The Kingdom of Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries known as the Maghreb – the “Arab West”. It has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, a rugged mountain interior and a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its rich culture is a blend of Arab, Berber, European and African influences. Click map to enlarge.
Morocco was a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956, when Sultan Mohammed became King. He was succeeded in 1961 by his son, Hassan II, who ruled for 38 years and played a prominent role in the search for peace in the Middle East. He also ruthlessly suppressed domestic opposition. Hassan was succeeded by his son Mohammed, who became monarch in 1999. He initiated political and economic changes and an investigation into human rights abuses during his father’s rule. A key reform was the Mudawana, a law which grants more rights to women. The King has said it is in line with Koranic principles, but religious conservatives have voiced opposition to it. Following pressure for reform, inspired by the “Arab Spring” of 2010, a new constitution was introduced. The constitution expanded the powers of parliament and the prime minister but left the king with broad authority over all branches of government.
The Kingdom of Morocco
- Capital: Rabat
- Population: 32.6 million
- Area: 710,850 sq km (274,461 sq miles) (including W Sahara)
- Major languages: Arabic and Berber (official), French, Spanish. Major religion: Islam
- Life expectancy: 70 years (men), 75 years (women)
- Currency: Dirham
Morocco Blog – the begining: Berrechid