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)
, image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of 's total surface area and 20% of its land area.Sayre ...

Africa
.
Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.
Lighter green:
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a on the northwest coast and in the region of and . About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed , while the remaining 80% of the territory is and administered by neighboring . Its surface ar ...

Western Sahara
, a
territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names ...
claimed and occupied mostly by Morocco , capital =
Rabat Rabat (, also , ; ar, الرباط, ar-ribāṭ; ber, ⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟ, aṛṛbaṭ) is the Capital (political), capital city of Morocco and the List of cities in Morocco, country's seventh largest city with an urban population of approximately ...

Rabat
, coordinates = , largest_city =
Casablanca Casablanca ( ar, الدار البيضاء, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, anfa) is the largest city of . Located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the , it is the second largest city in the region and the in the . Ca ...

Casablanca

, official_languages = , languages_type = Spoken languages , languages = , languages2_type = Foreign languages , languages2 = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_groups_year = 2014 , demonym = Moroccan , government_type =
Unitary Unitary may refer to: * Unitary construction, in automotive design a common term for unibody (unitary body/chassis) construction * Lethal Unitary Chemical Agents and Munitions (Unitary), as chemical weapons opposite of Binary * Unitarianism, in Chr ...
parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ...
semi-constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from a ...
, leader_title1 =
King King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , which title is also given to the of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the title may refer to . G ...
, leader_name1 =
Mohammed VI
Mohammed VI
, leader_title2 =
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
, leader_name2 =
Aziz Akhannouch Aziz Akhannouch (Berber language, Berber:Ɛaziz Axnnuc; ar, عزيز أخنوش; born 1961 in Tafraout) is a Moroccan people, Moroccan businessman and current Minister of Agriculture since 2007. Early life and education In 1986, Akhannouch grad ...
, legislature =
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws and overseeing the ...

Parliament
, upper_house =
House of Councillors The is the upper house of the National Diet The is Japan's bicameralism, bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house, called the House of Representatives (Japan), House of Representatives (, ''Shūgiin''), and an upper house, ...
, lower_house = , sovereignty_type =
Establishment Establishment may refer to: * The Establishment, the dominant group or elite holding effective power or authority in a society * The Establishment (club), an English satire club of the 1960s * The Establishment (comics), ''The Establishment'' (com ...

Establishment
, established_event1 =
Idrisid dynasty The Idrisids ( ar, الأدارسة ') were an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an ethnic group An ethn ...
, established_date1 = 788 , established_event2 =
Alaouite dynasty The Alaouite dynasty ( ar, سلالة العلويين الفيلاليين, ''Sulālat al-ʿAlawiyyīn al-Fīlālīyn'') – also rendered in English as 'Alawi, 'Alawid, or Alawite – is the current Morocco, Moroccan royal family and reigning ...
, established_date2 = 1631 , established_event3 = Protectorate established , established_date3 = 30 March 1912 , established_event4 =
Independence upright=1.0, Pedro surrounded by a crowd in Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822.">Independence of Brazil">Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822. Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or state State may ref ...
, established_date4 = 7 April 1956 , area_km2 = 710,850 , area_footnote = , area_rank = 39th or 57th , area_sq_mi = 274,460 sq mi , percent_water = , population_estimate = 37,112,080 , population_estimate_year = 2020 , population_estimate_rank = 39th , population_census = 33,848,242 , population_census_year = 2014 , population_density_km2 = 50.0 , population_density_sq_mi = 189.3 , population_density_rank = , GDP_PPP = $332.358 billion , GDP_PPP_year = 2019 , GDP_PPP_rank = , GDP_PPP_per_capita = $9,339 , GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = , GDP_nominal = $122.458 billion , GDP_nominal_year = 2019 , GDP_nominal_rank = , GDP_nominal_per_capita = $3,441 , GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = , Gini = 40.3 , Gini_year = 2015 , Gini_ref = , HDI = 0.686 , HDI_year = 2019 , HDI_change = increase , HDI_ref = , HDI_rank = 121st , currency =
Moroccan dirham The Moroccan dirham ( ar, درهم, translit=dirham, ary, درهم, translit=darhem; ber, ⴰⴷⵔⵀⵎ, translit=adrhm; sign: DH; code: MAD) is the official monetary currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, litera ...
, currency_code = MAD , time_zone = , utc_offset = +1 , drives_on = right , calling_code = +212 , cctld = .ma
المغرب. , footnote_a =
Official religion An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an ...
. , footnote_b = The area excludes all disputed territories, while includes the Moroccan-claimed and partially-controlled parts of
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a on the northwest coast and in the region of and . About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed , while the remaining 80% of the territory is and administered by neighboring . Its surface ar ...

Western Sahara
(claimed as the
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (; SADR; also romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as t ...
by the
Polisario Front The Polisario Front, Frente Polisario, FRELISARIO or simply POLISARIO, from the Spanish abbreviation of ''Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro'' (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro, ar ...
). Morocco also claims
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
and
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; ber, Mrich / Mlilt; ar, مليلية ) is an of located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing with . It has an area of . One of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa together with , it was part of the until ...

Melilla
, making up about more claimed territory. , religion = , population_rank = , today = Morocco,; zgh, ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ, lmeɣrib, french: Maroc, ) officially the Kingdom of Morocco,; zgh, ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ, tageldit n lmeɣrib, french: Royaume du Maroc is the northwesternmost country in the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
region of
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
. It overlooks the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
to the north and the to the west, and has land borders with
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; Berber language, Berber: ''Dzayer;'' French language, French'': Alger'') is ...

Algeria
to
the east ''The'' () is a grammatical Article (grammar), article in English language, English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers or speakers. It is the definite art ...
, and the disputed territory of
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a on the northwest coast and in the region of and . About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed , while the remaining 80% of the territory is and administered by neighboring . Its surface ar ...

Western Sahara
to the south. Morocco also claims the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
exclaves of
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
,
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; ber, Mrich / Mlilt; ar, مليلية ) is an of located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing with . It has an area of . One of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa together with , it was part of the until ...

Melilla
and
Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera (; ) is a Spanish exclave and rocky tied island, in the western Mediterranean Sea, connected to the Morocco, Moroccan shore by a sandy isthmus. It is also connected to a smaller islet to the east, La Isleta, by a roc ...

Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera
, and several small Spanish-controlled islands off its coast. It spans an area of or , with a population of roughly 37 million. Its official and predominant religion is
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
, and the official languages are
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
and
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
; the and are also widely spoken. Moroccan identity and culture is a vibrant mix of
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
,
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the term refers to those who originate from an Arab co ...
, and
European European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...
cultures. Its capital is
Rabat Rabat (, also , ; ar, الرباط, ar-ribāṭ; ber, ⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟ, aṛṛbaṭ) is the Capital (political), capital city of Morocco and the List of cities in Morocco, country's seventh largest city with an urban population of approximately ...

Rabat
, while its largest city is
Casablanca Casablanca ( ar, الدار البيضاء, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, anfa) is the largest city of . Located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the , it is the second largest city in the region and the in the . Ca ...

Casablanca
. Inhabited since the
Paleolithic Era The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history ...
over 90,000 years ago, the first Moroccan state was established by
Idris I Idris (I) ibn Abdallah ( ar, إدريس بن عبدالله), also known as Idris the Elder ( ar, إدريس الأكبر, Idris al-Akbar), (745–791) was a Hasanid and the founder of the Idrisid dynasty in part of northern Morocco, in alliance ...
in 788. It was subsequently ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith as a
regional power In international relations since the late 20th century, a regional power is a term used for a state that has power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit ti ...
in the 11th and 12th centuries, under the
Almoravid The Almoravid dynasty ( ar, المرابطون, translit=Al-Murābiṭūn, lit=those from the ribats) was an imperial Berbers, Berber Muslim dynasty centered in Morocco. It established an empire in the 11th century that stretched over the weste ...
and
Almohad The Almohad Caliphate (IPA IPA commonly refers to: * India pale ale, a style of beer * International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin ...

Almohad
dynasties, when it controlled most of the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a peni ...

Iberian Peninsula
and the Maghreb. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Morocco faced external threats to its sovereignty, with
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...
seizing some territory and the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
encroaching from the east. The
Marinid The Marinid Sultanate was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North ...
and Saadi dynasties otherwise resisted foreign domination, and Morocco was the only North African nation to escape Ottoman dominion. The
Alaouite dynasty The Alaouite dynasty ( ar, سلالة العلويين الفيلاليين, ''Sulālat al-ʿAlawiyyīn al-Fīlālīyn'') – also rendered in English as 'Alawi, 'Alawid, or Alawite – is the current Morocco, Moroccan royal family and reigning ...
, which rules the country to this day, seized power in 1631, and over the next two centuries expanded diplomatic and commercial relations with the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Northern America, and Australasia.
. Morocco's strategic location near the mouth of the Mediterranean drew renewed European interest; in 1912, France and Spain divided the country into respective protectorates, reserving an international zone in Tangier. Following intermittent riots and revolts against colonial rule, in 1956 Morocco regained its independence and reunified. Since independence, Morocco has remained relatively stable and prosperous. It has the fifth-largest economy in Africa and wields significant influence in both Africa and the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Arab countries The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), ...

Arab world
; it is considered a
middle power In international relations The field of international relations dates from the time of the Ancient Greece, Greek historian Thucydides. International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scienti ...
in global affairs and holds membership in the
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
, the
Union for the Mediterranean The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM; french: Union pour la Méditerranée, ar, الإتحاد من أجل المتوسط ''Al-Ittiḥād min ajl al-Mutawassaṭ'') is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) o ...

Union for the Mediterranean
, and the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
. Morocco is a
unitary Unitary may refer to: * Unitary construction, in automotive design a common term for unibody (unitary body/chassis) construction * Lethal Unitary Chemical Agents and Munitions (Unitary), as chemical weapons opposite of Binary * Unitarianism, in Chr ...
semi-
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
with an elected parliament. The
executive branch The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, a ...
is led by the
King of Morocco This is the list of rulers in Morocco, since the establishment of the first in 789. The common and formal titles of these rulers has varied, depending on the time period. Since 1957, the designation King has been used. The annual salary of the K ...
and the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
, while
legislative power A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday l ...
is vested in the two chambers of parliament: the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
and the
House of Councillors The is the upper house of the National Diet The is Japan's bicameralism, bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house, called the House of Representatives (Japan), House of Representatives (, ''Shūgiin''), and an upper house, ...
. Judicial power rests with the Constitutional Court, which may review the validity of laws, elections, and referenda. The king holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
, foreign policy and religious affairs; he can issue decrees called ''dahirs'', which have the force of law, and can also dissolve the parliament after consulting the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
and the president of the constitutional court. Morocco claims ownership of the non-self-governing territory of
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a on the northwest coast and in the region of and . About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed , while the remaining 80% of the territory is and administered by neighboring . Its surface ar ...

Western Sahara
, which it has designated its
Southern Provinces The Southern Provinces ( ar, الأقاليم الجنوبية ''Al-Aqalim al-Janubiyah'') or Moroccan Sahara are the terms used by the Morocco, Moroccan government for Western Sahara. These two official Moroccan denominations explicitly ...
. In 1975, after Spain agreed to decolonise the territory and cede its control to Morocco and
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; : ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; : ''Moritani''; : ''Gànnaar''; : ''Murutaane''), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania ( ar, الجمهورية الإسلامية الموري ...

Mauritania
, a guerrilla war broke out between those powers and some of the local inhabitants. In 1979, Mauritania relinquished its claim to the area, but the war continued to rage. In 1991, a ceasefire agreement was reached, but the issue of sovereignty remained unresolved. Today, Morocco occupies two-thirds of the territory, and efforts to resolve the dispute have thus far failed to break the political deadlock.


Etymology

Morocco's full
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
name () may best be translated as 'Kingdom of the West', although 'the West' in Arabic is . The name can also be translated as 'kingdom of the evening;. Medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco as ( (meaning 'the Farthest West') to distinguish it from neighbouring regions then called (, meaning '') and (, meaning ''). The word ''Morocco'' is derived from the name of the city of
Marrakesh Marrakesh or Marrakech ( or ; ar, مراكش, murrākuš; ber, ⴰⵎⵓⵔⴰⴽⵓⵛ, amurakuš) is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Lo ...

Marrakesh
, which was its capital under the
Almoravid dynasty The Almoravid dynasty ( ar, المرابطون, translit=Al-Murābiṭūn, lit=those from the ribats) was an imperial Berber Muslim dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', ...
and the
Almohad Caliphate The Almohad Caliphate (: ; from ar, المُوَحِّدون, translit=al-Muwaḥḥidūn, lit=those who profess the unity of God) was a n empire founded in the 12th century. At its height, it controlled much of the () and (the ). The Almoh ...

Almohad Caliphate
. The origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but it most likely comes from the
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
words (), meaning 'Land of God'. The modern Berber name for Marrakesh is (in the Berber Latin script). In
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
, Morocco is known as , a name derived from its ancient capital of
Fes Fez or Fes (; ar, فاس, fās, ber, ⴼⴰⵙ, fas, french: Fès) is a city in northern inland Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: ...

Fes
. However, in other parts of the Islamic world, for example in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature before the mid-20th century, the name commonly used to refer to Morocco was (). That name is still used for the nation today in some languages, including
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
,
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
, and
Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab Punjab ( Gurmukhi: ; Shahmukhi: ; , ; , ; ; also romanised as Panjāb or Panj-Āb) is a ge ...
. The English name ''Morocco'' is an
anglicisation Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in English English usually ...
of the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
name for the country, . That Spanish name was also the basis for the old
Tuscan Tuscan may refer to: Places * A person from, or something of, from, or related to Tuscany, a region of Italy * Tuscan Archipelago Currency * Tuscan pound * Tuscan florin Linguistics * Etruscan language, an extinct language which gives its name t ...
word for the country, , from which the modern
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
word for the country, , is derived.


History


Prehistory and antiquity

The area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since at least Paleolithic times, beginning sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. A recent publication has suggested that there is evidence for even earlier human habitation of the area: ''
Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread of , characterized by and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced , , and . Humans are highly social and tend to live in complex s composed of many ...

