Dear Colleagues and Friends,
A warm invitation to you all to join us in Marrakech for the 120th annual meeting of the New York Section of the AUA from November 10-16, 2024. Centrally located in Morocco with easy access to the Atlas Mountains as well as the seashore, desert, vineyards and historic sites of this city, the comfortable rural location of this meeting will be a respite for all attendees. This unique location, with a mixture of modern comforts and historic experiences, will provide the backdrop for our wonderful scientific meetings and social programs that have come to define the NY Section Annual Meetings. We arrive in Marrakesh on Sunday, November, 10th, with easy access through Casablanca on Royal Air Maroc/American, via Lisbon on TAP/Portugal, via Paris on Delta, and other major airline routes. An afternoon walking tour will be followed by an evening welcome reception. Scientific meetings commence on Monday morning. Following a week of education and activities, the meeting ends on Friday evening with our gala dinner. Departures are on Saturday, November 16th.
Home for the week will the Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech. Located just outside the bustle of Marrakesh, this bucolic setting with a view of the peaks of the Atlas Mountain has a myriad of spaces for entertainment in bar/lounges and nearly all rooms have an attached terrace with beautiful views of the leafy grounds and golf course. This is a unique hotel with a Moroccan ambience has large guest rooms, suites and villas, with spacious outdoor lounge areas as well as eight unique restaurants and bars, and one of the best golf courses in the region. This elegant locally inspired hideaway has indoor and outdoor pools, extensive fitness and spa facilities and a myriad of other activities including clay tennis courts, squash, yoga and Pilates. Transportation will be available to the center of Marrakesh less than 20 minutes away.
The region is renowned for its cuisine with a delightful blend of cultural influences, rich flavors, and aromatic spices that has captivated the interest of culinary experts from across the world. The unique culinary style is a product of Morocco’s diverse history, with its Berber, Arab, Andalusian, and Mediterranean roots. The cuisine typically is rich in salads as well as tajine, a Northern African mixed dish named for the earthenware pot that it is cooked in. Main dishes are often based in lamb, chicken or other meats with substantial seafood offerings as well.
Our Senior Program Chair Jonathan Coleman along with Scientific Program chairs Gina Badalato, Jessica Kreshover and Richard Lee are already assembling a comprehensive and outstanding educational program. All areas of urology will be covered as well as diversity, health equity, and health policy. Panel discussions with audience participation and debate are expected as we address many of the current controversies in urology.
We have organized several Group excursions and tours. On Monday afternoon we explore the classic markets of the Medina, in the center of the city of Marrakech with dinner on your own. Tuesday, we will have a local group tour of unique sites in Marrakesh as well as the President’s reception that all attendees are invited to attend at one of the many architecturally stunning palaces, Palais Soleiman, in Marrakech. Wednesday will provide a unique early morning opportunity for a hot air balloon ride over the desert to watch the sun rise over the Atlas Mountains. After this wake-up event, there are two different adventures to consider. One includes a visit to a traditional Berber village followed by multiple activities in the Agafay foothills of the Atlas, including zip-lining, hikes and other sports activities. An alternative option is a trip to the seaside city of Essaouira with its richly diverse cultural heritage, once primarily inhabited by Jewish settlers. Lunch on the return to Marrakech will be at a vineyard with wonderful white and red wine specialties of the region. We will allow attendees to recover on Wednesday evening after a packed day of social activities. On Thursday evening, we will visit the desert for a sunset camel ride, a champagne reception in the desert and a traditional spectacular tent dinner of traditional Moroccan cuisine. Our Friday night, we will host the Gala Dinner at the Tigmiza Boutique Hotel, a unique site in Marrakesh where Section members and guests will enjoy a rooftop cocktail reception followed by an elegant, candlelit dinner in the gardens with French accents as well as Moroccan fare on the premises of this unique hotel. In addition to organized activities, the schedule provides plenty of opportunity for golf, spa, networking, exploring, learning, and relaxing at the multiple bar sites on the Fairmont grounds.
The spouse and guest activities provide an opportunity to meet new people and experience a new culture. Options include a visit to Marjorelle gardens, developed by Yves St-Laurent, a modern cooking tour & mosaic pottery workshop, visits to a local Art Museum and Leather workshop, as well as biking and/or Hammam (traditional Moroccan) massage venues. A broad set of options for everyone!
Samantha and I hope you will join us in Marrakesh for the New York Section Meeting. I expect that this inaugural visit to Morocco for our meeting will be richly rewarding in its educational, culinary, and cultural experiences for all who attend.
Peter N Schlegel, MD
New York Section, AUA