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Meet M’hamed El Kadi


M'Hamed El Kadi

An interview by John Coyne
M’HAMED EL KADI IS THE Peace Corps Resource Center Manager (IRCM) of Peace Corps/Morocco. A long time host country national employee of the Peace Corps, I first heard fromPrinter friendly version M’hamed about a dozen years ago when he sent me PeaceWork, the PCV newsletter published in-country. Recently I asked M’hamed to tell us about his life and his work for the Peace Corps, and to tell us about some of the Volunteers he has worked with over the years. The Resource Center in Morocco is an example of what can be done in- country to help PCVs do their jobs. And M’hamed El Kadi in Rabat has set a high standard for other programs to follow.
Mhamed, how long have you worked for the Peace Corps?
I have worked for the Peace Corps for over 14 years. I actually started in 1987 with some summer jobs, and then officially joined in 1989. I had to quit for a couple years to teach English in a small town in southern Morocco, and came back in 1991.
Tell us about your job and duties.
  
Well, as the Resource Center Manager, I run and manage the Resource Center. My primary duty is to support PCVs and our staff with updated information resources for their primary assignment and also for secondary activities. The Resource Center has built a good reputation in-country among development workers, counterparts and United States students who are here for a semester. Also, Fulbright researchers find that it is a good source of English technical resources and country specific publications that are scarce in Morocco. Among my multiple duties are: I am the contact person for Information Collection and Exchange (ICE), the US Fellows Program, Friends of Morocco, and the coordinator for PeaceWorks, the Peace Corps/Morocco Volunteers’ newsletter.
How long has the Peace Corps been in your country?
The Peace Corps has been in Morocco since 1963. The project was temporarily suspended in Morocco twice, in 1991 and 2003 because of the Gulf wars.
Where is your Peace Corps office?

The Incountry Resource Center
The office in Rabat moved in February 2005 to a new larger location close to some official building and ministries. We had had our renowned office on 1 Rue Benzerte downtown for over 30 years. It was quite a place and has many wonderful memories for all of us who worked there over the years. For many Volunteers that office was their home away from home.
How many Peace Corps/Morocco Directors have you worked for?
I’ve worked for five: David Frederick, Darcy Neil, Ellen Paquette, Barbara Neil, and our current CD, Bruce Cohen.
Have you read any books written by RPCVs about their Peace Corps experience?

I’ve read, of course, Culture Shock: Morocco by Orin Hargraves (Morocco 1980–82). I also read Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965–67) which is a wonderful book, and is still a true experience for many Volunteers today. I would recommend Living Poor for all PCVs no matter what their country of assignment is. I continuously read articles by RPCVs, particularly those related to Morocco. I actually forward them to Tim Resch, Friends of Morocco President, to have him put them up on the Friends of Morocco web site. And I reprint most of them in PeaceWorks for current PCVs to draw some lessons from. And, I might add, I get many good essays from your website, PeaceCorpsWriters.org.
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