Homo sapiens
'' fossils that had been discovered in the late 2000s near the in
Jebel Irhoud Jebel Irhoud ( ary, جبل إيغود, ǧabal īġūd also Adrar Ighud, Berber: ') is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric ...
were recently dated to roughly 315,000 years ago. During the
Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the is the third and last subdivision of the or Old . Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and years ago (the beginning of the ), according to some theories coinciding with the ...
, the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
was more fertile than it is today, resembling a
savanna A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland A woodland () is, in the broad sense, land covered with trees, or in a narrow sense, synonymous with wood (or in the U.S., the ' woods), a low-density forming open s with plenty of sunlight and li ...

savanna
, in contrast to its modern arid landscape. Twenty-two thousand years ago, the pre-existing
Aterian The Aterian is a Middle Stone Age (or Middle Paleolithic, Middle Palaeolithic) stone tool Archaeological industry, industry centered in North Africa, but also possibly found in Oman, the Thar Desert, Sahara (Saharan Aterian) and northeast Africa ( ...
culture was succeeded by the
Iberomaurusian The Iberomaurusian is a backed Blade (archaeology), bladelet lithic technology, lithic industry found near the coasts of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It is also known from a single major site in Libya, the Haua Fteah, where the industry is local ...
culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the human remains found at
Iberomaurusian The Iberomaurusian is a backed Blade (archaeology), bladelet lithic technology, lithic industry found near the coasts of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It is also known from a single major site in Libya, the Haua Fteah, where the industry is local ...
"
Mechta-Afalou Mechta-Afalou (Mechtoid) or Paleo-Berber are a population that inhabited parts of North Africa during the late Paleolithic and Mesolithic. They are associated with the Iberomaurusian archaeological culture. Mechtoids are believed to have been assim ...
" burial sites and European
Cro-Magnon Early European modern humans (EEMH) or Cro-Magnons were the first early modern human Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH) are terms used to distinguish ''Homo sapiens'' (the only extant Hominina species) that are ana ...

Cro-Magnon
remains. The Iberomaurusian culture was succeeded by the
Beaker culture The Bell Beaker culture (or, in short, Beaker culture) is an archaeological culture An archaeological culture is a recurring Assemblage (archaeology), assemblage of types of Artifact (archaeology), artifacts, buildings and monuments from a specifi ...

Beaker culture
in Morocco.
Mitochondrial DNA Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA or mDNA) is the DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five car ...

Mitochondrial DNA
studies have discovered a close ancestral link between
Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...

Berbers
and the
Saami The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI, pronounced "Sammy") is an association of United States, American Manufacturing, manufacturers of firearms, ammunition, and components. SAAMI is an accredited Standards organizatio ...
of Scandinavia. This evidence supports the theory that some of the peoples who had been living in the during the late-glacial period migrated to northern Europe, contributing to its repopulation after the last
ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and ...

ice age
. In the early part of the
Classical Antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ...
period, Northwest Africa and Morocco were slowly drawn into the wider emerging
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
world by the
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...

Phoenicians
, who established trading colonies and settlements there, the most substantial of which were
Chellah The Chellah or Shalla ( ber, script=Latn, Sla or ; ar, شالة), is a medieval fortified Muslim necropolis A necropolis (plural necropolises, necropoles, necropoleis, necropoli) is a large, designed cemetery A cemetery, burial ground or gr ...

Chellah
,
LixusLixus may refer to: * ''lixus'', the Latin word for "boiled" * Lixus (ancient city) in Morocco * ''Lixus (beetle)'', a genus of true weevils * Lixus, one of the sons of Aegyptus and Caliadne in Greek mythology, who married (and was murdered by) Daug ...
, and
Mogador Essaouira (; ar, الصويرة, aṣ-Ṣawīra; ber, label= Berber, ⵎⵓⴳⴰⴷⵓⵔ, ''Amegdul''; pt, Mogador) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pengu ...

Mogador
. Mogador was established as a Phoenician colony as early as the 6th century BC. Morocco later became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of
ancient Carthage Carthage (; xpu, 𐤒𐤓𐤕𐤟𐤇𐤃𐤔𐤕, translit=Qart-ḥadašt, lit=New City; la, Carthāgō) was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past events
, and part of the Carthaginian empire. The earliest known independent Moroccan state was the , under King Baga. This ancient kingdom (not to be confused with the modern state of
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; : ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; : ''Moritani''; : ''Gànnaar''; : ''Murutaane''), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania ( ar, الجمهورية الإسلامية الموري ...

Mauritania
) flourished around 225 BC or earlier.
Mauretania Mauretania (; ) is the Latin language, Latin name for a region in the ancient Maghreb. It stretched from central present-day Algeria westwards to the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, covering northern Morocco, and southward to the Atlas Mountains. Its ...

Mauretania
became a client kingdom of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
in 33 BC. Emperor
Claudius Claudius ( ; Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was the fourth Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...

Claudius
annexed Mauretania directly in 44 AD, making it a
Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled ...
ruled by an imperial
governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...

governor
(either a ''procurator Augusti'', or a ''legatus Augusti pro praetore''). During the so-called "
crisis of the 3rd century#REDIRECT Crisis of the Third Century#REDIRECT Crisis of the Third Century {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
," parts of Mauretania were reconquered by Berber tribes. As a result, by the late 3rd century, direct Roman rule had become confined to a few coastal cities, such as Septum (
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
) in
Mauretania Tingitana Mauretania Tingitana (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Rep ...
and
Cherchell Cherchell (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael ...

Cherchell
in
Mauretania Caesariensis Mauretania Caesariensis (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
. When, in 429 AD, the area was devastated by the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman authors. They are also ...
, the Roman Empire lost its remaining possessions in Mauretania, and local
Mauro-Roman kings
Mauro-Roman kings
assumed control of them. In the 530s, the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
, under Byzantine control, re-established direct imperial rule of Septum and
Tingi Tingis (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
, fortified Tingis, and erected a church.


Foundation and early Islamic era

The
Muslim conquest of the Maghreb The Muslim conquest of the Maghreb ( ar, الفَتْحُ الإسْلَامِيُّ لِلمَغْرِبِ) continued the century of rapid Muslim conquests History of Islam, The history of the spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim ...
, which started in the middle of the 7th century, was achieved by the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under th ...
early into the following century. It brought both the Arabic language and
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
to the area. Although part of the larger
Islamic Empire This article includes a list of successive Muslim state An Islamic state is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associati ...
, Morocco was initially organized as a subsidiary province of
Ifriqiya Ifriqiya ( '), also known as al-Maghrib al-Adna ( ar, المغرب الأدنى), was a medieval historical region comprising today's Tunisia and eastern Algeria, and Tripolitania (today's western Libya). It included all of what had previously ...
, with the local governors appointed by the Muslim governor in
Kairouan Kairouan ( ar, ٱلْقَيْرَوَان '), also spelled Al Qayrawān or Kairwan (), is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia i ...

Kairouan
. The indigenous Berber tribes adopted Islam, but retained their
customary law A legal custom is the established pattern of behavior that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. A claim can be carried out in defense of "what has always been done and accepted by law". Customary law (also, consuetudina ...
s. They also paid taxes and tribute to the new Muslim administration. The first independent Muslim state in the area of modern Morocco was the
Kingdom of Nekor The Kingdom of Nekor ( Berber: ''Tageldit n Nekkur''; ar, إمارة بني صالح) was an emirate An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Arabic or Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in ...
, an emirate in the
Rif Mountains The Rif or Riff ( Berber: ''Arif'', ''Arrif'' or ''Nekkor'', ⴰⵔⵔⵉⴼ; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by S ...

Rif Mountains
. It was founded by
Salih I ibn MansurSalih I ibn Mansur ( ar, صالح ابن منصور الأول) (ca. 710), was the founder of the Kingdom of Nekor The Kingdom of Nekor ( Berber: ''Tageldit n Nekkur''; ar, إمارة بني صالح) was an emirate An emirate is a political ...
in 710, as a client state to the Umayyad Caliphate. After the outbreak of the
Berber Revolt The Great Berber Revolt of 739/740–743 AD (122–125 AH in the Muslim calendar) took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the Arab caliphate (ruled ...
in 739, the Berbers formed other independent states such as the
Miknasa The Miknasa (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specificall ...
of
Sijilmasa Sijilmasa ( ar, سجلماسة; also transliterated Sijilmassa, Sidjilmasa, Sidjilmassa and Sigilmassa) was a medieval Moroccan city and trade entrepôt at the northern edge of the Sahara in Morocco. The ruins of the town extend for five miles alo ...
and the
Barghawata The Barghawatas (also Barghwata or Berghouata) were Berber tribal confederation on the Atlantic coast of Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark ...

Barghawata
. According to medieval legend, Idris ibn Abdallah had fled to Morocco after the
Abbasids The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office governing a territory under I ...

Abbasids
' massacre of his tribe in Iraq. He convinced the Awraba Berber tribes to break their allegiance to the distant Abbasid caliphs in
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of and one of the in the , and compared to its large population it has a small area at just 673 square kilometers (260 sq mi). Located along the , near the ruins of the city of and the anc ...

Baghdad
and he founded the
Idrisid dynasty The Idrisids ( ar, الأدارسة ') were an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an ethnic group An ethn ...
in 788. The Idrisids established
Fes Fez or Fes (; ar, فاس, fās, ber, ⴼⴰⵙ, fas, french: Fès) is a city in northern inland Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: ...
as their capital and Morocco became a centre of Muslim learning and a major
regional power In international relations since the late 20th century, a regional power is a term used for a state that has power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit ti ...
. The Idrissids were ousted in 927 by the
Fatimid Caliphate The Fatimid Caliphate ( ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْفَاطِمِيَّة , al-Ḫilāfa al-Fāṭimiyya) was an Ismaili Shia Ismāʿīlism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, ''al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah''; fa, اسماعیلیان, ''E ...

Fatimid Caliphate
and their Miknasa allies. After Miknasa broke off relations with the Fatimids in 932, they were removed from power by the
Maghrawa The Maghrawa or Meghrawa were a large Zenata Berber people, Berber tribal confederation whose cradle and seat of power was the territory located on the Chlef, Chelif in the north-western part of today's Algeria, bounded by the Ouarsenis, Wansharis ...
of Sijilmasa in 980.


Dynasties

From the 11th century onwards, a series of Berber dynasties arose. Under the
Sanhaja The Sanhaja ( ber, Aẓnag, pl. Iẓnagen, and also Aẓnaj, pl. Iẓnajen; ar, صنهاجة, ''Ṣanhaja'' or زناگة ''Znaga'') were once one of the largest Berber tribal confederations, along with the Zanata and Masmuda confederations. Ma ...
Almoravid dynasty The Almoravid dynasty ( ar, المرابطون, translit=Al-Murābiṭūn, lit=those from the ribats) was an imperial Berber Muslim dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', ...
and the
Masmuda The Masmuda ( ar, المصمودة) is a Berber tribal confederation of Morocco and one of the largest in the Maghreb, along with the Zenata, Zanata and the Sanhaja. They were composed of several sub-tribes: Berghouatas, Ghomara people, Ghomaras ...
Almohad dynasty The Almohad Caliphate ( IPA: ; from ar, المُوَحِّدون, translit=al-Muwaḥḥidūn, lit=those who profess the unity of God) was a North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. Ther ...

Almohad dynasty
, Morocco dominated the Maghreb,
al-Andalus
al-Andalus
in
Iberia The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a penin ...

Iberia
, and the western Mediterranean region. From the 13th century onwards the country saw a massive migration of the
Banu Hilal The Banu Hilal ( ar, بنو هلال or ) was a confederation of Arabian tribes from the Hejaz The Hejaz (, also ; ar, ٱلْحِجَاز, al-Ḥijāz, lit=the Barrier, ) is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia (Shahada) , national_anthem ...
Arab tribes. In the 13th and 14th centuries the
Merinids The Marinid Sultanate was a Berbers, Berber empire from the mid-13th to the 15th century which controlled present-day Morocco and, intermittently, other parts of North Africa (Algeria and Tunisia) and of southern Spain around Gibraltar. It was ...
held power in Morocco and strove to replicate the successes of the
Almohads The Almohad Caliphate (International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA: ; from ar, المُوَحِّدون, translit=al-Muwaḥḥidūn, lit=those who profess the unity of God) was a North African Berbers, Berber Muslim empire founded in the 12th century. ...

Almohads
through military campaigns in Algeria and Spain. They were followed by the
Wattasids The Wattasid dynasty ( ber, ⵉⵡⴻⵟⵟⴰⵙⴻⵏ, ''Iweṭṭasen''; ar, الوطاسيون, ''al-waṭṭāsīyūn'') was a ruling dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'' ...
. In the 15th century, the
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
ended Muslim rule in Iberia and many
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
s and
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...
fled to Morocco.
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

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.


Early modern period

In 1549, the region fell to successive Arab dynasties claiming descent from the
Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIslām) are individuals in Islam who are believed to spread God in Islam, God's message on Earth and to serve as models of ideal human behaviour. Som ...
,
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
: first the
Saadi dynasty The Saadi Sultanate or Saadian Sultanate ( ar, السلطنة السعدية) was a state which ruled present-day Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Locatio ...
who ruled from 1549 to 1659, and then the
Alaouite dynasty The Alaouite dynasty ( ar, سلالة العلويين الفيلاليين, ''Sulālat al-ʿAlawiyyīn al-Fīlālīyn'') – also rendered in English as 'Alawi, 'Alawid, or Alawite – is the current Morocco, Moroccan royal family and reigning ...
, who remain in power since the 17th century. Under the Saadi dynasty, the country ended the Aviz dynasty of Portugal at the
Battle of Alcácer Quibir The Battle of Alcácer Quibir (also known as "Battle of Three Kings" ( ar, معركة الملوك الثلاثة) or "Battle of wadi al-Makhazin" ( ar, links=no, معركة وادي المخازن) in Morocco) was fought in northern Morocco, n ...
in 1578. The reign of
Ahmad al-Mansur Ahmad al-Mansur ( ar, أبو العباس أحمد المنصور, Ahmad Abu al-Abbas al-Mansur, also El-Mansour Eddahbi
he Golden He or HE may refer to: Language * He (pronoun) In Modern English, ''he'' is a Grammatical number, singular, Grammatical gender, masculine, Grammatical person, third-person personal pronoun, pronoun. Morphology In Standard English, Standard ...
ar, أحمد المنصور الذهبي; and Ahmed el-Mansour; 1549 in Fes – 25 August 1603, outskirts of F ...
brought new wealth and prestige to the Sultanate, and a large expedition to West Africa inflicted a crushing defeat on the
Songhay Empire The Songhai Empire (also transliterated as Songhay) was a state that dominated the western Sahel The Sahel (; ' , "coast, shore") is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic realm of Ecotone, transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and ...
in 1591. However, managing the territories across the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
proved too difficult. After the death of al-Mansur, the country was divided among his sons. In 1631, Morocco was reunited by the Alaouite dynasty, who have been the ruling house of Morocco ever since. Morocco was facing aggression from
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and the Ottoman Empire allies pressing westward. The Alaouites succeeded in stabilising their position, and while the kingdom was smaller than previous ones in the region, it remained quite wealthy. Against the opposition of local tribes
Ismail Ibn Sharif Moulay Ismail Ibn Sharif ( ar, مولاي إسماعيل بن الشريف), born around 1645 in and died on 22 March 1727 at , was a from 1672–1727, as the second ruler of the . He was the seventh son of and was governor of the and the nort ...
(1672–1727) began to create a unified state. With his Jaysh d'Ahl al-Rif (the
Rif The Rif or Riff (; ), also called Rif Mountains, is a geographic and cultural region 's map of native American cultural areas within the territory of the United States (1948) as defined by Melville J. Herskovits influence , homelands of ...

