Morocco is a North African country. Located in the so-called Maghreb, the Kingdom of Morocco is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and is bordered by Algeria to the east and south, and Western Sahara to the southwest. It covers a total area of 446 550 km2. The capital is Rabat, with a population of 1 618 700 residents (2004), with other cities, such as Casablanca, the largest in the country, with 3 741 200 residents, Tangiers (629 800 residents) And Fez (1,019) 300 residents).
Morocco is characterized by being a mountainous country, standing out two mountain ranges: the Rif, with northwest-southeast orientation, which is, geologically, part of the southern ranges of the Iberian Peninsula, and whose highest point is the mountain Tidirhine (2456 m); and the Atlas, in the center of the country, with east-west orientation, whose highest point is Mount Tubkal (4165 m). To the east is the Muluya basin, a lowland, semi-arid region created by the erosion of the Muluya River. Further east and southeast, there are the high plateaus, with an altitude of about 1000 meters. In the south, the arid lands of the Sahara begin.
The Mediterranean influence is a striking feature of the Moroccan climate, especially in the northern coastal areas. The winter is humid and mild and the summer is very dry and hot. In the South, the climate is hot desert.
The economy of this country is based on agriculture, services and manufacturing and mining. The arable land covers 8.5 million hectares and provides production of wheat, corn, barley, citrus fruits, sugar cane and cotton, among others. Mining is focused on the extraction of phosphates. The main products of the manufacturing industries are food products, textiles, leather goods and fertilizers. Tourism is an important source of revenue. Morocco’s main trading partners are France, Spain, the United States of America and Germany.
In 2006, the population was 33 241 259 residents, who live mainly in the flat areas to the north and west of the Atlas chain. The birth and death rates are, respectively, 21.98% and 5.58%. Average life expectancy is 70.94 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.606 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.590 (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 42 553 000 residents.
Arabs represent about 70% of the population and Berbers 30%; all other ethnicities do not correspond to 1%. The dominant religion is the Sunni Muslim (99%). The official language is Arabic.
The history of Morocco begins between 475 and 450 a. C., when a territory is referenced on the coast of the North-West Africa where several Berber tribes lived under the Phoenician occupation. Until the emergence of the Muslim Empire in the 7th century d. C., Morocco was, first, a privileged ally of Rome, being, later, annexed to the Roman Empire as integral part of the region of Mauritania. In the middle of the 11th century, the Berber confederation of Almoravids gained full control of Morocco, while strengthening Muslim possessions in the Iberian Peninsula. Later, in the 12th century, another Berber clan, the Almohadas, took power, being deposed in 1269 by the Marinids, who ruled until the middle of the 15th century. With the fall of this clan, the country was divided into small independent states, a situation that lasted until 1550, when the Sadis tribe established its order over the entire Moroccan territory. However, in 1415, Morocco lost the city of Ceuta to Portugal, but managed, in 1436, to save Tangier from Portuguese pretensions. But it was not at this time that Morocco was really threatened by foreign intervention. In 1859, Spain annexed Morocco, an annexation that would end when Moroccan sultan Moulay Abd al-Hafid accepted, in 1912, the status of French protectorate. For Morocco democracy and rights, please check getzipcodes.
