The interim director of the University of Virginia’s Center for International Studies, Majida Bargach, has won the Extraordinary Achievement Award in Education, given by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Women’s Initiative in honor of International Women's Day, celebrated annually on March 8.
Women’s Initiative chairwoman Amal David said Bargach’s passion for teaching set her apart from other nominees.
“In life, you come across people who are intelligent and people who are very genuine and humanistic. It is rare to find those qualities in a single person,” David said. “She is a person who has been giving to students and genuinely cares about their education.”
In addition to running the Center for International Studies, Bargach heads U.Va’s popular U.Va. in Morocco summer study-abroad program, which she launched in 2002. She also lectures in the Department of French in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Bargach, who is from Morocco, said she is honored to receive the award. “I was not expecting it, certainly. I think the ADC is one of the most important Arab organizations in the United States,” she said. “Mostly, I am so pleased to be able to be a mentor to young Arab women.”
Bargach will receive her award Sunday at a celebration near Washington. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Women’s Initiative will also give awards in science and medicine, community service and art.
A national consortium of 60 American-Arab women formed the group in 2011 to support the Anti-Discrimination Committee’s role in advocating in the areas of civil rights, mutual understanding and cultural heritage preservation, David said.
International Women’s Day commemorates the advances made for women in the areas of human rights. It is also a time when attention is focused on the challenges women still face in employment, education and other areas.