Rif
fian Army) he re-occupied
Tangier Tangier ( ; ar, طنجة, ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, Ṭanja, es, Tánger) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in n ...
from the
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
who had abandoned it in 1684 and drove the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
from
Larache Larache (also ''El Araich''; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinen ...

Larache
in 1689. Portuguese abandoned
Mazagão
Mazagão
, their last territory in Morocco, in 1769. However, the Siege of Melilla against the Spanish ended in defeat in 1775. Morocco was the first nation to recognise the fledgling United States as an independent nation in 1777. In the beginning of the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, American merchant ships in the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
were subject to attack by the
Barbary pirates 1650 The Barbary pirates, or Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslims, Muslim privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast ...
. 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. The
Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship In December 1777, the Moroccan Sultan Muhammad III included the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in ...
, signed in 1786, stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

treaty
.


French and Spanish protectorates: 1912 to 1956

As Europe industrialised, Northwest Africa was increasingly prized for its potential for colonisation. 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. In 1860, a dispute over Spain's Ceuta enclave led Spain to declare war. Victorious Spain won a further enclave and an enlarged Ceuta in the settlement. In 1884, Spain created a protectorate in the coastal areas of Morocco. In 1904, France and Spain carved out zones of influence in Morocco. Recognition by the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
of France's
sphere of influence In the field of international relations, a sphere of influence (SOI) is a spatial region or concept division over which a state or organization has a level of cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and ...
provoked a strong reaction from the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
; and a crisis loomed in 1905. The matter was resolved at the
Algeciras Conference The Algeciras Conference of 1906 took place in Algeciras, Spain, and lasted from 16 January to 7 April. The purpose of the conference was to find a solution to the First Moroccan Crisis of 1905 between France France (), officially the F ...
in 1906. The
Agadir Crisis The Agadir Crisis, Agadir Incident or Second Moroccan Crisis (also known as the ''Panthersprung'' in German) was a brief international crisis sparked by the deployment of a substantial force of French troops in the interior of Morocco ) , ...
of 1911 increased tensions between European powers. The 1912
Treaty of Fez The Treaty of Fes ( ar, معاهدة فاس, ), officially the Treaty Concluded Between France and Morocco on March 30, 1912, for the Organization of the French Protectorate in the Sherifien Empire (), was a treaty signed by Sultan Abd al-Hafid ...
made Morocco a
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
of France, and triggered the 1912 Fez riots. Spain continued to operate its coastal protectorate. By the same treaty, Spain assumed the role of
protecting power A protecting power is a country that represents another sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign s ...
over the northern and southern
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
n zones. Tens of thousands of colonists entered Morocco. Some bought up large amounts of rich agricultural land, while others organised the exploitation and modernisation of mines and harbours. 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. Governor general Marshall
Hubert Lyautey Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey (17 November 1854 – 27 July 1934) was a French Army general and colonial administrator. After serving in Indochina and Madagascar, he became the first French Resident-General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925. Early in 1 ...

Hubert Lyautey
sincerely admired Moroccan culture and succeeded in imposing a joint Moroccan-French administration, while creating a modern school system. Several divisions of Moroccan soldiers (
Goumier The Moroccan Goumiers (french: Les Goumiers Marocains) were indigenous Moroccans, Moroccan soldiers who served in auxiliary units attached to the French Army of Africa (France), Army of Africa, between 1908 and 1956. While nominally in the service ...
s or regular troops and officers) served in the
French army The French Army, officially the Ground Army (french: Armée de Terre , ) to distinguish it from the French Air and Space Force The French Air and Space Force (AAE) (french: Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace, ) is the air File:Atmosphere gas ...
in both
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, and in the Spanish
Nationalist Army The National Revolutionary Army (NRA; ), sometimes shortened to Revolutionary Army () before 1928, and as National Army () after 1928, was the military arm of the Kuomintang (KMT, or the Chinese Nationalist Party) from 1925 until 1947 in the Rep ...
in the
Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War ( es, Guerra Civil Española)) or The Revolution ( es, La Revolución) among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War ( es, Cuarta Guerra Carlista) among Carlism, Carlists, and The Rebellion ( es, La Rebelión) or Uprising ( ...

Spanish Civil War
and after (''
Regulares The Fuerzas Regulares Indígenas ("Berbers, Indigenous Regular Forces"), known simply as the Regulares (Regulars), are volunteer infantry units of the Spanish Army, largely recruited in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. Consisting of indigenous in ...

Regulares
''). The institution of
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved per ...
was abolished in 1925. Between 1921 and 1926, a Berber uprising in the Rif Mountains, led by
Abd el-Krim Mohamed ibn Abdelkrim El-Khattabi (Tamazight: ⴰⴱⴹ ⴻⵍ ⵅⴰⵔⵉⵎ; ar, محمد بن عبد الكريم الخطابي), better known as Abd el-Krim (1882, Morocco – 6 February 1963) was an Amazigh-Riffians, Riffian political a ...
, led to the establishment of the Republic of the Rif. The Spanish lost more than 13,000 soldiers at
Annual Annual may refer to: *Annual publication, periodical publications appearing regularly once per year **Yearbook **Literary annual *Annual plant *Annual report *Annual giving *Annual, Morocco, a settlement in northeastern Morocco *Annuals (band), a ...
in July–August 1921. The rebellion was eventually suppressed by French and Spanish troops. In 1943, the
Istiqlal Party The Istiqlal or Independence Party (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Ge ...
(Independence Party) was founded to press for independence, with discreet US support. That party subsequently provided most of the leadership for the nationalist movement. France's exile of
Sultan Mohammed V Mohammad Al-Khamis Ben Youssef Ben Mohammed Al-Alaoui ( ar, محمد الخامس بن يوسف بن الحسن بن محمد بن عبد الرحمن بن هشام بن محمد بن عبد الله بن إسماعيل بن إسماعيل بن ...
in 1953 to
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mala ...

Madagascar
and his replacement by the unpopular
Mohammed Ben Aarafa Mohammed Ben Aarafa ( ar, محمد بن عرفة), or Ben Arafa (1889 – 17 July 1976), was a paternal first cousin once removed of Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arab ...

Mohammed Ben Aarafa
sparked active opposition to the French and Spanish protectorates. The most notable violence occurred in
Oujda Oujda ( ar, وجدة; ber, ⵡⵓⵊⴷⴰ, Wujda) is a major Morocco, Moroccan city in its northeast near the Algeria–Morocco border, border with Algeria. Oujda is the capital city of the Oriental (Morocco), Oriental region of northeastern ...

Oujda
where Moroccans attacked French and other European residents in the streets. France allowed Mohammed V to return in 1955, and the negotiations that led to Moroccan independence began the following year. In March 1956 the French protectorate was ended and Morocco regained its independence from France as the "Kingdom of Morocco". A month later Spain forsook its protectorate in Northern Morocco to the new state but kept its two coastal enclaves (
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
and
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; ber, Mrich / Mlilt; ar, مليلية ) is an of located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing with . It has an area of . One of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa together with , it was part of the until ...

Melilla
) on the Mediterranean coast which dated from earlier conquests. Sultan Mohammed became king in 1957.


Post-independence

Upon the death of Mohammed V,
Hassan IIHassan, Hasan, Hassane, Haasana, Hassaan, Asan, Hassun, Hasun, Hassen, Hasson or Hasani may refer to: People * Hassan (given name), Arabic given name and a list of people with that given name * Hassan (surname), Arabic, Jewish, Irish and Scottis ...
became King of Morocco on 3 March 1961. Morocco held its first general elections in 1963. However, Hassan declared a state of emergency and suspended parliament in 1965. In 1971, there was a failed attempt to depose the king and establish a republic. 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. Some 592 people were recorded killed during Hassan's rule according to the truth commission. The Spanish
enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly ...

enclave
of
Ifni Ifni was a Spanish province on the Atlantic coast of Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territo ...

Ifni
in the south was returned to Morocco in 1969. The Polisario movement was formed in 1973, with the aim of establishing an independent state in the Spanish Sahara. On 6 November 1975, King Hassan asked for volunteers to cross into the Spanish Sahara. Some 350,000 civilians were reported as being involved in the "
Green March The Green March was a strategic mass demonstration in November 1975, coordinated by the Moroccan government, to force Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coa ...
". 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. Moroccan forces occupied the territory. Moroccan and Algerian troops soon clashed in Western Sahara. Morocco and Mauritania divided up Western Sahara. Fighting between the Moroccan military and Polisario forces continued for many years. The prolonged war was a considerable financial drain on Morocco. In 1983, Hassan cancelled planned elections amid political unrest and economic crisis. In 1984, Morocco left the Organisation of African Unity in protest at the
SADR The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (; SADR; also romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as t ...
's admission to the body. Polisario claimed to have killed more than 5,000 Moroccan soldiers between 1982 and 1985. Algerian authorities have estimated the number of Sahrawi refugees in Algeria to be 165,000. Diplomatic relations with Algeria were restored in 1988. In 1991, a UN-monitored ceasefire began in Western Sahara, but the territory's status remains undecided and ceasefire violations are reported. The following decade saw much wrangling over a proposed referendum on the future of the territory but the deadlock was not broken. 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. King Hassan II died in 1999 and was succeeded by his son,
Mohammed VI
Mohammed VI
. He is a cautious moderniser who has introduced some economic and social liberalisation. Mohammed VI paid a controversial visit to the Western Sahara in 2002. Morocco unveiled an autonomy blueprint for Western Sahara to the United Nations in 2007. The Polisario rejected the plan and put forward its own proposal. Morocco and the Polisario Front held UN-sponsored talks in New York City but failed to come to any agreement. In 2010, security forces stormed a protest camp in the Western Sahara, triggering violent demonstrations in the regional capital
El Aaiún Laâyoune ( , also , ) or El Aaiún ( , ; Hassaniya Arabic: , romanized: ; ber, ⵍⵄⵢⵓⵏ, Leɛyun; ar, label=Modern Standard Arabic, Literary Arabic, العيون, al-ʿUyūn/el-ʿUyūn, lit=The Spring (hydrology), Springs) is the larg ...
. In 2002, Morocco and Spain agreed to a US-brokered resolution over the disputed island of Perejil. Spanish troops had taken the normally uninhabited island after Moroccan soldiers landed on it and set up tents and a flag. 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 deported hundreds of the illegal migrants. In 2006, the Spanish Premier Zapatero visited Spanish enclaves. He was the first Spanish leader in 25 years to make an official visit to the territories. The following year, Spanish King
Juan Carlos I Juan Carlos I (;, * ca, Joan Carles I, * gl, Xoán Carlos I, Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón, born 5 January 1938) is a member of the Spanish royal family who reigned as King of Spain from November 1975 until his a ...
visited Ceuta and Melilla, further angering Morocco which demanded control of the enclaves. During the
2011–2012 Moroccan protests The Moroccan protests are a series of demonstrations across Morocco which occurred from 20 February 2011 to the fall of 2012. They were inspired by Arab Spring, other protests in the region. The protests were organized by the 20 February Movement. ...
, thousands of people rallied in Rabat and other cities calling for political reform and a new constitution curbing the powers of the king. In July 2011, the King won a landslide victory in a referendum on a reformed constitution he had proposed to placate the
Arab Spring The Arab Spring ( ar, الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low stand ...
protests. Despite the reforms made by Mohammed VI, demonstrators continued to call for deeper reforms. Hundreds took part in a trade union rally in Casablanca in May 2012. Participants accused the government of failing to deliver on reforms.


Geography

Morocco has a coast by the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
that reaches past the
Strait of Gibraltar The Strait of Gibraltar ( ar, مضيق جبل طارق, Maḍīq Jabal Ṭāriq; es, Estrecho de Gibraltar, : ), also known as the Straits of Gibraltar, is a narrow that connects the to the and separates the in from in . The two continen ...

Strait of Gibraltar
into the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
. It is bordered by
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
to the north (a water border through the Strait and
land borders This is a list of countries and territories by land borders. The number of distinct land borders of each country or territory is indicated as well the names of its neighbouring countries and territories. The length of each land border is included, ...
with three small Spanish-controlled
exclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly ...

exclave
s,
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
,
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; ber, Mrich / Mlilt; ar, مليلية ) is an of located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing with . It has an area of . One of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa together with , it was part of the until ...

Melilla
, and
Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera (; ) is a Spanish exclave and rocky tied island, in the western Mediterranean Sea, connected to the Morocco, Moroccan shore by a sandy isthmus. It is also connected to a smaller islet to the east, La Isleta, by a roc ...

Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera
),
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; Berber language, Berber: ''Dzayer;'' French language, French'': Alger'') is ...

Algeria
to the east, and
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a on the northwest coast and in the region of and . About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed , while the remaining 80% of the territory is and administered by neighboring . Its surface ar ...

Western Sahara
to the south. Since Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, its ''de facto'' southern boundary is with
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; : ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; : ''Moritani''; : ''Gànnaar''; : ''Murutaane''), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania ( ar, الجمهورية الإسلامية الموري ...

Mauritania
. The internationally recognised borders of the country lie between latitudes 27° and 36°N, and longitudes 1° and 14°W. Adding Western Sahara, Morocco lies mostly between 21° and 36°N, and and 17°W (the
Ras Nouadhibou Ras Nouadhibou ( ar, رأس نواذيبو) is a peninsula or headland divided by the Mauritania–Western Sahara border, border between Mauritania and Western Sahara on the African coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It is internationally known as ''C ...
peninsula is slightly south of 21° and west of 17°). The geography of Morocco spans from the Atlantic Ocean, to mountainous areas, to the Sahara desert. Morocco is a
Northern Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

Northern Africa
n country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara. It is one of only three nations (along with
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. A large part of Morocco is mountainous. The
Atlas Mountains The Atlas Mountains ( ar, جِبَال ٱلْأَطْلَس, jibāl al-ʾaṭlas /ʒibaːl al atˤlas/, Tamazight The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: , ; Neo-Tifinagh: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ, Tuareg Tifin ...

