Mohamed El Mansour, born in Douarkala, Morocco, in 1948. Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Professor of Modern History at Mohammed V University, Rabat.
Fellow (1 September 2009 – 31 January 2010)
URBAN MILITIAS (RUMAT) IN THE CITY OF FEZ DURING THE MODERN PERIOD (16TH-20TH CENTURIES)
One of the main objectives of my residence at NIAS was to benefit from the bibliographical wealth of the Dutch libraries to make up for the documentation shortcomings from which I suffer in my own country. In this respect I am more than satisfied with the amount of material I collected.
I had the chance to present my project and get the feedback I needed from colleagues in both history and other disciplines. Interaction with colleagues at NIAS allowed me to enrich the comparative approach to my subject. In fact, my attention was drawn to the existence in the Dutch Provinces of social groups very much similar to the ones I am focusing on in the modern history of Morocco. Thus I discovered that many Dutch cities such as Amsterdam or Haarlem used to have urban militias whose role was not much different from that of the musketeers of Fes in Morocco. I am now in possession of documentation on these paramilitary groups and will definitely incorporate them into my research.