Morocco

Kingdom of Morocco

  • المملكة المغربية  (Arabic)
    al-Mamlakat al-Maġribiyah

  • ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ  (Berber)
    Tagldit N Lmaġrib
Motto: 
الله، الوطن، الملك  (Arabic)
Allāh, al-Waṭan, al-Malik
ⴰⴽⵓⵛ, ⴰⵎⵓⵔ, ⴰⴳⵍⵍⵉⴷ  (Tamazight)
Akuc, Amur, Agllid
"God, Homeland, King"
Anthem: 
النشيد الوطني المغربي  (Arabic)
Cherifian Anthem
Dark red: Internationally recognized territory of Morocco.Lighter striped red: Western Sahara, a non-decolonized territory claimed by Morocco as its Southern Provinces.
Dark red: Internationally recognized territory of Morocco.
Lighter striped red: Western Sahara, a non-decolonized territory claimed by Morocco as its Southern Provinces.
CapitalRabat
Largest cityCasablanca
Official languages
Native languages[c]
Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit),
Ethnic groups1% Other
DemonymMoroccan
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy[2]
• King
Mohammed VI
• Prime Minister
Saadeddine Othmani
LegislatureParliament
House of Councillors
House of Representatives
Independence
• from France
March 2, 1956
• from Spain
April 7, 1956
Area
• Total
446,550 km2 (172,410 sq mi)[f] or 710,850 km2 [f]  (58th or 40th)
• Water (%)
0.056 (250 km2)
Population
• 2013 estimate
32,878,400 (38th)
• Density
73.1/km2 (189.3/sq mi) (122nd)
GDP (PPP)2013 estimate
• Total
$181.9 billion[3] (56th)
• Per capita
$5,537[3] (114th)
GDP (nominal)2013 estimate
• Total
$107.1 billion[3] (59th)
• Per capita
$3,260[3] (117th)
Gini (2007)40.9[4]
medium
HDI (2013)Increase 0.591
medium · 130th
CurrencyMoroccan dirham (MAD)
Time zoneGMT (UTC+0)
• Summer (DST)
GMT (UTC+1)
Drives on theright
Calling code+212
ISO 3166 codeMA
Internet TLD.ma, المغرب.
  1. ^ French is also used in official government documents and by the business community, although it has no official status.[5]
  2. ^ 13.5% fluent, 19.5% partially fluent.[6]
  3. ^ See Languages of Morocco.
  4. ^ Primarily Riffian, Shilha and Central Tamazight.
  5. ^ Primarily Darija and Hassaniya.
  6. ^ The area 446,550 km2 (172,410 sq mi) excludes all disputed territories, while 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi) includes the Moroccan-administered parts of Western Sahara (claimed as the Sahrawi Republic by the Polisario Front).

Kingdom of Morocco (Berber: Tagldit n Murakuc, Arabic: المملكة المغربية) is a country in North Africa.

Morocco (i/məˈrɒkoʊ/; Arabic: المغرب‎‎ al-Maghrib, lit. "The West"; Berber: ⵍⵎⴰⵖⵔⵉⴱ LmaɣribFrenchMaroc), officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco (Arabic: المملكة المغربية‎‎ al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah, lit. "The Western Kingdom"; Berber: ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵎⴰⵖⵔⵉⴱTageldit n Lmaɣrib), is a sovereign country located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Geographically, Morocco is characterized by a rugged mountainous interior, large tracts of desert, and a lengthy coastline along the Atlantic Oceanand Mediterranean Sea.

Morocco has a population of over 33.8 million and an area of 446,550 km2(172,410 sq mi). Its capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca. Other major cities include MarrakeshTangier, Tetouan, Salé, FesAgadirMeknes, Oujda, Kenitra, and Nador. A historically prominent regional power, Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 789, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasty, spanning parts of Iberia and Northwestern Africa. Marinid and Saadidynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, and Morocco remained the only North African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty, the current ruling dynasty, seized power in 1666. In 1912 Morocco was divided into French and Spanishprotectorates, with an international zone in Tangier, and regained its independence in 1956. Moroccan culture is a blend of Arabindigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African, and European influences.

Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces. Morocco annexed the territory in 1975, leading to a guerrilla war with indigenous forces until a cease-fire in 1991. Peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock.

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The king can issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. He can also dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the Constitutional court.

Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, and the official languages are Arabic and Tamazight. The Moroccan dialect, referred to as Darija, and French are also widely spoken. Morocco is a member of the Arab League, the Union for the Mediterranean, and the African Union. It has the fifth largest economy of Africa.

History

Prehistory and antiquity

The Berber Roman client King  Ptolemy of Mauretania.

The area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape. Twenty-two thousand years ago, the  Aterian was succeeded by the  Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the  Iberomaurusian " Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains. The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco.

Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered a close link between Berbers and the Saami of Scandinavia. This supports theories that the  Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age.

North Africa and Morocco were slowly drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial Phoenician settlements were at  Chellah,  Lixus and  Mogador.Mogador was a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC.[page needed]

Ancient Roman ruins of  Volubilis.

Morocco later became a realm of the North African civilisation of ancient Carthage as part of its empire. The earliest known independent Moroccan state was the Berber kingdom of Mauretania under king  Baga. This ancient kingdom (not to be confused with the present state of Mauritania) dates at least to 225 BC.

Mauretania became a client kingdom of the Roman Empire in 33 BC. Emperor Claudius annexed Mauretania directly as a Roman province in 44 AD, under an imperial governor (either aprocurator Augusti, or a legatus Augusti pro praetore).

During the  crisis of the 3rd century, parts of Mauretania were reconquered by Berber tribes. Direct Roman rule became confined to a few coastal cities (such as Septum (Ceuta) in  Mauretania Tingitana and  Cherchell in  Mauretania Caesariensis) by the late 3rd century.

Early Islamic era

The  Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, that started in the middle of the 7th century, was  achieved early into the following century. It brought both the Arabic language and Islam to the area. Although part of the larger Islamic Empire, Morocco was initially organized as a subsidiary province of Ifriqiya, with the local governors appointed by the Muslim governor in  Kairouan.

The indigenous Berber tribes adopted Islam, but retained their  customary laws. 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, an emirate in the  Rif Mountains. It was founded by  Salih I ibn Mansur in 710, as a client state to the Rashidun Caliphate. After the outbreak of the  Berber Revolt in 739, the Berbers formed other independent states such as the  Miknasa of  Sijilmasa and the  Barghawata.

According to medieval legend,  Idris ibn Abdallah had fled to Morocco after the Abbasids' massacre of his tribe in Iraq. He convinced the Awraba Berber tribes to break their allegiance to the distant Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad and he founded the  Idrisid dynasty in 788. The Idrisids established Fes as their capital and Morocco became a centre of Muslim learning and a major  regional power. The Idrissids were ousted in 927 by the Fatimid Caliphate and their Miknasa allies. After Miknasa broke off relations with the Fatimids in 932, they were removed from power by the  Maghrawa of Sijilmasa in 980.

Berber dynasties

The  Almohad realm at its greatest extent, c. 1212

From the 11th century onwards, a series of powerful Berber dynasties arose. Under the Almoravid dynasty  and the  Almohad dynasty, Morocco dominated the Maghreb, much of present-day Spain and Portugal, and the western Mediterranean region. From the 13th century onwards the country saw a massive migration of Banu Hilal Arab tribes. In the 13th and 14th centuries the  Merinids held power in Morocco and strove to replicate the successes of the  Almohads by military campaigns in Algeria and Spain. They were followed by the  Wattasids. In the 15th century, the Reconquista ended Muslim rule in central and southern Spain and many Muslims and  Jews fled to Morocco.

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.

On another note and according to Elizabeth Allo Isichei, "In 1520, there was a famine in Morocco so terrible that for a long time other events were dated by it. It has been suggested that the population of Morocco fell from 5 to under 3 million between the early sixteenth and nineteenth centuries."

Morocco, Safi ceramic vessel Jobbana

Sharifian dynasties

Former Portuguese  fortress of Mazagan in  El Jadida

In 1549, the region fell to successive Arab dynasties claiming descent from the  Islamic prophet, Muhammad: first the  Saadi dynasty who ruled from 1549 to 1659, and then the  Alaouite Dynasty, who remained in power since the 17th century.

Under the Saadi Dynasty, the country repulsed Ottomanincursions and a Portuguese invasion at the  battle of Ksar el Kebir in 1578. The reign of  Ahmad al-Mansur brought new wealth and prestige to the Sultanate, and a large expedition to West Africa inflicted a crushing defeat on the  Songhay Empirein 1591. However, managing the territories across the Sahara proved too difficult. After the death of al-Mansur, the country was divided among his sons.

