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Updated: Jul 25

* * * P R E S S   R E L E A S E * * *

Date: October 3, 2008, New York, NY

Contact: Kate McLetchie, Country Director at (646) 688-2946 or

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) will host a Moroccan art exhibit, sale, and silent auction on Wednesday, October 15th 2008 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Urban Center, New York Palace Hotel (457 Madison Avenue).  Featured artists include Hamid Kachmar (mixed techniques), Alan Keohane (black and white photography), and Dennie Kirtley (color photography). The event will also feature signed prints from The Butter Man book by the illustrator Julie Klear Essakalli, and signed copies of the book – a children’s story set in the High Atlas Mountains – by the authors Elizabeth Letts Alalou and Ali Alalou.

The event has been generously sponsored by Merrill Lynch, and all proceeds from the evening will go towards HAF’s $100,000 fundraising goal to support socio-economic development projects with Moroccan communities, including: planting two community nurseries of 100,000 saplings, benefitting approximately 10,000 people in the Ouirka and Azzadene Valleys, in partnership with Morocco’s High Commission of Waters and Forests; implementing clean drinking water projects with five villages in the Tifnoute Valley, benefitting 1,600 people; and providing fellowships to eight university students at Hassan II University-Mohammedia, to train them in participatory community planning skills for a six month period.

The High Atlas Foundation was founded in 2000 by former Peace Corps Volunteers in order to use their professional experience and knowledge gained during their years of service for the continued benefit of the Moroccan people.  HAF’s mission is to establish development projects that local communities design and manage and that are in partnership with government and non-government agencies.

Honorary Event Chairs include Carol Bellamy, President and CEO, World Learning; John Entelis, Director of the Middle East Studies Program, Fordham University; Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, former US Ambassador to Morocco; Darcy Neill, former Director of Peace Corps Morocco; Kevin Quigley, President, National Peace Corps Association; Tim Resch, President, Friends of Morocco; and Ambassador Thomas Riley, US Ambassador to Morocco.

To learn more about the High Atlas Foundation and to purchase tickets for this special event for Morocco please visit or contact Kate McLetchie, Country Director at (646) 688-2946 or

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