Dr. Imad Cherkaoui, a friend more than an employee,
Dr. Imad Cherkaoui just left the GREPOM executive bureau to be able to look for new career opportunities after two years working as Executive Director of the Association and two years for Morocco Country Programme-GREPOM Coalition. While GREPOM Board is respecting his wish we felt a great annoyance when discussing his departure and it seems important to clarify to BirdLife family that for GREPOM, Imad is more than just an employee with whom our links were limited to his tasks of CEO.
In fact, when I discovered Imad, his age did not exceed 14 years, but he attracted my attention by his remarkable knowledge of wildlife, especially birds: he then started bombarding me with great comments of a great « early career ornithologist and he was probably the only and probably the youngest who has read to the entire volume of ‘Fauna’ of the Great Encyclopedia of Morocco. His passion for nature has subsequently been confirmed along with all his student courses (trainings in biology, Applied ecology and conservation biology).
After brief passages in various international organizations (ENDA Maghreb, WWF, SPANA), where he tackled his first experiences in the field conservation and Nature animation, he joined early BirdLife network when SEO/BirdLife in Spain offered him a job position as Morocco Country Programme Coordinator of BirdLife. But these occupations have not dimmed his permanent dream for a successful scientific career and be seen enjoying wherever it is, taking advantage of every single opportunities to escape into nature and share his discoveries. He therefore performed several publications in many renowned journals.
While it is undoubtedly a Master of Moroccan ornithology, his knowledge of birds has no borders; formal proof has been given me during our various trips to Europe, Africa and Canada. This means finally that Imad is one of the great pillars of Ornithology and GREPOM is pleased to have him among our distinguished members.
Finally, we must recognize that Imad has made a considerable effort to facilitate the transition and affiliation of GREPOM into BirdLife network and we must rejoice with him that this effort is, now, part of the history of the association. He reassured us that his withdrawal from the Administration does not mean an abandonment of GREPOM or BirdLife; On the contrary, he is preparing to invest more in research and conservation of birds in these two organizations.
On behalf of all members of GREPOM, I am very grateful to Imad for his efforts and wish him a successful career and a prosperous family future.
Prof. Mohamed Dakki
Chairman of GREPOM/BirdLife Morocco