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This article is about the country in North Africa. Morocco_sentence_0

For other uses, see Morocco (disambiguation). Morocco_sentence_1


Kingdom of MoroccoMorocco_header_cell_0_0_0
CapitalMorocco_header_cell_0_1_0 RabatMorocco_cell_0_1_1
Largest cityMorocco_header_cell_0_2_0 CasablancaMorocco_cell_0_2_1
Official languagesMorocco_header_cell_0_3_0 Morocco_cell_0_3_1
Spoken languagesMorocco_header_cell_0_4_0 Morocco_cell_0_4_1
Foreign languagesMorocco_header_cell_0_5_0 English SpanishMorocco_cell_0_5_1
Ethnic groups (2014)Morocco_header_cell_0_6_0 Morocco_cell_0_6_1
ReligionMorocco_header_cell_0_7_0 Morocco_cell_0_7_1
Demonym(s)Morocco_header_cell_0_8_0 MoroccanMorocco_cell_0_8_1
GovernmentMorocco_header_cell_0_9_0 Unitary parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchyMorocco_cell_0_9_1
KingMorocco_header_cell_0_10_0 Mohammed VIMorocco_cell_0_10_1
Prime MinisterMorocco_header_cell_0_11_0 Saadeddine OthmaniMorocco_cell_0_11_1
LegislatureMorocco_header_cell_0_12_0 ParliamentMorocco_cell_0_12_1
Upper houseMorocco_header_cell_0_13_0 House of CouncillorsMorocco_cell_0_13_1
Lower houseMorocco_header_cell_0_14_0 House of RepresentativesMorocco_cell_0_14_1
Kingdom of MauretaniaMorocco_header_cell_0_16_0 400 BCMorocco_cell_0_16_1
Idrisid dynastyMorocco_header_cell_0_17_0 788Morocco_cell_0_17_1
Alaouite dynasty (current dynasty)Morocco_header_cell_0_18_0 1631Morocco_cell_0_18_1
Protectorate establishedMorocco_header_cell_0_19_0 30 March 1912Morocco_cell_0_19_1
IndependenceMorocco_header_cell_0_20_0 7 April 1956Morocco_cell_0_20_1
Area Morocco_header_cell_0_21_0
TotalMorocco_header_cell_0_22_0 710,850 km (274,460 sq mi)

or 446,550 km (39th or 57th)Morocco_cell_0_22_1

Water (%)Morocco_header_cell_0_23_0 0.056 (250 km)Morocco_cell_0_23_1
2020 estimateMorocco_header_cell_0_25_0 37,112,080 (39th)Morocco_cell_0_25_1
2014 censusMorocco_header_cell_0_26_0 33,848,242Morocco_cell_0_26_1
DensityMorocco_header_cell_0_27_0 50.0/km (129.5/sq mi)Morocco_cell_0_27_1
GDP (PPP)Morocco_header_cell_0_28_0 2019 estimateMorocco_cell_0_28_1
TotalMorocco_header_cell_0_29_0 $332.358 billionMorocco_cell_0_29_1
Per capitaMorocco_header_cell_0_30_0 $9,339Morocco_cell_0_30_1
GDP (nominal)Morocco_header_cell_0_31_0 2019 estimateMorocco_cell_0_31_1
TotalMorocco_header_cell_0_32_0 $122.458 billionMorocco_cell_0_32_1
Per capitaMorocco_header_cell_0_33_0 $3,441Morocco_cell_0_33_1
Gini (2013)Morocco_header_cell_0_34_0 39.5


HDI (2018)Morocco_header_cell_0_35_0 0.676

medium · 121stMorocco_cell_0_35_1

CurrencyMorocco_header_cell_0_36_0 Moroccan dirham (MAD)Morocco_cell_0_36_1
Time zoneMorocco_header_cell_0_37_0 UTC+1Morocco_cell_0_37_1
Driving sideMorocco_header_cell_0_38_0 rightMorocco_cell_0_38_1
Calling codeMorocco_header_cell_0_39_0 +212Morocco_cell_0_39_1
ISO 3166 codeMorocco_header_cell_0_40_0 MAMorocco_cell_0_40_1
Internet TLDMorocco_header_cell_0_41_0 .ma


Morocco (/məˈrɒkoʊ/ (listen); Arabic: المغرب‎, romanized: al-maḡrib, lit. Morocco_sentence_2

'place the sun sets; the west'; Standard Moroccan Tamazight: ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ, romanized: lmeɣrib), officially the Kingdom of Morocco (Arabic: المملكة المغربية‎, romanized: al-mamlaka al-maḡribiyya, lit. Morocco_sentence_3

'The Western Kingdom'; Standard Moroccan Tamazight: ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ, romanized: tageldit n lmaɣrib), is a country located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Morocco_sentence_4

It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, with land borders with Algeria to the east and Western Sahara (status disputed) to the south. Morocco_sentence_5

Morocco also claims the exclaves of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction, as well as several small Spanish-controlled islands off its coast. Morocco_sentence_6

The capital is Rabat and the largest city is Casablanca. Morocco_sentence_7

Morocco spans an area of 710,850 km (274,460 sq mi) and has a population of over 36 million. Morocco_sentence_8

Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under Almoravid and Almohad rule, when it spanned parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa. Morocco_sentence_9

The Portuguese Empire began in Morocco in the 15th century, following Portuguese conquests along the Moroccan coast, founding settlements which lasted into the 17th and 18th centuries. Morocco_sentence_10

The Marinid and Saadi dynasties resisted foreign domination into the 17th century, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. Morocco_sentence_11

The Alaouite dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in 1631. Morocco_sentence_12

The country's strategic location near the mouth of the Mediterranean attracted the interest of Europe, and in 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier. Morocco_sentence_13

It regained its independence in 1956, and has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards, with the fifth largest economy in Africa. Morocco_sentence_14

Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. Morocco_sentence_15

After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces. Morocco_sentence_16

Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, and the war lasted until a ceasefire in 1991. Morocco_sentence_17

Morocco currently occupies two thirds of the territory, and peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock. Morocco_sentence_18

The sovereign state is a unitary Semi-constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. Morocco_sentence_19

The country wields significant influence in both Africa and the Arab world, and is considered a regional power and a middle power. Morocco_sentence_20

The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Morocco_sentence_21

Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. Morocco_sentence_22

The king can issue decrees called dahirs, which have the force of law. Morocco_sentence_23

He can also dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the constitutional court. Morocco_sentence_24

Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, and its official languages are Arabic and Berber, the latter achieving official recognition in 2011, having been the native language of Morocco before the Muslim conquest in the seventh century C.E. Morocco_sentence_25

The Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, and French are also widely spoken. Morocco_sentence_26

Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Arab, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences. Morocco_sentence_27

Morocco is a member of the Arab League, the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union. Morocco_sentence_28

Etymology Morocco_section_0

The full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah (المملكة المغربية) translates to "Kingdom of the West"; although "the West" in Arabic is الغرب Al-Gharb. Morocco_sentence_29

The name also can refer to evening. Morocco_sentence_30

For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá (المغرب الأقصى, meaning "The Farthest West") to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ (المغرب الأوسط, meaning "The Middle West") and al-Maghrib al-Adná (المغرب الأدنى, meaning "The Nearest West"). Morocco_sentence_31

Morocco's English name is based on Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty and Almohad Caliphate. Morocco_sentence_32

The origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most likely from the Berber words amur (n) akush (ⴰⵎⵓⵔ ⵏ ⴰⴽⵓⵛ) or "Land of God". Morocco_sentence_33

The modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc (in the Berber Latin script). Morocco_sentence_34

In Turkish, Morocco is known as Fas, a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes. Morocco_sentence_35

However, this was not the case in other parts of the Islamic world: until the middle of the 20th century, the common name of Morocco in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature was Marrakesh (مراكش); this name is still used in some languages such as Persian, Urdu and Punjabi. Morocco_sentence_36

The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish "Marruecos", from which also derives the Tuscan "Morrocco", the origin of the Italian "Marocco". Morocco_sentence_37

History Morocco_section_1

Main article: History of Morocco Morocco_sentence_38

Prehistory and antiquity Morocco_section_2

The area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. Morocco_sentence_39

A recent publication may demonstrate an even earlier habitation period, as Homo sapiens fossils discovered in the late 2000s near the Atlantic coast in Jebel Irhoud were recently dated to roughly 315,000 years before present. Morocco_sentence_40

During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape. Morocco_sentence_41

Twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Morocco_sentence_42

Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains. Morocco_sentence_43

The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco. Morocco_sentence_44

Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered a close link between Berbers and the Saami of Scandinavia. Morocco_sentence_45

This supports theories that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age. Morocco_sentence_46

Northwest Africa and Morocco were slowly drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Morocco_sentence_47

Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah, Lixus and Mogador. Morocco_sentence_48

Mogador was a Phoenician colony as early as the 6th century BC. Morocco_sentence_49

Morocco later became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of ancient Carthage as part of its empire. Morocco_sentence_50

The earliest known independent Moroccan state was the Berber kingdom of Mauretania under king Baga. Morocco_sentence_51

This ancient kingdom (not to be confused with the present state of Mauritania) dates at least to around 225 BC. Morocco_sentence_52

Mauretania became a client kingdom of the Roman Empire in 33 BC. Morocco_sentence_53

Emperor Claudius annexed Mauretania directly as a Roman province in 44 AD, under an imperial governor (either a procurator Augusti, or a legatus Augusti pro praetore). Morocco_sentence_54

During the crisis of the 3rd century, parts of Mauretania were reconquered by Berber tribes. Morocco_sentence_55

Direct Roman rule became confined to a few coastal cities, such as Septum (Ceuta) in Mauretania Tingitana and Cherchell in Mauretania Caesariensis, by the late 3rd century. Morocco_sentence_56

The Roman Empire lost its remaining possessions in Mauretania after the area was devastated by the Vandals in AD 429. Morocco_sentence_57

After this point, local Mauro-Roman kings assumed control (see Mauro-Roman kingdom). Morocco_sentence_58

The Eastern Roman Empire under Byzantine control re-established direct imperial rule of Septum and Tingi in the 530s. Morocco_sentence_59