Atlas Mountains
are located mainly in the centre and the south of the country. The
Rif Mountains The Rif or Riff ( Berber: ''Arif'', ''Arrif'' or ''Nekkor'', ⴰⵔⵔⵉⴼ; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by S ...

Rif Mountains
are located in the north of the country. Both ranges are mainly inhabited by the
Berber people Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...
. At , Morocco excluding Western Sahara is the fifty-seventh largest country in the world. Algeria borders Morocco to the east and southeast, though the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994. Spanish territory in Northwest Africa neighbouring Morocco comprises five enclaves on the Mediterranean coast:
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
,
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; ber, Mrich / Mlilt; ar, مليلية ) is an of located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing with . It has an area of . One of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa together with , it was part of the until ...

Melilla
,
Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera (; ) is a Spanish exclave and rocky tied island, in the western Mediterranean Sea, connected to the Morocco, Moroccan shore by a sandy isthmus. It is also connected to a smaller islet to the east, La Isleta, by a roc ...

Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera
,
Peñón de Alhucemas The Alhucemas Islands ( es, Islas Alhucemas, ar, جزر الحسيمة) is a group of islands and one of the Spain, Spanish ''plazas de soberanía'' just off the Morocco, Moroccan coast in the Alboran Sea. Overview Peñón de Alhucemas, tog ...

Peñón de Alhucemas
, the Chafarinas islands, and the disputed islet Perejil. Off the Atlantic coast the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...
belong to Spain, whereas
Madeira Madeira ( , , ), officially the Autonomous Region of Madeira ( pt, Região Autónoma da Madeira), is one of the two autonomous regions An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, su ...

Madeira
to the north is
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
. To the north, Morocco is bordered by the Strait of Gibraltar, where international shipping has unimpeded
transit passageTransit passage is a concept of the law of the sea, which allows a vessel or aircraft the freedom of navigation or overflight solely for the purpose of continuous and expeditious transit of a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typic ...
between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The Rif mountains stretch over the region bordering the Mediterranean from the north-west to the north-east. The Atlas Mountains run down the backbone of the country, from the northeast to the southwest. Most of the southeast portion of the country is in the
Sahara Desert The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the . With an area of , it is the largest hot in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of and the northern . ...

Sahara Desert
and as such is generally sparsely populated and unproductive economically. 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 The Green March was a strategic mass demonstration in November 1975, coordinated by the Moroccan government, to force Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coa ...
).Pending resolution of the
Western Sahara conflict The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco. The conflict originated from an insurgency by the Polisario Front against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975 and the subsequen ...
.
Morocco claims that the Western Sahara is part of its territory and refers to that as its
Southern Provinces The Southern Provinces ( ar, الأقاليم الجنوبية ''Al-Aqalim al-Janubiyah'') or Moroccan Sahara are the terms used by the Morocco, Moroccan government for Western Sahara. These two official Moroccan denominations explicitly ...
. Morocco's capital city is
Rabat Rabat (, also , ; ar, الرباط, ar-ribāṭ; ber, ⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟ, aṛṛbaṭ) is the Capital (political), capital city of Morocco and the List of cities in Morocco, country's seventh largest city with an urban population of approximately ...

Rabat
; its largest city is its main port,
Casablanca Casablanca ( ar, الدار البيضاء, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, anfa) is the largest city of . Located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the , it is the second largest city in the region and the in the . Ca ...

Casablanca
. Other cities recording a population over 500,000 in the 2014 Moroccan census are
Fes Fez or Fes (; ar, فاس, fās, ber, ⴼⴰⵙ, fas, french: Fès) is a city in northern inland Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: ...

Fes
,
Marrakesh Marrakesh or Marrakech ( or ; ar, مراكش, murrākuš; ber, ⴰⵎⵓⵔⴰⴽⵓⵛ, amurakuš) is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Lo ...

Marrakesh
,
Meknes Meknes ( ar, مكناس, maknās, ; ber, ⴰⵎⴽⵏⴰⵙ, amknas; french: Meknès) is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco, located in northern central Morocco and the sixth largest city by population in the kingdom. Founded in the 11th c ...

Meknes
,
Salé Salé ( ar, سلا, salā; ber, ⵙⵍⴰ, sla) is a city in north-western Morocco, on the right bank of the Bou Regreg river, opposite the national capital Rabat, for which it serves as a commuter town. Founded in about 1030 by Arabic-speaking B ...
and
Tangier Tangier ( ; ar, طنجة, ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, Ṭanja, es, Tánger) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in n ...

Tangier
. Morocco is represented in the
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code In communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area aro ...
geographical encoding standard by the symbol ''MA''. This code was used as the basis for Morocco's internet domain, .ma.


Climate

The country's
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
is similar to that of southern
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...

California
, with lush forests in the northern and central mountain ranges of the country, giving way to drier conditions and inland deserts further southeast. The Moroccan coastal plains experience remarkably moderate temperatures even in summer, owing to the effect of the cold
Canary Current The Canary Current is a wind-driven surface current that is part of the North Atlantic Gyre. This eastern boundary current branches south from the North Atlantic Current and flows southwest about as far as Senegal where it turns west and later ...
off its 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 Endemism is the state of a species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interact ...
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. Southeast of the Atlas mountains, near the Algerian borders, the climate becomes very dry, with long and hot summers. 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. The southeasternmost portions of Morocco are very hot, and include portions of the
Sahara Desert The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the . With an area of , it is the largest hot in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of and the northern . ...

Sahara Desert
, where vast swathes of sand dunes and rocky plains are dotted with lush
oases In geography, an oasis (, plural oases, ) is a fertile land in a desert or semi-desert environment.
. In contrast to the Sahara region in the south, coastal
plain In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population i ...

plain
s 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. 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. That makes Morocco a country of contrasts. cover about 12% of the country while arable land accounts for 18%. Approximately 5% of Moroccan land is irrigated for agricultural use. In general, apart from the southeast regions (pre-Saharan and desert areas), Morocco's climate and geography are very similar to the Iberian peninsula. Thus Morocco has the following climate zones: *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 and . Winters are generally mild and wet, daily average temperatures hover around to , and average low are around to , 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 Tangier ( ; ar, طنجة, ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, Ṭanja, es, Tánger) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in n ...

Tangier
, ,
Al Hoceima Al Hoceima (in the Berber language: Eřḥusima or Elḥusima, Taɣzut, Taghzut and also Tijdit, in es, Alhucemas) is a Riffians, Riffian city in the north of Morocco, on the northern edge of the Rif Mountains and on the Mediterranean Sea, Medite ...
,
Nador Nador (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Mo ...

Nador
and Safi. *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: :* ''Oceanic:'' Determined by the cooler summers, where highs are around and in terms of the Essaouira region, are almost always around . The medium daily temperatures can get as low as , 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 Rabat (, also , ; ar, الرباط, ar-ribāṭ; ber, ⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟ, aṛṛbaṭ) is the Capital (political), capital city of Morocco and the List of cities in Morocco, country's seventh largest city with an urban population of approximately ...

Rabat
,
Casablanca Casablanca ( ar, الدار البيضاء, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, anfa) is the largest city of . Located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the , it is the second largest city in the region and the in the . Ca ...

Casablanca
,
Kénitra Kenitra ( ar, القنيطرة, al-qunayṭira, the little bridge; ber, ⵇⵏⵉⵟⵔⴰ, Qniṭra) is a city in north western Morocco, formerly known as Port Lyautey from 1932 to 1956. It is a port on the Sebou River, Sebou river, has a popul ...

Kénitra
,
Salé Salé ( ar, سلا, salā; ber, ⵙⵍⴰ, sla) is a city in north-western Morocco, on the right bank of the Bou Regreg river, opposite the national capital Rabat, for which it serves as a commuter town. Founded in about 1030 by Arabic-speaking B ...
and
Essaouira Essaouira (; ar, الصويرة, aṣ-Ṣawīra; ber, label= Berber, ⵎⵓⴳⴰⴷⵓⵔ, ''Amegdul''; pt, Mogador) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pengu ...

Essaouira
. :* ''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 during heat waves, but usually are between and . However, temperatures drop as the sun sets. Night temperatures usually fall below , and sometimes as low as 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 in winter 2005. Annual precipitation varies between 500 and 900 mm. Notable cities are
Fès Fez or Fes (; ar, فاس, fās, ber, ⴼⴰⵙ, fas, french: Fès) is a city in northern inland Morocco and the capital of the Fès-Meknès, Fès-Meknès administrative region. It is the second largest city in Morocco after Casablanca, with a p ...

Fès
,
Meknès Meknes ( ar, مكناس, maknās; ber, ⴰⵎⴽⵏⴰⵙ, amknas) is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco, located in northern central Morocco and the sixth largest city by population in the kingdom. Founded in the 11th century by the Almor ...
,
Chefchaouen Chefchaouen ( ar, شفشاون ' ; ''Ashawen''), also known as Chaouen, is a city in northwest Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Und ...

Chefchaouen
, Beni-Mellal and
Taza Taza ( ber, ⵜⴰⵣⴰ, ar, تازة) is a city in northern Morocco occupying the corridor between the Rif mountains and Middle Atlas mountains, about 120 km east of Fez, Morocco, Fez and 210 km west of Oujda. It recorded a populatio ...

Taza
. *Continental: Dominates the mountainous regions of the north and central parts of the country, where summers are hot to very hot, with highs between and . 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 . It often snows abundantly in this part of the country. Precipitation varies between 400 and 800 mm. Notable cities are
Khenifra Khenifra (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically ...

Khenifra
,
Imilchil Imilchil or Imilshil (, ar, إملشيل) is a small town in Midelt Province of central Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undispute ...

Imilchil
,
Midelt Midelt (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Mo ...

Midelt
and
Azilal Azilal ( ber, ⴰⵣⵉⵍⴰⵍ, ar, أزيلال) is a provincial capital in central Morocco, in the Atlas Mountains. It is also the capital of the M'Goun Conservation Area and home to a unique dialect of Tamazight. History Azilal was original ...

Azilal
. *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 , and lows are cool and average below . In winters, highs average around , 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 Ifrane (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically M ...

Ifrane
,
Azrou Azrou (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Mor ...

Azrou
and
Boulmane Boulemane ( ber, ⴱⵓⵍⵎⴰⵏ; ar, بولمان) is a town in northern of Atlas Mountains The Atlas Mountains ( ar, جِبَال ٱلْأَطْلَس, jibāl al-ʾaṭlas /ʒibaːl al atˤlas/, Tamazight: ⵉⴷⵔⴰⵔⵏ ⵏ ⵡⴰ ...
. *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 Agadir ( ar, أكادير or ar, أݣادير or ar, أغادير, ʾagādīr; shi, ⴰⴳⴰⴷⵉⵔ, agadir) is a major city in Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption ...

Agadir
,
Marrakesh Marrakesh or Marrakech ( or ; ar, مراكش, murrākuš; ber, ⴰⵎⵓⵔⴰⴽⵓⵛ, amurakuš) is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Lo ...

Marrakesh
and
Oujda Oujda ( ar, وجدة; ber, ⵡⵓⵊⴷⴰ, Wujda) is a major Morocco, Moroccan city in its northeast near the Algeria–Morocco border, border with Algeria. Oujda is the capital city of the Oriental (Morocco), Oriental region of northeastern ...

Oujda
. South of Agadir and east of Jerada near the Algerian borders, arid and desert climate starts to prevail. 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 Sirocco (), scirocco, ghibli, jugo or, rarely, siroc (see below) is a Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also ...

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. However, these phenomena do not last for more than two to five days on average. Countries or regions that share the same climatic characteristics with Morocco are
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; Berber language, Berber: ''Dzayer;'' French language, French'': Alger'') is ...

Algeria
and the U.S. state of
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...

California
.
Climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
is expected to significantly impact Morocco on multiple dimensions. As a coastal country with hot and arid climates, environmental impacts are likely to be wide and varied. As of the 2019
Climate Change Performance Index The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is a scoring system designed by the Germany, German environmental and development organisation Germanwatch e.V. to enhance transparency in international politics of climate change, climate politics. On th ...

Climate Change Performance Index
, Morocco was ranked second in preparedness behind Sweden.


Biodiversity

Morocco has a wide range of
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and of . Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the , , and level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near the , which is the result of the warm and high . Biodiversity is not distributed ev ...

biodiversity
. It is part of the
Mediterranean basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
, 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.
Avifauna Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the Oviparity, laying of Eggshell, hard-shelled eggs, a high Metabolism, metabolic rate, a four-c ...

Avifauna
are notably variant. 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. The
Barbary lion The Barbary lion is an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Life#Bi ...

Barbary lion
, hunted to extinction in the wild, was a subspecies native to Morocco and is a national emblem. The last Barbary lion in the wild was shot in the Atlas Mountains in 1922. The other two primary predators of northern Africa, the Atlas bear and
Barbary leopard The African leopard (''Panthera pardus pardus'') is the nominate subspecies In Taxonomy (biology), biological classification, the term subspecies refers to one of two or more populations of a species living in different subdivisions of the s ...
, are now extinct and critically endangered, respectively. Relict populations of the
West African crocodile The West African crocodile, desert crocodile, or sacred crocodile (''Crocodylus suchus'') is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a uni ...
persisted in the
Draa river :''Dra is also the abbreviation for the constellation Draco (constellation), Draco.'' The Draa ( ber, Asif en Dra, ⴰⵙⵉⴼ ⴻⵏ ⴷⵔⴰ, ary, واد درعة, wad dərʿa; also spelled Dra or Drâa, in older sources mostly Darha or Dara ...

Draa river
until the 20th century. 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. 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. This trade is unregulated and causing unknown reductions of wild populations of native Moroccan wildlife. 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 is home to six terrestrial ecoregions:
Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests is an ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecology, ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than a ...
, Mediterranean High Atlas juniper steppe, Mediterranean acacia-argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets, Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe, Mediterranean woodlands and forests, and
North Saharan steppe and woodlands The North Saharan steppe and woodlands is a desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali">Sand dunes in t ...
. It had a 2019
Forest Landscape Integrity Index The Forest Landscape Integrity Index (FLII) is an annual global index of forest A forest is an area of land dominated by trees. Hundreds of definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree ...
mean score of 6.74/10, ranking it 66th globally out of 172 countries.


Politics

Morocco was an
authoritarian regime Authoritarianism is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a mont ...
according to the
Democracy Index The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of Economist Group providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analys ...

