From Mexico to Mongolia: The CAORC World

What do Ulan Bator, Tangier, and Mexico City have in common?  Great weather?  Safe water?  The best pizza?  Some of the above, certainly, though not all the time.

CAORC Istanbul Bangladesh Jordan Mongolia Pakistan
Staffers from Bangladesh (AIBS), Jordan (ACOR), Mongolia (ACMS) and Pakistan (AIPS)

No, what joins us with places like Tunis, Amman, and Phnom Penh is our membership in CAORC, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.  This geographically disparate group with much in common met last week in Istanbul, Turkey, and it was by all accounts a phenomenally successful conference.

What serves as the common ground among the centers is a dedication to scholarship, hosting American researchers and host country and third country scholars, in areas as widely apart as archeology and zoology.  Through CAORC, several also administer US government language scholarships, and all compete for grant money from governmental, private, and charitable institutions.

CAORC Istanbul MEL and Bobby
Bobby Parks (Director CEMA-Algeria) and Mary Ellen Lane (CAORC Executive Director)

At TALIM, we come to CAORC through the American Institute of Maghrib Studies.  AIMS has three centers in North Africa: TALIM in Tangier, Morocco, CEMA in Oran, Algeria, and CEMAT in Tunis, Tunisia.  All three differ somewhat in history and scope, but again, the common ground is scholarship.

CAORC Istanbul Kerry Terry Riadh Rana
Staffers from Tunis (CEMAT), Washington (PARC), and Tucson (AIMS)

Usually my blog posts are of the content-rich or, as old Foreign Service hands would say, "substantive," variety.  Here I've decided to go for the photo ops.  Istanbul was beautiful in the pre-Ramadan evening air, and the Bosphorus was full of festive Turks and foreign visitors absorbing the beauty of one of the world's great cities.

A fitting end to a serious discussion of grants, reporting, accounting, and tax filing.  The nuts and bolts of scholarship.

Gerald Loftus

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