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Leila Belhassan-Alaoui, Former Hofstra Student, Dies in Burkina Faso Attack

World-renowned French-Moroccan photographer, Leila Alaoui, 33, a former Hofstra student, died on Monday from wounds suffered in a terrorist attack in the West African country of Burkina Faso last week.

Alaoui studied at Hofstra from 2002-2004. She made many friends and left an indelible impression, as Professor Emeritus Jerome Delamater notes: “I had the privilege of teaching Leila in our Film History course during her year at Hofstra. She was an extraordinary student, one of those whom a teacher never forgets, and I was not at all surprised to learn that her work had been exhibited at the Moroccan pavilion at the EXPO in Milan, Italy, last year.  Indeed, her photography has been seen around the world; her most recent work, ‘The Moroccans,” had its final day on exhibit in Paris this past Sunday.  Leila’s commitment to eliminating ‘man-made borders that divided people, cultures, races, and religions,’ as one tribute stated, and her display of that commitment through her marvelous talent should inspire all of us to pursue her values.  The world is a far lesser place without her.”

More than 1,000 people attended Alaoui’s funeral in Marrakech, Morocco, on Wednesday.

The New York Times obituary for Leila Belhassan-Alaoui and a slide show highlighting some of her work from “The Moroccans” can be found here.

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