Tingis was fortified and a church erected. Morocco_sentence_60

Foundation and early Islamic era Morocco_section_3

See also: Idrisid dynasty Morocco_sentence_61

The Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, which started in the middle of the 7th century, was achieved by the Umayyad Caliphate early into the following century. Morocco_sentence_62

It brought both the Arabic language and Islam to the area. Morocco_sentence_63

Although part of the larger Islamic Empire, Morocco was initially organized as a subsidiary province of Ifriqiya, with the local governors appointed by the Muslim governor in Kairouan. Morocco_sentence_64

The indigenous Berber tribes adopted Islam, but retained their customary laws. Morocco_sentence_65

They also paid taxes and tribute to the new Muslim administration. Morocco_sentence_66

The first independent Muslim state in the area of modern Morocco was the Kingdom of Nekor, an emirate in the Rif Mountains. Morocco_sentence_67

It was founded by Salih I ibn Mansur in 710, as a client state to the Umayyad Caliphate. Morocco_sentence_68

After the outbreak of the Berber Revolt in 739, the Berbers formed other independent states such as the Miknasa of Sijilmasa and the Barghawata. Morocco_sentence_69

According to medieval legend, Idris ibn Abdallah had fled to Morocco after the Abbasids' massacre of his tribe in Iraq. Morocco_sentence_70

He convinced the Awraba Berber tribes to break their allegiance to the distant Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad and he founded the Idrisid dynasty in 788. Morocco_sentence_71

The Idrisids established Fes as their capital and Morocco became a centre of Muslim learning and a major regional power. Morocco_sentence_72

The Idrissids were ousted in 927 by the Fatimid Caliphate and their Miknasa allies. Morocco_sentence_73

After Miknasa broke off relations with the Fatimids in 932, they were removed from power by the Maghrawa of Sijilmasa in 980. Morocco_sentence_74

Dynasties Morocco_section_4

From the 11th century onwards, a series of Berber dynasties arose. Morocco_sentence_75

Under the Sanhaja Almoravid dynasty and the Masmuda Almohad dynasty, Morocco dominated the Maghreb, al-Andalus in Iberia, and the western Mediterranean region. Morocco_sentence_76

From the 13th century onwards the country saw a massive migration of the Banu Hilal Arab tribes. Morocco_sentence_77

In the 13th and 14th centuries the Merinids held power in Morocco and strove to replicate the successes of the Almohads through military campaigns in Algeria and Spain. Morocco_sentence_78

They were followed by the Wattasids. Morocco_sentence_79

In the 15th century, the Reconquista ended Muslim rule in Iberia and many Muslims and Jews fled to Morocco. Morocco_sentence_80

Portuguese efforts to control the Atlantic sea trade in the 15th century did not greatly affect the interior of Morocco even though they managed to control some possessions on the Moroccan coast but not venturing further afield inland. Morocco_sentence_81

Early modern period Morocco_section_5

In 1549, the region fell to successive Arab dynasties claiming descent from the Islamic prophet, Muhammad: first the Saadi dynasty who ruled from 1549 to 1659, and then the Alaouite dynasty, who remain in power since the 17th century. Morocco_sentence_82

Under the Saadi dynasty, the country ended the Aviz dynasty of Portugal at the Battle of Alcácer Quibir in 1578. Morocco_sentence_83

The reign of Ahmad al-Mansur brought new wealth and prestige to the Sultanate, and a large expedition to West Africa inflicted a crushing defeat on the Songhay Empire in 1591. Morocco_sentence_84

However, managing the territories across the Sahara proved too difficult. Morocco_sentence_85

After the death of al-Mansur, the country was divided among his sons. Morocco_sentence_86

In 1631, Morocco was reunited by the Alaouite dynasty, who have been the ruling house of Morocco ever since. Morocco_sentence_87

Morocco was facing aggression from Spain and the Ottoman Empire allies pressing westward. Morocco_sentence_88

The Alaouites succeeded in stabilising their position, and while the kingdom was smaller than previous ones in the region, it remained quite wealthy. Morocco_sentence_89

Against the opposition of local tribes Ismail Ibn Sharif (1672–1727) began to create a unified state. Morocco_sentence_90

With his Jaysh d'Ahl al-Rif (the Riffian Army) he re-occupied Tangier from the English who had abandoned it in 1684 and drove the Spanish from Larache in 1689. Morocco_sentence_91

Portuguese abandoned Mazagão, their last territory in Morocco, in 1769. Morocco_sentence_92

However, the Siege of Melilla against the Spanish ended in defeat in 1775. Morocco_sentence_93

Morocco was the first nation to recognise the fledgling United States as an independent nation in 1777. Morocco_sentence_94

In the beginning of the American Revolution, American merchant ships in the Atlantic Ocean were subject to attack by the Barbary pirates. Morocco_sentence_95

On 20 December 1777, Morocco's Sultan Mohammed III declared that American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage. Morocco_sentence_96

The Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship, signed in 1786, stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship treaty. Morocco_sentence_97

French and Spanish protectorates: 1912 to 1956 Morocco_section_6

Main articles: French protectorate in Morocco and Spanish Protectorate in Morocco Morocco_sentence_98

As Europe industrialised, Northwest Africa was increasingly prized for its potential for colonisation. Morocco_sentence_99

France showed a strong interest in Morocco as early as 1830, not only to protect the border of its Algerian territory, but also because of the strategic position of Morocco with coasts on the Mediterranean and the open Atlantic. Morocco_sentence_100

In 1860, a dispute over Spain's Ceuta enclave led Spain to declare war. Morocco_sentence_101

Victorious Spain won a further enclave and an enlarged Ceuta in the settlement. Morocco_sentence_102

In 1884, Spain created a protectorate in the coastal areas of Morocco. Morocco_sentence_103

In 1904, France and Spain carved out zones of influence in Morocco. Morocco_sentence_104

Recognition by the United Kingdom of France's sphere of influence provoked a strong reaction from the German Empire; and a crisis loomed in 1905. Morocco_sentence_105

The matter was resolved at the Algeciras Conference in 1906. Morocco_sentence_106

The Agadir Crisis of 1911 increased tensions between European powers. Morocco_sentence_107

The 1912 Treaty of Fez made Morocco a protectorate of France, and triggered the 1912 Fez riots. Morocco_sentence_108

Spain continued to operate its coastal protectorate. Morocco_sentence_109

By the same treaty, Spain assumed the role of protecting power over the northern and southern Saharan zones. Morocco_sentence_110

Tens of thousands of colonists entered Morocco. Morocco_sentence_111

Some bought up large amounts of the rich agricultural land, others organised the exploitation and modernisation of mines and harbours. Morocco_sentence_112

Interest groups that formed among these elements continually pressured France to increase its control over Morocco – a control which was also made necessary by the continuous wars among Moroccan tribes, part of which had taken sides with the French since the beginning of the conquest. Morocco_sentence_113

Governor general Marshall Hubert Lyautey sincerely admired Moroccan culture and succeeded in imposing a joint Moroccan-French administration, while creating a modern school system. Morocco_sentence_114

Several divisions of Moroccan soldiers (Goumiers or regular troops and officers) served in the French army in both World War I and World War II, and in the Spanish Nationalist Army in the Spanish Civil War and after (Regulares). Morocco_sentence_115

The institution of slavery was abolished in 1925. Morocco_sentence_116

Between 1921 and 1926, a Berber uprising in the Rif Mountains, led by Abd el-Krim, led to the establishment of the Republic of the Rif. Morocco_sentence_117

The Spanish lost more than 13,000 soldiers at Annual in July–August 1921. Morocco_sentence_118

The rebellion was eventually suppressed by French and Spanish troops. Morocco_sentence_119

In 1943, the Istiqlal Party (Independence Party) was founded to press for independence, with discreet US support. Morocco_sentence_120

That party subsequently provided most of the leadership for the nationalist movement. Morocco_sentence_121

France's exile of Sultan Mohammed V in 1953 to Madagascar and his replacement by the unpopular Mohammed Ben Aarafa sparked active opposition to the French and Spanish protectorates. Morocco_sentence_122

The most notable violence occurred in Oujda where Moroccans attacked French and other European residents in the streets. Morocco_sentence_123

France allowed Mohammed V to return in 1955, and the negotiations that led to Moroccan independence began the following year. Morocco_sentence_124

In March 1956 the French protectorate was ended and Morocco regained its independence from France as the "Kingdom of Morocco". Morocco_sentence_125

A month later Spain forsook its protectorate in Northern Morocco to the new state but kept its two coastal enclaves (Ceuta and Melilla) on the Mediterranean coast which dated from earlier conquests. Morocco_sentence_126

Sultan Mohammed became king in 1957. Morocco_sentence_127

Post-independence Morocco_section_7

Upon the death of Mohammed V, Hassan II became King of Morocco on 3 March 1961. Morocco_sentence_128

Morocco held its first general elections in 1963. Morocco_sentence_129

However, Hassan declared a state of emergency and suspended parliament in 1965. Morocco_sentence_130

In 1971, there was a failed attempt to depose the king and establish a republic. Morocco_sentence_131

A truth commission set up in 2005 to investigate human rights abuses during his reign confirmed nearly 10,000 cases, ranging from death in detention to forced exile. Morocco_sentence_132

Some 592 people were recorded killed during Hassan's rule according to the truth commission. Morocco_sentence_133

The Spanish enclave of Ifni in the south was returned to Morocco in 1969. Morocco_sentence_134

The Polisario movement was formed in 1973, with the aim of establishing an independent state in the Spanish Sahara. Morocco_sentence_135

On 6 November 1975, King Hassan asked for volunteers to cross into the Spanish Sahara. Morocco_sentence_136

Some 350,000 civilians were reported as being involved in the "Green March". Morocco_sentence_137

A month later, Spain agreed to leave the Spanish Sahara, soon to become Western Sahara, and to transfer it to joint Moroccan-Mauritanian control, despite the objections and threats of military intervention by Algeria. Morocco_sentence_138

Moroccan forces occupied the territory. Morocco_sentence_139

Moroccan and Algerian troops soon clashed in Western Sahara. Morocco_sentence_140

