Geographic Location of Morocco

Morocco is the only country in Africa located both on the Mediterranean Sea and on the Atlantic Ocean. To the north of Morocco lies the important Strait of Gibraltar, which connects the two seas to each other. Morocco is a mountainous country where the Atlas Mountains stretch across the country. Most of the population lives north of these mountains. South of the mountains we find the sparsely populated Sahara Desert. Further south is the disputed territory of Western Sahara, which has been occupied by Morocco since 1975.

Morocco has a warm and temperate climate along the coast, while in the mountains you have an inland climate with cold winters and hot summers. Among the environmental problems, drought, water scarcity and soil erosion are the main ones, in addition to pollution from industrial activities.

A Brief History of Morocco

The history of Morocco goes back many centuries. The Berbers are considered the country's indigenous population, having settled in the region over 5,000 years ago. Around the year 700, the entire region of North Africa was conquered by the Muslim Arabs, who placed the area under their caliphate.

The interest of European powers in Morocco began in the 15th century, Portugal and Spain occupied several cities on the Atlantic coast to control maritime trade. However, Morocco remained an independent sultanate. Since the 17th century, the country was ruled by the Arab Alavi dynasty, which presumably dates back to the Prophet Muhammad.

An increasingly powerful France threatened the country after the 19th century. In 1912, the Sultan and France entered into an agreement under which part of Morocco became a French protectorate, where the king remained. A nationalist movement arose in the 1930s, but Morocco did not become an independent kingdom until 1956. Morocco occupied what was known as Western Sahara in 1975 and has opposed the independence of the former Spanish colony ever since.

Society and Politics of Morocco

According to the constitution, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy in which political power must be divided between the monarch and an elected bicameral parliament. Today, the country is considered a relatively democratic society with several parties and elections. Even though the elected representatives sit in the government, their power to make policy is strictly limited by the king. He determines domestic and foreign policy, commands the armed forces and the intelligence service.

In 2011, during the Arab Spring, demonstrations took place in various parts of Morocco demanding democratization. In addition, people protested against limited civil rights, widespread corruption, economic problems, and growing social division. The result was reforms and constitutional amendments that gave Parliament a little more power at the expense of the King.

Morocco is a poor country compared to the rest of the Arab world. Class differences are very great, and the king is one of the richest people in the world. Morocco has a modern education system with compulsory schooling for the 7 to 13 age group. However, not all children go to school, and the illiteracy rate is high.

Moroccan foreign policy is characterized by conflict with Western Sahara and the nationalist movement POLISARIO. The conflict led to partial isolation from a number of states in Africa and the Middle East. Morocco traditionally has good relations with the West and close cooperation with the EU.

Economy and Trade of Morocco

The Moroccan economy is stable, but with little growth. The country has carried out reforms, including the creation of new jobs. Especially in cities, unemployment is a serious economic and social problem.

Important sectors of the Moroccan economy are agriculture, mining, fishing, tourism and the textile industry. Since agriculture makes up a large part of the economy, Morocco is dependent on a lot of rainfall. Mining mainly consists of phosphate mining and Morocco is one of the world's largest exporters of phosphate. The service sector accounts for half of GDP and is especially important in cities and places frequented by tourists.

Moroccan Cuisine and Culinary Traditions of Morocco

Moroccan cuisine is based on the traditional cuisine of the Berbers, who have long inhabited the territory of Morocco. But Moroccan cuisine was influenced both by the culinary traditions of other North African countries and by Spanish, Portuguese and French cuisine, since these countries had a significant impact on Moroccan life at various times. The result is a unique Moroccan cuisine that combines a wide range of local products and spices, from which a variety of Moroccan dishes are cooked, as well as the culinary traditions of France and other countries. Tajine is a traditional Moroccan dish cooked in a pot, also called a tagine, and many other Moroccan recipes are famous all over the world.

Flag of Morocco
Coat of Arms of Morocco

Basic Information About Morocco

  • Full name - Kingdom of Morocco
  • Capital - Rabat
  • Language - Arabic, Berber
  • Population – 37,344,787
  • Form of government - constitutional monarchy
  • Area - 446,550 km2
  • Currency - Moroccan dirham
  • National Day - July 30