Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco

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Hicham ben Abdallah Alaoui
الأمير مولاي هشام بن عبد الله‎
Prince of Morocco
Prince Moulay Hicham.jpg
Prince Moulay Hicham pictured before a court in Casablanca
Born (1964-03-04) 4 March 1964 (age 55)
Rabat, Morocco
SpouseMalika Benabdelali
IssueSherifa Lalla Faizah Alaoui and Sherifa Lalla Haajar Alaoui
Full name
Hicham ben Abdallah Alaoui
FatherPrince Moulay Abdallah
MotherLalla Lamia Solh
ReligionSunni Islam

Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco (Arabic: الأمير مولاي هشام بن عبد الله‎, born 4 March 1964) is the first cousin of the current King Mohammed VI and Prince Moulay Rachid. He is the son of Prince Moulay Abdallah of Morocco, the late brother of former King Hassan II, and Princess Lalla Lamia Solh, daughter of Riad Al Solh, the first Prime Minister of Lebanon. He is also the cousin of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, whose mother Mona Al Solh is another daughter of the Lebanese family. Under the Moroccan constitution, Moulay Hicham stands fourth in the line of succession to the Alaouite throne.[1]

In his youth, Prince Moulay Hicham garnered the nickname "Red Prince" because of his progressive political positions. Since the 1990s, he has become an outspoken advocate for constitutional monarchy in Morocco[2][3] and democracy in the broader Middle East.[4][5] These controversial positions have distanced him from the Moroccan palace, and are thought to have created personal conflict with King Mohammed VI and other political forces.[6] Partly for this reason, in recent years, he has attracted the new label of the "Rebel Prince."[7] In 2018, he publicly announced his desire to renounce his royal title and institutionally sever ties with the Moroccan monarchy.[8]

Prince Moulay Hicham regularly speaks on issues of human rights, democratic reform, and social movements at public forums around the world, among them the University of Málaga,[9] HEC Paris,[10] University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign,[11] Northwestern University,[12] University of California at Berkeley,[13] Columbia University,[14] Harvard University,[15] and Yale University,[16] as well as prominent broadcast media like BBC News[17] and France 24.[18] Since the 1990s, he has also published numerous essays on political reform, democracy, religion, culture, and development in the Middle East in English, French, and Arabic language journals and newspapers.[19][20][21][22][23] He was most recently a consulting professor at the Center for Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law at Stanford University.[24][25] He is currently based at Harvard University as a Research Associate at the Weatherhead Center.[26]

Professional activities[edit]

Personal life[edit]

As a member of the Moroccan royal family, Prince Moulay Hicham was raised in the palace quarter of Rabat alongside his brother and cousins, including the current King Mohammed VI. He attended the Rabat American School and graduated from Princeton University in 1985.[34] As his father, Moulay Abdallah, died during his college education, the prince developed a close relationship with King Hassan.[35] He later attended Stanford University for graduate study in political science. Many of these events are outlined in his memoirs, Journal d'un Prince Banni,[36] published in April 2014 to considerable controversy.[37]

In 2002, Prince Moulay Hicham relocated to Princeton, New Jersey with his family due to political tensions with King Mohammed VI and other elements of the Moroccan monarchy.[38] He is married since 1995 to Sharifa Lalla Malika Benabdelali, a cousin of the Moroccan businessman, longtime Minister of Agriculture, and RNI party luminary Aziz Akhannouch. He has two daughters: Sharifa Lalla Faizah Alaoui (born 1996) who attended Yale University,[39] and Sharifa Lalla Haajar Alaoui (born 1999) who attends Princeton University. He is currently pursuing a D.Phil. in Middle East studies at the University of Oxford.

Prince Moulay Hicham's positions have often instigated outside pressures and personal threats. In August 2012, Moroccan MP Abdelhadi Khairat accused him of financial embezzlement, a charge that instigated a successful defamation lawsuit and Khairat's eventual apology for the allegations.[40] In May 2014, the French police arrested an individual on stalking charges at Orly Airport, who in turn claimed that several Moroccans had asked him to monitor the prince's movements.[41] In September 2017, he was controversially deported from Tunisia while scheduled to speak at an academic conference held by Stanford University for reasons suspected to be politically motivated.[42] In November 2018, he won a major libel trial in the United Kingdom against the Arabic-language Elaph media outlet, which had published a story accusing him to have plotted against the Moroccan monarchy.[43] That case was also notable in compelling British courts, in the wider context of UK law, to clarify and deepen the meaning of defamation within electronic publications.[44]