Morocco and Mauritania divided up Western Sahara. Morocco_sentence_141

Fighting between the Moroccan military and Polisario forces continued for many years. Morocco_sentence_142

The prolonged war was a considerable financial drain on Morocco. Morocco_sentence_143

In 1983, Hassan cancelled planned elections amid political unrest and economic crisis. Morocco_sentence_144

In 1984, Morocco left the Organisation of African Unity in protest at the SADR's admission to the body. Morocco_sentence_145

Polisario claimed to have killed more than 5,000 Moroccan soldiers between 1982 and 1985. Morocco_sentence_146

Algerian authorities have estimated the number of Sahrawi refugees in Algeria to be 165,000. Morocco_sentence_147

Diplomatic relations with Algeria were restored in 1988. Morocco_sentence_148

In 1991, a UN-monitored ceasefire began in Western Sahara, but the territory's status remains undecided and ceasefire violations are reported. Morocco_sentence_149

The following decade saw much wrangling over a proposed referendum on the future of the territory but the deadlock was not broken. Morocco_sentence_150

Political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature in 1997 and Morocco's first opposition-led government came to power in 1998. Morocco_sentence_151

King Hassan II died in 1999 and was succeeded by his son, Mohammed VI. Morocco_sentence_152

He is a cautious moderniser who has introduced some economic and social liberalisation. Morocco_sentence_153

Mohammed VI paid a controversial visit to the Western Sahara in 2002. Morocco_sentence_154

Morocco unveiled an autonomy blueprint for Western Sahara to the United Nations in 2007. Morocco_sentence_155

The Polisario rejected the plan and put forward its own proposal. Morocco_sentence_156

Morocco and the Polisario Front held UN-sponsored talks in New York City but failed to come to any agreement. Morocco_sentence_157

In 2010, security forces stormed a protest camp in the Western Sahara, triggering violent demonstrations in the regional capital El Aaiún. Morocco_sentence_158

In 2002, Morocco and Spain agreed to a US-brokered resolution over the disputed island of Perejil. Morocco_sentence_159

Spanish troops had taken the normally uninhabited island after Moroccan soldiers landed on it and set up tents and a flag. Morocco_sentence_160

There were renewed tensions in 2005, as hundreds of African migrants tried to storm the borders of the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta. Morocco_sentence_161

Morocco deported hundreds of the illegal migrants. Morocco_sentence_162

In 2006, the Spanish Premier Zapatero visited Spanish enclaves. Morocco_sentence_163

He was the first Spanish leader in 25 years to make an official visit to the territories. Morocco_sentence_164

The following year, Spanish King Juan Carlos I visited Ceuta and Melilla, further angering Morocco which demanded control of the enclaves. Morocco_sentence_165

During the 2011–2012 Moroccan protests, thousands of people rallied in Rabat and other cities calling for political reform and a new constitution curbing the powers of the king. Morocco_sentence_166

In July 2011, the King won a landslide victory in a referendum on a reformed constitution he had proposed to placate the Arab Spring protests. Morocco_sentence_167

Despite the reforms made by Mohammed VI, demonstrators continued to call for deeper reforms. Morocco_sentence_168

Hundreds took part in a trade union rally in Casablanca in May 2012. Morocco_sentence_169

Participants accused the government of failing to deliver on reforms. Morocco_sentence_170

Geography Morocco_section_8

Main article: Geography of Morocco Morocco_sentence_171

Morocco has a coast by the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco_sentence_172

It is bordered by Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with three small Spanish-controlled exclaves, Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera), Algeria to the east, and Western Sahara to the south. Morocco_sentence_173

Since Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, its de facto southern boundary is with Mauritania. Morocco_sentence_174

The internationally recognised borders of the country lie between latitudes 27° and 36°N, and longitudes 1° and 14°W. Morocco_sentence_175

Adding Western Sahara, Morocco lies mostly between 21° and 36°N, and and 17°W (the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula is slightly south of 21° and west of 17°). Morocco_sentence_176

The geography of Morocco spans from the Atlantic Ocean, to mountainous areas, to the Sahara desert. Morocco_sentence_177

Morocco is a Northern African country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara. Morocco_sentence_178

It is one of only three nations (along with Spain and France) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Morocco_sentence_179

A large part of Morocco is mountainous. Morocco_sentence_180

The Atlas Mountains are located mainly in the centre and the south of the country. Morocco_sentence_181

The Rif Mountains are located in the north of the country. Morocco_sentence_182

Both ranges are mainly inhabited by the Berber people. Morocco_sentence_183

At 446,550 km (172,414 sq mi), Morocco excluding Western Sahara is the fifty-seventh largest country in the world. Morocco_sentence_184

Algeria borders Morocco to the east and southeast, though the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994. Morocco_sentence_185

Spanish territory in Northwest Africa neighbouring Morocco comprises five enclaves on the Mediterranean coast: Ceuta, Melilla, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, Peñón de Alhucemas, the Chafarinas islands, and the disputed islet Perejil. Morocco_sentence_186

Off the Atlantic coast the Canary Islands belong to Spain, whereas Madeira to the north is Portuguese. Morocco_sentence_187

To the north, Morocco is bordered by the Strait of Gibraltar, where international shipping has unimpeded transit passage between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Morocco_sentence_188

The Rif mountains stretch over the region bordering the Mediterranean from the north-west to the north-east. Morocco_sentence_189

The Atlas Mountains run down the backbone of the country, from the northeast to the southwest. Morocco_sentence_190

Most of the southeast portion of the country is in the Sahara Desert and as such is generally sparsely populated and unproductive economically. Morocco_sentence_191

Most of the population lives to the north of these mountains, while to the south lies the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that was annexed by Morocco in 1975 (see Green March). Morocco_sentence_192

Morocco claims that the Western Sahara is part of its territory and refers to that as its Southern Provinces. Morocco_sentence_193

Morocco's capital city is Rabat; its largest city is its main port, Casablanca. Morocco_sentence_194

Other cities recording a population over 500,000 in the 2014 Moroccan census are Fes, Marrakesh, Meknes, Salé and Tangier. Morocco_sentence_195

Morocco is represented in the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 geographical encoding standard by the symbol MA. Morocco_sentence_196

This code was used as the basis for Morocco's internet domain, .ma. Morocco_sentence_197

Climate Morocco_section_9

The country's Mediterranean climate is similar to that of southern California, with lush forests in the northern and central mountain ranges of the country, giving way to drier conditions and inland deserts further southeast. Morocco_sentence_198

The Moroccan coastal plains experience remarkably moderate temperatures even in summer, owing to the effect of the cold Canary Current off its Atlantic coast. Morocco_sentence_199

In the Rif, Middle and High Atlas Mountains, there exist several different types of climates: Mediterranean along the coastal lowlands, giving way to a humid temperate climate at higher elevations with sufficient moisture to allow for the growth of different species of oaks, moss carpets, junipers, and Atlantic fir which is a royal conifer tree endemic to Morocco. Morocco_sentence_200

In the valleys, fertile soils and high precipitation allow for the growth of thick and lush forests. Morocco_sentence_201

Cloud forests can be found in the west of the Rif Mountains and Middle Atlas Mountains. Morocco_sentence_202

At higher elevations, the climate becomes alpine in character, and can sustain ski resorts. Morocco_sentence_203

Southeast of the Atlas mountains, near the Algerian borders, the climate becomes very dry, with long and hot summers. Morocco_sentence_204

Extreme heat and low moisture levels are especially pronounced in the lowland regions east of the Atlas range due to the rain shadow effect of the mountain system. Morocco_sentence_205

The southeasternmost portions of Morocco are very hot, and include portions of the Sahara Desert, where vast swathes of sand dunes and rocky plains are dotted with lush oases. Morocco_sentence_206

In contrast to the Sahara region in the south, coastal plains are fertile in the central and northern regions of the country, and comprise the backbone of the country's agriculture, in which 95% of the population live. Morocco_sentence_207

The direct exposure to the North Atlantic Ocean, the proximity to mainland Europe and the long stretched Rif and Atlas mountains are the factors of the rather European-like climate in the northern half of the country. Morocco_sentence_208

That makes Morocco a country of contrasts. Morocco_sentence_209

Forested areas cover about 12% of the country while arable land accounts for 18%. Morocco_sentence_210

Approximately 5% of Moroccan land is irrigated for agricultural use. Morocco_sentence_211

In general, apart from the southeast regions (pre-Saharan and desert areas), Morocco's climate and geography are very similar to the Iberian peninsula. Morocco_sentence_212

Thus Morocco has the following climate zones: Morocco_sentence_213


  • Mediterranean: Dominates the coastal Mediterranean regions of the country, along the (500 km strip), and some parts of the Atlantic coast. Summers are hot to moderately hot and dry, average highs are between 29 °C (84.2 °F) and 32 °C (89.6 °F). Winters are generally mild and wet, daily average temperatures hover around 9 °C (48.2 °F) to 11 °C (51.8 °F), and average low are around 5 °C (41.0 °F) to 8 °C (46.4 °F), typical to the coastal areas of the west Mediterranean. Annual Precipitation in this area vary from 600 to 800 mm in the west to 350–500 mm in the east. Notable cities that fall into this zone are Tangier, Tetouan, Al Hoceima, Nador and Safi.Morocco_item_0_0
  • Sub-Mediterranean: It influences cities that show Mediterranean characteristics, but remain fairly influenced by other climates owing to their either relative elevation, or direct exposure to the North Atlantic Ocean. We thus have two main influencing climates:Morocco_item_0_1


  • Morocco_item_1_2
    • Oceanic: Determined by the cooler summers, where highs are around 27 °C (80.6 °F) and in terms of the Essaouira region, are almost always around 21 °C (69.8 °F). The medium daily temperatures can get as low as 19 °C (66.2 °F), while winters are chilly to mild and wet. Annual precipitation varies from 400 to 700 mm. Notable cities that fall into this zone are Rabat, Casablanca, Kénitra, Salé and Essaouira.Morocco_item_1_3


