Morocco: History of the country

Morocco, mountainous country of theWestern North Africa, located right in front of Spain, on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar.

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Morocco map

Traditional domain of indigenous peoples today known as Berber (own name Imazighen, singular, amazigh), Morocco has been the subject of significant migrations and has long been home to urban communities that have been originally established by peoples outside the region. Very early by Carthage, the region was then the most western province of the Roman Empire.

Following the Arab conquest of the end of the seventh century of our era, the whole of North Africa became the Maghreb (in Arabic: "the West"), and the majority of its inhabitants accepted the 'Islam. The Moroccan kingdoms that followed have enjoyed a political influence that extended beyond the coastal regions and, in the 11th century, the first Amazigh dynasty of North Africa, the Almoravids, took control of an empire. which stretched from Andalusia (South of Spain) to some parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

The attempts of Europeans to establish themselves permanently in Morocco from the end of the 15th century have been largely repulsed, but the country has become the subject of the policy of the great powers in the 19th century. Morocco has become a French protectorate in 1912, but returned to its independence in 1956. Today is the only monarchy of North Africa.

North Africa Card

Although the country is modernizing rapidly and benefits from a rising standard of living, it retains a large part of its ancient architecture and even more of its traditional customs. The largest city in Morocco and the main port of the Atlantic Ocean is Casablanca, an industrial and commercial center. The capital, Rabat, is a short distance to the north, on the Atlantic coast. Other port cities are Tangier, on the Strait of Gibraltar, Agadir, Atlantic, and Al-Hoceïma, on the Mediterranean.

The city of Fez is famous for its souks, or outdoor markets, among the most beautiful in all North Africa. Landscape and fertility, Morocco deserves the praise of a son of the country, the medieval traveler Ibn Baṭṭūṭah, who wrote that "it's the best country, because fruits are abundant, and running water and Nourishing foods are never exhausted. "



Morocco is bordered by Algeria to the east and southeast, by the Western Sahara to the south, by the Atlantic Ocean in the West and the Mediterranean Sea to the North. It is the only African country whose coasts are exposed to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Its area - excluding the territory of Western Sahara, controlled by Morocco - is slightly higher than that of the American state of California. Two small Spanish enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, are located on the north coast of the country.


1) The relief of Morocco

Most of Morocco is at high altitudes, an average of 800 meters (2,600 feet) above sea level. Two mountain ranges separate East Morocco from Morocco atlantic: Rif mountains in the north form A buffer along the Mediterranean littoral, while the Atlas mountains create a barrier in the center.

The two parts of the country are connected by the narrow taza hole, north-east, as well as by roads that follow the old traditional ways. The chains of the Atlas and RIF have been formed during the paleogenic and neogenic periods (about 65 to 2.6 million years ago) by the folding and uprising of the sediments that had accumulated in the sea of Tethys, who, at that time, bordered the north coast of Africa.

Morocco card

The Rif mountains are gearically part of the Cordillera (mountain ranges) that extend to the south from the Iberian Peninsula of Europe, whose Africa has been separated only after the Neogene (that is, say during the 2.6 million years old). The chain, in the form of crescent, rises sharply from a narrow Mediterranean coastal plain. Most limestone peaks in the Rif mountains exceed 1,500 meters and rises up to 2,456 meters at Mount Tidirhine.

The Atlas mountains include three distinct channels. Atlas, 740 km long, begins with small hills on the Atlantic, raises rapidly more than 2,000 meters and reaches 4,165 meters at Mount Toubkal, the highest point of Morocco. The Middle Atlas moves away from the high atlas towards the north and rises up to 3,340 meters (10,958 feet) to its ridge. The anti-Atlas extends southwestern at the Atlas to the Atlantic.

Moroccan Toubkal National Park

In the east of the Rif and Atlas chains is the Moulouya basin, a semi-arid plain created by the erosive force of the Moulouya River. Further in the east, there are the highlands of eastern Morocco, which are approximately between 1,200 and 1,300 meters above sea level and are the extension of the reliefs of neighboring Algeria. The arid regions in the south and southeastern Atlas constitute the northwestern limit of the Sahara, while a narrow transition band at the base of the mountains is called the pre-Sahara.

Morocco Atlantic Morocco consists of plains formed of relatively fine sediments and larger deposit plateaus. The Sebou River Basin, which is located in the North-West between the Rif mountains and a line ranging approximately flap in Fez, is a large alluvial plain. His agricultural heart is known as Plaine du Gharb. South of the Rabat-Fez line, between the Atlas and the Atlantic Ocean, is a series of high plains collectively known as the Moroccan plateau.

It is the plain of Saïs near Fes and Meknes, the plain of Tadla northeast of Marrakech, from the plain of Haouz to the west of Marrakech and the vast plains of La Chaouïa, of La Doukkala. and Abda south of Casablanca. Between the chains of the high atlas and the anti-Atlas is the valley of the river under. The Moroccan coastline is regular and has few natural ports. Before the construction of modern ports, sandbanks and rocky reefs off made the navigation difficult.

Panoramic view of the mountains and the Atlas Valley, Morocco

2) Drainage

The Moroccan mountains capture significant amounts of rain and snow on their winds in the wind, during storms from the North Atlantic, and give rise to many perennial streams. Indeed, the country has the largest watercourse network in North Africa. Most watercourses come from either on the Western side of the Atlas mountains or on the southern slope of the Rif mountains, and go west to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Sebou is 450 km long and has the largest volume of all Moroccan rivers. With its tributaries, Sebou represents nearly half of Morocco's surface water resources. The Drâa, which takes its source in the high atlas at the confluence of the Dades and the imini, is the longest river in Morocco, with a length of about 1,100 km; All streams, with the exception of superior courses, are generally dry. With its 555 km long, the EL-RBIA OUM is another important river, which flows from the Middle Atlas to the Atlantic.

La Moulouya is the only important river that flows into the Mediterranean Sea; It has its source on the oriental slopes of the Middle Atlas and flows about 515 km to its mouth, which is near the Algerian border. The northern slopes of the RIF are drained by several small streams that also throw into the Mediterranean.

Many minor streams are born on the dry oriental slopes of the high Atlas and throw themselves into the Sahara, including the Giris, the Rheris and the ZIZ. Although their volume is low, they dug deep gorges. Since the 1930s, Morocco's streams have been gradually struck for irrigation, hydropower and flood control.

The Moroccan desert

3) Soils

Dark argilo-marinous soil called shots, found in the plains of Chauria, Doukkala and Abda, produces good yields of wheat and barley when precipitation is sufficient and can retain enough Humidity to support summer pastures.

The Hamri, a clear reddish siliceous soil found throughout the plain of Saïs around Meknes and Fez, supports productive vineyards and can also produce good yields of cereals, although it has a bad retention of humidity.

DHESS is the main type of soil from the Sebou Basin. It is a limon-rich alluvial soil, which is the basis of a large part of Morocco's irrigated agriculture.

The other main types of soil, less adapted to agriculture, are the RMEL, a sandy soil found in the region of the Forest of Mamora east of Rabat and along a large part of the North coast, and Haroucha, rocky soil found in all semi-arid regions of Morocco.

Mountain Morocco

4) The climate of Morocco

Most of Morocco north of Western Sahara, especially along the coast, is experiencing a typical Mediterranean climate, with mild and humid winters and hot and dry summers.

The rainy season usually extends from October to April. Torrential rains sometimes produce devastating floods, but overall, several factors act to reduce rainfall in the country. Morocco is on the southern margins of the area of ​​medium latitudes of the frontal storm systems that regularly cross the North Atlantic.

As a result, precipitation levels are relatively low and decreases gradually from north to south. In addition, high pressure ridges are being developed periodically off during the rainy season, moving the storms north.

Drought occurs when these ridges persist for long periods. The cold flow of the Canaries, off the Western coast, also induces atmospheric stability and further decreases the potential for precipitation.

In large coastal plains, the average annual precipitation decreases gradually, from about 800 mm in the northern Gharb plain less than 200 mm (8 inches) in the valley of the sub. Further south, beyond the anti-Atlas, the semi-arid conditions are rapidly transformed into desert.

Desert Sahara

Altitude strongly affects this dominant scheme, precipitation is significantly larger in the mountains. The central Rif, for example, receives more than 2 030 mm precipitation a year, and even the high atlas, much further south, receives about 760 mm.

The snow is common to about 2,000 meters, and the snowy coat persists in the highest altitudes until the end of spring or early summer. The mountains of Morocco create a large rainfall shadow, directly to the east of the mountains, where under the wind of the prevailing winds, the desert conditions start abruptly.

