MOROCCO

Date of establishment: April 7, 1956

Brief history:

  • Antiquity: In ancient times, the territory of present-day Morocco was part of various empires, including the Carthaginian Empire and later the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana.
  • Arab and Islamic influence: In the 7th century, Arab Muslim armies conquered the territory of Morocco, bringing Islamic influence and Arab culture.
  • Berber dynasty: In the 8th century, the first Berber dynasty, the Idrisids, arose and the city of Fes was founded. Later, other dynasties followed, such as the Almoravids and the Almohads.
  • Moroccan sultanates: During the Middle Ages, a number of Moroccan sultanates and dynasties emerged that controlled the territory of Morocco. Among them were the Kingdom of Merino and the Saad Dynasty.
  • Colonization: At the end of the 19th century, Morocco became an object of interest of the European colonial powers. France and Spain gained control over different parts of Morocco. The inland part of Morocco was under a French protectorate, while the northern part was under Spanish influence.
  • Independence: On April 7, 1956, Morocco gained independence from France and Spain and became a kingdom. Muhammad V became the first king of independent Morocco.
  • King Hassan II and the constitution: Hasan II ascended the throne in 1961 and ruled until his death in 1999. During his reign, a new constitution was adopted and Morocco underwent modernization.
  • Current era: Since 1999, the king of Morocco has been Muhammad VI. Morocco has seen progress in politics, the economy, and infrastructure.
  • Western Sahara: The country has a long-standing conflict over the territory of Western Sahara, which is also claimed by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

 

International abbreviation: MA

 

Currency: Moroccan dirham MAD

The Moroccan dirham is subdivided into 20 rials and 100 santims. Dirham banknotes and coins are issued by the Central Bank of Morocco, which is known as the Bank Al-Maghrib.

 

Internet domain: .ma

 

Dialing code: +212

 

Time zone: GMT +1 (During Ramadan GMT 0)

 

Geography:

Morocco, the full name of which is the Kingdom of Morocco, is a monarchy in the Maghreb region in the far northwest of Africa. Its neighbors are Algeria to the east, the two small Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla to the north, and the disputed territory of Western Sahara to the south, which Morocco considers an integral part of its territory. The southern part includes a large swathe of the Sahara, one of the largest deserts in the world. The area features extensive dunes and desert landscapes that are characteristic of this part of Africa.

In the central part are the Atlas Mountains, which includes three main parts: the High Atlas (High Atlas), the Middle Atlas (Middle Atlas) and the Anti-Atlas. This range is home to many peaks, including Morocco’s highest mountain, Toubkal.

Morocco’s coastline is extensive and lies on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The coast is rich in harbors and fishing communities.

Inland plains stretch between the Atlas Mountains and the coast, which are often used for agriculture. These areas are irrigated by rivers such as the Draa and Moulouya.

 

Highest peak: Jebel Toubkal 4 167 m (13 671 feet) above sea level.

Toubkal is part of the High Atlas Mountains and lies approximately 63 kilometers (39 miles) southwest of Marrakesh, one of Morocco’s largest cities.

 

Climate:

Areas that on the Mediterranean coast have a Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild and rainy, while summers are warm and dry.

In the region of the Great Atlas, which lies in the central part of the country, the climatic conditions are alpine. The mountain tops are cold and snow-covered, while the lower elevations have milder temperatures.

The south includes part of the Sahara, which is an extremely dry and hot desert. Temperatures are extremely high during the summer months, while at night they can drop to very low values. Rainfall is rare.

Inland plains such as the Draa Valley and the region around the city of Marrakesh have dry and hot summers, but also mild winters with higher rainfall than the desert region.

In the western part of the country, in the Western Sahara region, there is a desert climate with extreme temperatures and minimal rainfall.

 

Fauna and flora:

Morocco was home to the Barbary lion, which is a subspecies of the North African lion, and is now extinct in the wild. They were found in the Atlas Mountains and in some protected areas. Another endangered species is the Barbary leopard. These large felines are found in the eastern parts of the country.

The Dama gazelle is an endangered species inhabiting desert areas and is adapted to the extreme conditions of the Sahara. The Indian peafowl, which is endemic to Morocco, is a bird that lives in the Atlas Mountains. It has a distinctive appearance with brightly colored feathers. The mountain ibex inhabits the rocky regions of the Great Atlas and is one of the characteristic species of the region.

In the desert areas you can see herds of camels, goats, and sheep, which are still an important source of livelihood for the local population.

The argan tree is endemic to Morocco and is known for its nuts, which are used to make argan oil. This tree is protected, and its oil has many cosmetic uses and is an important export product.

Oleander is a common plant in coastal areas and is often grown for its flowers. Oases with palm tree groves are typical landscapes in desert regions. Palm trees provide shade, food, and building material for local residents.

 

Agriculture:

Morocco produces a variety of crops, including cereals (wheat, barley, and rye), olive trees (for olive oil production), citrus crops (oranges and lemons), grapes (for wine and dried grapes), and tomatoes. Dates are grown in oases and desert areas, and are an important part of traditional Moroccan food.

The cultivation of olive trees is widespread in regions that have suitable climatic conditions. The country is one of the largest producers of olive oil in the world.

In some areas, such as the town of El Kelaa des Sraghna, they specialize in the cultivation of various types of flowers, including roses and various aromatic plants that are used in the cosmetics industry. Cattle breeding is an important part of Moroccan agriculture.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Morocco is one of the largest producers of phosphates in the world. Phosphates are mined in various areas, mainly around the town of Khouribga. Barite is a mineral that is mainly used for drilling oil and gas wells. The country is one of the world’s major producers of barite. Lead and zinc are mined in the Draa-Tafilalet region of southern Morocco. These metals are used in a variety of industries, including battery manufacturing and electrical engineering. Copper mining takes place in the Jbel Saghro region in the southeastern part of the state. Copper is an important raw material in metallurgy and electrical engineering.