  • Morocco_item_2_4
    • Continental: Determined by the bigger gap between highs and lows, that results in hotter summers and colder winters, than found in typical Mediterranean zones. In summer, daily highs can get as high as 40 °C (104.0 °F) during heat waves, but usually are between 32 °C (89.6 °F) and 36 °C (96.8 °F). However, temperatures drop as the sun sets. Night temperatures usually fall below 20 °C (68.0 °F), and sometimes as low as 10 °C (50.0 °F) in mid-summer. Winters are cooler, and can get below the freezing point multiple times between December and February. Also, snow can fall occasionally. Fès for example registered −8 °C (17.6 °F) in winter 2005. Annual precipitation varies between 500 and 900 mm. Notable cities are Fès, Meknès, Chefchaouen, Beni-Mellal and Taza.Morocco_item_2_5


  • Continental: Dominates the mountainous regions of the north and central parts of the country, where summers are hot to very hot, with highs between 32 °C (89.6 °F) and 36 °C (96.8 °F). Winters on the other hand are cold, and lows usually go beyond the freezing point. And when cold damp air comes to Morocco from the northwest, for a few days, temperatures sometimes get below −5 °C (23.0 °F). It often snows abundantly in this part of the country. Precipitation varies between 400 and 800 mm. Notable cities are Khenifra, Imilchil, Midelt and Azilal.Morocco_item_3_6
  • Alpine: Found in some parts of the Middle Atlas Mountain range and the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountain range. Summers are very warm to moderately hot, and winters are longer, cold and snowy. Precipitation varies between 400 and 1200 mm. In summer highs barely go above 30 °C (86.0 °F), and lows are cool and average below 15 °C (59.0 °F). In winters, highs average around 8 °C (46.4 °F), and lows go well below the freezing point. In this part of country, there are many ski resorts, such as Oukaimeden and Mischliefen. Notable cities are Ifrane, Azrou and Boulmane.Morocco_item_3_7
  • Semi-arid: This type of climate is found in the south of the country and some parts of the east of the country, where rainfall is lower and annual precipitations are between 200 and 350 mm. However, one usually finds Mediterranean characteristics in those regions, such as the precipitation pattern and thermal attributes. Notable cities are Agadir, Marrakesh and Oujda.Morocco_item_3_8

South of Agadir and east of Jerada near the Algerian borders, arid and desert climate starts to prevail. Morocco_sentence_214

Due to Morocco's proximity to the Sahara desert and the North Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, two phenomena occur to influence the regional seasonal temperatures, either by raising temperatures by 7–8 degrees Celsius when sirocco blows from the east creating heatwaves, or by lowering temperatures by 7–8 degrees Celsius when cold damp air blows from the northwest, creating a coldwave or cold spell. Morocco_sentence_215

However, these phenomena do not last for more than two to five days on average. Morocco_sentence_216

Countries or regions that share the same climatic characteristics with Morocco are the state of California (USA), Portugal, Spain and Algeria. Morocco_sentence_217

Precipitation Morocco_section_10

Annual rainfall in Morocco is different according to regions. Morocco_sentence_218

The northwestern parts of the country receive between 500 mm and 1200 mm, while the northeastern parts receive between 350 and 600 mm. Morocco_sentence_219

North Central Morocco receives between 700 mm and up to 3500 mm. Morocco_sentence_220

The area from Casablanca to Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast, receives between 300 mm and 500 mm. Morocco_sentence_221

The regions from Essaouira to Agadir receive between 250 mm and 400 mm. Morocco_sentence_222

Marrakesh region in the central south receives only 250 mm a year. Morocco_sentence_223

The southeastern regions, basically the driest areas, receive between 100 mm and 200 mm only, and consist basically of arid and desert lands. Morocco_sentence_224

Botanically speaking, Morocco enjoys a great variety of vegetation, from lush large forests of conifer and oak trees typical of the western Mediterranean countries (Morocco, Algeria, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal), to shrubs and acacias further south. Morocco_sentence_225

This is due to the diversity of climate and the precipitation patterns in the country. Morocco_sentence_226

Morocco's weather is one of the most pristine in terms of the four-season experience. Morocco_sentence_227

Most regions have distinct seasons where summer is usually not spoiled by rain and winter turns wet, snowy and humid with mild, cool to cold temperatures, while spring and fall see warm to mild weather characterised by flowers blooming in spring and falling leaves in autumn. Morocco_sentence_228

This type of weather has affected the Moroccan culture and behaviour and played a part in the social interaction of the population, like many other countries that fall into this type of climate zone. Morocco_sentence_229

Climate change Morocco_section_11

Biodiversity Morocco_section_12

Morocco has a wide range of biodiversity. Morocco_sentence_230

It is part of the Mediterranean basin, an area with exceptional concentrations of endemic species undergoing rapid rates of habitat loss, and is therefore considered to be a hotspot for conservation priority. Morocco_sentence_231

Avifauna are notably variant. Morocco_sentence_232

The avifauna of Morocco includes a total of 454 species, five of which have been introduced by humans, and 156 are rarely or accidentally seen. Morocco_sentence_233

The Barbary lion, hunted to extinction in the wild, was a subspecies native to Morocco and is a national emblem. Morocco_sentence_234

The last Barbary lion in the wild was shot in the Atlas Mountains in 1922. Morocco_sentence_235

The other two primary predators of northern Africa, the Atlas bear and Barbary leopard, are now extinct and critically endangered, respectively. Morocco_sentence_236

Relict populations of the West African crocodile persisted in the Draa river until the 20th century. Morocco_sentence_237

The Barbary macaque, a primate endemic to Morocco and Algeria, is also facing extinction due to offtake for trade human interruption, urbanisation, wood and real estate expansion that diminish forested area – the macaque's habitat. Morocco_sentence_238

Trade of animals and plants for food, pets, medicinal purposes, souvenirs and photo props is common across Morocco, despite laws making much of it illegal. Morocco_sentence_239

This trade is unregulated and causing unknown reductions of wild populations of native Moroccan wildlife. Morocco_sentence_240

Because of the proximity of northern Morocco to Europe, species such as cacti, tortoises, mammal skins, and high-value birds (falcons and bustards) are harvested in various parts of the country and exported in appreciable quantities, with especially large volumes of eel harvested – 60 tons exported to the Far East in the period 2009‒2011. Morocco_sentence_241

Politics Morocco_section_13

Main article: Politics of Morocco Morocco_sentence_242

Morocco was an authoritarian regime according to the Democracy Index of 2014. Morocco_sentence_243

The Freedom of the Press 2014 report gave it a rating of "Not Free". Morocco_sentence_244

This has improved since, however, and in 2017, Morocco was upgraded to being a "hybrid regime" according to the Democracy Index in 2017 and the Freedom of the Press report in 2017 found that Morocco was "partly free". Morocco_sentence_245

Following the March 1998 elections, a coalition government headed by opposition socialist leader Abderrahmane Youssoufi and composed largely of ministers drawn from opposition parties, was formed. Morocco_sentence_246

Prime Minister Youssoufi's government was the first ever government drawn primarily from opposition parties, and also represents the first opportunity for a coalition of socialists, left-of-centre, and nationalist parties to be included in the government until October 2002. Morocco_sentence_247

It was also the first time in the modern political history of the Arab world that the . Morocco_sentence_248

The current government is headed by Saadeddine Othmani. Morocco_sentence_249

The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary. Morocco_sentence_250

With the 2011 constitutional reforms, the King of Morocco retains less executive powers whereas those of the prime minister have been enlarged. Morocco_sentence_251

The constitution grants the king honorific powers (among other powers); he is both the secular political leader and the "Commander of the Faithful" as a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. Morocco_sentence_252

He presides over the Council of Ministers; appoints the Prime Minister from the political party that has won the most seats in the parliamentary elections, and on recommendations from the latter, appoints the members of the government. Morocco_sentence_253

The constitution of 1996 theoretically allowed the king to terminate the tenure of any minister, and after consultation with the heads of the higher and lower Assemblies, to dissolve the Parliament, suspend the constitution, call for new elections, or rule by decree. Morocco_sentence_254

The only time this happened was in 1965. Morocco_sentence_255

The King is formally the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Morocco_sentence_256

Legislative branch Morocco_section_14

Since the constitutional reform of 1996, the bicameral legislature consists of two chambers. Morocco_sentence_257

The Assembly of Representatives of Morocco (Majlis an-Nuwwâb/Assemblée des Répresentants) has 325 members elected for a five-year term, 295 elected in multi-seat constituencies and 30 in national lists consisting only of women. Morocco_sentence_258

The Assembly of Councillors (Majlis al-Mustasharin) has 270 members, elected for a nine-year term, elected by local councils (162 seats), professional chambers (91 seats) and wage-earners (27 seats). Morocco_sentence_259

The Parliament's powers, though still relatively limited, were expanded under the 1992 and 1996 and even further in the 2011 constitutional revisions and include budgetary matters, approving bills, questioning ministers, and establishing ad hoc commissions of inquiry to investigate the government's actions. Morocco_sentence_260

The lower chamber of Parliament may dissolve the government through a vote of no confidence. Morocco_sentence_261

The latest parliamentary elections were held on October 12, 2016. Morocco_sentence_262

Voter turnout in these elections was estimated to be 43% of registered voters. Morocco_sentence_263

Military Morocco_section_15

Main article: Royal Moroccan Armed Forces Morocco_sentence_264

Compulsory military service in Morocco has been officially suspended since September 2006, and Morocco's reserve obligation lasts until age 50. Morocco_sentence_265

Morocco's military consists of the Royal Armed Forces—this includes the Army (the largest branch), the Navy, the Air Force, the Royal Guard, the Royal Gendarmerie and the Auxiliary Forces. Morocco_sentence_266

Internal security is generally effective, and acts of political violence are rare (with one exception, the 2003 Casablanca bombings which killed 45 people). Morocco_sentence_267

The UN maintains a small observer force in Western Sahara, where a large number of Morocco's troops are stationed. Morocco_sentence_268

The Saharawi group Polisario maintains an active militia of an estimated 5,000 fighters in Western Sahara and has engaged in intermittent warfare with Moroccan forces since the 1970s. Morocco_sentence_269

