The oldest university in the world still in activity is indeed in Morocco, and more precisely in the city of Fez. This is Al Qarawiyyin University in Fez.
Al Qarawiyyin University in the city of Fez is the oldest in the world still in operation, according to the Guinness Book of Records. This temple of knowledge was founded in the year 859 by Fatima Al Fahri, a young Muslim woman. It is the ancestor of several prestigious universities around the world. Al Qarawiyyin, like the other universities, hosted debates and colloquia, and housed several libraries in its main premises and its annexes. It also has in its historical library more than 4,000 manuscripts on many subjects.
The government had proceeded, a few years ago, to the renovation of this university, in order to restore its image. A renovation that took place after a long period of neglect. The prestige and importance of Al Qarawiyyin resides in the collection of its ancient manuscripts. She was a big attraction, said Abdelfattah Bougchouf, curator of the Al Qarawiyin library. The university has remained faithful to its primary vocation, desired by its founder. In addition to higher education, it is a space for exchanges and sharing of knowledge between scholars. This option has become popular and has been adopted by several European universities.
For Abdul Majid al Mardi, the imam of the university’s mosque, who explained on Al Jazeera in 2016, Fatima Al Fahri left a great legacy through her university and the mosque. The university has contributed to the strengthening and influence of various cultures and civilizations, and has fostered the emergence of many Muslim scholars and intellectuals.