Before obtaining independence on March 2, 1956, Morocco experienced a situation of permanent governmental instability, as a result of the growing independence movement, which began in the 1930s, supported mainly by Sultan Sidi Muhammad. This spirit became widespread during the Second World War, both in French Morocco and in the northern territory, controlled by Spain since 1934, thanks to the relationship established with British and American troops stationed in the country, a relationship that allowed a new contact with the external reality. The following years were marked by several political facts, of which, first, the officialization of the Moroccan intention to be independent stands out. This happened in 1951, when Sultan Sidi Muhammad, on the anniversary of his ascension on 18 November, he declared he was hopeful of awakening Morocco’s total sovereignty. Second, when the Algerian rebellion broke out in 1954, serving as an inspiring source for the most radical independenceists, guerrillas began to attack French interests along the border with the Spanish zone. With the situation becoming unsustainable, France grants independence to Morocco, a decision that took the Spanish protectorate by surprise. However, on April 7 of that year, Sidi Muhammad managed to persuade Spain to follow the French example, although it was only in 1958, a year after a Moroccan military action against the Spaniards, that the Ifni region was granted unconditionally. Even so, the cities of Ceuta and Melilla remain under the aegis of the Spanish Crown. serving as an inspiring source for the most radical independenceists, guerrillas began to attack French interests along the border with the Spanish zone. With the situation becoming unsustainable, France grants independence to Morocco, a decision that took the Spanish protectorate by surprise. However, on April 7 of that year, Sidi Muhammad managed to persuade Spain to follow the French example, although it was only in 1958, a year after a Moroccan military action against the Spaniards, that the Ifni region was granted unconditionally. Even so, the cities of Ceuta and Melilla remain under the aegis of the Spanish Crown. serving as an inspiring source for the most radical independenceists, guerrillas began to attack French interests along the border with the Spanish zone. With the situation becoming unsustainable, France grants independence to Morocco, a decision that took the Spanish protectorate by surprise. However, on April 7 of that year, Sidi Muhammad managed to persuade Spain to follow the French example, although it was only in 1958, a year after a Moroccan military action against the Spaniards, that the Ifni region was granted unconditionally. Even so, the cities of Ceuta and Melilla remain under the aegis of the Spanish Crown.
The shift of French control over Morocco into the hands of the sultan and the Independent Party Istiqlãl proceeded calmly. In August 1957, Sidi Muhammad transformed Morocco into a kingdom, using the title of king. When, in 1959, Istiqlãl split into two groups (one, covering most elements of the Istiqlãl, conservative and obedient to Muhammad ‘Allãl al-Fãsi, Sidi’s supporter; another, of a republican and socialist character, which adopted the name of National Union of Popular Forces), Sidi Muhammad took the opportunity to distance the figure of the king from the parties, elevating him to an arbitration role. Such a political maneuver contributed decisively to the strengthening of the monarchy, as was verified in the 1962 referendum, already with Mulay Hassan, son of Sidi (died in 1961), as king Hassan II, in which a constitution of a monarchical nature was approved. A year later, parliamentary elections were held that took the political situation to a dead end. This fact allowed the concentration of powers in Hassan II, as demonstrated in the Constitution of 1970, which did not survive an attempted coup in 1971. Another Constitution succeeded him in 1972, which was only effectively implemented after another attempt. coup d’état in August of that year.
The year 1974 marked the beginning of a new orientation of Hassan II’s policy, from the moment when Morocco declared its claim on the Spanish Sahara, rich in ore (mainly phosphate), a claim that was realized in November 1975 , with the advance of the “Green March”, made up of 350,000 unarmed volunteers, over the protectorate of Spain, which avoided the conflict and led to the signing of an agreement in which Moroccan ambitions were satisfied.
However, there have been many obstacles to Moroccan politics: first, the Polisario guerrilla struggle (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia and the Rio do Ouro), supported both by Algeria and later by Libya, and that he even refused the results of a referendum promoted by Hassan II in 1981; second, condemnation by the United Nations; and, third, the creation of Western Sahara in 1989, which has been recognized by an increasing number of countries. In 1994, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros-Ghali, proposed to deepen the negotiations with the aim of promoting an electoral registration process as complete as possible, so that a future referendum would have legitimacy acceptable to both parties.
It is also worth noting the role that Morocco played in the Middle East peace process, through a balanced relationship between Hassan II and the warring parties, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, which allowed, namely, the establishment of economic interests in those regions.
In 1999, after the death of Hassan II, Muhammad (or Mohammed) VI, his son, took the Moroccan throne. The new king established a government of unity, approaching the population and distancing himself from Islamic extremists: among other government decisions of democratic content, he appointed a woman as a spokesman for the kingdom, opened the country to investments by foreign companies and began the process of preparing for the liberalization of trade between the country and the European Union.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Morocco, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Morocco. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Morocco
Check out the country, shaded relief and historical maps of this Northern African country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Morocco – Arab.net Geography Map
Offers a relief map that features locations of Morocco’s major cities. Read about this country’s history, geography and culture.
Morocco – InfoPlease.com Map
Peruse a comprehensive map of Africa’s predominant Mediterrean Sea-side country, and easily locate major cities and small villages.
Morocco – National Geographic
Learn some important facts about the Kingdom of Morocco while checking out the maps.
MSN Encarta Maps – Morrocco
View a detailed, political and physical map from Microsoft. Locate major cities and ports.