In 1666, Morocco was reunited by the  Alaouite Dynasty, who have been the ruling house of Morocco ever since. Morocco was facing aggression from 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 (1672–1727) began to create a unified state.With his Jaysh d'Ahl al-Rif (the Riffian Army) he seized  Tangier from the English in 1684 and drove the Spanish from  Larache in 1689.

Morocco was the first nation to recognise the fledgling United States as an independent nation in 1777. In the beginning of the American Revolution, American merchant ships in the Atlantic Ocean were subject to attack by the  Barbary pirates. 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, signed in 1786, stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship treaty.

French and Spanish protectorates

Death of Spanish general  Margalloduring the  Melilla War.  Le Petit Journal, 13 November 1893.

Main articles:  French Morocco and  Spanish Protectorate in Morocco

As Europe industrialised, North 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 on two oceans. 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 of France's  sphere of influence provoked a strong reaction from the German Empire; and a crisis loomed in 1905. The matter was resolved at the  Algeciras Conference in 1906. The  Agadir Crisis of 1911 increased tensions between European powers. The 1912  Treaty of Fezmade Morocco a protectorate 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 over the northern and southern Saharan zones.

Tens of thousands of colonists entered Morocco. Some bought up large amounts of the rich agricultural land, 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, sincerely admired Moroccan culture and succeeded in imposing a joint Moroccan-French administration, while creating a modern school system. Several divisions of Moroccan soldiers ( Goumiers or regular troops and officers) served in the  French army in both World War I and World War II, and in the Spanish  Nationalist Army in the Spanish Civil War and after ( Regulares). The institution of slavery was abolished in 1925.

Tangier's population included 40,000 Muslims, 31,000 Europeans and 15,000 Jews.

Between 1921 and 1926, a  Berber uprising in the Rif Mountains, led by  Abd el-Krim, led to the establishment of the Republic of the Rif. The rebellion was eventually suppressed by French and Spanish troops.

In 1943, the  Istiqlal Party (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 in 1953 to Madagascar and his replacement by the unpopular  Mohammed Ben Aarafa sparked active opposition to the French and Spanish protectorates. The most notable violence occurred in  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 ceded most of its protectorate in Northern Morocco to the new state but kept its two coastal enclaves (Ceuta and Melilla) on the Mediterranean coast. Sultan Mohammed became king in 1957.

Post-independence

The  Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat.

Upon the death of Mohammed V,  Hassan II 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 of  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". 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'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.

Protestors in Casablanca demand that authorities honor their promises of political reform.

King Hassan II died in 1999 and was succeeded by his son,  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 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.

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 visited Ceuta and Melilla, further angering Morocco which demanded control of the enclaves.

During the  2011–12 Moroccan protests, 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 protests. Despite the reforms made by Mohamed 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.