In the lowlands near the coast, the summer heat is attenuated by the cool breezes of the coast. The average daily summer temperatures in coastal towns vary between 18 and 28 ° C. In the interior of the country, however, the maximum daily temperatures frequently exceed 35 ° C. At the end of spring or summer, the Sharqī (Chergui) - a warm and dusty wind from the Sahara - can sweep the mountains up to the lowlands, and even penetrate coastal towns.

Temperatures increase dramatically, often reaching 41 ° C. If the cultures have not been harvested, the damage can be important because of the desiccant effects of Sharqī. In winter, marine influence moderates temperatures again in coastal regions.

Winter daily average temperatures range from 8 to 17 ° C. As away from the coast, temperatures fall significantly, sometimes falling below the freezing point.

5) Plant and animal life

Apart from desert areas, the vegetation of Morocco resembles that of the Iberian Peninsula. There are still large forests in the wettest mountainous areas, with cork oak, green oak and deciduous oak on the lower slopes and fir and cedar at altitude, especially in the Middle Atlas.

In the drier mountainous areas, the open forests of Thuya, Juniper, Pin d'Aleppo (Pinus Halepensis) and Maritime Pine are common. East of Rabat is the vast Forest of Liège de Mamora. Eucalyptus, originally from Australia, was introduced by the French authorities during the colonial period for reforestation.

Since independence, the Moroccan government has established several great plantations of this tree around the Forest of Mamora. In rugged highlands south of Essaouira, there are vast open forests of argans (Argania Spinoza). Unique in southwestern Morocco, this tree has a hard fruit that produces a popular cooking oil.

In Morocco, as in the entire Western Mediterranean region, centuries of human activity have considerably modified natural vegetation. On many mountainous slopes, cutting, grazing and burning the original vegetation have produced an often dense coverage of maquis, characterized by various wildlife associations, leprisum, oak Kermes (Quercus coccinea), d 'Arbousier, Bruyère, Myrtle, Armoise, Cytise (Medicago Arborea), Genet and Rosemary.

In arid inland plains, the Nain palm, the jujuber, the Alfa and the fig tree of barbarism (introduced from the Americas by Spain in the sixteenth century) cover vast expanses. There is little natural vegetation in the desert areas east of the mountains, although the Dattier palm, introduced very early in Morocco, is widely grown in the oases of the desert.

The big game has been gradually eliminated in Morocco since Roman times when Lions and Elephants were still abundant. These two species have been disappeared for a long time. Gazelles are still observed occasionally in the south, like mufflons (wild sheep) and Fennecs (a kind of fox) in the Atlas region. Thanks to the protection of the public authorities, the macaque of barbarism now flourish in the forests of the Middle Atlas.

However, the richest wildlife in Morocco is the birdlife. The big migratory birds staying in Morocco include stork, which builds its nests in a picturesque way on the ramparts of cities and roofs of mosques, as well as the flamingo pink, the pelican and the garzette egret.



1) Ethnic groups

Morocco is composed mainly of Arabs and imazighen or a mixture of both. A significant number of IMAZIGHEN lives mainly in the country's mountain areas, which are for them long areas of refuge where they can preserve their language and culture.

Some segments of the population are descendants of refugees from Spain who fled the reconquesta, the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th century. Trade and slavery led a large population of sub-Saharan Africans to Morocco, and their descendants now live mainly in the southern oasis and in large cities.

The Jews were a fairly important minority until the mid-20th century, when, as a result of the founding of Israel and the beginning of the Israeli-Arab conflict, many felt obliged to leave the country; Most emigrated to Israel, Europe and South and North America.

Ethnicity Morocco

2) Languages

Arabic, one of the national and official languages ​​of Morocco, is spoken by two-thirds of the population, and modern standard Arabic is taught in schools. The Amazigh language, known as Tamazight, became an official language in 2011.

Having been preserved in Amazigh enclaves, it is spoken by about one-third of the population. Many Imazighen also speak Arabic, and Tamazight is taught in schools. French is an important secondary language, and Spanish is widely spoken. English is also increasingly used.

The inhabitants speaking Tamazight are divided into three ethnolinguistic groups: the rifles (also called Riffi or Riffians) of the Rif mountains, the inhabitants of the Middle Atlas and the inhabitants of the High Atlas and the Valley of the Sous. Although there are differences between these dialects, they are mutually understandable.

3) Religion

Islam is the official religion of the state, and the vast majority of Moroccans are Sunnish Muslims of Rite Mālikī. The royal house, the Dynasty'alawite, reigns since the 17th century, founding its claim of legitimacy on the offspring of the Prophet Muhammad. The royal family is venerated by Moroccan Muslims because of its prophetic lineage.

As in many Islamic countries, Sufism makes followers, and forms of popular religion - including the veneration of the saints and the visit of the graves - are widely practiced. Moroccan law prescribes freedom of religion, but few non-Muslims reside in the country.

The country has no indigenous Christian population, and its Jewish community has reduced a few thousand people.




1) Traditional regions

The habitat modes in Morocco roughly correspond to the three large environmental zones: the plains and coastal trays, the highlands of the Rif and the Atlas, and the desert to the east and south of the Atlas.

The plains and coastal trays are home to three quarters of the country's population and include most of its cities and virtually all its modern commercial agriculture.

The country has been housed for centuries sedentary farmers and semi-nomadic tribes. The main form of agriculture is rainfed cereal production, wheat and barley being the main winter crops. It is complemented by livestock and summer gardens producing dry vegetables (legumes) and fresh vegetables.

Agriculture Morocco

The mountainous regions of the Rif and the Atlas are home to about one-fifth of the population and serve as centers of Amazigh culture. Traditional villages are built to defend themselves and are usually perched on the flanks or summits of the hills.

The homes, often on several floors, are tightly grouped and are constructed of stone, paired or in clay. The flat terrain are rare, and terraces are built to create arable fields along the walls of neighboring valleys.

The main livelihood crops are barley as winter culture and corn and fresh vegetables as summer crops. Many villages specialize in the commercial culture of nuts or fruits - such as olives, almonds, nuts, figs, apples, cherries, apricots or plums - which are well adapted to the local microclimate.

The breeding of sheep or goats often complete village agriculture. Some groups practice transhumance, migrating with their herds to summer pastures at altitude or winter pastures in low altitude and living in dark colored tents (Khaymahs) woven goat hair.

The Presaharan and Saharan areas south of the Atlas contain a tiny part of the population of Morocco. Some colonies are composed of ḥarāṭīn, the descendants of sub-Saharan Africans, and many groups speak one of the Tamazight dialects.

Virtually all colonies are found in oases, most of which are created artificially either by diverting water from watercourses, or in importance of mountain water - often on a certain distance - by underground tunnels (qanāts) . Dates are the main culture, both subsistence and annuity. Alfalfa, corn, wheat, barley, vegetables and other cultures are grown in the undergrowth of date palms.

Most of the homes in this region are fortified villages in pairs, very characteristic, called Ksour (Arabic: Quṣūr, "Castles"). Nomadic camel farming was once an important economic activity in the Saharan zone, but government policies, desert wars, multiannual droughts and other mitigating factors removed almost completely this way of life.

2) Urban habitat

About three-fifths of the Moroccan population lives today in urban areas. Most Moroccan cities retain at least part of their traditional character and charm. During the period of the French protectorate, the colonial authorities did not affect the traditional urban centers, or Medinas (Madīnahs), which were usually surrounded by walls.

Rather than changing these traditional centers to install new administrative and economic infrastructures, they created next to them new cities ("New Towns"). In addition, they moved the center of the political and economic life of the interior of Morocco - where it had long turned around the imperial cities of Fez, Meknes and Marrakech - towards the Atlantic coast. Under the protectorate, Casablanca, a small coastal village, turns into a lively metropolis. Rabat became the capital and the center of the administration.

In the 1930s, slums (literally, "canned box cities") begin to grow around major urban areas and have since expanded.

Rural Urban Morocco

3) Demographic trends

The population of Morocco increases at a slightly faster pace than that of countries outside Africa, but is well below the average of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Nevertheless, Morocco has an important population for its size that is highly concentrated in the most habitable areas.

About a quarter of the population is under 15 years old. For a while, the possibility of emigrating to the Western European countries offered a partial solution to the demographic pressure of Morocco, and in the early 1980s, some 600,000 Moroccan workers had established in Western Europe. .

The problem of the Moroccan population was only marginally resolved by migration to the labor markets of the Persian Gulf region during the oil boom that began at the end of the 20th century.

Morocco population

Morocco's economy

As is the case in many former African colonies, the Moroccan economy remains strongly dependent on the export of raw materials. Modern sectors, including tourism and telecommunications, are also of growing importance for the economy. In total, the modern part represents more than two-thirds of the gross domestic product (GDP), even if it only employ a third of the country's workforce.

