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  1. 1. Morocco<br />Geography, People, Culture, History<br />
  2. 2. Geography<br />Most of the southeastern portion of the country is in the Sahara Desert and is sparsely populated and unproductive economically. Most of the people live north of the mountains with the desert being south of them.<br />Morocco borders the Atlantic Ocean on the West and the Mediterranean Sea on it’s Northern border. It shares land borders with the Western Sahara and Algeria.<br />The majority of Morocco is mountainous. The Atlas Mountains run through the center and South of the country while the Rif Mountains are located in the Northern region.<br />
  3. 3. Geography<br />Morocco's capital city is Rabat; its largest city is its main port, Casablanca.<br />In the Atlas (Middle Atlas), there are several different climates: Mediterranean (with some more humid and fresher variants), Maritime Temperate (with some humid and fresher variants too) that allow different species of oaks, moss carpets, junipers, Atlantic cedars and many other plants, to form extensive and very rich forests.<br />On the other side of the mountains the climate shifts turning it very dry and extremely warm (especially on the lowlands facing the Sahara). This where the sand dunes and rocky desert landscapes are.<br />
  4. 4. People<br />Morocco’s official language is Modern Standard Arabic. The distinctive Arabic dialect is called Moroccan Arabic. Although about 30% of the population speak Berber. <br />French is Morocco’s unofficial second language and is taught universally. It is also used as Morocco’s primary language of commerce and economics.<br />A number of people also know English, especially the educated youth.<br />
  5. 5. People religion<br />The Islamic religion is an old and very important tradition in the Moroccan people’s lives. It affects many aspects of their life.<br />Call to prayer: in all Islamic communities the call to prayer will be heard several times a day through a loud speaker system.<br />Ramadan: During this holy month Islamic people fast from daybreak until sunset.<br />Women in Morocco: Women are generally free in Morocco. You will see many walking around outside without their veil on. However, if traveling to Morocco one should consider Moroccan custom. Wearing shorts and low cut tops is inappropriate and considered provocative.<br />Some Islamic rules include:<br />Pre- and extra-marital sex are forbidden.<br />Alcohol is forbidden.<br />Pork is considered dirty and is forbidden.<br />Muslims have to be "covered" at all times: men are to be covered from navel to knee, while women are expected to reveal nothing but their eyes and hands. (of course in modern times this is not <br />As followed as an Islamic rule).<br />
  6. 6. Culture<br />Souks are what the Moroccans where daily and are simply a way of life in Morocco. <br />They are easy to find and can be bargained with. As a visitor this can be hard but if you are nice they will bargain with you.<br />If one of the locals is to invite you to a meal, you must know the correct customs. <br />Take off your shoes when entering a household.<br />Take some sort of gift with you (a live chicken is an example of a gift to bring to one in the country, whereas if in the city, take some pastries or sugar).<br />Most Moroccans use their hands to eat, but be careful the right hand is used for eating whereas the left is used for the bathroom.<br />Mosques: They are considered very holy places that are not for visiting. Most only allow devout Muslims to enter.<br />Photographs: Be careful. This can offend some locals if you are taking their picture and they will often demand money from you if you do take their picture.<br />Men vs. Women: Women are in control of their homes and men take care of street business. You will not see women in restaurants or even out and about unless for a short time.<br />
  7. 7. Culture<br />Food: The afternoon meal is the main meal for Moroccans, except during the holy month of Ramadan. The main meal usually starts with a series of hot and cold salads which are followed by a tagine, or stew. Next is the biggest plate, often a lamb or chicken dish, followed by a heaping plate of couscous topped with meats and vegetables. At the end a soothing cup of sweet mint tea ends the meal.<br />The best meals are found not in the restaurants but in the Moroccan home. Also in the home the women do virtually all of the cooking in this very traditional region.<br />
  8. 8. History<br />Morocco has been inhabited since Neolithic times (8000 BS). <br />Morocco slowly was drawn into the emerging Mediterranean world by trade, and eventually became a part of the Roman Empire. “Christianity was introduced in the second century and gained converts in the towns and among slaves and Berber farmers” (1).<br />Islamic expansion began in the 7th Century.<br />After the Napoleonic wars, North Africa became increasingly hard to control from Istanbul. Morocco was becoming more appealing to the French and other European countries.<br />The treaty of Fez made Morocco a protectorate of France and Spain in 1912.<br />Nationalist political parties started the up rise of Independence from the French and Spanish. The French then exiled Sultan Mohammed V to Madagascar which continued the nation’s upheaval. Resistance came from the “Liberation Army” in 1955. After, France allowed Mohammed V to return and the process of independence came in the following year.<br /><ul><li>Morocco was actually the first nation to recognize the United States an independent nation in 1787.</li></li></ul><li>History<br />In 2006, Morocco celebrated the 50th anniversary of its independence from France. <br />In 2004, Morocco was given Major non-NATO ally status by the US and has free trade agreements with the US and EU.<br />Morocco is now a constitutional monarchy (de jure) with an elected parliament.<br />The King of Morocco has many executive powers; however, other political parties are legal. The Moroccan constitution provides for a monarchy with a parliament and an independent judiciary (where the highest branch, the supreme court, judges are elected by the King).<br />
  9. 9. Bibliography<br />“Ethiniccruisine: Morocco”. 7/1/10.<br /> channel. “Morocco Culture: Experience Centuries of Tradition”. 6/30/10.<br />Morocco. “Customs and Religion”. 7/1/10.<br />Religions: Islam.<br />Wikipedia. “Morocco”. 6/28/10.<br />