Foreign relations Morocco_section_16

Main article: Foreign relations of Morocco Morocco_sentence_270

Morocco is a member of the United Nations and belongs to the African Union (AU), Arab League, Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement and the Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN_SAD). Morocco_sentence_271

Morocco's relationships vary greatly between African, Arab, and Western states. Morocco_sentence_272

Morocco has had strong ties to the West in order to gain economic and political benefits. Morocco_sentence_273

France and Spain remain the primary trade partners, as well as the primary creditors and foreign investors in Morocco. Morocco_sentence_274

From the total foreign investments in Morocco, the European Union invests approximately 73.5%, whereas, the Arab world invests only 19.3%. Morocco_sentence_275

Many countries from the Persian Gulf and Maghreb regions are getting more involved in large-scale development projects in Morocco. Morocco_sentence_276

Morocco was the only African state not to be a member of the African Union due to its unilateral withdrawal on 12 November 1984 over the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in 1982 by the African Union (then called Organisation of African Unity) as a full member without the organisation of a referendum of self-determination in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Morocco_sentence_277

Morocco rejoined the AU on 30 January 2017. Morocco_sentence_278

A dispute with Spain in 2002 over the small island of Perejil revived the issue of the sovereignty of Melilla and Ceuta. Morocco_sentence_279

These small enclaves on the Mediterranean coast are surrounded by Morocco and have been administered by Spain for centuries. Morocco_sentence_280

Morocco has been given the status of major non-NATO ally by the US government. Morocco_sentence_281

Morocco was the first country in the world to recognise US sovereignty (in 1777). Morocco_sentence_282

Morocco is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer. Morocco_sentence_283

Western Sahara status Morocco_section_17

Main article: Legal status of Western Sahara Morocco_sentence_284

Due to the conflict over Western Sahara, the status of the Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro regions is disputed. Morocco_sentence_285

The Western Sahara War saw the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement, battling both Morocco and Mauritania between 1976 and a ceasefire in 1991 that is still in effect. Morocco_sentence_286

A United Nations mission, MINURSO, is tasked with organizing a referendum on whether the territory should become independent or recognised as a part of Morocco. Morocco_sentence_287

Part of the territory, the Free Zone, is a mostly uninhabited area that the Polisario Front controls as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Morocco_sentence_288

Its administrative headquarters are located in Tindouf, Algeria. Morocco_sentence_289

As of 2006, no UN member state has recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. Morocco_sentence_290

In 2006, the government of Morocco has suggested autonomous status for the region, through the Moroccan Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS). Morocco_sentence_291

The project was presented to the United Nations Security Council in mid-April 2007. Morocco_sentence_292

The proposal was encouraged by Moroccan allies such as the United States, France and Spain. Morocco_sentence_293

The Security Council has called upon the parties to enter into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach a mutually accepted political solution. Morocco_sentence_294

Administrative divisions Morocco_section_18

Main article: Administrative divisions of Morocco Morocco_sentence_295

Morocco is officially divided into 12 regions, which, in turn, are subdivided into 62 provinces and 13 prefectures. Morocco_sentence_296

Regions Morocco_sentence_297


  1. Tanger-Tetouan-Al HoceimaMorocco_item_4_9
  2. OrientalMorocco_item_4_10
  3. Fès-MeknèsMorocco_item_4_11
  4. Rabat-Salé-KénitraMorocco_item_4_12
  5. Béni Mellal-KhénifraMorocco_item_4_13
  6. Casablanca-SettatMorocco_item_4_14
  7. Marrakech-SafiMorocco_item_4_15
  8. Drâa-TafilaletMorocco_item_4_16
  9. Souss-MassaMorocco_item_4_17
  10. Guelmim-Oued NounMorocco_item_4_18
  11. Laâyoune-Sakia El HamraMorocco_item_4_19
  12. Dakhla-Oued Ed-DahabMorocco_item_4_20

Human rights Morocco_section_19

See also: Human rights in Morocco and LGBT rights in Morocco Morocco_sentence_298

During the early 1960s to the late 1980s, under the leadership of Hassan II, Morocco had one of the worst human rights record in both Africa and the world. Morocco_sentence_299

Government repression of political dissent was widespread during Hassan II's leadership, until it dropped sharply in the mid-1990s. Morocco_sentence_300

The decades previous to this time are called the Years of Lead (Les Années de Plomb), and included forced disappearances, assassinations of government opponents and protesters, and secret internment camps such as Tazmamart. Morocco_sentence_301

To examine the abuses committed during the reign of King Hassan II (1961–1999), the government has set up an Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER). Morocco_sentence_302

According to Human Rights Watch annual report 2016, Moroccan authorities restricted the rights to peaceful expression, association and assembly through several laws. Morocco_sentence_303

The authorities continue to prosecute both printed and online media which criticizes the government or the king (or the royal family). Morocco_sentence_304

There are also persistent allegations of violence against both Sahrawi pro-independence and pro-Polisario demonstrators in Western Sahara; a disputed territory which is occupied by and considered by Morocco as part of its Southern Provinces. Morocco_sentence_305

Morocco has been accused of detaining Sahrawi pro-independence activists as prisoners of conscience. Morocco_sentence_306

Homosexual acts as well as pre-marital sex are illegal in Morocco, and can be punishable by six months to three years of imprisonment. Morocco_sentence_307

It is illegal to proselytise for any religion other than Islam (article 220 of the Moroccan Penal Code), and that crime is punishable by a maximum of 15 years of imprisonment. Morocco_sentence_308

Violence against women and sexual harassment have been criminalized. Morocco_sentence_309

The penalty can be from one month to five years, with fines ranging from $200 to $1,000. Morocco_sentence_310

As of 24 May 2020, hundreds of Moroccan migrant workers are trapped in Spain. Morocco_sentence_311

They are continuously begging their government to let them come back home. Morocco_sentence_312

The Spanish government states that it is holding discussions with the Moroccan government about repatriating the migrant workers via a "humanitarian corridor," but it's unclear how long will the process take. Morocco_sentence_313

Economy Morocco_section_20

Main article: Economy of Morocco Morocco_sentence_314

Morocco's economy is considered a relatively liberal economy governed by the law of supply and demand. Morocco_sentence_315

Since 1993, the country has followed a policy of privatisation of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of the government. Morocco_sentence_316

Morocco has become a major player in African economic affairs, and is the 5th African economy by GDP (PPP). Morocco_sentence_317

Morocco was ranked as the first African country by the Economist Intelligence Unit's quality-of-life index, ahead of South Africa. Morocco_sentence_318

However, in the years since that first-place ranking was given, Morocco has slipped into fourth place behind Egypt. Morocco_sentence_319

Government reforms and steady yearly growth in the region of 4–5% from 2000 to 2007, including 4.9% year-on-year growth in 2003–2007 helped the Moroccan economy to become much more robust compared to a few years earlier. Morocco_sentence_320

For 2012 the World Bank forecast a rate of 4% growth for Morocco and 4.2% for following year, 2013. Morocco_sentence_321

The services sector accounts for just over half of GDP and industry, made up of mining, construction and manufacturing, is an additional quarter. Morocco_sentence_322

The industries that recorded the highest growth are tourism, telecoms, information technology, and textile. Morocco_sentence_323

Tourism Morocco_section_21

Main article: Tourism in Morocco Morocco_sentence_324

Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Moroccan economy. Morocco_sentence_325

It is well developed with a strong tourist industry focused on the country's coast, culture, and history. Morocco_sentence_326

Morocco attracted more than 11 million tourists in 2017. Morocco_sentence_327

Tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner in Morocco after the phosphate industry. Morocco_sentence_328

The Moroccan government is heavily investing in tourism development, in 2010 the government launched its Vision 2020 which plans to make Morocco one of the top 20 tourist destinations in the world and to double the annual number of international arrivals to 20 million by 2020, with the hope that tourism will then have risen to 20% of GDP. Morocco_sentence_329

Large government sponsored marketing campaigns to attract tourists advertised Morocco as a cheap and exotic, yet safe, place for tourists. Morocco_sentence_330

Most of the visitors to Morocco continue to be European, with French nationals making up almost 20% of all visitors. Morocco_sentence_331

Most Europeans visit between April and August. Morocco_sentence_332

Morocco's relatively high number of tourists has been aided by its location—Morocco is close to Europe and attracts visitors to its beaches. Morocco_sentence_333

Because of its proximity to Spain, tourists in southern Spain's coastal areas take one- to three-day trips to Morocco. Morocco_sentence_334

Since air services between Morocco and Algeria have been established, many Algerians have gone to Morocco to shop and visit family and friends. Morocco_sentence_335

Morocco is relatively inexpensive because of the devaluation of the dirham and the increase of hotel prices in Spain. Morocco_sentence_336

Morocco has an excellent road and rail infrastructure that links the major cities and tourist destinations with ports and cities with international airports. Morocco_sentence_337

Low-cost airlines offer cheap flights to the country. Morocco_sentence_338

Tourism is increasingly focused on Morocco's culture, such as its ancient cities. Morocco_sentence_339

The modern tourist industry capitalises on Morocco's ancient Berber, Roman and Islamic sites, and on its landscape and cultural history. Morocco_sentence_340

60% of Morocco's tourists visit for its culture and heritage. Morocco_sentence_341

Agadir is a major coastal resort and has a third of all Moroccan bed nights. Morocco_sentence_342

It is a base for tours to the Atlas Mountains. Morocco_sentence_343

Other resorts in north Morocco are also very popular. Morocco_sentence_344

Casablanca is the major cruise port in Morocco, and has the best developed market for tourists in Morocco, Marrakech in central Morocco is a popular tourist destination, but is more popular among tourists for one- and two-day excursions that provide a taste of Morocco's history and culture. Morocco_sentence_345

The Majorelle botanical garden in Marrakech is a popular tourist attraction. Morocco_sentence_346

It was bought by the fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980. Morocco_sentence_347

Their presence in the city helped to boost the city's profile as a tourist destination. Morocco_sentence_348

As of 2006, activity and adventure tourism in the Atlas and Rif Mountains are the fastest growth area in Moroccan tourism. Morocco_sentence_349