Since the mid-1980s, the Moroccan government has undertaken a vigorous privatization and economic reform program, encouraged by major international donors such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The measures consisted of selling public enterprises, to devaluing the currency and amending price policies to encourage local production. In 1999, the Moroccan government set up a loan fund to stimulate growth and competition between small businesses.

Sandy beaches, the sun, the diversity of Morocco's cultural heritage environments and wealth gives it exceptional tourism potential that the government has actively developed.

1) Agriculture, forestry and fishing

Morocco has many exploitable resources. With about 85,000 km² of arable land (one seventh can be irrigated) and a generally temperate Mediterranean climate, Morocco has agricultural potential that few other Arab or African countries can match.

It is one of the few Arab countries that can reach self-sufficiency in food production. In a normal year, Morocco produces two-thirds of cereals (mainly wheat, barley and corn) necessary for domestic consumption.

The country exports citrus fruits and vegetables to the European market; Its wine industry is developed, and the production of commercial crops (cotton, sugar cane, sugar beet and sunflowers) is expanding.

More recent crops such as tea, tobacco and soy have exceeded the experimental stage, the fertile Gharb plain being conducive to their culture. The country is actively developing its irrigation potential that, ultimately, will irrigate more than 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares).

Nevertheless, the risk of drought is always present. Bass cereal lands, subject to considerable variations in annual rainfall, are particularly threatened. On average, a drought occurs in Morocco every three years, creating the volatility of agricultural production that constitutes the main constraint on the expansion of the sector.

Breeding, including ovin and cattle, is widespread. Morocco fills its own meat needs and also tries to become self-sufficient in dairy products.

Moroccan forests, which cover about one-tenth of the total area of ​​the country (excluding Western Sahara), have a substantial business value. Morocco satisfies a large part of its wooden needs by exploiting the high altitude forests of the medium and high atlas. Its eucalyptus plantations allow it to be self-sufficient in charcoal, which is widely used as a fuel cooking.

Eucalyptus also provides the raw material necessary for the paper and cellulose industries in the country. Paper paste is a valuable export product, as well as cork from the abundant corporal oak forests of the country.

Fishing areas in the running of the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Morocco, are exceptionally rich in sardines, bonus and tuna, but the country does not have modern fleets and processing facilities needed to take full advantage of of these marine resources.

An important part of a major trade agreement that Morocco has concluded with the European Union (EU) in 1996 concerned fishing rights, under which the EU pays to Morocco an annual fee to allow vessels (mainly Spanish) to fish in Moroccan waters.

2) Resources and power

With the acquisition of Western Sahara, Morocco has become an owner of about two-thirds of the world's phosphate reserves, used for the manufacture of fertilizers and other products. The weakness of world phosphate prices, however, slowed out production. The other minerals include iron ore and coal, operated for the domestic use of Morocco, as well as baritine, manganese, lead and zinc, which are exported in small quantities.

A major weakness in the inventory of Morocco's resources is its lack of domestic energy sources. Oil exploration has been disappointing, although the country has some natural gas reserves that have been exploited. Its hydroelectric potential is considerable and is now exploited. Morocco must cover the essence of its growing energy needs by imports, mainly crude oil, which is refined on site. Thermal power plants produce a large part of the country's electricity.

3) The manufacturing industry

The manufacturing industry represents about one-six of GDP and its importance in the economy is growing. Two particularly important components of the country's industrial structure are the transformation of raw materials for the export and manufacture of consumer goods for the internal market.

Many activities date from the colonial period. Until the early 1980s, government participation was dominant and the focus was on substitution of imports. Since then, emphasis has been placed on the privatization of state operations and the attraction of new private investments, including foreign sources.

The transformation of phosphate ore into fertilizer and phosphoric acid for export is a major economic activity. Food processing for export (canning fish, fresh vegetables and fruits) as well as for domestic needs (flour mill and sugar refining) is also important, and the manufacture of textiles and clothing From cotton and wool products locally is a major source of foreign currency. The Moroccan steel industry is small, but it provides a significant part of the country's domestic needs.

4) Finance

The Central Bank of Morocco, the Bank Al-Maghrib, plays a pre-eminent role in the country's banking system. It emits the Moroccan Dirham, maintains the foreign currency reserves of Morocco, controls the credit offer, supervises the government's specialty loan organizations and regulates the commercial banking industry.

Privatization has stimulated the activity of the Casablanca Stock Exchange (founded in 1929 - one of the oldest in Africa), including trade in equities for former major state-owned enterprises.

5) Trade

Government attempts to increase exports and monitor imports have been successful, and the chronic annual trade deficit has begun to reduce. In the 1990s, Morocco also significantly reduced its external debt. The three main exports are agricultural products (citrus and vegetables of the market), semi-finished products and consumer goods (including textiles), as well as phosphates and phosphate products.

The main imports are semi-finished products and industrial equipment, crude oil and food products. Morocco's largest trading partner is the EU. Since Morocco's trade with Europe is very important, an important development of the 1990s has been the negotiation of a formal association with the EU, including an agreement to create a European free trade zone. Mediterranean.

Other trade agreements have also been negotiated to mitigate the dependence on Europe, including an agreement with the countries of the North American Free Trade Agreement and bilateral agreements with other countries. -Orient and North Africa. In 2004, a free trade agreement was signed with the United States.

import Export

6) Services

Services, including government and military spending, account for about a quarter of Morocco's GDP. Public spending, despite the continued efforts of the government to sell a large part of its assets to private companies, alone represent half of the services economy.

Since the mid-1980s, tourism and associated services have been an increasingly important sector of the Moroccan economy and have become, at the end of the 1990s, the main source of foreign currency in the country. During this period, the Moroccan government has committed significant resources - in the form of tax loans and exemptions - for the development of the tourism industry and associated services.

The government has also made direct capital investments in the development of the service sector, but since the early 1990s, it has begun to get rid of these goods. Many million visitors enter Morocco every year, most of them coming from Europe. Tourists also arrive from Algeria, the United States and East Asia, mainly from Japan.

7) Work and taxation

About one-third of the population is employed in agriculture, another third party earns its living in mines, manufacturing and construction, and the rest is busy in the trade, finance and services sectors. These estimates do not take into account a significant informal economy composed of street vendors, home employees and other underemployed and poorly paid people.

The high unemployment rate is a problem; The official figure is about one-fifth of the workforce, but the informal estimates are much higher and, as in most countries of the Middle East and North Africa, the unemployment rate is particularly high among university graduates holding non-technical diplomas.

Several unions exist in the country; The most important of them, with nearly 700,000 members, is the Moroccan labor union, which is affiliated with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

Tax revenues are most of the general budget. Taxes are levied on individuals, companies, goods and services, tobacco and petroleum products.

8) Transport and telecommunications

The Moroccan road network effectively integrates the various regions of the country. Established during the colonial period, the network has been well maintained and gradually extended since.

The railway system connects the main urban centers of the North, and new rail links, as well as improved routes, are being established towards El-Aaiún (Laayoune) in Western Sahara. Morocco has some two dozens of ports along its long coast. Casablanca alone accounts for about half of all the port tonnage treated, although the port facilities of Tangier are becoming more important.

The other important ports include Safi, Mohammedia, Agadir, Nador, Kenitra, and El Jorf Lasfar. A dozen airports capable of hosting large aircraft serve the country; The main international airport is located near Casablanca. The public airline Royal Air Maroc (RAM) provides regular links with Europe, North America, the Middle East and West Africa.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the government undertook major expansion and modernization of the telecommunications system. This has almost quadrupled the number of internal telephone lines and has significantly improved international communications.

In 1996, the public telecommunications sector was opened to privatization by a new law that authorized private investment in the retail sector, while the state retained the control of fixed assets. In 1998, the government created Maroc Telecom (Ittiṣālāt al-Maghrib), which provides telephone, cellular and internet services for the country.

We find parabolic antennas on the roofs of houses, even in the poorest neighborhoods, which suggests that Moroccans of all social and economic levels have access to the global telecommunications network.

The Internet has made constant progress in Morocco; The major institutions have direct access, while individuals can connect through "shops" telecommunications, a version of the cybercafés found in many Western countries, and via personal computers.


Government and Society

1) The constitutional framework

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with two legislative rooms. According to the Constitution promulgated in 2011, the political power in Morocco must be shared between the hereditary monarch and an elected bicameral parliament, composed of the Chamber of Advisers (Majlis Al-Mustashārīn; Haute Room) and the House of Representatives (Majlis al- Nawāb; low room). A Prime Minister runs the cabinet, which constitutes the executive.