Democracy Index
of 2014. The
Freedom of the Press Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being w ...
2014 report gave it a rating of "Not Free". This has improved since, however, and Morocco has been ranked as a "
hybrid regime A hybrid regime is a mixed type of political regime that is often created as a result of an incomplete transition from an authoritarian regime to a Democracy, democratic one. Hybrid regimes combine autocratic features with democratic ones and can ...
" by the Democracy Index since 2015; while the Freedom of the Press report in 2017 continued to find that Morocco's press continued to be "not free," it gave "partly free" ratings for its "Net Freedom" and "Freedom in the World" more generally. Following the March 1998 elections, a coalition government headed by opposition
socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, s ...
leader
Abderrahmane Youssoufi Abderrahmane Youssoufi ( ; ar, عبد الرحمن اليوسفي; 8 March 1924 – 29 May 2020) was a Moroccan politician who served as the Prime Minister of Morocco from 1998 to 2002. He was a human rights lawyer. Early life and education Bor ...

Abderrahmane Youssoufi
and composed largely of ministers drawn from opposition parties, was formed. 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. It was also the first time in the modern political history of the Arab world that the opposition assumed power following an election. The current government is headed by
Aziz Akhannouch Aziz Akhannouch (Berber language, Berber:Ɛaziz Axnnuc; ar, عزيز أخنوش; born 1961 in Tafraout) is a Moroccan people, Moroccan businessman and current Minister of Agriculture since 2007. Early life and education In 1986, Akhannouch grad ...
. The Constitution of Morocco provides for a monarchy with a
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws and overseeing the ...

Parliament
and an independent
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authori ...
. With the 2011 constitutional reforms, the King of Morocco retains less executive powers whereas those of the prime minister have been enlarged. The constitution grants the king honorific powers (among other powers); he is both the secular political leader and the "
Commander of the Faithful Amir al-Mu'minin ( ar, أَمِير ٱلْمُؤْمِنِين, ʾamīr al-muʾminīn) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook ...
" as a direct descendant of the Prophet
Mohammed ) , birth_date = , birth_place = , death_date = , death_place = , resting_place = , resting_place_coordinates = , nationality = , other_names = , years_active = , notable ...

Mohammed
. 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. 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. The only time this happened was in 1965. The King is formally the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.


Legislative branch

Since the constitutional reform of 1996, the bicameral legislature consists of two chambers. The
Assembly of Representatives of Morocco The House of Representatives ( ; ; ) is one of the two chambers—the other of which is the House of Councillors—of the Moroccan Parliament. The House of Representatives has 395 members elected for five-year terms, 305 of whom are elected in mu ...
(''Majlis an-Nuwwâb/Assemblée des Répresentants'') has 325 members elected for a five-year term, 295 elected in multi-seat
constituencies An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger state Sta ...
and 30 in national lists consisting only of women. The
Assembly of Councillors The House of Councillors ( ; ; ) is the upper house of the Parliament of Morocco and has 120 members, elected for a six-year term. 72 members are elected at the Kingdom's regional level, who represent the subnational administrative areas (collec ...
(''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). 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
budget A budget is a financial plan In general usage, a financial plan is a comprehensive evaluation of an individual's current pay and future financial state by using current known variables to predict future income, asset values and withdrawal p ...

budget
ary matters, approving
bill Bill(s) may refer to: Common meanings * Banknote A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable instrument, negotiable promissory note, made by a bank or other licensed author ...
s, questioning ministers, and establishing ad hoc commissions of inquiry to investigate the government's actions. The lower chamber of Parliament may dissolve the government through a
vote of no confidence A motion of no confidence, vote of no confidence, or no confidence motion, sometimes in the reverse as a motion of confidence or vote of confidence, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility (government, manager ...
. The latest parliamentary elections were held on 8 September 2021. Voter turnout in these elections was estimated to be 50.35% of registered voters.


Military

Morocco's military consists of the Royal Armed Forces—this includes the
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branc ...
(the largest branch), the
Navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized a ...
, the Air Force, the
Royal Guard#REDIRECT Royal guard A royal guard is a group of military bodyguards, soldiers or armed retainers responsible for the protection of a royal person, such as the emperor or empress, king or queen, or prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler ( ...

Royal Guard
, the and the
Auxiliary Forces The Moroccan Auxiliary Forces ( ar, القوات المساعدة ''al-quwwāt al-musāʿida'', zgh, ⵉⴷⵡⴰⵙⴻⵏ ⵉⵎⴰⵡⵡⴰⵙⴻⵏ ''idwasen imawwasen'') is a paramilitary force following the command of the Ministry of the Int ...
. Internal security is generally effective, and acts of political violence are rare (with one exception, the 2003 Casablanca bombings which killed 45 people). The UN maintains a small observer force in Western Sahara, where a large number of Moroccan troops are stationed. The Sahrawi
Polisario Front The Polisario Front, Frente Polisario, FRELISARIO or simply POLISARIO, from the Spanish abbreviation of ''Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro'' (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro, ar ...
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.


Foreign relations

Morocco is a member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
and belongs to the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
(AU),
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
,
Arab Maghreb Union The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) ( ar, اتحاد المغرب العربي ') is a trade agreement aiming for economic and future political unity among Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international st ...

Arab Maghreb Union
(UMA),
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC; ar, منظمة التعاون الإسلامي, Munaẓẓama at-Taʿāwun al-ʾIslāmiyy; french: Organisation de la coopération islamique), formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference ...
(OIC), the
Non-Aligned Movement The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a forum of 120 developing world Image:Imf-advanced-un-least-developed-2008.svg, 450px, Example of Older Classifications by the International Monetary Fund, IMF and the United Nations, UN from 2008 A devel ...
and the
Community of Sahel–Saharan States The Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN-SAD; Arabic language, Arabic: ; French language, French: ''Communauté des Etats Sahélo-Sahariens''; Portuguese language, Portuguese: ''Comunidade dos Estados Sahelo-Saarianos'') aims to create a free ...
(CEN_SAD). Morocco's relationships vary greatly between African, Arab, and Western states. Morocco has had strong ties to the West in order to gain economic and political benefits. France and Spain remain the primary trade partners, as well as the primary creditors and foreign investors in Morocco. From the total foreign investments in Morocco, the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
invests approximately 73.5%, whereas, the Arab world invests only 19.3%. Many countries from the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
and
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
regions are getting more involved in large-scale development projects in Morocco. Morocco was the only African state not to be a member of the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
due to its unilateral withdrawal on 12 November 1984 over the admission of the
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (; SADR; also romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as t ...
in 1982 by the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

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 rejoined the AU on 30 January 2017. In August 2021,
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; Berber language, Berber: ''Dzayer;'' French language, French'': Alger'') is ...

Algeria
severed diplomatic relations with Morocco. A dispute with Spain in 2002 over the small island of Perejil revived the issue of the sovereignty of
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; ber, Mrich / Mlilt; ar, مليلية ) is an of located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing with . It has an area of . One of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa together with , it was part of the until ...

Melilla
and
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
. These small enclaves on the Mediterranean coast are surrounded by Morocco and have been administered by Spain for centuries. Morocco was given the status of
major non-NATO ally Major non-NATO ally (MNNA) is a designation given by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America ...
by the
George W. Bush administration George W. Bush's tenure as the List of presidents of the United States, 43rd president of the United States began with First inauguration of George W. Bush, his first inauguration on January 20, 2001, and ended on January 20, 2009. Bush, a Repub ...
in 2004. Morocco was the first country in the world to recognise US sovereignty (in 1777). Morocco is included in the European Union's
European Neighbourhood Policy The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is a foreign relations instrument of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in E ...

European Neighbourhood Policy
(ENP) which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer.


Western Sahara status

Due to the conflict over
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a on the northwest coast and in the region of and . About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed , while the remaining 80% of the territory is and administered by neighboring . Its surface ar ...

Western Sahara
, the status of the
Saguia el-Hamra Saguia el-Hamra ( es, Saguía el Hamra, ar, الساقية الحمراء, lit=Red Canal, translit=al-Saqiyah al-Hamra'a) was, with Río de Oro, one of the two territories that formed the Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to ...

Saguia el-Hamra
and
Río de Oro Río de Oro (Spanish language, Spanish for "Gold River"; , ''wādī-að-ðahab'', often transliterated as ''Oued Edhahab'') was, with Saguia el-Hamra, one of the two territories that formed the Spain, Spanish province of Spanish Sahara after 196 ...
regions is disputed. The
Western Sahara War The Western Sahara War ( ar, حرب الصحراء الغربية, french: Guerre du Sahara occidental, es, Guerra del Sahara Occidental) was an armed struggle between the Sahrawi people, Sahrawi indigenous peoples, indigenous Polisario Front ...
saw the
Polisario Front The Polisario Front, Frente Polisario, FRELISARIO or simply POLISARIO, from the Spanish abbreviation of ''Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro'' (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro, ar ...
, the Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement, battling both Morocco and Mauritania between 1976 and a ceasefire in 1991 that is still in effect. A United Nations mission,
MINURSO The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara ( ar, بعثة الأمم المتحدة لتنظيم استفتاء في الصحراء الغربية; french: Mission des Nations Unies pour l'Organisation d'un Référendum au S ...
, is tasked with organizing a referendum on whether the territory should become independent or recognised as a part of Morocco. Part of the territory, the Free Zone, is a mostly uninhabited area that the Polisario Front controls as the
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (; SADR; also romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as t ...
. Its administrative headquarters are located in
Tindouf Tindouf (Berber languages, Berber: Tinduf, ar, تندوف) is the main town, and a Communes of Algeria, commune in Tindouf Province, Algeria, close to the Algeria–Mauritania border, Mauritanian, Algeria–Western Sahara border, Western Saharan an ...

Tindouf
, Algeria. , no UN member state had recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. In 2020, the United States under the
Trump administration Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American Political career of Donald Trump, politician, Media career of Donald Trump, media personality, and Business career of Donald Trump, businessman who served as the 45th ...
became the first Western country to back Morocco's contested sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region, on the agreement that Morocco would simultaneously normalize relations with Israel. In 2006, the government of Morocco suggested
autonomous The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects o ...
status for the region, through the Moroccan Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS). The project was presented to the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the Organs of the United Nations, six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international security, international peace and security, recommending the admission ...

United Nations Security Council
in mid-April 2007. The proposal was encouraged by Moroccan allies such as the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

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


Administrative divisions

Morocco is officially divided into 12
region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental geography). Geographic re ...

region
s, which, in turn, are subdivided into 62 provinces and 13
prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...

prefecture
s. Regions #
Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima ( ar, طنجة - تطوان - الحسيمة, ṭanja - tiṭwān - al-ḥusayma; ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ ⵜⵉⵟⴰⵡⵉⵏ ⵍⵃⵓⵙⵉⵎⴰ, ṭanja tiṭawin lḥusima) is the northernmost of the twelve regions ...
#
Oriental The Orient is a term for the East East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite ...
#
Fès-Meknès Fez-Meknes ( ar, فاس-مكناس, fās maknās; ber, ⴼⴰⵙ-ⵎⴽⵏⴰⵙ, fas mknas) is among the twelve Regions of Morocco. It has a population of 4,236,892 (2014 census). Its capital is Fez, Morocco, Fez. Its current president is Mohand ...
#
Rabat-Salé-Kénitra Rabat-Salé-Kenitra ( ar, الرباط-سلا-القنيطرة, ar-ribāṭ salā al-qunayṭira; ber, ⴻⵕⵕⴱⴰⵟ-ⵙⵍⴰ-ⵇⵏⵉⵟⵔⴰ, eṛṛbaṭ sla qniṭra) is one of the twelve regions of Morocco, administrative regions of ...
#
Béni Mellal-Khénifra Béni Mellal-Khénifra ( ar, بني ملال - خنيفرة, banī mallāl - ḵunayfira; ber, ⴰⵢⵜ ⵎⵍⵍⴰⵍ - ⵅⵏⵉⴼⵕⴰ, ayt mllal - xnifṛa) is one of the twelve regions of Morocco, regions of Morocco. It covers an area of ...
#
Casablanca-Settat Casablanca-Settat ( ar, الدار البيضاء - سطات, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ - siṭṭāt; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ - ⵙⵟⵟⴰⵜ, anfa - sṭṭat) is one of the twelve administrative regions of Morocco ) , image_map = M ...
#
Marrakesh-Safi Marrakesh-Safi ( ar, مراكش آسفي, murrākuš āsafi; ( ber, ⵎⵕⵕⴰⴽⵛ ⴰⵙⴼⵉ, mṙṙakš asfi) is one of the twelve Regions of Morocco, regions of Morocco.
#
Drâa-Tafilalet Drâa-Tafilalet ( ar, درعة - تافيلالت, darʿa - tāfīlālt; ber, ⴷⵔⴰ ⵜⴰⴼⵉⵍⴰⵍⵜ, drɛa tafilalt) is one of the twelve regions of Morocco, regions of Morocco. It covers an area of 88,836 km2 and had a populatio ...
#
Souss-Massa Souss-Massa ( ar, سوس ماسة, sūs māssa; ber, ⵙⵓⵙ ⵎⴰⵙⵙⴰ, sus massa) is one of the twelve regions of Morocco, regions of Morocco. It covers an area of 51,642 km² and had a population of 2,676,847 as of the 2014 Morocca ...
#
Guelmim-Oued Noun Guelmim-Oued Noun ( ar, كلميم-وادي نون, gulmīm wādī nūn; ber, ⴳⵓⵍⵎⵉⵎ ⴰⵙⵉⴼ ⵏⵓⵏ, gulmim asif nun) is one of the twelve regions of Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed). ...
#
Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra ( ar, العيون - الساقية الحمراء, al-ʿuyūn as-sāqiya l-ḥamrāʾ; ber, ⵍⵄⵢⵓⵏ ⵜⴰⵔⴳⴰ ⵜⴰⵣⴳⴳⵯⴰⵖⵜ, lɛyun targa tazggʷaɣt) is one of the twelve regions of Morocco. I ...

Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra
#
Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab ( ar, الداخلة - وادي الذهب, ad-dāḵla - wādī ḏ-ḏahab; ber, ⴷⴷⴰⵅⵍⴰ ⴰⵙⵉⴼ ⵏ ⵡⵓⵕⵖ, ddaxla asif n wuṛɣ) is one of the twelve regions of Morocco Regions are currently the h ...