These locations have excellent walking and trekking opportunities from late March to mid-November. Morocco_sentence_350

The government is investing in trekking circuits. Morocco_sentence_351

They are also developing desert tourism in competition with Tunisia. Morocco_sentence_352

Agriculture Morocco_section_22

Main article: Agriculture in Morocco Morocco_sentence_353

Infrastructure Morocco_section_23

According to the Global Competitiveness Report of 2019, Morocco Ranked 32nd in the world in terms of Roads, 16th in Sea, 45th in Air and 64th in Railways. Morocco_sentence_354

This gives Morocco the best infrastructure rankings in the African continent. Morocco_sentence_355

Modern infrastructure development, such as ports, airports, and rail links, is a top government priority. Morocco_sentence_356

To meet the growing domestic demand, the Moroccan government invested more than $15 billion from 2010 to 2015 in upgrading its basic infrastructure. Morocco_sentence_357

Morocco has one of the best road systems on the continent. Morocco_sentence_358

Over the past 20 years, the government has built approximately 1770 kilometers of modern roads, connecting most major cities via toll expressways. Morocco_sentence_359

The Moroccan Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics, and Water aims to build an additional 3380 kilometers of expressway and 2100 kilometers of highway by 2030, at an expected cost of $9.6 billion. Morocco_sentence_360

While focusing on linking the southern provinces, notably the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla to the rest of Morocco. Morocco_sentence_361

In 2014, Morocco began the construction of the first high-speed railway system in Africa linking the cities of Tangiers and Casablanca. Morocco_sentence_362

It was inaugurated in 2018 by the King following over a decade of planning and construction by Moroccan national railway company ONCF. Morocco_sentence_363

It is the first phase of what is planned to eventually be a 1,500 kilometeres (930 mi) high-speed rail network in Morocco. Morocco_sentence_364

An extension of the line to Marrakesh is already being planned. Morocco_sentence_365

Morocco also has the largest port in Africa and the Mediterranean called Tanger-Med, which is ranked the 18th in the world with a handling capacity of over 9 million containers. Morocco_sentence_366

It is situated in the Tangiers free economic zone and serves as a logistics hub for Africa and the world. Morocco_sentence_367

Energy Morocco_section_24

Main article: Energy in Morocco Morocco_sentence_368

In 2008, about 56% of Morocco's electricity supply was provided by coal. Morocco_sentence_369

However, as forecasts indicate that energy requirements in Morocco will rise 6% per year between 2012 and 2050, a new law passed encouraging Moroccans to look for ways to diversify the energy supply, including more renewable resources. Morocco_sentence_370

The Moroccan government has launched a project to build a solar thermal energy power plant and is also looking into the use of natural gas as a potential source of revenue for Morocco's government. Morocco_sentence_371

Morocco has embarked upon the construction of large solar energy farms to lessen dependence on fossil fuels, and to eventually export electricity to Europe. Morocco_sentence_372

Narcotics Morocco_section_25

Since the 7th century, Cannabis has been cultivated in the Rif Region. Morocco_sentence_373

In 2004, according to the UN World Drugs Report, cultivation and transformation of cannabis represents 0.57% of the national GDP of Morocco in 2002. Morocco_sentence_374

According to a French Ministry of the Interior 2006 report, 80% of the cannabis resin (hashish) consumed in Europe comes from the Rif region in Morocco, which is mostly mountainous terrain in the north of Morocco, also hosting plains that are very fertile and expanding from Melwiyya River and Ras Kebdana in the East to Tangier and Cape Spartel in the West. Morocco_sentence_375

Also, the region extends from the Mediterranean in the south, home of the Wergha River, to the north. Morocco_sentence_376

In addition to that, Morocco is a transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe. Morocco_sentence_377

Water supply and sanitation Morocco_section_26

Main article: Water supply and sanitation in Morocco Morocco_sentence_378

Water supply and sanitation in Morocco is provided by a wide array of utilities. Morocco_sentence_379

They range from private companies in the largest city, Casablanca, the capital, Rabat, and two other cities, to public municipal utilities in 13 other cities, as well as a national electricity and water company (ONEE). Morocco_sentence_380

The latter is in charge of bulk water supply to the aforementioned utilities, water distribution in about 500 small towns, as well as sewerage and wastewater treatment in 60 of these towns. Morocco_sentence_381

There have been substantial improvements in access to water supply, and to a lesser extent to sanitation, over the past fifteen years. Morocco_sentence_382

Remaining challenges include a low level of wastewater treatment (only 13% of collected wastewater is being treated), lack of house connections in the poorest urban neighbourhoods, and limited sustainability of rural systems (20 percent of rural systems are estimated not to function). Morocco_sentence_383

In 2005 a National Sanitation Program was approved that aims at treating 60% of collected wastewater and connecting 80% of urban households to sewers by 2020. Morocco_sentence_384

The issue of lack of water connections for some of the urban poor is being addressed as part of the National Human Development Initiative, under which residents of informal settlements have received land titles and have fees waived that are normally paid to utilities in order to connect to the water and sewer network. Morocco_sentence_385

Science and technology Morocco_section_27

Main article: Science and technology in Morocco Morocco_sentence_386

The Moroccan government has been implementing reforms to improve the quality of education and make research more responsive to socio-economic needs. Morocco_sentence_387

In May 2009, Morocco's prime minister, Abbas El Fassi, announced greater support for science during a meeting at the National Centre for Scientific and Technical Research. Morocco_sentence_388

The aim was to give universities greater financial autonomy from the government to make them more responsive to research needs and better able to forge links with the private sector, in the hope that this would nurture a culture of entrepreneurship in academia. Morocco_sentence_389

He announced that investment in science and technology would rise from US$620,000 in 2008 to US$8.5 million (69 million Moroccan dirhams) in 2009, in order to finance the refurbishment and construction of laboratories, training courses for researchers in financial management, a scholarship programme for postgraduate research and incentive measures for companies prepared to finance research, such as giving them access to scientific results that they could then use to develop new products. Morocco_sentence_390

The Moroccan Innovation Strategy was launched at the country's first National Innovation Summit in June 2009 by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Investment and the Digital Economy. Morocco_sentence_391

The Moroccan Innovation Strategy fixed the target of producing 1,000 Moroccan patents and creating 200 innovative start-ups by 2014. Morocco_sentence_392

In 2012, Moroccan inventors applied for 197 patents, up from 152 two years earlier. Morocco_sentence_393

In 2011, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and New Technologies created a Moroccan Club of Innovation, in partnership with the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property. Morocco_sentence_394

The idea is to create a network of players in innovation, including researchers, entrepreneurs, students and academics, to help them develop innovative projects. Morocco_sentence_395

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is supporting research in advanced technologies and the development of innovative cities in Fez, Rabat and Marrakesh. Morocco_sentence_396

The government is encouraging public institutions to engage with citizens in innovation. Morocco_sentence_397

One example is the Moroccan Phosphate Office (Office chérifien des phosphates), which has invested in a project to develop a smart city, King Mohammed VI Green City, around Mohammed VI University located between Casablanca and Marrakesh, at a cost of DH 4.7 billion (circa US$479 million). Morocco_sentence_398

As of 2015, Morocco had three technoparks. Morocco_sentence_399

Since the first technopark was established in Rabat in 2005, a second has been set up in Casablanca, followed, in 2015, by a third in Tangers. Morocco_sentence_400

The technoparks host start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises specializing in information and communication technologies (ICTs), 'green' technologies (namely, environmentally friendly technologies) and cultural industries. Morocco_sentence_401

In 2012, the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology identified a number of sectors where Morocco has a comparative advantage and skilled human capital, including mining, fisheries, food chemistry and new technologies. Morocco_sentence_402

It also identified a number of strategic sectors, such as energy, with an emphasis on renewable energies such as photovoltaic, thermal solar energy, wind and biomass; as well as the water, nutrition and health sectors, the environment and geosciences. Morocco_sentence_403

On 20 May 2015, less than a year after its inception, the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research presented a report to the king offering a Vision for Education in Morocco 2015–2030. Morocco_sentence_404

The report advocated making education egalitarian and, thus, accessible to the greatest number. Morocco_sentence_405

Since improving the quality of education goes hand in hand with promoting research and development, the report also recommended developing an integrated national innovation system which would be financed by gradually increasing the share of GDP devoted to research and development (R&D) from 0.73% of GDP in 2010 ‘to 1% in the short term, 1.5% by 2025 and 2% by 2030’. Morocco_sentence_406

Demographics Morocco_section_28

Main articles: Demographics of Morocco and Moroccans Morocco_sentence_407

Morocco has a population of around 36,029,093 inhabitants (2018 est.). Morocco_sentence_408

According to the CIA, 99% of residents are Arab-Berber. Morocco_sentence_409

It is estimated that between 41% to 80% of residents have Berber ancestral origins. Morocco_sentence_410

A sizeable portion of the population is identified as Haratin and Gnawa (or Gnaoua), West African or mixed race descendants of slaves, and Moriscos, European Muslims expelled from Spain and Portugal in the 17th century. Morocco_sentence_411

According to the 2014 Morocco population census, there were around 84,000 immigrants in the country. Morocco_sentence_412

Of these foreign-born residents, most were of French origin, followed by individuals mainly from various nations in West Africa and Algeria. Morocco_sentence_413

There are also a number of foreign residents of Spanish origin. Morocco_sentence_414

Some of them are descendants of colonial settlers, who primarily work for European multinational companies, while others are married to Moroccans or are retirees. Morocco_sentence_415

Prior to independence, Morocco was home to half a million Europeans; who were mostly Christians. Morocco_sentence_416

Also prior to independence, Morocco was home to 250,000 Spaniards. Morocco_sentence_417

Morocco's once prominent Jewish minority has decreased significantly since its peak of 265,000 in 1948, declining to around 2,500 today. Morocco_sentence_418

Morocco has a large diaspora, most of which is located in France, which has reportedly over one million Moroccans of up to the third generation. Morocco_sentence_419

There are also large Moroccan communities in Spain (about 700,000 Moroccans), the Netherlands (360,000), and Belgium (300,000). Morocco_sentence_420