However, despite the existence of a constitution, a legislative body and a number of active political parties, the King continues to exercise a broad political authority, promulging the legislation, choosing the first minister among the largest minister. Parliament's party and approving government appointments. He holds an absolute authority on religious affairs, the armed forces and the national security policy.

The overwhelming authority of the monarch in political life has been debated and intense criticism. Since the mid-1990s, political reforms aimed at strengthening representative institutions, increasing the authority of Parliament and the Cabinet, to increase political participation and limit the ability of the King to handle political affairs have been adopted under the pressure of internal opposition groups and external groups in the country.

In July 2011, Moroccan voters approved a new constitution proposed by King Muḥammad VI. The new Constitution has expanded the powers of Parliament and the Prime Minister, but left to the King a broad authority over all the branches of the government. The Constitution also included a new section promoting cultural pluralism in Morocco and gave the tamazight language recognition as an official language.

2) Local authorities

At the local level, Morocco is subdivided into several levels of government, all directly under the tutelage of the Ministry of the Interior. At the top are 16 regions, which are themselves divided into several dozen provinces and urban prefectures, each led by a governor appointed by the King.

Below this second-order subdivision are the rural Qaḍawāt (districts) and municipalities, governed by circle leaders. The fourth level includes rural municipalities and autonomous urban centers, governed by Qā'ids (CAIDs) and Pachas respectively. Lower ranking officials are named either by the Ministry of the Interior or by the governors.

Each level has organs elected by the people whose main function is to help determine local issues and priorities, such as the launch of development projects and the decision of budgetary expenditure. In the late 1990s, government policy was moving towards greater decision-making at the local level.

3) Justice

In theory, the one remains the source of the right. It is, indeed, exerted by the qāḍīs (Muslim religious judges) and is limited to questions relating to the personal status of Muslims.

Rabbinic justice applies to Jews. All other cases, which they concern Muslims, Jews or others, are in the hands of secular courts that apply a legal code of French inspiration.

The highest legal authority is the Supreme Court, which oversees a legal system composed of appeal courses, regional courts, courts of instance and, at the lowest level, of courts of first instance. All judges are appointed by the King and are supervised by the Ministry of Justice. However, the legal system has not been protected from pressures for reform.

Moroccan women, in particular, sought to reform MudwaWanah, or Code of Personal Status and Family Law, with the aim of correcting inequalities in heritage, divorce and other issues that have traditionally favored men. In 2004, Parliament issued a new Code of Personal Status, more liberal.

Moroccan justice

4) Political processes

The members of the New Chamber of Consultants, which has 270 members, are selected for a nine-year term by local councils, trade unions and professional associations.

The 325 members of the House of Representatives are all elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term. The Constitution prohibits the single party system, and many parties exist. The legislative elections of 1997 have marked a significant change in Moroccan politics: the democratic bloc, consisting of a coalition of socialist, nationalist and left parties, has won the majority of the seats, forming the first government of a former group Opposition for years and introducing a new element of dynamism into a stagnant political system. The national agreement, composed of three parties previously in the government, has become the main opposition party.

The Ministry of the Interior retains considerable power, just like security forces. Islamist groups remained active on the political front, representing a permanent challenge for the regime.

Some of the most moderate factions have been politically cooperated when their representatives were elected to the 1997 Parliament, but the extremist groups have kept a major basis for universities and among unemployed young people and occasionally resorted to violence.

Although all citizens are franchised and have the same rights in education, employment, private property and right to strike, in reality, the differences are numerous, particularly with regard to women. Few women participate in government legislative and ministerial levels. King Muḥammad VI, however, tried to rectify this situation by appointing women at the head of departments and as Royal Councilors.

5) Security

The military service lasts 18 months in Morocco, and the reserve obligation takes until the age of 50. The country's army consists of the royal armed forces - which include the Army (the largest branch) and a small navy and an air force - from the National Police, the Royal Mounted Police (mainly responsible for security rural) and auxiliary forces.

Internal security is generally effective and political violence are rare (with the exception of a bomb attack in May 2003 in Casablanca, which has made many deaths). The UN maintains a small observation force in Western Sahara, where a large number of Moroccan troops are stationed.

The Sahraoui Polisario Group maintains an active militia of about 5,000 Western Sahara fighters and has engaged in an intermittent war with Moroccan forces since the 1980s.

Moroccan armed

6) Health and well-being

Morocco has a relatively favorable ratio of physicians and other qualified medical staff in relation to the population. The government emphasized preventive medicine by increasing the number of clinics and health centers. However, more than half of the rural population still does not have access to these facilities.

In addition, only a small part of the rural population and not the entire urban population have access to drinking water. Infant mortality rates remain high, and at least one-third of the population suffers from malnutrition. Diseases like hepatitis remain widespread, and disorders such as schistosomiasis become more frequent with the expansion of irrigation.

7) Housing

Housing in Morocco goes from traditional to the state-of-the-art. In rural areas, some Moroccans still reside in Ksour and agricultural villages.

The living conditions in these locations remain severe. Despite the efforts of the government and some private groups to renovate and modernize traditional Medinas, access to public services in many urban centers also remains limited.

For many years, the government has attempted to discourage the development of slums and other spontaneous institutions. More recently, however, he has provided these communities with electricity, running water and other facilities and has encouraged residents to improve their structures.

The government, in collaboration with private promoters, has also encouraged the construction of new housing throughout the country, but these are mainly inhabited by the middle class. "Illegal" or illegal "illegal" housing has developed at the periphery of cities.

The government is looking for ways to regularize this type of housing by putting it at an acceptable level and providing basic services even after construction.

house morocco old city

8) Morocco's education

Morocco allocates about one-fifth of its budget to education. Much of this amount is devoted to the construction of schools to welcome the growing population. Education is mandatory for children aged 7 to 13 years.

In urban areas, the majority of children in this age group go to school, although at the national level, the level of participation decreases considerably. About three quarters of boys of school age are going to school, but only about half of the girls; These proportions decrease significantly in rural areas.

A little more than half of the children pursue their studies in secondary education, including in commercial and technical schools. Among them, few pursue higher education. Low school attendance, particularly in rural areas, has resulted in a low literacy rate, which relates about two-fifths of the population.

Morocco has more than four dozen universities, higher education institutes and polytechnic schools dispersed in urban centers in the country. Among its main institutions include Muḥammad V University in Rabat, the largest university in the country, with antennas in Casablanca and Fez; The Hassan II Agricultural and Veterinary Institute in Rabat, which leads advanced research in social sciences in addition to its agricultural specialties; and Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, an English-language public university inaugurated in 1995 through contributions from Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Morocco school


1) The cultural environment

The region today Morocco has long been a crossroads between Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and various cultural and ethnic groups have migrated to the region and have left their imprint. From the 8th century, the native Amazigh culture was confronted with waves of conquerors and Arab travelers who brought with them Islamic faith and the powerful influence of Arab language and culture.

The arrival of many Jewish and Muslim refugees from the Spanish Reconquista at the beginning of the sixteenth century left to Moroccan culture a sustainable Andalusian quality, and from the nineteenth century, the influence of French culture has begun to grow - parallel to French political power - in all regions of North Africa. French culture - as well as the persistence of the French language - continued to exercise a strong influence on Morocco.

Some Moroccans have also renewed their interest in Amazigh culture, and civic associations have been created to encourage the study of literature and oral traditions Tamazight.

2) Daily life and social customs

The social life of most Moroccans remains focused on home and family. Coffee on the sidewalk is a privileged meeting place for men, and watching a football game on TV in the area of ​​the corner is a form of popular entertainment.

Large cities like Casablanca offer many distractions, including cinemas, restaurants, modern shops or souks, outdoor markets where sellers offer a wide range of local art and crafts, as well as food products and imported products.

The vast Moroccan coastline has many quality ranges, some of which are private and prohibited from access, but many of which are open to the public and easily accessible from the city. On weekends, families often spend the day at the edge of the water, swimming, picking and playing sports.

Moroccan cuisine has won the favor of connoisseurs from around the world, and the rich agricultural regions of the country provide many products for Moroccan cuisines. The basic meats are fish, lamb and poultry, including the pigeon, which is considered a delicate dish when cooked in a paste, the B'Stillah, a preferred national dish.

Tomatoes, peppers, onions and eggplant are among the many vegetables generally used in dishes, and fruits of all kinds are appreciated. Bread is, as in all countries of the Middle East and North Africa, a deep cultural symbol and a daily basic food.

The first Moroccan food, however, is the couscous, a semolina dough served with a meat stew. The skewers of different types are common, just like salads and soups. HARIRA, a thick and consistent lamb soup, is served to break the fasting of Ramadan and is a national specialty.

The national drink is mint tea. Morocco is a wine producing country, but production has begun to decline at the beginning of the 21st century under the religious pressure that considered alcohol consumption as inappropriate.