Human rights

During the early 1960s to the late 1980s, under the leadership of
Hassan IIHassan, Hasan, Hassane, Haasana, Hassaan, Asan, Hassun, Hasun, Hassen, Hasson or Hasani may refer to: People * Hassan (given name), Arabic given name and a list of people with that given name * Hassan (surname), Arabic, Jewish, Irish and Scottis ...
, Morocco had one of the worst human rights records in both Africa and the world. Government repression of political dissent was widespread during Hassan II's leadership, until it dropped sharply in the mid-1990s. The decades during which abuses were committed are referred to as the
Years of LeadThe Years of Lead were a political phenomenon related to the Cold War that was characterized by left-wing terrorism, left- and right-wing terrorism and the putative strategy of tension, beginning in Italy and later spreading to the rest of Europe. In ...
(''Les Années de Plomb''), and included
forced disappearance An enforced disappearance (or forced disappearance) is the secret abduction or imprisonment of a person by a State (polity), state or political organization, or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or pol ...
s, assassinations of government opponents and protesters, and secret internment camps such as
Tazmamart Tazmamart ( ar, سجن تازمامرت) was a secret prison in the Atlas Mountains The Atlas Mountains ( ar, جِبَال ٱلْأَطْلَس, jibāl al-ʾaṭlas /ʒibaːl al atˤlas/, Tamazight: ⵉⴷⵔⴰⵔⵏ ⵏ ⵡⴰⵟⵍⴰⵙ ''Id ...
. To examine abuses committed during the reign of
King Hassan II of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg, Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen re ...
(1961–1999), the government under King Mohammed set up an Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER). According to a
Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the launch of the ...
annual report in 2016, Moroccan authorities restricted the rights to peaceful expression, association and assembly through several laws. The authorities continue to prosecute both printed and online media which criticizes the government or the
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

king
(or the royal family). There are also persistent allegations of violence against both Sahrawi pro-
independence upright=1.0, Pedro surrounded by a crowd in Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822.">Independence of Brazil">Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822. Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or state State may ref ...
and pro- Polisario demonstrators in Western Sahara; a disputed territory which is occupied by and considered by Morocco as part of its
Southern Provinces The Southern Provinces ( ar, الأقاليم الجنوبية ''Al-Aqalim al-Janubiyah'') or Moroccan Sahara are the terms used by the Morocco, Moroccan government for Western Sahara. These two official Moroccan denominations explicitly ...
. Morocco has been accused of detaining Sahrawi pro-independence activists as prisoners of conscience. Homosexual acts as well as pre-marital sex are illegal in Morocco, and can be punishable by six months to three years of imprisonment. It is illegal to proselytise for any religion other than
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
(article 220 of the Moroccan Penal Code), and that crime is punishable by a maximum of 15 years of imprisonment. Violence against women and sexual harassment have been criminalized. The penalty can be from one month to five years, with fines ranging from $200 to $1,000. In May 2020, hundreds of Moroccan migrant workers were stranded in Spain amid restrictions imposed due to the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a c ...

COVID-19 pandemic
. The Spanish government stated that it was holding discussions with the Moroccan government about repatriating the migrant workers via a "humanitarian corridor," and the migrants later headed home.


Economy

Morocco's economy is considered a relatively liberal economy governed by the
law of supply and demand In microeconomics Microeconomics (from Greek prefix ''mikro-'' meaning "small" + ''economics'') is a branch of economics that studies the behavior of individuals and Theory of the firm, firms in making decisions regarding the allocation ...

law of supply and demand
. Since 1993, the country has followed a policy of
privatisation Privatization (or privatisation in British English) can mean different things including moving something from the public sector into the private sector. It is also sometimes used as a synonym for deregulation when a heavily regulated private compa ...
of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of the
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
. Morocco has become a major player in African economic affairs, and is the fifth largest economy in Africa by GDP (PPP). Morocco was ranked as the first African country by the
Economist Intelligence Unit The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of the Economist Group The Economist Group (legally The Economist Newspaper Limited) is a media company headquartered in London London is the capital city, capita ...

Economist Intelligence Unit
's
quality-of-life index The Economist Intelligence Unit The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of Economist Group providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, five-year ...
, ahead of
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 60 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most ...

South Africa
. However, in the years since that first-place ranking was given, Morocco has slipped into fourth place behind
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
. 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. For 2012 the World Bank forecast a rate of 4% growth for Morocco and 4.2% for following year, 2013. The
services sector The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sector Image:Economic sectors and income.JPG, 250px, Percentages of a country's economy made up by different sectors. Countries with hi ...

services sector
accounts for just over half of
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner">174x174px Money is any ...
and industry, made up of mining, construction and manufacturing, is an additional quarter. The industries that recorded the highest growth are
tourism at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and th ...

tourism
, telecoms, information technology, and textile.


Tourism

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 13 million tourists in 2019. 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, with the hope that tourism will then have risen to 20% of GDP. Large government sponsored marketing campaigns to attract tourists advertised Morocco as a cheap and exotic, yet safe, place for tourists. Most of the visitors to Morocco continue to be European, with French nationals making up almost 20% of all visitors. Most Europeans visit between April and August. Morocco's relatively high number of tourists has been aided by its location—Morocco is close to Europe and attracts visitors to its beaches. Because of its proximity to Spain, tourists in southern Spain's coastal areas take one- to three-day trips to Morocco. Since air services between Morocco and Algeria have been established, many Algerians have gone to Morocco to shop and visit family and friends. Morocco is relatively inexpensive because of the devaluation of the dirham and the increase of hotel prices in Spain. Morocco has an excellent road and rail infrastructure that links the major cities and tourist destinations with ports and cities with international airports. Low-cost airlines offer cheap flights to the country. Tourism is increasingly focused on Morocco's culture, such as its ancient cities. The modern tourist industry capitalises on Morocco's ancient Berber, Roman and Islamic sites, and on its landscape and cultural history. 60% of Morocco's tourists visit for its culture and heritage. Agadir is a major coastal resort and has a third of all Moroccan bed nights. It is a base for tours to the Atlas Mountains. Other resorts in north Morocco are also very popular. 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. The Majorelle botanical garden in Marrakech is a popular tourist attraction. It was bought by the fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980. Their presence in the city helped to boost the city's profile as a tourist destination. , activity and adventure tourism in the Atlas and Rif Mountains are the fastest growth area in Moroccan tourism. These locations have excellent walking and trekking opportunities from late March to mid-November. The government is investing in trekking circuits. They are also developing desert tourism in competition with
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several larg ...

Tunisia
.


Agriculture


Infrastructure

According to the
Global Competitiveness Report The ''Global Competitiveness Report'' (GCR) is a yearly report published by the World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Cologny, Geneva Canton, Switzerland, is an International non-governmental organization, international ...
of 2019, Morocco Ranked 32nd in the world in terms of Roads, 16th in Sea, 45th in Air and 64th in Railways. This gives Morocco the best infrastructure rankings in the African continent. Modern infrastructure development, such as ports, airports, and rail links, is a top government priority. To meet the growing domestic demand, the Moroccan government invested more than $15 billion from 2010 to 2015 in upgrading its basic infrastructure. Morocco has one of the best road systems on the continent. Over the past 20 years, the government has built approximately 1770 kilometers of modern roads, connecting most major cities via toll expressways. 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. While focusing on linking the southern provinces, notably the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla to the rest of Morocco. In 2014, Morocco began the construction of the first high-speed railway system in Africa linking the cities of Tangiers and Casablanca. It was inaugurated in 2018 by the King following over a decade of planning and construction by Moroccan national railway company ONCF. It is the first phase of what is planned to eventually be a 1,500 kilometeres (930 mi) high-speed rail network in Morocco. An extension of the line to Marrakesh is already being planned. Morocco also has the largest port in Africa and the Mediterranean called
Tanger-Med Tanger Med (in Arabic: طنجة المتوسط ) is a Moroccan industrial port complex, located on the Strait of Gibraltar, with handling capacities of 9 million containers, 7 million passengers, 700,000 trucks and the export of 1 million vehicles ...
, which is ranked the 18th in the world with a handling capacity of over 9 million containers. It is situated in the Tangiers free economic zone and serves as a logistics hub for Africa and the world.


Energy

In 2008, about 56% of Morocco's electricity supply was provided by coal. 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 File:Global Vegetation.jpg, Global vegetation A renewable resource, also known as a flow resource, is a natural resource which will replenish to replace the portion resource depletion, depleted by usage and consumption, either through natural rep ...
. The Moroccan government has launched a project to build a
solar thermal energy Solar thermal energy (STE) is a form of energy and a technology for harnessing solar energy to generate thermal energy for use in Industrial sector, industry, and in the residential and commercial sectors. Solar thermal collectors are classified ...
power plant A power station, also referred to as a power plant and sometimes generating station or generating plant, is an industrial facility for the generation A generation is "all of the people born and living Living or The Living may refer to: ...

power plant
and is also looking into the use of natural gas as a potential source of revenue for Morocco's government. Morocco has embarked upon the construction of large
solar energy Solar energy is Solar irradiance, radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of technologies such as solar power to generate electricity, solar thermal energy including solar water heating, and solar architecture. It ...

solar energy
farms to lessen dependence on fossil fuels, and to eventually export electricity to
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
.


Narcotics

Since the 7th century,
Cannabis ''Cannabis'' () is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including ...
has been cultivated in the
Rif The Rif or Riff (; ), also called Rif Mountains, is a geographic and cultural region 's map of native American cultural areas within the territory of the United States (1948) as defined by Melville J. Herskovits influence , homelands of ...

Rif
Region. 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. According to a French Ministry of the Interior 2006 report, 80% of the cannabis resin (hashish) consumed in Europe comes from the
Rif The Rif or Riff (; ), also called Rif Mountains, is a geographic and cultural region 's map of native American cultural areas within the territory of the United States (1948) as defined by Melville J. Herskovits influence , homelands of ...

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. Also, the region extends from the Mediterranean in the south, home of the Wergha River, to the north. In addition to that, Morocco is a transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe.


Water supply and sanitation

Water supply and sanitation in Morocco is provided by a wide array of utilities. They range from private companies in the largest city,
Casablanca Casablanca ( ar, الدار البيضاء, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, anfa) is the largest city of . Located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the , it is the second largest city in the region and the in the . Ca ...

Casablanca
, the capital,
Rabat Rabat (, also , ; ar, الرباط, ar-ribāṭ; ber, ⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟ, aṛṛbaṭ) is the Capital (political), capital city of Morocco and the List of cities in Morocco, country's seventh largest city with an urban population of approximately ...

Rabat
, and two other cities, to public municipal utilities in 13 other cities, as well as a national electricity and water company (ONEE). 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. There have been substantial improvements in access to water supply, and to a lesser extent to sanitation, over the past fifteen years. 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). 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. 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.


Science and technology

The
Moroccan government Politics of Morocco take place in a framework of a parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the ...
has been implementing reforms to improve the quality of education and make research more responsive to socio-economic needs. 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. 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. 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 was ranked 75th in the
Global Innovation Index The Global Innovation Index (GII) is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for, and success in, innovation. It is published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, in partnership with other orga ...

Global Innovation Index
in 2020, down from 74th in 2019. 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. The ''Moroccan Innovation Strategy'' fixed the target of producing 1,000 Moroccan patents and creating 200 innovative start-ups by 2014. In 2012, Moroccan inventors applied for 197 patents, up from 152 two years earlier. 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. The idea is to create a network of players in innovation, including researchers, entrepreneurs, students and academics, to help them develop innovative projects. 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. The government is encouraging public institutions to engage with citizens in innovation. 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). As of 2015, Morocco had three technoparks. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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''. The report advocated making education egalitarian and, thus, accessible to the greatest number. 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’.


Demographics

Morocco has a population of around inhabitants ( est.). According to the CIA, 99% of residents are
Arab-Berber Arab-Berbers ( ar, العرب والبربر ''al-ʿarab wa-l-barbar'') are an ethnolinguistic group of the Maghreb, a vast region of North Africa in the western part of the Arab world along the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Arab-Berbe ...
. It is estimated that between 41% to 80% of residents have
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
ancestral origins.; 80% of CIA's estimated national population of 33,986,655 inhabitants A sizeable portion of the population is identified as
Haratin Haratin (), also referred to as Haratine, Harratin or Hartani, are a group of indigenous dark-skinned Africans inhabiting parts of North Africa and the Sahel. They are mostly found in modern Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', ...
and
Gnawa The Gnawa (or Gnaoua, Ghanawa, Ghanawi, Gnawi'; Arabic: ڭناوة ) are an ethnic group inhabiting Morocco. The name Gnawa had probably originated in the indigenous language of North Africa and the Sahara, Sahara Desert. The phonology of thi ...

Gnawa
(or Gnaoua), West African or mixed race descendants of
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved per ...
, and
Morisco Moriscos (, ; pt, mouriscos ; Spanish for "Moorish") were former Muslims and their descendants whom the Roman Catholic church and the Spain, Spanish Crown commanded to Conversion to Christianity, convert to Christianity or compulsory exile af ...
s, European Muslims expelled from Spain and Portugal in the 17th century. According to the 2014 Morocco population census, there were around 84,000 immigrants in the country. Of these foreign-born residents, most were of French origin, followed by individuals mainly from various nations in West Africa and Algeria. There are also a number of foreign residents of
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
origin. Some of them are descendants of colonial settlers, who primarily work for European multinational companies, while others are married to Moroccans or are retirees. Prior to independence, Morocco was home to half a million
Europeans Europeans are the focus of European ethnology Ethnology (from the grc-gre, ἔθνος, meaning 'nation') is an academic field that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples A people is a plurality of person A ...
; who were mostly
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jes ...

Christians
. Also prior to independence, Morocco was home to 250,000 Spaniards. Morocco's once prominent
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), suc ...

Jewish
minority has decreased significantly since its peak of 265,000 in 1948, declining to around 2,500 today. Morocco has a large
diaspora A diaspora () is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion ...
, most of which is located in France, which has reportedly over one million Moroccans of up to the third generation. There are also large Moroccan communities in Spain (about 700,000 Moroccans), the Netherlands (360,000), and Belgium (300,000). Other large communities can be found in Italy, Canada, the United States, and Israel, where
Moroccan Jews Moroccan Jews ( ar, اليهود المغاربة, al-Yahūd al-Maghāriba he, יהודים מרוקאים ''Yehudim Maroka'im'') are Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization ...
are thought to constitute the second biggest Jewish ethnic subgroup.


Religion

The religious affiliation in the country was estimated by the
Pew Forum The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan American think tank A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute A research institute, research centre, or research center is an establishment founded for doing research. Research instit ...
in 2010 as 99%
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
, with all remaining groups accounting for less than 1% of the population. Of those affiliated with Islam, virtually all are
Sunni Muslims Sunni Islam () is by far the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the behaviour of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and ...
, with
Shia Muslims Shia Islam or Shi'ism is one of the two main branches of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ...
accounting for less than 0.1%. 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 . The predominantly
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
and
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
foreign-resident
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
community consists of approximately 40,000 practising members. Most foreign resident
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jes ...

