I’ve an Algerian friend here in Paris who mentioned to me recently that he spent a lot of time before he came to France working on documenting berber traditions and stories from his region in Kabylie so that they wouldn’t be lost. He’s currently here studying American Civilization, but when he’s finished he wants to go back and work on it more.
His objectives, for the most part:
Translate and explain the Berber langauge, history, etc. into English.
Document the traditional stories and legends (in Kabyle and English)
His problem was this, that doing that is hard when you have to work at the same time. It takes money to be able to spend large amounts of time doing these sorts of things.
I got to thinking about it, though, and I figured there must be organizations that are devoted to providing grants and such for projects like this. My question is, which organizations?
I’d like to help him get in contact with these groups if I can.
I’d think that most any of the family foundations named after famous rich men of the 19th and early 20th centuries (e.g., Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, Mott) would consider supporting a grant to do this. However, they’d likely require either an anthropology or sociology Ph.D., or Ph.D. student to write the grant application and be PI on the project, and I take it your friend ain’t one o’them. There are books available here in the U.S. (and probably websites; sorry I’m not doing the search, given my most recent experience) :rolleyes: that list available grant funding. Your pseudo strongly suggests you’re a Murkan; you should be able to come up with a more complete list and start checking their websites.
For the book(s) on grant-finding, you need someone on a U.S. campus somewhere (faculty, staff, or grad student) who will take the time to find out for you. I’ve been away from academia for nearly 9 years; sorry I can’t help you more. I’m sorry to say that he made an unfortunate choice of discipline, given his ambitions.
I’ve sent an email to the anthro department where I studied, to see if I can get in touch with my mentor, who did her doctoral dissertation research in Iraq. If I can reach her, I’m sure she’d try to help him; she’s an Emerita, if still living, but the university web site isn’t listing those, nor is the department (it’s a big school). :smack: Send me an email (through the SDMB system) and I’ll let you know what (if anything) I learn. This is probably not a topic that the rest of the SDMB will be panting to hear about.
Another thought: He should check whether any French academics have done that kind of work in the past - after all, Algeria was a French colony for a long time, and France has produced some famous anthropologists. It shouldn’t be too hard for him to do a search, one by one, of universities/institutes where anthro or sociology departments exist. And wouldn’t there be a government listing of dissertations/theses? We certainly have that here, and I’m sure France is not less bureaucratic than the U.S. I understand his desire to do this from an insider’s POV, but there’s no reason to “reinvent the wheel”, so to speak.
Of course, as I understand it (based mostly on information I picked up from an issue of The Economist that I managed to get), there’s not really any research money available in France these days. Recent events will certainly have their effects, but you’re in a far better position than I to know whether they will make resources more available, or less so.
He might also find it useful to make inquiries of UNESCO. However, perhaps the best odds for him would be to find a wealthy expatriate Algerian (preferably a Berber himself), and ask him to fund it. Such Things Do Happen. Or even a wealthy expatriate Arabic businessman anywhere in the “west”. Of course, without somebody in charge who has or is getting the appropriate academic qualifications, the work is unlikely to receive scholarly recognition. It’s hard to do anything these days without a “union card” (doctoral degree); sorry.
Mainly for purposes of having this in the record, I am providing an update:
I did hear from my prof, who said I’d given a reasonably complete and correct answer. She did give me contact information for a current professor of Arabic origin, whom she said might be able to give some help. However, as I have not received a message from the OP, there is no reason for me to pursue this further.