Moroccans observe a number of secular and religious holidays. Islamic festivals include both'īds,'īd al-Fiṭr and'īd al-Aḍḥā, and the anniversary of the Prophet; National festivals include the king's independence and birthday.

3) The arts

The production of Moroccan literature has continued to grow and diversify. At traditional genres - poetry, tests, historiography - were added forms inspired by the Middle Eastern and Western literary models.

French is often used in the publication of research in social and natural sciences, and in the areas of literature and literary studies, works are published in both Arabic and French.

Moroccan writers, such as Mohammed Choukri, Driss Chraïbi, Abdallah Laroui, Abdelfattah Kilito and Fatima Mernissi, publish their works in French and English. Expatriate writers such as Pierre Loti, William S. Burroughs and Paul Bowles have drawn attention to Moroccan writers as well as on the country itself.

Since independence, a real bloom took place in the fields of painting and sculpture, popular music, amateur theater and cinema. The Moroccan National Theater (founded in 1956) regularly offers productions of Moroccan and French dramatic works. Festivals of art and music are held throughout the country during the summer months, including the World Festival of Sacred Music in Fez.

Moroccan music, influenced by Arab traditions, Amazighs, Africans and Spanish, uses a number of traditional instruments, such as the flute (Nāy), Shawm (Ghaita), the Zither (Qanūn) and various luths to Short sleeve (including the'ūd and gimbrī).

These are often supported by explosive percussions on Darbūkka (terracotta drum). Among the most popular traditional Moroccan artists at the international level include Jajouka's masters musicians, an exclusively male guild formed from childhood, and Hassan Hakmoun, a Master of Music from Transe Gnāwa, a popular spiritual style that draws his Roots in sub-Saharan Africa.

Young Moroccans appreciate Raï, a style of clear language Algerian music that incorporates traditional sounds to those of Western rock, Jamaican reggae and Egyptian and Moroccan popular music.

4) The cultural institutions

Morocco has a number of quality museums across the country. The Batha Museum, located in Fez and settled in an former 19th century royal residence, specializes in Moroccan historic art and has an excellent collection of Aboriginal ceramics.

The Museum Oudaïa (founded in 1915; also known as Museum of Moroccan Art) is located near the Casbah Ouhaa de Rabat. Originally built as a private residence in the seventeenth century, the museum has premodern moroccan art and crafts, just like the Dar El-Jamaï museum (1920), which is located in Meknes.

The Archaeological Museum of Rabat (1931) has a complete collection covering the whole of Morocco's history. Morocco also houses a number of learned societies, research institutes and archives.

Rabbat Museum

5) Sports and recreation

The show sports in Morocco were traditionally centered on the art of riding until the introduction of European sports - football (soccer), polo, swimming and tennis - at the end of the 19th century. Football is the most popular sport of the country, especially with young city dwellers, and in 1970, Morocco has become the first African country to participate in the World Cup.

At the 1984 Olympic Games, two Moroccans won gold medals in athletics, including one, Nawal El Moutawakel, in the 400-meter hurden event, was the first woman of an Arab or Islamic country to win An Olympic gold medal.

Tennis and golf have also become popular. Several Moroccan professional players participated in international competitions, and the country aligned its first Davis cutting team in 1999.

6) The media and publishing

The Moroccan television broadcast (RTM), radio and television network owned by the Moroccan government, emits throughout the country. Radio broadcasts are broadcast in Arabic, French, Tamazight, Spanish and English, while television is broadcast in Arabic, Tamazight and French. In addition, a private television network is headquartered in Casablanca and a private radio network in Tangier.

There are about a dozen daily newspapers in Morocco, published in Rabat, Casablanca and Tangier and written in French and Arabic. Most are political parties organs, while others belong to the government or favorable to it.

In addition, a wide variety of periodicals represents various professions, trades, intellectual interests and leisure. The high rate of illiteracy, however, maintains a low reading rate and makes television the main means of broadcasting news and information.


This paragraph focuses on Morocco since the 16th century.

Located in the northwestern corner of Africa and, on a clear time, visible from the Spanish coast, Morocco has resisted the external invasions while serving as a meeting point to European, Oriental and African civilizations during history . Many of its first inhabitants, the Imazighen (Berbers), had adopted Christianity or Judaism, introduced during a brief period of Roman domination.

At the end of the 7th century, Arab invaders from the East brought Islam that IMazighen gradually assimilated. Sunni Islam triumphed over various sectarian trends in the 12th and 13th centuries, under the Almohade Dynasty, in a doctrinal level. The Christian reconquest of Spain at the end of the Middle Ages brought waves of Muslim and Jewish exiles from Spain to Morocco, injecting a Hispanic flavor into Moroccan urban life.

However, with the exception of some isolated coastal enclaves, Europeans have failed to settle in the region. In the sixteenth century, Ottoman invaders from Algeria have attempted to add Morocco to their empire, thus threatening the independence of the country. They have also been thwarted, leaving Morocco as the only Arab country to have never known Ottoman domination. In 1578, three kings fought and died near Ksar El-Kebir (Alcazarquivir), including the Portuguese Monarch Sebastien.

This decisive battle, known as the Battle of the Three Kings, has been claimed as a Moroccan victory and ended the European incursions on Moroccan soil for three centuries. The 17th century saw the ascent of the'alawite dynasty of Sharifs, which still governs Morocco today. This dynasty has favored commercial and cultural relations with sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Arab countries, although religious tensions between Islam and Christianity have often threatened peace.

At the end of the 17th century, Morocco's cultural and political identity as Islamic monarchy was firmly established. The figure of the Fort Sultan was personified by Mawlāy Ismā'īl (1672-1727), who used an army of slaves, known as the Abīd Al-Bukhārī, to submit all the regions of the country and establish a centralized power.

Subsequent monarchs have often used their prestige of religious leaders to contain the internal conflicts caused by competition between the tribes. At the end of the 18th and early 19th century, while Europe was concerned about the Revolution and the continental war, Morocco withdrew in a period of isolation. At the dawn of the modern era, despite their geographical, Moroccan and European proximity knew little.

the Morocco

1) The decline of the traditional government (1830-1912)

During the French invasion of Algeria in 1830, the Sultan of Morocco, Mawlāy 'Abd al-Raḥmān (1822-59), briefly sent troops to occupy Tlemcen, but retired after the French protests. In 1844, the Algerian leader Abdelkader takes refuge in Morocco to escape the French.

A Moroccan army is sent to the Algerian border; The French bombard Tangier on August 4, 1844 and Essaouira (Mogador) on August 15th. In the meantime, on August 14, the Moroccan army had been totally defeated in Isly, near the border town of Oujda. The Sultan then promises to intervene or expel abd el-kader if it penetrates again on the Moroccan territory. Two years later, while it is again hunted from Morocco, the Algerian chief is attacked by the Moroccan troops and is forced to go to the French.

Immediately after the death of 'Abd al-Raḥmān in 1859, a dispute with Spain on the borders of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta conducted Madrid to declare the war. Spain seizes Tetouan the following year. Peace had to be purchased with $ 20 million, the enlargement of Ceuta's borders, and the promise to yield to Spain another enclave-ifni.

The new Sultan, Sīdī Muḥammad, tried without much success to modernize the Moroccan army. At his death in 1873, his son Mawlāy Hassan I struggled to preserve independence. Hassan I dies in 1894, and his chamberlain, Bā Aḥmad (Aḥmad Ibn Mūsā), governs the name of the young Sultan 'Abd al-'azīz until 1901, when the latter begins his reign direct.

'Abd al-'azīz surrounded himself with European companions and adopted their customs, while scandalizing his own topics, including religious leaders. His attempt to introduce a modern land taxation system leads to complete confusion, lack of qualified officials.

The popular discontent and tribal rebellions are multiplying, while a pretender, Bū ḥmāra (Abū ḥamārah), establishes a rival court near Melilla. The European powers seized the opportunity to expand their own influence. In 1904, Great Britain gave France overcurrent cubits in Morocco in exchange for non-French non-interference in the British plans in Egypt.

The Spanish agreement is obtained by the French promise that the north of Morocco will be treated as a sphere of Spanish influence. Italian interests are satisfied by the decision of France not to hinder the Italian projects in Libya. Once these interests are settled, the Western powers meet Moroccan representatives in Algeciras, Spain, in 1906, to discuss the future of the country.

The Algeciras Conference confirms the integrity of the Sultan's areas, but sanctions the retention of the French and Spanish police in the Moroccan ports and the perception of customs duties.