Christians
reside in the
Casablanca Casablanca ( ar, الدار البيضاء, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, anfa) is the largest city of . Located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the , it is the second largest city in the region and the in the . Ca ...

Casablanca
,
Tangier Tangier ( ; ar, طنجة, ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, Ṭanja, es, Tánger) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in n ...

Tangier
, and
Rabat Rabat (, also , ; ar, الرباط, ar-ribāṭ; ber, ⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟ, aṛṛbaṭ) is the Capital (political), capital city of Morocco and the List of cities in Morocco, country's seventh largest city with an urban population of approximately ...

Rabat
urban areas. 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. 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. The number of the Moroccans who
converted to Christianity Christianization ( or Christianisation) is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire groups at once. Various strategies and techniques were employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity and througho ...
(most of them secret worshippers) are estimated between 8,000 and 50,000. 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. The remainder of the Jewish population is dispersed throughout the country. This population is mostly elderly, with a decreasing number of young people. The
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith (; fa , بهائی ') is a new religion teaching the Baháʼí Faith and the unity of religion, essential worth of all religions and Baháʼí Faith and the unity of humanity, the unity of all people. Established by Bahá ...
community, located in urban areas, numbers 350 to 400 persons.


Languages

Morocco's official languages are
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
and
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...
. The country's distinctive group of Moroccan Arabic dialects is referred to as
Darija Maghrebi Arabic (Western Arabic; as opposed to Eastern or Mashriqi Arabic) is a vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The ...
. Approximately 89.8% of the whole population can communicate to some degree in
Moroccan Arabic Moroccan Arabic ( ar, اللهجة المغربية, ), known as Darija in Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark gree ...

Moroccan Arabic
. The Berber language is spoken in three dialects (
Tarifit Tarifit or Tarifit Berber, also known as Rif(f)ian (Berber) ( rif, Tmaziɣt or ''Tarifiyt'', ''Tarifect''; external name: ''Tarifiyt''; Neo-Tifinagh Tifinagh (; also written in the Berber Latin alphabet; Neo-Tifinaɣ: ; Tuareg Tifinagh: or ) i ...
,
Tashelhit Shilha is a Berber language The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: , ; Neo-Tifinagh: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ, Tuareg Tifinagh: ⵜⵎⵣⵗⵜ, , ), are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They compri ...
and
Central Atlas Tamazight Central Atlas Tamazight or Atlasic (also known as Central Morocco Tamazight, Middle Atlas Tamazight, Tamazight, Central Shilha and, rarely, Beraber or Braber; native name: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ ''Tamazight'' ) is a Berber language The Berb ...

Central Atlas Tamazight
).Berber
Microsoft Encarta ''Microsoft Encarta'' was a digital multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, or video into a single presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media, ...
Online Encyclopedia 2006. 1 November 2009.
In 2008, Frédéric Deroche estimated that there were 12 million Berber speakers, making up about 40% of the population. The 2004 population census reported that 28.1% of the population spoke Berber.Site institutionnel du Haut-Commissariat au Plan du Royaume du Maroc
Hcp.ma. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
is widely used in governmental institutions, media, mid-size and large companies, international commerce with French-speaking countries, and often in international diplomacy. French is taught as an obligatory language in all schools. In 2010, there were 10,366,000 French-speakers in Morocco, or about 32% of the population. According to the 2004 census, 2.19 million Moroccans spoke a foreign language other than French.
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

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. According to ''
Ethnologue ''Ethnologue: Languages of the World'' (stylized as Ethnoloɠue) is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living language A language is a structured system of communicatio ...
'', as of 2016, there are 1,536,590 individuals (or approximately 4.5% of the population) in Morocco who speak
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
. Spanish is mostly spoken in northern Morocco and the
Spanish Sahara Spanish Sahara ( es, Sahara Español; ar, الصحراء الإسبانية, links=no ''As-Sahrā'a Al-Isbānīyah''), officially the Province of the Sahara between 1958 and 1976, was the name used for the modern territory of Western Sahara wh ...

Spanish Sahara
because Spain had previously occupied those areas. A significant portion of northern Morocco receives Spanish media, television signal and radio airwaves, which reportedly facilitate competence in the language in the region. After Morocco declared independence in 1956, French and Arabic became the main languages of administration and education, causing the role of Spanish to decline. According to a 2012 study by the Government of
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, 98% of Moroccans spoke
Moroccan Arabic Moroccan Arabic ( ar, اللهجة المغربية, ), known as Darija in Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark gree ...

Moroccan Arabic
, 63% spoke French, 43%
Amazigh Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...
, 14% spoke English, and 10% spoke Spanish. Although seldom spoken in Morocco proper, the vast diaspora of
Moroccans in the Netherlands Moroccans in the Netherlands (also known as Dutch-Moroccans or Moroccan-Dutch) are immigrants from Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: ...
or in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium who are often dual citizens, tend to be speaking the
Dutch language Dutch ( ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language spoken by about 25 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting most of the population of the Netherlands (where it is the only officia ...
either as joint mother tongue or second language. Besides in Dutch-speaking areas, there are also vast numbers of Moroccans elsewhere outside of French and Spanish-speaking Europe. Even so, they form a lower percentage of inhabitants in those countries.


Culture

Morocco is a country with a rich
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
and
civilisation  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society that is characterized by Urban area, urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and Symbol, symbolic systems of communication (such as writing system, writing). ...

civilisation
. Through , it has hosted many people coming from East (
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...

Phoenicians
,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jews
and
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the term refers to those who originate from an Arab co ...

Arabs
), South (
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories in ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
ns) and North (
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
,
Andalusians The Andalusians ( es, andaluces) are a sub-ethnic group of Spaniards or * Aragonese and ca, espanyols ** ** * gl, españóis * oc, espanhòls , native_name_lang = , tablehdr = Diaspora , regions = 41,539,40 ...

Andalusians
). All those civilisations have affected the social structure of Morocco. 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. Each region possesses its own specificities, thus contributing to the national culture and to the legacy of civilization. Morocco has set among its top priorities the protection of its diverse legacy and the preservation of its cultural heritage. 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.


Architecture


Literature

Moroccan literature Moroccan literature is the literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recen ...
is written mostly in Arabic, Berber, Hebrew, and French. 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 Zajal () is a traditional form of oral strophic Strophic form – also called verse-repeating form, chorus form, AAA song form, or one-part song form – is a song structure in which all verses or stanzas of the text are sung to the same music. T ...
'', the ''
muwashshah ''Muwashshah'' ( ar, موشح '  literally means " girdled" in Classical Arabic Classical Arabic ( ar, links=no, ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, ') or Quranic Arabic is the standardized literary form of the Arabic langu ...
'', and the ''
maqama ''Maqāmah'' (مقامة, pl. ''maqāmāt'', مقامات, literally "assemblies") are an (originally) Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family origina ...
''. Islamic literature, such as and other religious works such as
Qadi Ayyad ‘Iyad ibn Musa (1083–1149) ( ar, القاضي عياض بن موسى, formally Abu al-Fadl ‘Iyad ibn Amr ibn Musa ibn ‘Iyad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn Musa ibn ‘Iyad al-Yahsubi al-Sabti ar, أبو الفضل عياض بن موسى ...
's ''Al-Shifa'' were influential. The
University of al-Qarawiyyin The University of al-Qarawiyyin (; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated i ...
in Fes was an important literary center attracting scholars from abroad, including
Maimonides Moses ben Maimon ; (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides ( ) grc-gre, Μωυσής Μαϊμωνίδης ; la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם),, for ''Rabbeinu Mōše bēn Maimun'', "Our Rab ...

Maimonides
,
Ibn al-Khatib Lisan Al-Din Ibn Al-Khatib ( ar, لسان الدين ابن الخطيب) (Born 16 November 1313, Loja– died 1374, Fes; full name in ar, محمد بن عبد الله بن سعيد بن عبد الله بن سعيد بن علي بن أحمدال ...
, and
Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; ar, أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي, ; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ...
. Under the
Almohad The Almohad Caliphate (IPA IPA commonly refers to: * India pale ale, a style of beer * International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin ...
dynasty Morocco experienced a period of prosperity and brilliance of learning. The Almohad built the
Kutubiyya Mosque The Kutubiyya Mosque ( ; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Afri ...
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. The Almohad Caliph Abu Yakub had a great love for collecting books. He founded a great library, which was eventually carried to the
Casbah A kasbah (, also ; ar, قَـصَـبَـة, qaṣaba, , Moroccan Arabic Moroccan Arabic ( ar, اللهجة المغربية, ), known as Darija in Morocco, is a form of vernacular Arabic spoken in Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (ortho ...

Casbah
and turned into a
public library A public library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user's needs o ...
. Modern Moroccan literature began in the 1930s. Two main factors gave Morocco a pulse toward witnessing the birth of a modern literature. 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 Arabic literature ( ar, الأدب العربي / ALA-LC: ''al-Adab al-‘Arabī'') is the writing, both as prose Prose is a form of written (or spoken) language that usually exhibits a natural speech, natural flow of speech and Syntax, gram ...
and Europe. Three generations of writers especially shaped 20th century Moroccan literature. The first was the generation that lived and wrote during the
Protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
(1912–56), its most important representative being Mohammed Ben Brahim (1897–1955). The second generation was the one that played an important role in the transition to independence with writers like
Abdelkrim Ghallab Abdelkrim Ghallab (December 31, 1919, in Fes – August 14, 2017, in El Jadida) was a Moroccan political journalist, cultural commentator, and novelist. He is an important figure both in the literary and political field (editor of the Istiqlal Part ...

Abdelkrim Ghallab
(1919–2006),
Allal al-Fassi Muhammad Allal al-Fassi (January 10, 1910 – May 13, 1974), was a Moroccan politician, writer, poet and Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, ...
(1910–1974) and Mohammed al-Mokhtar Soussi (1900–1963). The third generation is that of writers of the sixties. Moroccan literature then flourished with writers such as Mohamed Choukri, Driss Chraïbi,
Mohamed Zafzaf Mohamed Zafzaf (1945 – 13 July 2001) was one of the best known Moroccan novelists and poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of ...
and Driss El Khouri. Those writers were an important influence the many Moroccan novelists, poets and playwrights that were still to come. During the 1950s and 1960s, Morocco was a refuge and artistic centre and attracted writers as
Paul Bowles Paul Frederic Bowles (; December 30, 1910November 18, 1999) was an American expatriate An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person Residency (domicile), residing in a country other than their native country. In common usage, the te ...
,
Tennessee Williams Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author an ...

Tennessee Williams
and
William S. Burroughs William Seward Burroughs II (; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American writer and visual artist, credited as a primary figure of the Beat Generation The Beat Generation was a literary movement started by a group ...
. Moroccan literature flourished with novelists such as
Mohamed Zafzaf Mohamed Zafzaf (1945 – 13 July 2001) was one of the best known Moroccan novelists and poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of ...
and Mohamed Choukri, who wrote in Arabic, and Driss Chraïbi and
Tahar Ben Jelloun Tahar Ben Jelloun ( ar, الطاهر بن جلون; born in Fes, French protectorate in Morocco, 1 December 1947) is a Morocco, Moroccan writer. The entirety of his work is written in French, although his first language is darija, Darija. He becam ...
who wrote in French. Other important Moroccan authors include,
Abdellatif Laabi Abdellatif Laâbi is a Moroccan poet, born in 1942 in Fes, Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter ...
,
Abdelkrim Ghallab Abdelkrim Ghallab (December 31, 1919, in Fes – August 14, 2017, in El Jadida) was a Moroccan political journalist, cultural commentator, and novelist. He is an important figure both in the literary and political field (editor of the Istiqlal Part ...

Abdelkrim Ghallab
, , Mohammed Berrada and Leila Abouzeid. Orature (oral literature) is an integral part of Moroccan culture, be it in Moroccan Arabic or Berber.


Music

Moroccan music is of Arabic, Berber and sub-Saharan origins. Rock-influenced
chaabi Chaabi ( in Arabic), also known as Chaâbi, Sha-bii, or Sha'bii meaning "folk", refers to different music genres in North Africa such as chaabi (Algeria), Algerian chaabi, chaabi (Morocco), Moroccan chaabi and Shaabi (Egyptian musical style), Egypt ...
bands are widespread, as is
trance music Trance is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged from the British new-age music scene and the early 1990s German techno and hardcore (electronic dance music genre), hardcore scenes. Trance music is characterized by a tempo lying between ...
with historical origins in
Islamic music Islamic music may refer to religious music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural Culture () is an umbrell ...
. Morocco is home to
Andalusian classical music Andalusian classical music ( ar, طرب أندلسي, ṭarab ʾandalusī; es, música andalusí) or Andalusi music is a genre of music originally developed in al-Andalus by the Native Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practi ...
that is found throughout Northwest Africa. It probably evolved under the Moors in Cordoba, and the Persian-born musician
Ziryab Abu l-Hasan 'Ali Ibn Nafi, better known as Ziryab/Zeryab or Zaryab ( 789– 857); ( ar, أبو الحسن علي ابن نافع, زریاب, rtl=yes), ( fa, زَریاب ''Zaryāb'') was a singer, oud The oud ( ar, عود ) ( so, cuud) is a ...
is usually credited with its invention. A genre known as Contemporary Andalusian Music and art is the brainchild of
Morisco Moriscos (, ; pt, mouriscos ; Spanish for "Moorish") were former Muslims and their descendants whom the Roman Catholic church and the Spain, Spanish Crown commanded to Conversion to Christianity, convert to Christianity or compulsory exile af ...
visual artist/composer/
oud The oud ( ar, عود ) ( so, kaban or cuud) is a short-neck lute-type, pear Pears are fruits produced and consumed around the world, growing on a tree and harvested in the Northern Hemisphere in late summer into October. The pear tree an ...
ist Tarik Banzi, founder of th
Al-Andalus Ensemble
''
Aita Aita (also spelled ''Eita'' in Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture ...
'' is a
Bedouin The Bedouin, Beduin or Bedu (; , singular ) are nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter ...

Bedouin
musical style sung in the countryside.
Chaabi Chaabi ( in Arabic), also known as Chaâbi, Sha-bii, or Sha'bii meaning "folk", refers to different music genres in North Africa such as chaabi (Algeria), Algerian chaabi, chaabi (Morocco), Moroccan chaabi and Shaabi (Egyptian musical style), Egypt ...
("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. Popular Western forms of music are becoming increasingly popular in Morocco, such as fusion, rock,
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

country
,
metal A metal (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...
and, in particular,
hip hop Hip hop or hip-hop is a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabil ...
. Morocco participated in the
1980 Eurovision Song Contest The Eurovision Song Contest 1980 was the 25th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in The Hague, Netherlands and was organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) ...
, where it finished in the penultimate position.


