Morocco is a land filled with treasures, mystery and abundant natural treasures. Officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco, the country is surrounded by the pristine Mediterranean coastline and is flanked by rugged hilly interiors. Morocco is situated in the north-western corner of Africa. It shares international borders with Algeria in the east, Spain in the north (a water border) and Mauritania in the south. Morocco also has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean, which reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar, into the Mediterranean Sea. The breathtaking natural landscape and magnificent architectural tradition of Morocco have been wooing travelers since ages. In fact, the mesmerizing natural splendor of the country has won it the name of the ‘Oasis of the Senses’. Right from the sandy Sahara Desert to the snowcapped Atlas Mountains, the country offers great diversity. There is so much in store in Morocco and wouldn’t you like to learn more about this place? To know more about the destination, browse through the following information.
Image: By Miguel González Novo from Melilla, España [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Area: 446,550 km2
Currency: Moroccan Dirham
Official Languages: Arabic, Berber
Independence Day: March 2, 1956 (from France), April 7, 1956 (from Spain)
Type Of Government: Unitary, parliamentary, constitutional monarchy
Fun & Interesting Facts About Morocco
- The official name of Morocco is the ‘Kingdom of Morocco’. It spreads over an area of approximately 710,850 sq. km.
- The best place to shop for souvenirs in Morocco is in Marrakech.
- The capital of Morocco is Rabbat, while its currency is Moroccan dirham.
- Morocco gained independence from France in 1956.
- Morocco is situated in North Africa and it is the only African country that is presently not a member of the ‘African Union’.
- Essaouira is a coastal town and is the best place to get local seafood.
- Morocco is a member of the Arab League, Arab Maghreb Union, the Francophonie, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Mediterranean Dialogue group and Group of 77.
- Morocco is a major non-NATO ally of the United States.
- The full Arabic name of Morocco is ‘Al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiya’, which translates to ‘The Western Kingdom’.
- It is impolite to say no to ‘meat’ in Morocco.
- The Moroccan ‘djelleba’ is a hooded Kaftan, commonly worn by both men and women.
- It is considered impolite to handle food with the left hand.
- The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary.
- Casablanca is the largest city of Morocco.
- The official language of Morocco is Arabic. However, Berber (another dialect) and French are also spoken widely.
- Arabs and Berbers make up majority of the population of Morocco, followed by Jews and others.
- Moroccans greet foreigners with kisses on each cheek.
- Almost the entire population of Moroccans is Sunni Muslims.
- A number of stone circles, present in Morocco, serve as the proof of its contact with the megalithic cultures of Atlantic Europe.
- The shrine of Sidi Yahya, situated in Oujda city of Morocco, is said to be the tomb of ‘John the Baptist’.
- The University in Fes, founded in 859 AD, claims to be the oldest university in the world.
- The major resources of the Moroccan economy are coal, agriculture and phosphorous.
- In the previous times, it was unlawful to sell a date tree, as it was a source of food for the family.
- Tangier was an International City, from 1922 to 1956, being ruled by representatives of eight European countries.
- The ‘Green March, undertake to claim the Spanish colony of Western Sahara, is celebrated as a national holiday in Morocco.
- Moroccan cuisine is a mixture of European and African cuisine, due to its location between Europe and Africa.
- Morocco is the 12th richest country in Africa.
- Morocco is divided into 16 regions and subdivided into 62 provinces.
- Moroccans are known to be some of the friendliest people around the world.
- Most of the Moroccans eat things made from wheat and barley.