Our Advisory Board

Hoda Barakat
Novelist 
Hoda Barakat is a Lebanese novelist, born in Beirut in 1952. She has worked in teaching and journalism and currently lives in France. She has published six novels, two plays, a book of short stories and a book of memoirs, as well as contributing to books written in French. Her work has been translated into several languages. she is the recipient of the Ordre du Mérite from the French Presidency, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture, and the Amalfi Prize for Mediterranean Literature. Her fifth novel The Kingdom of This Earth (2012) reached the IPAF longlist in 2013. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, given (at that time) every two years to honor a writer’s achievement in fiction. In 2019, Hoda was a visiting professor of Middle Eastern studies a Dartmouth University. The same year, she was awarded the International Prize for Arabic Fiction
(IPAF) for her novel The Night Mail.
Richard Martin 
Director, ALC Casablanca and American Art & Cultural Center
Richard Martin is an artist, educator, and nonprofit executive. He is a graduate of The New School in New York city. After initiating and running the American Language Center Oujda, he moved to
Casablanca to run the American Language Center, a landmark cultural and educational institution serving over 20000 students annually. Rick is the visionary behind the first American Arts and Cultural
Center, opening its doors early 2021. In parallel to his work with the American Cultural Association, Rick is a world-traveler and photographer, with an impressive portfolio of over 60 countries visited.
The Olive Writers was founded thanks to his unflagging support, mentorship, and guidance.
Achraf Kabbouri
President, Jazz 3/4 Association
Achraf Kabbouri teaches leadership and intercultural management, entrepreneurship, project building and public speaking in both Morocco and the Netherlands. He holds a diploma in cinema and cinematographic art,  and an MA in communication and cinema, both from the University of Southern California in Los Angele. He received his Ph.D in leadership and cultural and intercultural management from New York University. He is the founder and president of Jazz ¾, an association working to enhance youths’ skills and capacities in art, entrepreneurship, and environment