Manganese ore is mined in the Atlas Mountains. Manganese is an important material for steel production.

There are rich supplies of marble, especially in the region around the city of Meknes. Marble is mainly used in construction and sculpture. Gypsum is found in various parts of the country and is used in the construction and gypsum board manufacturing industries.

Morocco has moderate reserves of gold and silver, although the mining of these metals has not been as extensive as that of some other commodities.

 

Industry:

The automotive industry has been a significantly growth sector in Morocco in recent years. Many of the world’s automotive companies have production facilities here or cooperate with Moroccan firms. The country is becoming an important player in the aviation industry. It has several aircraft factories that produce parts for airlines around the world.

The textile and clothing industry is one of the traditional industries. The manufacture of textiles products includes clothing, fabrics, and carpets.

Morocco has a developed food industry that includes food processing, and beverage and food product manufacturing.

There are chemicals plants that produce a variety of chemical products, including fertilizers, plastics, and chemicals for industrial purposes.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: tourism, rail, road, sea and air transport, and telecommunications

 

Natural and historical attractions: the cities of Fez, Marrakesh, Rabat, Casablanca, Meknes, Tangier, the High Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert and oases, and Khenifiss and Talassemtane National Parks

Morocco has a long history and rich cultural heritage, such as ancient cities, royal palaces, medinas (historical cities), kasbahs (fortresses) and traditional markets known as souks. Among the most famous historical cities are Marrakesh, Fes, Casablanca, and Rabat.

It offers a variety of natural scenery, including the Great Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert, oases, the Atlantic and Mediterranean beaches, and beautiful mountain landscapes.

Moroccan cuisine is rich in flavors and aromas and is known for dishes such as tagine (stewed meat or fish with spices), couscous, pastilla (a sweet cheese cake) and many other specialties. Tourists have the opportunity to taste authentic Moroccan cuisine in local restaurants and markets.

It is known for its festivals and cultural events such as the Festival of Gnawa and world music in Essaouira, the Rose Festival in Kalaat M’Gouna, and many others. It is an ideal location for adventure activities, including camel riding in the desert, rock climbing in the Atlas Mountains, and surfing on the beaches.

The country is also famous for its spa towns, such as Marrakech, where tourists can visit traditional hammams (Turkish baths) and luxury wellness centers.

 

Waterparks in Morocco:

 

Form of government: constitutional monarchy

Morocco is a monarchy, and the king is the head of state. The king has considerable power and is a symbol of national unity.

The parliament is bicameral. The lower chamber, called the House of Representatives, is elected by the citizens of Morocco. The upper chamber, known as the Council of Councilors, is elected in various ways, and includes representatives of the business world, experts and representatives of social groups.

The government is headed by a prime minister who is appointed by the king. The government has the responsibility of managing state affairs and implementing policy. The judicial system is independent and includes civil, administrative, and religious courts. The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court.

 

Capital city: Rabat

Since 1956, Rabat has been the capital of Morocco. At the same time, it is one of Morocco’s “royal cities”. It is situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, on the left bank of the Bou Regreg estuary. On the opposite right bank lies the town of Salé, which is connected to it by several bridges. The area of Rabat, Salé, and the surrounding settlements is, after Casablanca, the second largest urban agglomeration in Morocco.

The city is the seat of the king and the government, the Catholic bishopric, and the Institute for the Arabic language.

Rabat has a long history, dating back to Roman times when it was known as “Chellah.” It later became the capital of the Merinid dynasty and then the Alawite dynasty.

It has a traditional medina, which is the historic center of the city with narrow streets, markets, and historic buildings.

 

Area: 446 300 km2 (172 317 square miles)

 

Population: 37 050 000 (2022)

Morocco has a diverse ethnic and cultural makeup, including indigenous Berber tribes, an Arab population, and minorities of European descent.

Arabic and Berber are the official languages, French has an important role in communication and education. It has various religious groups, with the majority of the population following Islam, more specifically Sunni Islam.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 9

 

  1. The Medina of Fez (1981) – The fortified old city that is now part of Fez. Still an important cultural center today.
  2. Medina of Marrakesh (1985) – A city founded in the 11th century. It contains significant medieval architectural monuments.
  3. Ksar Ait Ben Haddou (1987) – Fortified mud dwellings representing traditional desert living.
  4. The historic city of Meknes (1996) – A city from the 11th century, which is an example of the mixing of Islamic and European influences.
  5. Archaeological site of Volubilis (1997) – Once the capital of Mauritania, founded in the 3rd century BCE It became an important Roman province.
  6. Medina of Tetouan (1997) – Since the 8th century, the main point of contact between Morocco and Andalusia.
  7. Medina of Essaouira (2001) – Fortified city from the end of the 18th century. built according to contemporary European military architecture.
  8. The Portuguese city of Mazagan (Al-Jadida) (2004) – A fortified colony on the Atlantic coast from the beginning of the 16th century. One of the first settlements established by the Portuguese in West Africa on the route to India.
  9. Rabat (2012) – A modern metropolis and historic city on the Atlantic coast with elements of Western architecture and traditional Islamic.

 

National parks: 14

 

  1. Al Hoceima National Park
  2. Dakhla National Park
  3. Haut Atlas Oriental National Park
  4. Ifrane National Park
  5. Iriqui National Park
  6. Khenifiss National Park
  7. Khenifra National Park
  8. Souss-Massa National Park
  9. Talassemtane National Park
  10. Tazekka National Park
  11. Toubkal National Park
  12. Merdja Zerka National Park
  13. Aguelmam Azigza National Park
  14. D’lriqui National Park