Other Languages
Acèh: Maghribi
адыгабзэ: Марокко
Afrikaans: Marokko
Alemannisch: Marokko
አማርኛ: ሞሮኮ
Ænglisc: Morocco
العربية: المغرب
aragonés: Marruecos
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܡܓܪܒ
arpetan: Maroc
asturianu: Marruecos
Avañe'ẽ: Marruéko
azərbaycanca: Mərakeş
تۆرکجه: مراکش
bamanankan: Maroko
বাংলা: মরক্কো
Bahasa Banjar: Maroko
Bân-lâm-gú: Morocco
башҡортса: Марокко
беларуская: Марока
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Марока
भोजपुरी: मोरक्को
Bikol Central: Moroko
български: Мароко
Boarisch: Marokko
བོད་ཡིག: མོ་རོ་ཁོ།
bosanski: Maroko
brezhoneg: Maroko
буряад: Марокко
català: Marroc
Чӑвашла: Марокко
Cebuano: Maruwekos
čeština: Maroko
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Marruecos
chiShona: Morocco
Cymraeg: Moroco
dansk: Marokko
davvisámegiella: Marokko
Deutsch: Marokko
ދިވެހިބަސް: މައުރިބު
dolnoserbski: Marokko
eesti: Maroko
Ελληνικά: Μαρόκο
English: Morocco
español: Marruecos
Esperanto: Maroko
estremeñu: Marruecu
euskara: Maroko
eʋegbe: Moroko
فارسی: مراکش
Fiji Hindi: Morocco
føroyskt: Marokko
français: Maroc
Frysk: Marokko
Gaeilge: Maracó
Gaelg: Yn Varoc
Gagauz: Marokko
Gàidhlig: Maroco
galego: Marrocos
Gĩkũyũ: Morocco
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: मोरोक्को
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Morocco
한국어: 모로코
Hausa: Moroko
Հայերեն: Մարոկկո
हिन्दी: मोरक्को
hornjoserbsce: Marokko
hrvatski: Maroko
Ido: Maroko
Igbo: Morocco
Ilokano: Morocco
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: মরক্কো
Bahasa Indonesia: Maroko
interlingua: Marocco
Interlingue: Morocco
Ирон: Марокко
isiZulu: IMorokho
íslenska: Marokkó
italiano: Marocco
עברית: מרוקו
Basa Jawa: Maroko
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಮೊರಾಕೊ
Kapampangan: Morocco
ქართული: მაროკო
қазақша: Марокко
kernowek: Marokk
Kinyarwanda: Maroke
Kiswahili: Moroko
Kongo: Maroko
Kreyòl ayisyen: Mawòk
kurdî: Maroko
Кыргызча: Марокко
кырык мары: Марокко
Ladino: Maroko
لۊری شومالی: مراکش
Latina: Marocum
latviešu: Maroka
Lëtzebuergesch: Marokko
lietuvių: Marokas
Ligure: Maròcco
Limburgs: Marokko
lingála: Marɔkɛ
Livvinkarjala: Marokko
la .lojban.: morgu'e
Luganda: Morocco
lumbaart: Maroch
magyar: Marokkó
македонски: Мароко
Malagasy: Marôka
മലയാളം: മൊറോക്കൊ
Malti: Marokk
मराठी: मोरोक्को
მარგალური: მაროკო
مصرى: المغرب
مازِرونی: مراکش
Bahasa Melayu: Maghribi
Baso Minangkabau: Maroko
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Morocco
Mirandés: Marrocos
монгол: Марокко
Nederlands: Marokko
नेपाली: मोरक्को
नेपाल भाषा: मोरक्को
日本語: モロッコ
нохчийн: Марокко
Nordfriisk: Marokko
Norfuk / Pitkern: Morocco
norsk: Marokko
norsk nynorsk: Marokko
Novial: Moroko
occitan: Marròc
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ମୋରୋକ୍କୋ
Oromoo: Morookoo
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Marokash
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਮੋਰਾਕੋ
पालि: मोराको
پنجابی: مراکش
Papiamentu: Morocco
پښتو: مراکش
Patois: Marako
Piemontèis: Maròch
Plattdüütsch: Marokko
polski: Maroko
português: Marrocos
Qaraqalpaqsha: Marokko
qırımtatarca: Mağrip
română: Maroc
Runa Simi: Maruku
русский: Марокко
саха тыла: Марокко
संस्कृतम्: मोराको
Sängö: Marôko
sardu: Marocco
Scots: Morocco
Seeltersk: Marokko
Sesotho: Morocco
Sesotho sa Leboa: Morocco
shqip: Maroku
sicilianu: Maroccu
SiSwati: IMorokho
slovenčina: Maroko
slovenščina: Maroko
ślůnski: Maroko
Soomaaliga: Marooko
کوردی: مەغریب
српски / srpski: Мароко
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Maroko
Basa Sunda: Maroko
suomi: Marokko
svenska: Marocko
Tagalog: Morocco
தமிழ்: மொரோக்கோ
Taqbaylit: Ameṛṛuk
татарча/tatarça: Марокко
తెలుగు: మొరాకో
ትግርኛ: ሞሮኮ
тоҷикӣ: Марокаш
Türkçe: Fas
Türkmençe: Marokko
Twi: Morocco
удмурт: Марокко
українська: Марокко
اردو: مراکش
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ماراكەش
vèneto: Maroco
vepsän kel’: Marok
Tiếng Việt: Maroc
Volapük: Marokän
Võro: Maroko
walon: Marok
文言: 摩洛哥
West-Vlams: Marokko
Winaray: Morocco
Wolof: Marok
吴语: 摩洛哥
Xitsonga: Morokho
ייִדיש: מאראקא
Yorùbá: Mòrókò
粵語: 摩洛哥
Zazaki: Marok
Zeêuws: Marokko
žemaitėška: Maruoks
中文: 摩洛哥
डोटेली: मोरोक्को
Kabɩyɛ: Marɔkɩ
Lingua Franca Nova: Magrib