Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Geographically, Morocco is characterized by a rugged mountainous interior and large portions of desert. It is one of only three countries (with Spain and France) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.
Morocco has a population of over 33.8 million and an area of 446,550 km2 . Its political capital is Rabat, although the largest city is Casablanca; other major cities include: Marrakesh, Tangier, Tetouan, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, and Nador.
A historically prominent regional power, Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its distinct culture is a blend of Arab, indigenous Berber, Sub-
- Location: Morocco is in Northern Africa and bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
- Geography: 446,550 km²
- Languages used in Morocco: Arabic (official), Berber dialects and French.
- Ethnic Groups: Arab-
Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%.
Morocco has a coast by the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with three small Spanish-
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 dryer conditions and inland deserts further south east. The Moroccan coastal plains experience remarkably moderate temperatures even in summer, owing to the effect of the cold Canary Current off its Atlantic coast.
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. In the valleys, fertile soils and high precipitation allow for the growth of thick and lush forests. Cloud forests can be found in the west of the Rif Mountains and Middle Atlas Mountains. At higher elevations, the climate becomes Alpine in character and can sustain ski resorts.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Moroccan economy, it is well developed with a strong tourist industry focused on the country’s coast, culture and history. Morocco attracted more than 10 million tourists in 2013. Tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner in Morocco after the phosphate industry. 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.
Morocco is an ethnically diverse country with a rich culture and civilization. Through Moroccan history, it has hosted many people coming from East (Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Jews and Arabs), South (Sub-
Since independence, a veritable blossoming has taken place in painting and sculpture, popular music, amateur theatre, and filmmaking. The Moroccan National Theatre (founded 1956) offers regular productions of Moroccan and French dramatic works. Art and music festivals take place throughout the country during the summer months, among them the World Sacred Music Festival at Fès.
Moroccan music have Amazigh, Arab and sub-
Morocco is home to Andalusian classical music that is found throughout North Africa. It probably evolved under the Moors in Cordoba and the Persian-
Chaabi (“popular”) is a music consisting of numerous varieties which are descended from the multifarious forms of Moroccan folk music. Chaabi was originally performed in markets, but is now found at any celebration or meeting.
Aita is a Bedouin musical style sung in the countryside. Popular Western forms of music are becoming increasingly popular in Morocco, such as fusion, rock, country, metal and, in particular, hip hop.
Morocco participated in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, where it finished in the penultimate position.