Other large communities can be found in Italy, Canada, the United States, and Israel, where Moroccan Jews are thought to constitute the second biggest Jewish ethnic subgroup. Morocco_sentence_421

Religion Morocco_section_29

Main article: Religion in Morocco Morocco_sentence_422

The religious affiliation in the country was estimated by the Pew Forum in 2010 as 99% Muslim, with all remaining groups accounting for less than 1% of the population. Morocco_sentence_423

Despite Moroccans being affiliated with Islam, almost 15% nonetheless describe themselves as non-religious according to a 2019 survey conducted for the BBC by the research network Arab Barometer. Morocco_sentence_424

Christians are estimated at 1% (~380,000) of the Moroccan population. Morocco_sentence_425

The predominantly Roman Catholic and Protestant foreign-resident Christian community consists of approximately 40,000 practising members. Morocco_sentence_426

Most foreign resident Christians reside in the Casablanca, Tangier, and Rabat urban areas. Morocco_sentence_427

Various local Christian leaders estimate that between 2005 and 2010 there are 5,000 citizen converted Christians (mostly ethnically Berber) who regularly attend "house" churches and live predominantly in the south. Morocco_sentence_428

Some local Christian leaders estimate that there may be as many as 8,000 Christian citizens throughout the country, but many reportedly do not meet regularly due to fear of government surveillance and social persecution. Morocco_sentence_429

The number of the Moroccans who converted to Christianity (most of them secret worshippers) are estimated between 8,000 and 50,000. Morocco_sentence_430

The most recent estimates put the size of the Casablanca Jewish community at about 2,500, and the Rabat and Marrakesh Jewish communities at about 100 members each. Morocco_sentence_431

The remainder of the Jewish population is dispersed throughout the country. Morocco_sentence_432

This population is mostly elderly, with a decreasing number of young people. Morocco_sentence_433

The Baháʼí Faith community, located in urban areas, numbers 350 to 400 persons. Morocco_sentence_434

Languages Morocco_section_30

Main article: Languages of Morocco Morocco_sentence_435

Morocco's official languages are Arabic and Berber. Morocco_sentence_436

The country's distinctive group of Moroccan Arabic dialects is referred to as Darija. Morocco_sentence_437

Approximately 89.8% of the whole population can communicate to some degree in Moroccan Arabic. Morocco_sentence_438

The Berber language is spoken in three dialects (Tarifit, Tashelhit and Central Atlas Tamazight). Morocco_sentence_439

In 2008, Frédéric Deroche estimated that there were 12 million Berber speakers, making up about 40% of the population. Morocco_sentence_440

The 2004 population census reported that 28.1% of the population spoke Berber. Morocco_sentence_441

French is widely used in governmental institutions, media, mid-size and large companies, international commerce with French-speaking countries, and often in international diplomacy. Morocco_sentence_442

French is taught as an obligatory language in all schools. Morocco_sentence_443

In 2010, there were 10,366,000 French-speakers in Morocco, or about 32% of the population. Morocco_sentence_444

According to the 2004 census, 2.19 million Moroccans spoke a foreign language other than French. Morocco_sentence_445

English, while far behind French in terms of number of speakers, is the first foreign language of choice, since French is obligatory, among educated youth and professionals. Morocco_sentence_446

According to Ethnologue, as of 2016, there are 1,536,590 individuals (or approximately 4.5% of the population) in Morocco who speak Spanish. Morocco_sentence_447

Spanish is mostly spoken in northern Morocco and the Spanish Sahara because Spain had previously occupied those areas. Morocco_sentence_448

A significant portion of northern Morocco receives Spanish media, television signal and radio airwaves, which reportedly facilitate competence in the language in the region. Morocco_sentence_449

After Morocco declared independence in 1956, French and Arabic became the main languages of administration and education, causing the role of Spanish to decline. Morocco_sentence_450

According to a 2012 study by the Government of Spain, 98% of Moroccans spoke Moroccan Arabic, 63% spoke French, 43% Amazigh, 14% spoke English, and 10% spoke Spanish. Morocco_sentence_451

Culture Morocco_section_31

Main article: Culture of Morocco Morocco_sentence_452

Morocco is a country with a rich culture and civilisation. Morocco_sentence_453

Through Moroccan history, it has hosted many people coming from East (Phoenicians, Jews and Arabs), South (Sub-Saharan Africans) and North (Romans, Andalusians). Morocco_sentence_454

All those civilisations have affected the social structure of Morocco. Morocco_sentence_455

Since independence, a veritable blossoming has taken place in painting and sculpture, popular music, amateur theatre, and filmmaking. Morocco_sentence_456

The Moroccan National Theatre (founded 1956) offers regular productions of Moroccan and French dramatic works. Morocco_sentence_457

Art and music festivals take place throughout the country during the summer months, among them the World Sacred Music Festival at Fès. Morocco_sentence_458

Each region possesses its own specificities, thus contributing to the national culture and to the legacy of civilization. Morocco_sentence_459

Morocco has set among its top priorities the protection of its diverse legacy and the preservation of its cultural heritage. Morocco_sentence_460

Culturally speaking, Morocco has always been successful in combining its Berber, Jewish and Arabic cultural heritage with external influences such as the French and the Spanish and, during the last decades, the Anglo-American lifestyles. Morocco_sentence_461

Architecture Morocco_section_32

Main article: Moroccan architecture Morocco_sentence_462

Literature Morocco_section_33

Main article: Moroccan literature Morocco_sentence_463

Moroccan literature is written mostly in Arabic, Berber, Hebrew, and French. Morocco_sentence_464

Particularly under the Almoravid and Almohad empires, Moroccan literature was closely related to the literature of al-Andalus, and shared important poetic and literary forms such as zajal, the muwashshah, and the maqama. Morocco_sentence_465

Islamic literature, such as Quranic exegeses and other religious works such as Qadi Ayyad's Al-Shifa were influential. Morocco_sentence_466

The University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fes was an important literary center attracting scholars from abroad, including Maimonides, Ibn al-Khatib, and Ibn Khaldun. Morocco_sentence_467

Under the Almohad dynasty Morocco experienced a period of prosperity and brilliance of learning. Morocco_sentence_468

The Almohad built the Kutubiyya Mosque in Marrakesh, which accommodated no fewer than 25,000 people, but was also famed for its books, manuscripts, libraries and book shops, which gave it its name; the first book bazaar in history. Morocco_sentence_469

The Almohad Caliph Abu Yakub had a great love for collecting books. Morocco_sentence_470

He founded a great library, which was eventually carried to the Casbah and turned into a public library. Morocco_sentence_471

Modern Moroccan literature began in the 1930s. Morocco_sentence_472

Two main factors gave Morocco a pulse toward witnessing the birth of a modern literature. Morocco_sentence_473

Morocco, as a French and Spanish protectorate left Moroccan intellectuals the opportunity to exchange and to produce literary works freely enjoying the contact of other Arabic literature and Europe. Morocco_sentence_474

Three generations of writers especially shaped 20th century Moroccan literature. Morocco_sentence_475

The first was the generation that lived and wrote during the Protectorate (1912–56), its most important representative being Mohammed Ben Brahim (1897–1955). Morocco_sentence_476

The second generation was the one that played an important role in the transition to independence with writers like Abdelkrim Ghallab (1919–2006), Allal al-Fassi (1910–1974) and Mohammed al-Mokhtar Soussi (1900–1963). Morocco_sentence_477

The third generation is that of writers of the sixties. Morocco_sentence_478

Moroccan literature then flourished with writers such as Mohamed Choukri, Driss Chraïbi, Mohamed Zafzaf and Driss El Khouri. Morocco_sentence_479

Those writers were an important influence the many Moroccan novelists, poets and playwrights that were still to come. Morocco_sentence_480

During the 1950s and 1960s, Morocco was a refuge and artistic centre and attracted writers as Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams and William S. Burroughs. Morocco_sentence_481

Moroccan literature flourished with novelists such as Mohamed Zafzaf and Mohamed Choukri, who wrote in Arabic, and Driss Chraïbi and Tahar Ben Jelloun who wrote in French. Morocco_sentence_482

Other important Moroccan authors include, Abdellatif Laabi, Abdelkrim Ghallab, Fouad Laroui, Mohammed Berrada and Leila Abouzeid. Morocco_sentence_483

Orature (oral literature) is an integral part of Moroccan culture, be it in Moroccan Arabic or Berber. Morocco_sentence_484

Music Morocco_section_34

Main article: Music of Morocco Morocco_sentence_485

Moroccan music is of Arabic, Berber and sub-Saharan origins. Morocco_sentence_486

Rock-influenced chaabi bands are widespread, as is trance music with historical origins in Islamic music. Morocco_sentence_487

Morocco is home to Andalusian classical music that is found throughout Northwest Africa. Morocco_sentence_488

It probably evolved under the Moors in Cordoba, and the Persian-born musician Ziryab is usually credited with its invention. Morocco_sentence_489

A genre known as Contemporary Andalusian Music and art is the brainchild of Morisco visual artist/composer/oudist Tarik Banzi, founder of the . Morocco_sentence_490

Aita is a Bedouin musical style sung in the countryside. Morocco_sentence_491

Chaabi ("popular") is a music consisting of numerous varieties which are descended from the multifarious forms of Moroccan folk music. Morocco_sentence_492

Chaabi was originally performed in markets, but is now found at any celebration or meeting. Morocco_sentence_493

Popular Western forms of music are becoming increasingly popular in Morocco, such as fusion, rock, country, metal and, in particular, hip hop. Morocco_sentence_494

Morocco participated in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, where it finished in the penultimate position. Morocco_sentence_495

Media Morocco_section_35

Main articles: Media of Morocco and Cinema of Morocco Morocco_sentence_496

Cinema in Morocco has a long history, stretching back over a century to the filming of Le chevrier Marocain ("The Moroccan Goatherd") by Louis Lumière in 1897. Morocco_sentence_497

Between that time and 1944, many foreign movies were shot in the country, especially in the Ouarzazate area. Morocco_sentence_498

In 1944, the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM), the nation's film regulatory agency, was established. Morocco_sentence_499

