and “Ribat Al-Moutanabbi”, which was recently selected for the long list of the famous Booker’s Prize in the Arab world.

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