In 1907-08, the brother of the Sultan, Mawlāy 'Abd al-ḥāfiẓ, conducts a rebellion against him since Marrakech, denouncing' Abd al-'az for his collaboration with the Europeans. 'Abd al-'azīz then fled into the distant Tangier. Al-ḥāfiẓ then conducts an attack aborted against the French troops, who had occupied Casablanca in 1907, before going to Fez, where he is duly proclaimed Sultan and recognized by the European powers (1909).

The new Sultan is unable to control the country. The disorders multiply until, besieged by tribes in Fez, it is forced to ask the French to rescue it. Once they have rescued it, it has no choice but to sign the Treaty of Fez (March 30, 1912), whereby Morocco becomes a French protectorate.

In return, the French guarantee the maintenance of the status of the Sultan and its successors. Provisions are also taken to respond to the Spanish claim of a particular position in the north of the country; Tangier, a long time the seat of diplomatic missions, retains a separate administration.

UNESCO Morocco

2) The French protectorate (1912-56)

By establishing their protectorate on a large part of Morocco, the French had behind them the experience of the conquest of Algeria and their protectorate on Tunisia; They took the latter as a model for their Moroccan politics.

There are, however, important differences. First, the protectorate has only been established two years before the start of the First World War, which has led to a new attitude towards colonial domination. Second, Morocco has a millennium tradition of independence; Although it has been strongly influenced by the civilization of Muslim Spain, it has never been subjected to Ottoman domination. These circumstances and the proximity of Morocco with Spain have created a special relationship between the two countries.

Morocco was also unique among the countries of North Africa because of the possession of an Atlantic coast, the rights that different nations pulled from the act of Algeciras and the privileges that their diplomatic missions had acquired in Tangier. Thus, the tenth north of the country, with its two Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, as well as the desert province of Tarfaya in the southwest, which adjoins the Spanish Sahara, are excluded from the zone controlled by France and treated as a Spanish protectorate.

In the French zone, the fiction of sovereignty of the Sultan is maintained, but the general resident appointed by the French holds the true authority and is subject only to the approval of the Government of Paris. The Sultan works through newly created departments, whose staff are composed of French officials.

The negligible role played by the Moroccan government (Makhzan) is illustrated by the fact that Muḥammad Al-Muqrī, Grand Vizier when the Protectorate was established, occupied the same position when Morocco covered its independence 44 years later; He was older than 100 years old.

As in Tunisia, rural districts are administered by civilian controllers, except in some regions such as Fez, where officers with rank of general are estimated to supervise the administration. In the South, some Amazigh Chefs (Qā'ids), whose best known was Thami Al-Glaoui, benefited from great independence.

3) the period preceding the Second World War

The first general resident, the general (later Marshal) Louis-Hubert-Gonzalve Lyautey, was a soldier who acquired a great experience in Indochina, Madagascar and Algeria. He was of aristocratic origin and had a profound knowledge of Moroccan civilization. The character he gave to the administration had an influence throughout the period of the protectorate.

His idea was to let the Moroccan elite intact and govern by a co-optation policy. He placed on the throne the brother more accommodating from 'Abd al-ḥāfiẓ, Mawlāy Yūsuf. This sultan succeeds in cooperating with the French without losing the respect of the Moroccan people.

A new administrative capital was created on the Atlantic coast in Rabat, and a commercial port was then developed in Casablanca. At the end of the protectorate in 1956, Casablanca is a flourishing city, with nearly one million inhabitants and an important industrial establishment. The Lyautey project to build new European cities separated from the old Moroccan cities left the traditional Medinas intact.

It is remarkable that the First World War has hardly interrupted this pace of innovation. Although the French government has proposed to withdraw on the coast, Lyautey has managed to keep control of the entire territory occupied by the French.

After the war, Morocco is confronted with two major problems. The first consisted of pacifying the peripheral regions of the Atlas mountains, on which the Sultan government often had no real control; This task was finally completed in 1934.

The second problem is the spread of the uprising of ABD el-Krim of the Spanish zone in the French zone (see below World War II and Independence: the Spanish zone), which is repressed by the French and Spanish troops in 1926. The same year, Marshal Lyautey is replaced by a civilian general resident.

This period marks the transition to a more conventional colonial-type administration, accompanied by official colonization, the growth of the European population and the growing impact of European thinking on the young generation of Moroccans, some of which received a French education.

As early as 1920, Lyautey had submitted a report saying that "a young generation develops, which is full of life and needs activity ..... fault opportunities that our administration offers only parsimony and in subordinate positions, it will find another way out. " Six years only after the Lyautey report, young Moroccans, both in Rabat, the new administrative capital, in Fès, the center of learning and traditional Arab-Islamic culture, met independently of each other for discuss requests for reforms within the terms of the Protectorate Treaty.

They demanded more schools, a new judicial system, and the abolition of the Amazigh Qā'ids regime in the South; study missions in France and the Middle East; and the cessation of official colonization - objectives that would only be fully insured when the protectorate ended in 1956.

At the death of Mawlāy Yūsuf (1927), the French chose as successor his son Cadet, Sīdī Muḥammad (Muḥammad V). Partially chosen for its retirement provision, this Sultan finally revealed diplomatic skills and a considerable determination.

The French attempt to use the alleged differences between Arabs and Imazighen to undermine any growing feeling of national unity is also significant. This led the French to publish the Berber Decree in 1930, which was a gross attempt to divide the Imazighen and the Arabs. The result was the opposite of French intentions; He provoked a Moroccan nationalist reaction and forced the administration to amend his proposals.

In 1933, the nationalists launch a new national holiday, the throne party, to mark the anniversary of the Accession of the Sultan. During his visit to Fez the following year, the Sultan receives a tumultuous welcome, accompanied by anti-annombish events that bring the authorities to put abruptly ending his visit.

Shortly after this episode, political parties were organized for greater autonomy of Morocco. These events coincide with the completion of the French occupation of southern Morocco, which paves the way for the Spanish occupation of IFNI.

In 1937, riots take place in Meknes, where French settlers are suspected of diverting some of the city's water to irrigate their own lands to the detriment of Muslim farmers. In the ensuing repression, Muḥammad'allāl al-Fāsī, a prominent nationalist leader, is banned in Gabon, French Equatorial Africa, where he passes the next nine years.

4) The Second World War and Independence

a) The French zone

At the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, the Sultan appeals to cooperation with the French, and a major Moroccan contingent (mainly Amazigh) serves with distinction in France. The collapse of the French in 1940, followed by the installation of the Vichy regime, produced an entirely new situation.

Sultan has served independence by refusing to approve anti-Jewish legislation. When the landing of the Anglo-American troops takes place in 1942, he refuses to comply with the suggestion of the General Resident, Auguste Noguès, to withdraw inside the country. In 1943, the Sultan is influenced by its meeting with the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who came to Morocco for the Conference of Casablanca and who is not in favor of maintaining the French presence in the country.

The majority of the population is also affected by the arrival of American and British troops, which expose Moroccans to the outside world to an unprecedented degree. In addition, the radio propaganda of allies and the axis, which calls for the independence of Morocco, strongly attracts Arab auditors. In these circumstances, the nationalist movement takes the new name of ḥizb al-Istiqlāl (Party of Independence).

In January 1944, the party submits to the Sultan and the Allied authorities (including the French) a memorandum requesting independence under a constitutional regime. Nationalist leaders, including Aḥmad Balafrej, Secretary General of Istiqlāl, were unfairly charged and arrested for collaboration with Nazis.

This provoked riots in Fez and elsewhere, during which thirty protesters, or more, were killed. As a result, the Sultan, who in 1947 persuaded a new general resident reformer, Eirik Labonne, to ask the French government to give him permission to make an official state visit to Tangier, passing through the Spanish zone on the way.

The trip turns into a triumphal procession. When the Sultan pronounces his speech in Tangier, after the moving welcome he received in the north of Morocco, he focuses on the links of his country with the Arab world of the East, omitting the expected flattering reference to the French protectorate.

Labonne is then replaced by the general (later Marshal) Alphonse June, which is of Algerian colonial origin. June, which has a long experience of North African business, expresses its sympathy for the patriotic and nationalist sentiments of young Moroccans and promises to respond to their wish to create elected municipalities in large cities.

At the same time, he arouses the opposition by proposing to introduce French citizens as members of these organs. The Sultan uses the only prerogative that remains and refuses to counterate the decrees of the General Resident, without which they have no legal value. A state visit to France in October 1950 and the flattering welcome reserved for him do not change the views of the Sultan, who receives back to Morocco a welcome of the most enthusiastic.

In December, General June dismisses a nationalist member of a meeting of the Government Council on the draft budget; As a result, the remaining ten nationalist members leave the room as a protest. June then considers the possibility of using Amazigh feudal notables, such as Thami Al-Glaoui, to counter nationalists.