Media

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 Louis Jean Lumière (5 October 1864 Besançon – 6 June 1948, Bandol) was a French engineer and industrialist who played a key role in the development of photography and cinema. Early life and education Lumière was one of four children of C ...

Louis Lumière
in 1897. Between that time and 1944, many foreign movies were shot in the country, especially in the
Ouarzazate Ouarzazate (, ; ar, ورزازات, ''Warzāzāt''; ary, وارزازات, ''Wārzāzāt''; ber, label= Berber, ⵡⴰⵔⵣⴰⵣⴰⵜ, ''Warzazat''), nicknamed ''the door of the desert'', is a city and capital of Ouarzazate Province in the r ...

Ouarzazate
area. In 1944, the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM), the nation's film
regulatory agency A regulatory agency or regulatory body, is a government authority that is responsible for exercising autonomous dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. ...
, was established. Studios were also opened in
Rabat Rabat (, also , ; ar, الرباط, ar-ribāṭ; ber, ⴰⵕⴱⴰⵟ, aṛṛbaṭ) is the Capital (political), capital city of Morocco and the List of cities in Morocco, country's seventh largest city with an urban population of approximately ...

Rabat
. In 1952,
Orson Welles George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered to be among the greatest and most in ...

Orson Welles
' ''Othello'' won the
Palme d'Or The Palme d'Or (; en, Golden Palm) is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival The Cannes Festival (; french: link=no, Festival de Cannes), until 2003 called the International Film Festival (') and known in English as the Cann ...

Palme d'Or
at the
Cannes Film Festival The Cannes Festival (; french: link=no, Festival de Cannes), until 2003 called the International Film Festival (') and known in English as the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual film festival A film festival is an organized, extended presen ...

Cannes Film Festival
under the Moroccan flag. However, the Festival's musicians did not play the Moroccan national anthem, as no one in attendance knew what it was. Six years later, Mohammed Ousfour would create the first Moroccan movie, ''Le fils maudit'' ("The Damned Son"). In 1968, the first Mediterranean Film Festival was held in
Tangier Tangier ( ; ar, طنجة, ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, Ṭanja, es, Tánger) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in n ...

Tangier
. In its current incarnation, the event is held in . This was followed in 1982 with the first national festival of cinema, which was held in Rabat. In 2001, the first
International Film Festival of Marrakech The Marrakech International Film Festival (FIFM) ( ar, المهرجان الدولي للفيلم بمراكش, Amazigh Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic gr ...
(FIFM) was also held in
Marrakech Marrakesh or Marrakech ( or ; ar, مراكش, murrākuš; ber, ⴰⵎⵓⵔⴰⴽⵓⵛ, amurakuš) is the fourth largest city in the . It is one of the four and is the capital of the . The city is situated west of the foothills of the . Marr ...

Marrakech
.


Cuisine

Moroccan cuisine is considered one of the most diversified cuisines in the world. This is a result of the centuries-long interaction of Morocco with the outside world. The cuisine of Morocco is mainly a fusion of Moorish, European and Mediterranean cuisines. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan cuisine. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients such as
saffron Saffron () is a spice derived from the flower of ''Crocus sativus ''Crocus sativus'', commonly known as saffron crocus, or autumn crocus, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classificat ...

saffron
from ,
mint MiNT is Now TOS (MiNT) is a free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This ...
and
olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

olive
s from
Meknes Meknes ( ar, مكناس, maknās, ; ber, ⴰⵎⴽⵏⴰⵙ, amknas; french: Meknès) is one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco, located in northern central Morocco and the sixth largest city by population in the kingdom. Founded in the 11th c ...

Meknes
, and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown. Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Morocco. The most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco is beef;
lamb Lamb or The Lamb may refer to: * A young sheep * Lamb and mutton, the meat of sheep Arts and media Film, television, and theatre * The Lamb (1915 film), ''The Lamb'' (1915 film), a silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in his screen debut * ...

lamb
is preferred but is relatively expensive. The main Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is
couscous Couscous; ', or kseksu is a North African dish of small (about in diameter) steamed balls of crushed durum wheat semolina Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middlings (intermediate milling stage) of durum, durum wheat mainly used in m ...

couscous
, the old national delicacy. Beef is the most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco, usually eaten in a ''Tagine'' with vegetables or legumes. Chicken is also very commonly used in Tagines, knowing that one of the most famous tagine is the Tagine of Chicken, potatoes and olives.
Lamb Lamb or The Lamb may refer to: * A young sheep * Lamb and mutton, the meat of sheep Arts and media Film, television, and theatre * The Lamb (1915 film), ''The Lamb'' (1915 film), a silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in his screen debut * ...
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 Lamb, hogget, and mutton, generically sheep meat, are the meat of domestic sheep, ''Ovis aries''. A sheep in its first year is a lamb and its meat is also lamb. The meat from sheep in their second year is hogget. Older sheep meat is mutton. Ge ...
have. Poultry is also very common, and the use of seafood is increasing in Moroccan food. 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. Among the most famous Moroccan dishes are
Couscous Couscous; ', or kseksu is a North African dish of small (about in diameter) steamed balls of crushed durum wheat semolina Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middlings (intermediate milling stage) of durum, durum wheat mainly used in m ...

Couscous
, (also spelled Bsteeya or Bestilla),
Tajine A tajine or tagine is a Berber dish, named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. It is also called ''maraq'' or ''marqa''. Etymology Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4t ...
, Tanjia and
Harira Harira ( ar, الحريرة ''al-ḥarīra'', ber, ⴰⵣⴽⵉⴼ ''azkif'') is a traditional North African soup prepared in Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in ...

Harira
. Although the latter is a
soup Soup is a primarily liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a fluid flow, flow in which the material dens ...

soup
, it is considered a dish in itself and is served as such or with dates especially during the month of
Ramadan * fa, رمضان, Ramazān * hi, रमज़ान, Ramzān * ku, ڕەمەزان, Remezan * ps, روژه, Rozha * so, Rabadaan or Rabmadaan * tr, Ramazan * ur, رمضان, Ramzān * diq, Remezan * sq, Ramazani , type = islam , longty ...

Ramadan
. Pork consumption is forbidden in accordance with
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
, religious laws of Islam. A big part of the daily meal is bread. Bread in Morocco is principally from durum wheat semolina known as khobz. Bakeries are very common throughout Morocco and fresh bread is a staple in every city, town and village. The most common is whole grain coarse ground or white flour bread. There are also a number of flat breads and pulled unleavened pan-fried breads. The most popular drink is "atai",
green tea Green tea is a type of tea that is made from ''Camellia sinensis'' leaves and buds that have not undergone the same Tea processing#General, withering and oxidation process used to make oolong teas and black teas. Green tea originated in China, an ...

green tea
with mint leaves and other ingredients. Tea occupies a very important place in the culture of Morocco and is considered an art form. 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. It is served to guests, and it is impolite to refuse it.


Sport

Football is the country's most popular sport, popular among the urban youth in particular. In 1986, Morocco became the first Arab and African country to qualify for the second round of the
FIFA World Cup The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a played with a between two teams of 11 . It is played by ...
. 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 made five attempts to host the FIFA World Cup but lost five times to the United States, France, Germany, South Africa and a Canada–Mexico–United States joint bid. At the 1984 Olympic Games, two Moroccans won gold medals in track and field. won in the
400 metres hurdles The 400 metres hurdles is a track and field Track and field is a sport that includes Competition#Sports, athletic contests based on running, jumping, and throwing skills. The name is derived from where the sport takes place, a running track ...
; she was the first woman from an Arab or Islamic country to win an Olympic gold medal.
Saïd Aouita Saïd Aouita ( ar, سعيد عويطة; born November 2, 1959) is a former Moroccan track and field athlete. He won the 5000 meters at the 1984 Summer Olympics and the 1987 World Championships in Athletics, as well as the 3000 meters at the 1989 IAA ...
won the
5000 metres The 5000 metres or 5000-metre run (approximately 3.1 mi or 16,404 ft) is a common long-distance running Long-distance running, or endurance running, is a form of continuous running over distances of at least . Physiologically, it i ...
at the same games.
Hicham El Guerrouj Hicham El Guerrouj (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countr ...

Hicham El Guerrouj
won gold medals for Morocco at the
2004 Summer Olympics The 2004 Summer Olympics ( ell, Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 2004, link=no, ), officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and commonly known as Athens 2004 ( ell, ΑΘΗΝΑ 2004, link=no, ), was an international ...
in the 1500 metres and 5000 metres and holds several
world record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill, sport, or other kind of activity. The book ''Guinness World Records'' and other world records organization ...
s in the
mile run The mile run (1,760 yard 300px, Bronze Yard No.11, the official standard of length for the Treasury Department A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and taxation, a Finance minister, finance ministry. *A ...
. Spectator sports in Morocco traditionally centered on the art of horsemanship until European sports—
football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg Sch ...
, polo, swimming (sport), swimming, and tennis—were introduced at the end of the 19th century. Tennis and golf have become popular. Several Moroccan professional players have competed in international competition, and the country fielded its first
Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Typ ...

Davis Cup
team in 1999. Morocco was one of the continent's pioneers in basketball as it established one of Africa's first competitive leagues.
Rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
came to Morocco in the early 20th century, mainly by the French who occupied the country.Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ) p71 As a result, Moroccan rugby was tied to the fortunes of France, during the first and second
World War A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newsp ...
, with many Moroccan players going away to fight. Like many other
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
nations, Moroccan rugby tended to look to Europe for inspiration, rather than to the rest of Africa.
Kickboxing Kickboxing is a group of Stand-up fighting, stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punch (strike), punching, historically developed from karate mixed with boxing, with Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Savate also having some influence. Kickboxing ...

Kickboxing
is also popular in Morocco. The Moroccan-Dutch
Badr Hari Badr Hari ( Berber: ⴱⴰⴷⵔ ⵀⴰⵔⵉ, ar, بدر هاري; born 8 December 1984) is a Moroccan-Dutch Moroccans in the Netherlands (also known as Dutch-Moroccans or Moroccan-Dutch) are immigrants from Morocco to the Netherlands and th ...

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


Education

Education in Morocco is free and compulsory through primary school. The estimated
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (ph ...
rate for the country in 2012 was 72%. In September 2006, UNESCO awarded Morocco amongst other countries such as
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
and
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
the "UNESCO 2006 Literacy Prize". Morocco has more than four dozen universities, institutes of higher learning, and polytechnics dispersed at urban centres throughout the country. Its leading institutions include
Mohammed V University Mohammed V University (, french: Université Mohammed-V de Rabat), in Rabat, Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory ...
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. The al-Qarawiyin University, founded by
Fatima al-Fihri Fatima bint Muhammad Al-Fihriyya Al-Qurashiya ( ar, فاطمة بنت محمد الفهرية القرشية) was an Arab woman who is credited with founding the al-Qarawiyyin mosque in 859 AD in Fez, Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthog ...
in the city of Fez in 859 as a
madrasa Madrasa (, also , ; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental cou ...

madrasa
, is considered by some sources, including
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
, to be the "oldest university of the world". Morocco has also some of prestigious postgraduate schools, including: l'Institut National des Postes et Télécommunication (INPT), École Nationale Supérieure d'Électricité et de Mecanique (ENSEM),
EMI EMI Group Limited (originally an initialism for Electric and Musical Industries, also referred to as EMI Records Ltd. or simply EMI) was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012 ...
, 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.


Health system

Many efforts are made by countries around the world to address health issues and eradicate disease, Morocco included. Child health, maternal health, and diseases are all components of health and well-being. Morocco is a developing country that has made many strides to improve these categories. However, Morocco still has many health issues to improve on. According to research published, in 2005 only 16% of citizens in Morocco had health insurance or coverage. 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). The government of Morocco sets up surveillance systems within the already existing healthcare system to monitor and collect data. Mass education in hygiene is implemented in primary education schools which are free for residents of Morocco. In 2005, The government of Morocco approved two reforms to expand health insurance coverage. 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. The second reform created a fund to cover services for the poor. Both reforms improved access to high-quality care. 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. The country's under-five mortality rate dropped by 60% between 1990 and 2011. According to data from the World Bank, the present mortality rate is still very high, over seven times higher than in neighboring country Spain. In 2014, Morocco adopted a national plan to increase progress on maternal and child health. 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 has made significant progress in reducing deaths among both children and mothers. Based on World Bank data, the nation's maternal mortality ratio fell by 67% between 1990 and 2010. In 2014, spending on healthcare accounted for 5.9% of the country's GDP. Since 2014, spending on healthcare as part of the GDP has decreased. However, health expenditure per capita (PPP) has steadily increased since 2000. In 2015, the Moroccan health expenditure was $435.29 per capita. 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. In 2017, Morocco ranked 16th out of 29 countries on the Global Youth Wellbeing Index. Moroccan youths experience a lower self-harm rate than the global index by an average of 4 encounters per year.


See also

* Index of Morocco-related articles * Outline of Morocco


Notes


References


Bibliography

* Pennell, C. R. ''Morocco Since 1830: A History'', New York University Press, 2000. * Pennell, C. R. ''Morocco: From Empire to Independence'', Oneworld Publications, 2013.
preview
* Stenner, David. ''Globalizing Morocco: Transnational Activism and the Postcolonial State'' (Stanford UP, 2019)
online review
* Terrasse, Henri. ''History of Morocco'', Éd. Atlantides, 1952.


In French

* Bernard Lugan, ''Histoire du Maroc'', Éd. Perrin, 2000. *Michel Abitbol, ''Histoire du Maroc'', Éd. Perrin, 2009.


External links


Official website of the government of MoroccoOfficial bulletins of the government of MoroccoParliament of MoroccoOfficial website of the Moroccan National Tourist OfficeCensus results of 1994 and 2004

Morocco
''
The World Factbook ''The World Factbook'', also known as the ''CIA World Factbook'', is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian ...
''.
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. fed ...
. * *
Morocco profile
from the
BBC News BBC News is an operational business division of the United Kingdom’s state affiliated media British Broadcasting Corporation The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting Hou ...

BBC News
*
Key Development Forecasts for Morocco
from
International Futures International Futures (IFs) is a global integrated assessment model designed to help in thinking strategically and systematically about key global systems (economic, demographic, education, health, environment, technology, domestic governance, in ...

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre: Morocco

World Bank Summary Trade Statistics Morocco
{{Authority control States and territories established in 1956 1956 establishments in Morocco 1956 establishments in Africa Countries in Africa North African countries Maghrebi countries Saharan countries Member states of the African Union Member states of the Arab League Arabic-speaking countries and territories French-speaking countries and territories Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean Member states of the United Nations