Studios were also opened in Rabat. Morocco_sentence_500

In 1952, Orson Welles' Othello won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival under the Moroccan flag. Morocco_sentence_501

However, the Festival's musicians did not play the Moroccan national anthem, as no one in attendance knew what it was. Morocco_sentence_502

Six years later, Mohammed Ousfour would create the first Moroccan movie, Le fils maudit ("The Damned Son"). Morocco_sentence_503

In 1968, the first Mediterranean Film Festival was held in Tangier. Morocco_sentence_504

In its current incarnation, the event is held in Tetouan. Morocco_sentence_505

This was followed in 1982 with the first national festival of cinema, which was held in Rabat. Morocco_sentence_506

In 2001, the first International Film Festival of Marrakech (FIFM) was also held in Marrakech. Morocco_sentence_507

Cuisine Morocco_section_36

Main article: Moroccan cuisine Morocco_sentence_508

Moroccan cuisine is considered as one of the most diversified cuisines in the world. Morocco_sentence_509

This is a result of the centuries-long interaction of Morocco with the outside world. Morocco_sentence_510

The cuisine of Morocco is mainly a fusion of Moorish, European and Mediterranean cuisines. Morocco_sentence_511

Spices are used extensively in Moroccan cuisine. Morocco_sentence_512

While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients such as saffron from Tiliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown. Morocco_sentence_513

Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Morocco. Morocco_sentence_514

The most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco is beef; lamb is preferred but is relatively expensive. Morocco_sentence_515

The main Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is couscous, the old national delicacy. Morocco_sentence_516

Beef is the most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco, usually eaten in a Tagine with vegetables or legumes. Morocco_sentence_517

Chicken is also very commonly used in Tagines, knowing that one of the most famous tagine is the Tagine of Chicken, potatoes and olives. Morocco_sentence_518

Lamb is also consumed, but as Northwest African sheep breeds store most of their fat in their tails, Moroccan lamb does not have the pungent flavour that Western lamb and mutton have. Morocco_sentence_519

Poultry is also very common, and the use of seafood is increasing in Moroccan food. Morocco_sentence_520

In addition, there are dried salted meats and salted preserved meats such as kliia/khlia and "g'did" which are used to flavor tagines or used in "el ghraif" a folded savory Moroccan pancake. Morocco_sentence_521

Among the most famous Moroccan dishes are Couscous, Pastilla (also spelled Bsteeya or Bestilla), Tajine, Tanjia and Harira. Morocco_sentence_522

Although the latter is a soup, it is considered as a dish in itself and is served as such or with dates especially during the month of Ramadan. Morocco_sentence_523

Pork consumption is forbidden in accordance with Sharia, religious laws of Islam. Morocco_sentence_524

A big part of the daily meal is bread. Morocco_sentence_525

Bread in Morocco is principally from durum wheat semolina known as khobz. Morocco_sentence_526

Bakeries are very common throughout Morocco and fresh bread is a staple in every city, town and village. Morocco_sentence_527

The most common is whole grain coarse ground or white flour bread. Morocco_sentence_528

There are also a number of flat breads and pulled unleavened pan-fried breads. Morocco_sentence_529

The most popular drink is "atai", green tea with mint leaves and other ingredients. Morocco_sentence_530

Tea occupies a very important place in the culture of Morocco and is considered an art form. Morocco_sentence_531

It is served not only at mealtimes but all through the day, and it is especially a drink of hospitality, commonly served whenever there are guests. Morocco_sentence_532

It is served to guests, and it is impolite to refuse it. Morocco_sentence_533

Sport Morocco_section_37

Main article: Sport in Morocco Morocco_sentence_534

Football is the country's most popular sport, popular among the urban youth in particular. Morocco_sentence_535

In 1986, Morocco became the first Arab and African country to qualify for the second round of the FIFA World Cup. Morocco_sentence_536

Morocco was originally scheduled to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but refused to host the tournament on the scheduled dates because of fears over the ebola outbreak on the continent. Morocco_sentence_537

Morocco made five attempts to host the FIFA World Cup but lost five times to United States, France, Germany, South Africa and Canada/Mexico/United States. Morocco_sentence_538

At the 1984 Olympic Games, two Moroccans won gold medals in track and field. Morocco_sentence_539

Nawal El Moutawakel won in the 400 metres hurdles; she was the first woman from an Arab or Islamic country to win an Olympic gold medal. Morocco_sentence_540

Saïd Aouita won the 5000 metres at the same games. Morocco_sentence_541

Hicham El Guerrouj won gold medals for Morocco at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the 1500 metres and 5000 metres and holds several world records in the mile run. Morocco_sentence_542

Spectator sports in Morocco traditionally centered on the art of horsemanship until European sports—football, polo, swimming, and tennis—were introduced at the end of the 19th century. Morocco_sentence_543

Tennis and golf have become popular. Morocco_sentence_544

Several Moroccan professional players have competed in international competition, and the country fielded its first Davis Cup team in 1999. Morocco_sentence_545

Rugby came to Morocco in the early 20th century, mainly by the French who occupied the country. Morocco_sentence_546

As a result, Moroccan rugby was tied to the fortunes of France, during the first and second World War, with many Moroccan players going away to fight. Morocco_sentence_547

Like many other Maghreb nations, Moroccan rugby tended to look to Europe for inspiration, rather than to the rest of Africa. Morocco_sentence_548

Kickboxing is also popular in Morocco. Morocco_sentence_549

The Moroccan-Dutch Badr Hari, heavyweight kickboxer and martial artist, is a former K-1 heavyweight champion and K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 and 2009 finalist. Morocco_sentence_550

Education Morocco_section_38

Main article: Education in Morocco Morocco_sentence_551

Education in Morocco is free and compulsory through primary school. Morocco_sentence_552

The estimated literacy rate for the country in 2012 was 72%. Morocco_sentence_553

In September 2006, UNESCO awarded Morocco amongst other countries such as Cuba, Pakistan, India and Turkey the "UNESCO 2006 Literacy Prize". Morocco_sentence_554

Morocco has more than four dozen universities, institutes of higher learning, and polytechnics dispersed at urban centres throughout the country. Morocco_sentence_555

Its leading institutions include Mohammed V University in Rabat, the country's largest university, with branches in Casablanca and Fès; the Hassan II Agriculture and Veterinary Institute in Rabat, which conducts leading social science research in addition to its agricultural specialties; and Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, the first English-language university in Northwest Africa, inaugurated in 1995 with contributions from Saudi Arabia and the United States. Morocco_sentence_556

The al-Qarawiyin University, founded by Fatima al-Fihri in the city of Fez in 859 as a madrasa, is considered by some sources, including UNESCO, to be the "oldest university of the world". Morocco_sentence_557

Morocco has also some of prestigious postgraduate schools, including: , École Nationale Supérieure d'Électricité et de Mecanique (ENSEM), EMI, ISCAE, INSEA, National School of Mineral Industry, École Hassania des Travaux Publics, Les Écoles nationales de commerce et de gestion, École supérieure de technologie de Casablanca. Morocco_sentence_558

Health system Morocco_section_39

Main article: Health in Morocco Morocco_sentence_559

Many efforts are made by countries around the world to address health issues and eradicate disease, Morocco included. Morocco_sentence_560

Child health, maternal health, and diseases are all components of health and well-being. Morocco_sentence_561

Morocco is a developing country that has made many strides to improve these categories. Morocco_sentence_562

However, Morocco still has many health issues to improve on. Morocco_sentence_563

According to research published, in 2005 only 16% of citizens in Morocco had health insurance or coverage. Morocco_sentence_564

In data from the World Bank, Morocco experiences high infant mortality rates at 20 deaths per 1,000 births (2017) and high maternal mortality rates at 121 deaths per 100,000 births (2015). Morocco_sentence_565

The government of Morocco sets up surveillance systems within the already existing healthcare system to monitor and collect data. Morocco_sentence_566

Mass education in hygiene is implemented in primary education schools which are free for residents of Morocco. Morocco_sentence_567

In 2005, The government of Morocco approved two reforms to expand health insurance coverage. Morocco_sentence_568

The first reform was a mandatory health insurance plan for public and private sector employees to expand coverage from 16 percent of the population to 30 percent. Morocco_sentence_569

The second reform created a fund to cover services for the poor. Morocco_sentence_570

Both reforms improved access to high-quality care. Morocco_sentence_571

Infant mortality has improved significantly since 1960 when there were 144 deaths per 1,000 live births, in 2000, 42 per 1,000 live births, and now it is 20 per 1,000 live births. Morocco_sentence_572

The country's under-five mortality rate dropped by 60% between 1990 and 2011. Morocco_sentence_573

According to data from the World Bank, the present mortality rate is still very high, over seven times higher than in neighboring country Spain. Morocco_sentence_574

In 2014, Morocco adopted a national plan to increase progress on maternal and child health. Morocco_sentence_575

The Moroccan Plan was started by the Moroccan Minister of Health, Dr. El Houssaine Louardi, and Dr. Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, on 13 November 2013 in Rabat. Morocco_sentence_576

Morocco has made significant progress in reducing deaths among both children and mothers. Morocco_sentence_577

Based on World Bank data, the nation's maternal mortality ratio fell by 67% between 1990 and 2010. Morocco_sentence_578

In 2014, spending on healthcare accounted for 5.9% of the country's GDP. Morocco_sentence_579

Since 2014, spending on healthcare as part of the GDP has decreased. Morocco_sentence_580

However, health expenditure per capita (PPP) has steadily increased since 2000. Morocco_sentence_581

In 2015, the Moroccan health expenditure was $435.29 per capita. Morocco_sentence_582

In 2016 the life expectancy at birth was 74.3, or 73.3 for men and 75.4 for women, and there were 6.3 physicians and 8.9 nurses and midwives per 10,000 inhabitants. Morocco_sentence_583

In 2017, Morocco ranked 16th out of 29 countries on the Global Youth Wellbeing Index. Morocco_sentence_584

Moroccan youths experience a lower self-harm rate than the global index by an average of 4 encounters per year. Morocco_sentence_585

See also Morocco_section_40


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