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Morocco Overview

Morocco - Introduction

A kingdom located at a crossroads between Europe and Africa, Morocco has maintained stability despite economic hardship in the past and large numbers of migrants passing through on their way to Europe. The government has been working hard over the past few years to develop a sustainable and healthy economy for all of its citizens, including major...

Morocco Facts

Official name: The Kingdom of Morocco National name: al-Mamlaka al-Maghrebia Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France) Area: 710,850 sq km (including W Sahara) Land area: 172,317 sq mi (446,301 sq km) Population (2007 est.): 33,757,175 (growth rate: 1.5%); birth rate: 21.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 38.9/1000; life expectancy: 71.2; 69 years (men...

Land & People, Religion Language and Climate of Morocco

Located on the western shoulder of North Africa, Morocco's coastline borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. On the southern side of the strategic Straits of Gibraltar, the country is a mixture of high mountains, desert plateaux and rich coastal plains. Morocco shares its boarders with Algeria to the east and Western Sahara to...

Recent History of Morocco

Morocco's strategic location has shaped its history. Beginning with the Phoenicians, many foreigners were drawn to this area. Morocco was colonised by the French and Spanish in 1912 after bitter fighting. An anti-colonial, nationalist movement sprang up first during World War II. Conflict during the 1950s led to France and Spain recognising...

Modern History of Morocco

Romans, Visigoths, Vandals and Byzantine Greeks ruled successively in early years of Moroccan history. Arab forces began occupying Morocco in the seventh century A.D., bringing their civilization and Islam. The Alaouite dynasty, which has ruled Morocco since 1649, claims descent from the Prophet Muhammad. Enter the European traders in the late...

Pre 20th Century History of Morocco

Unlike other North African nations, Morocco has been largely occupied by one group of people for as long as recorded history can recall. The Berbers, or Imazighen (free men), settled in the area thousands of years ago and at one time controlled all of the land between Morocco and Egypt. Divided into clans and tribes, they have always jealously...

Early History of Morocco

Morocco has been the home of the Berbers since the second millennium B.C. In A.D. 46, Morocco was annexed by Rome as part of the province of Mauritania.  In Roman times Morocco was roughly coextensive with the province of Mauretania Tingitania. In the 3d century A.D. four bishoprics were created in the province. Jewish colonies were also...

Government & Politics of Morocco

Government Morocco is an autocratic monarchy ruled by King Mohammed VI since his accession to power in 1999, when he was 36. His father, King Hassan II, ruled the country ruthlessly from 1961 to 1999. Morocco is a constitutional monarchy and is governed under the 1972 constitution as amended. The king holds effective power and appoints the prime...

Foreign Relations of Morocco

Morocco is a moderate Arab state which maintains close relations with Europe and the United States. The major issue in Morocco's foreign relations is its claim to Western Sahara. As a result of Algeria's continued support for the Polisario Front in the dispute over Western Sahara, relations between Morocco and Algeria have remained strained over...

Culture of Morocco

Morocco is an ethnically diverse country with a rich culture and civilization. Through Moroccan history, Morocco hosted many people coming from East (Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Jews and Arabs), South (Sub-Saharan Africans) and North (Romans, Vandals, Andalusians (including Moors and Jews)). All those civilizations have had an impact on the social...

Towns & cities of Morocco

Capital (2003 est.): Rabat, 1,636,600. Largest cities: Casablanca, 3,397,000; Fez, 941,800; Marrakech, 755,200. Regions As part of a 1997 decentralization/regionalization law passed by the legislature 16 new regions (provided below) were created. It is the current highest administrative division of Morocco. Each region is subdivided into 61 second...

Economy of Morocco

Since the early 1990s, Morocco has embarked on a major economic restructuring programme aimed at raising living standards, cutting unemployment and boosting growth. In pursuit of these goals, successive governments have made efforts to attract domestic and overseas investment, which has obliged them to tackle a string of other problems - such as...

Media - Radio, Television and The press of Morroco

Media The media environment in Morocco is undergoing some major changes. Press freedom has long been an issue, but the industry is moving towards a consumer-led culture. Morocco's private press is free to cover many previously-taboo issues, including social problems. But this freedom is not unbounded. Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, while...

Human Rights of Morocco

Morocco’s human rights record is mixed. It’s human rights record was improving until 2003, then reversed course following that year's terrorist attacks. Citizens can be held for 12 days without charge. Politically-motivated persecutions were common, especially when General Oufkir became responsible for home security. State security...