I am a Professor of Geography at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, where I have been teaching since 1998. I was born in Turkey. I hold a BSc and an MSc in Geography from Université du Québec à Montréal and a PhD in Islamic Studies from McGill University (1996).
I am a cultural and urban geographer with an interest in the Muslim world, and in Muslim Africa in particular. Most of my research has focused on contemporary urban processes in Senegal, and especially on the Murid holy city of Touba. I have also studied cultural heritage, tourism, and urban planning in Morocco. I publish in both English and French. Much of my research involves cartographic analysis at a variety of scales, so my publications usually include maps and site plans which I have drawn. In addition, I occasionally supply maps for other people’s scholarly publications, and I translate academic texts from French to English.
At Al Akhawayn University, I teach a range of geography courses as well as courses in research methodologies. Many of these courses require field trips. Some of these are in and around Ifrane, in the Middle Atlas Mountains, which is centrally located in Morocco. Other trips are further afield. These include the cities of Fez, Meknes, Marrakech and Rabat, as well as the archeological site of Volubilis and the Tafilalet Oasis.
When I am not in the field with groups of students I like to travel across Morocco and abroad for personal pleasure. Apart from extended bouts of field work conducted in Senegal and Morocco, I have visited Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. While traveling I am especially prone to do “urban trekking,” exploring historic cities (Fez, Marrakech, Istanbul, Bursa, Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo, etc.) as well as some very modern ones (such as Casablanca and Dubai). I am also keen on visiting shrines wherever I go.
Contact informationEric Ross P.O. Box 1889, Al Akhawayn University 104 Avenue Hassan II Ifrane, 53 000, Morocco tel.: (+212) 535 86 24 81 fax: (+212) 535 86 29 77 E.Ross@aui.ma