At a reception at the palace later in the month, Al-Glaoui actually confronted the Sultan, qualifying it not from Sultan of Moroccans but from the Istiqlāl and reproaching him to lead the country to the disaster.

Sīdī Muḥammad always refusing to cooperate, June Cencle the palace, under the custody of French troops supposed to be placed to protect the sultan of his own people, with local tribes. Faced with this threat, Sīdī Muḥammad is forced to disavow "a certain political party", without appointing him precisely, while retaining his signature on many decrees, including the one who admitted French citizens to become municipal councilors.

The action of June is widely criticized in France, which leads to its replacement by General Augustin Guillaume in August 1951. The day of the anniversary of his accession (18 November), the Sultan declares to hope for an agreement "guaranteeing the full Sovereignty of Morocco "But (as he adds in a subsequent letter addressed to the President of the French Republic)" with the continuation of Franco-Moroccan cooperation. "

This troubled situation continues until December 1952, when the Casablanca unions organize a protest meeting in response to the assassination presumed by French terrorists from Tunisian trade union leader Ferhat Hached. Subsequently, a confrontation with the police led to the arrest of hundreds of nationalists, who were detained for two years without trial.

In April 1953, 'Abd al-ḥayy al-Kattānī, a renowned religious scholar and the Chief of the Kattāniyyah religious brotherhood, and a number of notable Amazighs led by Al-Glaoui (as well as the connivance of several civil servants and French settlers) have started working for the deposition of the Sultan. The Paris Government, concerned about home affairs, ends up demanding that the Sultan transfers its legislative powers to a council, composed of Moroccan ministers and French directors, and that it affix its signature on all the laws blocked.

Although the Sultan gives way is insufficient for its enemies. In August, Al-Glaoui remained the equivalent of an ultimatum to the French government, which deported the Sultan and his family and appointed the most servile Mawlāy Ben'arafa. These actions could not remedy the situation because Sīdī Muḥammad immediately became a national hero.

The authorities of the Spanish zone, who had not been consulted on this measure, did not hide their disapproval. The Spanish zone thus becomes a refuge for the Moroccan nationalists.

In November 1954, the triggering of the Algerian war of independence further complicates the French position. In the following June, the Paris government decides to completely change politics and name Gilbert Grandval General Resident. His conciliation efforts, hindered by the tacit opposition of many officials and the declared hostility of the majority of French settlers, fail.

A conference of Moroccan representatives is then convened in France, where it was agreed to replace the alternate sultan with a Crown Council. The Sīdī Muḥammad approved this proposal, but it took weeks to persuade Mawlāy Ben Harafa to retire to Tangier. Meanwhile, a guerrilla release army began to operate against French positions near the Spanish zone.

In October, Al-Glaoui publicly declared that only the restoration of Muḥammad V could restore harmony. The French government agreed to allow the Sultan to form a constitutional government for Morocco, and the Sīdī Muḥammad returned to Rabat in November; On March 2, 1956, independence was proclaimed.

The Sultan formed a government that included representatives of various elements of the indigenous population, while the government departments previously led by French officials became ministries led by Moroccans.

b) the Spanish zone

The Spanish protectorate on the north of Morocco stretched from Larache (El-Araish) on the Atlantic at 30 miles (48 km) beyond Melilla (already Possession Spanish) on the Mediterranean. The Tamazight language mountainous region had often escaped the supervision of the Sultan.

Spain also receives a desert tape in the southwest, called Tarfaya, which adjoins the Spanish Sahara. In 1934, when the French occupied the south of Morocco, the Spaniards took ifni.

Spain has appointed a Khalīfah, or Viceroy, chosen in the Moroccan royal family as a nominal head of state and has provided him with a Moroccan government. This allowed Spain to conduct his business regardless of the French zone while nominally preserving Moroccan unity.

Tangier, although having a spanish-speaking population of 40,000, received a special international administration under a Mandūb, or a Sultan representative. Although the Mandūb is, in theory, named by the Sultan, it was actually chosen by the French. In 1940, after the defeat of France, the Spanish troops occupied Tangier, but they retired in 1945 after the victory of the Allies.

The Spanish zone surrounded the ports of Ceuta and Melilla, that Spain had held for centuries, and understood the Iron Mines of the Rif Mountains. The Spaniards chose Tetouan as capital. As in the French zone, departments to European staff are created, while rural districts are administered by interventores, corresponding to French civilian controllers.

The first area to be occupied is the plain, facing the Atlantic, which includes the cities of Larache, Ksar el-Kebir and Asilah. This area was the fief of former Moroccan governor Aḥmad al-Raisūnī (Raisūlī), which was mid-patriot and mid-brigand. The Spanish government had trouble tolerating its independence; In March 1913, Al-Raisūnī withdrew in a refuge in the mountains, where he remained until his capture 12 years later by another Moroccan leader, Abd El-Krim.

Abd el-Krim was an Amazigh and a good Arab scholar who had a knowledge of the Arab and Spanish languages ​​and lifestyles. Imprisoned after the First World War for his subversive activities, he then went to Ajdir, in the Rif mountains, to plan an uprising. In July 1921, Abd El-Krim destroyed a Spanish force sent against him and then established the Republic of RIF, which was officially constituted as an independent state in 1923. It took a French and Spanish combined force. With more than 250,000 soldiers vanquished. In May 1926, he went to the French and was exiled.

The rest of the Spanish protectorate period is relatively calm. Thus, in 1936, General Francisco Franco was able to launch his attack on the Spanish Republic since Morocco and enroll a large number of Moroccan volunteers, who served it in the Spanish civil war.

Although the Spaniards had fewer resources than the French, their subsequent regime was, in some respects, more liberal and less subject to ethnic discrimination. The language of instruction in schools was Arabic rather than Spanish, and Moroccan students were encouraged to go to Egypt to receive a Muslim education.

There was no attempt to oppose Amazighs to Arabs as in the French zone, but that could be the result of the introduction of Muslim law by Abd el-Krim itself. After the removal of the Republic of Rif, cooperation between the two protective powers is low. Their disagreement reaches a new intensity in 1953 when the French deposit and deposit the Sultan.

The Spanish High Commissioner, who had not been consulted, refused to recognize this action and continued to consider Muḥammad V as the sovereign of the Spanish zone. The nationalists forced to leave the French zone use the Spanish zone as a refuge.

In 1956, however, the Spanish authorities were taken by surprise when the French decided to grant independence in Morocco. A corresponding agreement with the Spaniards is nevertheless concluded on April 7, 1956 and is marked by a visit of the Sultan in Spain.

The Spanish protectorate thus takes end without the disorders that have marked the end of French control. With the end of the Spanish protectorate and the withdrawal of Tetouan from the Spanish High Commissioner, Khalīfah Moroccan and other officials, the city becomes a tranquil provincial capital. The introduction of the Moroccan Franc, replacing the peseta, thus leads to a sharp increase in the cost of living in the former Spanish zone, as well as difficulties related to the introduction of Francophone Moroccan officials.

In 1958-59, these changes generated disorders in the RIF region. Tangier, too, lost a lot of the superficial brilliance it has developed as a separate area. As in the old French area, many European and Jewish inhabitants are gone. The southern area of ​​the Tarfaya Protectorate is returned to Morocco in 1958, while the Spaniards are unconditionally IFNI in 1970, hoping to recognize their rights on Melilla and Ceuta.

Ceuta, on the Strait of Gibraltar, and Melilla, further east on the Mediterranean coast, remain Spanish Presidios on Moroccan soil, with predominantly Spanish populations. In October 1978, the United States yielded to Morocco a military base, the last in Africa, Kenitra.

Independent Morocco

The French protectorate had managed to develop communications, adding modern neighborhoods to cities, creating a flourishing agriculture and a modern industry based on a colonial model. Most of these activities, however, were managed by Europeans.

In the constitutional field, there has been virtually no development. Although the government is in practice under the supervision of France, the powers of the Sultan are in unlimited theory. On the insistence of the French, the first cabinet is composed of ministers representing the different groups of Moroccan society, including one of the Jewish minority of Morocco. Mubarak Bekkai, an army officer who is not affiliated with no party, is chosen as Prime Minister.

The Sultan (which officially adopted the title of King in August 1957) personally chooses the ministers and retains control of the army and the police; However, he appoints an advisory assembly of 60 members. His eldest son, Mawlāy Hassan, became Chief of Staff and, by degrees, succeeded in integrating irregular liberation forces into the army, even after they had sustained a lifting against the Spaniards in IFNI and against the French In Mauritania.

In general, the transition to Moroccan control, assisted by French advisers, went smoothly. Due to the pursuit of the war in Algeria, that Morocco tacitly supported, relations with France were tense; Narrow links, however, were maintained, as Morocco still depended on French technology and financial assistance.