  1. ^ "MOROCCO12". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Stanford WebLogin". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  3. ^ "The Staying Power of Arab Monarchies". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  4. ^ Al Jazeera English, Riz Khan - Morocco's Prince Moulay Hicham - 03 Oct 07, retrieved 21 January 2019
  5. ^ "Prince Moulay Hicham El Alaoui of Morocco, cousin of King Mohammed VI - France 24". France 24. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  6. ^ Whitaker, Brian (9 July 2001). "Moroccan prince denounces 'despotism'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  7. ^ Alami, Aida (9 May 2014). "Rebel Prince Shines a Harsh Light on Morocco". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  8. ^ Koundouno, Tamba François (22 December 2018). "Prince Hicham El Alaoui: 'I Want to Sever Ties with Moroccan Monarchy'". Morocco World News. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  9. ^ Fundación General de la Universidad de Málaga (16 July 2011), Conferencia del Príncipe Moulay Hicham en la UMA (Ponencia 1/5), retrieved 24 February 2018
  10. ^ HECMondeArabe (3 February 2012), Conférence inaugurale d'HECMA avec Moulay Hicham Partie 1, retrieved 24 February 2018
  11. ^ "Conference on the New Middle East". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  12. ^ MENA at Northwestern, Inaugural Conference - Moulay Hicham Ben Abdallah, retrieved 21 January 2019
  13. ^ UC Berkeley CMES, The Demise of Islamist Utopia: What's Next (Hicham Alaoui), retrieved 21 January 2019
  14. ^ "A Talk by Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco | Columbia Global Centers". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  15. ^ Harvard Arab Alumni Association (10 December 2013), Harvard Arab Weekend 2013 | Prince Moulay Hicham Keynote | Harvard Law School - November 7, 2013, retrieved 24 February 2018
  16. ^ "Moroccan prince to deliver the Coca-Cola World Fund Lecture at Yale". YaleNews. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  17. ^ BBC News Arabic, لمشهد مع مولاي هشام العلوي من قصور الملكية في المغرب [A scene with Moulay Hicham El Alawi from the royal palaces in Morocco], retrieved 20 March 2019
  18. ^ FRANCE 24, Hicham El Alaoui: "J'ai écrit au roi du Maroc pour ne plus faire partie de la monarchie", retrieved 22 January 2019
  19. ^ "The Split in Arab Culture | Journal of Democracy". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Are the Arab monarchies next?". Le Monde diplomatique. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  21. ^ Alaoui, Hicham Ben Abdallah El. "L'autre Maroc - Hicham Ben Abdallah El Alaoui - Pouvoirs, revue française d'études constitutionnelles et politiques". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  22. ^ Alaoui, Hicham (1 November 2018). "Échec de l'utopie islamiste". Le Monde diplomatique (in French). Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Arabie saoudite: Mohammed Ben Salmane, une dangereuse tendance à l'arbitraire". L'Obs (in French). Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Professor, prince". Stanford Daily. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  25. ^ Faculty Profile
  26. ^ Hicham Alaoui Profile at Weatherhead Center
  27. ^ "Accueil | Moulay Hicham Foundation". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  28. ^ "FSI | CDDRL | ARD". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  29. ^ University, Princeton. "The Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia - Home". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  30. ^ "A WHISPER TO A ROAR | They will be heard". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  31. ^ "โรงไฟฟ้าพลังงานชีวมวลเชื้อเพลิงแกลบ ช่วยหนุนรัฐแก้วิกฤตน้ำมันแพง". (in Thai). Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  32. ^ "Un prince au Kosovo". (in French). 13 April 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  33. ^ "عن صدى". Carnegie Middle East Center (in Arabic). Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  34. ^ "The Princetonian". The Princetonian. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  35. ^ Majid, Anouar (25 May 2014). "The Impossible Dreams of a Moroccan Prince". Tingis Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  36. ^ Alaoui, Moulay Hicham el (9 April 2014). Journal d'un prince banni: Demain, le Maroc. Paris: Grasset. ISBN 9782246851653.
  37. ^ FRANCE 24 English (9 April 2014), Moulay Hicham El Alaoui, Morocco's 'rebel prince', retrieved 24 February 2018
  38. ^ "Morocco's 'Red Prince' departs for US". 23 January 2002. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  39. ^ Kasraoui, Safaa (4 June 2018). "Prince Moulay Hicham Calls King Mohammed VI to Thank Him following His Daughter's Graduation". Morocco World News. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  40. ^ "Abdelhadi Khairat s'excuse, Moulay Hicham retire sa plainte". (in French). Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  41. ^ Sourgo, Youssef (31 March 2014). "France: French Man Arrested for Stalking Prince Moulay Hicham". Morocco World News. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  42. ^ "Tunisia expels Moroccan prince who came to discuss 'democratic transition'". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  43. ^ Twitter, Charlotte Tobitt (13 November 2018). "Arabic news website pays out to prince over 'seriously defamatory' claims he plotted against king". Press Gazette. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  44. ^ "Case Law: Prince Moulay v Elaph Publishing, Moroccan Prince wins libel and data protection appeal against Arabic news publisher – Simon Brown". Inforrm's Blog. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Royal titles
Preceded by
Prince Moulay Rachid
Line of succession to the Moroccan Throne Next:
Prince Moulay Ismail of Morocco
as Prince Moulay Ismail