A major political change occurred in 1959 when the Istiqlāl divided into two sections. The main part remained under the direction of Muḥammad'allāl al-Fāsī, while a smaller section, led by Mehdi Ben Barka, 'Abd Al-Raḥm Bouabid, and others, formed the National Union of Forces Popular (UNFP).

Among these groups, the original Istiqlāl represented the most traditional elements, while UNFP, formed of the young Intelligentsia, favored socialism with republican inclinations. Muḥammad V took advantage of these dissensions to ask arbitrator over the quarrels of parties. He nevertheless pursues the preparations for the creation of a parliament until his unexpected death in 1961, where his son succeeded him under the name of Hassan II.

In 1963, when legislative elections were finally organized, the two halves of the former Istiqlāl formed an opposition, while a party supporting the king was created from various elements and was known as the Front for the Defense. constitutional institutions.

The latter included a new rural group, mostly Amazigh, opposed to Istiqlāl. The quasi-impasse which ensued brought the king to dissolve Parliament after only one year, and, with himself or his candidate as Prime Minister, a form of personal government was taken over. In 1970, a new Constitution was promulgated, which provided for a single-room legislature, but this document did not survive an aborted coup d'etat against the monarchy in July 1971.

The following year, Hassan announced another constitution, but its implementation was largely suspended as a result of another military coup attempt in August. The second coup was apparently led by the Minister of Defense, General Muḥammad Oufkir; He had previously been involved in the removal (1965) and the disappearance in Paris of the Moroccan officer in exile of UNFP, Mehdi Ben Barka, who had been considered a probable candidate to the presidency of a Moroccan republic.

Oufkir then dies at the royal palace, so-called with his own hand, while hundreds of suspects, including members of his family, are imprisoned. The elections held in 1977, which were widely regarded as fraudulent, brought an overwhelming victory to the King's supporters. The energetic policies of King Hassan aimed at absorbing the Spanish Sahara (Western) conferred on him increased popularity in the mid-1970s. This, in addition to its method of mixing political opposition efforts with periods of Political repression, maintained royal control.

In the early 1980s, however, several bad harvests, a gloomy economy and the continued financial chasm of Western Sahara war has increased internal tensions, including the violent riots in Casablanca in June 1981 were symptomatic. The need for political reform has become even more urgent when international lending agencies and human rights organizations have focused on the disturbed internal state of Morocco.

The threat of Algerian insurrection fueled by a radical Islamic opposition has worried political leaders throughout the 1990s and at the beginning of the 21st century. The government continued to monitor the most militant groups.

With the disaffected urban youth who occasionally descended into the street, Islamist sympathizers tested the limits of a new political tolerance. Thus, the 1990s were marked by greater liberalization and a sense of personal freedom, although the direct criticisms of the king and the royal family are always prohibited.

The amnesties granted to political prisoners long held in remote areas of the country testified to a new attention to human rights, while the highly publicized police and security forces restrictions suggested a greater adherence to the rule of law.

1) Foreign policy

The foreign policy of independent Morocco has often deferred that of its Arab neighbors. Throughout the Cold War, Morocco usually ranked on the side of the powers of Western Europe and the United States rather than on the side of the Eastern Bloc, while the other Arab States generally chose positions neutral or pro-Soviet.

King Hassan has helped to prepare the way for Camp David (1978) agreements between Israel and Egypt by opening political dialogue with Israel in the 1970s, well before other Arab leaders, and continually pressing Palestinians and Israelis looking for a compromise solution.

Morocco has tightly supported the United States in the Gulf War (1991) and in their search for peace in the Middle East. Unlike other Arab states, Morocco has maintained links with its former Jewish citizens who now reside in Israel, Europe and North and South America.

Morocco's relations with neighboring states in North Africa have not always been harmonious, especially those with Libya and its leader, Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi. Fleeing the unstable political style of the Leader Libyan, Hassan nevertheless attempted, in the 1990s, to reintegrate Libya into the Maghreb girl.

Western Sahara events disrupted relations with Algeria from the early 1970s, as Algeria generally opposed Morocco's policy in this region.

2) Western Sahara

From the mid-1970s, King Hassan has conducted an active campaign to affirm the claim of Morocco on the Spanish Sahara, initially using this nationalist question also to rally indispensable internal support.

In November 1975, after a UN mission reported that the majority of Sahraouis wanted independence and recommended the self-determination of the region, Hassan responded by "green walking", during which some 200,000. Volunteers were sent without arms on the other side of the border to claim the Spanish Sahara.

To avoid confrontation, Spain signed an agreement in which she renounced to claim the territory. The region, renamed Western Sahara, had to be administered jointly by Morocco and Mauritania. At the beginning of 1976, the last Spanish troops are parties, leaving Morocco struggling with a growing Saharawi guerrilla, the popular Front of Saguia El Hamra and Río de Oro (Front Polisario), actively supported by Algeria. and later by Libya.

Hassan proposed to organize a referendum in the region in 1981, but it was rejected by the leaders of the Polisario Front, who felt that he was too consistent with the Moroccan conditions. The fights continued, and Morocco was able to secure about two thirds of the territory within defensive walls in 1986.

In the meantime, the government in exile of the territory, the Democratic Saharawy Arab Republic, has been recognized by a growing number of foreign governments. Improving the links between Morocco and Algeria from 1987-1988, as well as a proposal for peace sponsored by the United Nations and accepted by Morocco in 1988, suggested a solution to the problem, but the action The Polisario Front Military The following year prompted King Hassan to cancel the continuation of the talks.

In 1991, UN Security Council resolution promised the most definitive solution to Morocco's claim on Western Sahara for 15 years. The resolution appealed to a referendum on the future of the territory to decide whether to be annexed to Morocco or become an independent state.

The promise of a referendum has allowed the establishment of a ceasefire, protected by UN peacekeeping forces, but Morocco and the Polisario Front have not been able to Agreement on the composition of the electoral lists for the referendum, afraid to engage in an electoral process they could lose.

Although an agreement on other issues, such as political detainees and prisoners of war, has been concluded through the mediation of the United Nations, the impasse on the referendum code of conduct continued, leaving the suspense issue. In 2001, Morocco was no longer willing to organize a referendum.

In a context of renewed tension, the Polisario Front announced in November 2020 that it no longer respect the ceasefire negotiated in 1991. The following month, in exchange for the agreement of Morocco to formalize the links with Israel. The United States became the first country to officially recognize Moroccan sovereignty on Western Sahara.

3) The last years of Hassan

In the late 1990s, King Hassan II had the particularity of being the monarch who survived the longestly in the Arab world. It has been actively promoted to a liberalization program in Morocco and has managed to restore the image of an old-fashioned autocrat, restraining itself and its country to reflect more progressive values.

The new political freedoms and the constitutional reforms adopted in the 1990s resulted in the election of the first opposition government in Morocco for more than 30 years. In 1997, opposition parties won the greatest block of seats in the lower house, and in March 1998, Abderrahmane Youssoufi ('Abd al-Raḥmān Yūsufī), a leader of the Socialist Union of Populaire Forces, was appointed Prime Minister.

Under the pressure of human rights organizations, Hassan also led a vigorous cleaning campaign that led to the eviction and even the execution of corrupt officials, as well as the release of more than A thousand political prisoners, some of whom for almost 25 years. Despite these major political reforms, the King has retained the supreme political authority, including the right to resubmit the government, to oppose its veto to the laws and govern by emergency decree.

Hassan has also protected his status as a religious head of state and carefully maintained the aspects of his public image that has earned him wide support in the countryside and among the poor.

Thanks to public donations, he supervised the completion, in August 1993, a huge mosque worth $ 600 million built on the Casablanca coast, with a retractable roof and a powerful radius. Green laser directed to Mecca from the peak of its imposing minaret. Paradoxically, its main political adversaries are also found in the religious arena, among the Islamic activists, that he has attempted to maintain in strict limits.

But even on this point of discord, it shows some flexibility: in 1994, a number of political prisoners related to critical religious groups with regard to the monarchy were pardoned by Hassan, and in December 1995, Abdessalam Yassine ('Abd al-Salām Yāsīn), the head of the illegal Islamic Organization The Justice and Charity Group (Jamā'at al-' Aadl Wa al-Iḥsān), was released after spending six years in residence.

4) The reign of Muḥammad VI

To the death of Hassan in July 1999, his son, Muḥammad vi, takes the reins of the government and immediately facing a political maelström. Controversy is raging in Morocco on government's proposals to provide women with broader access to public life - including better access to education and more comprehensive representation within the government and the public service - and Ensuring greater equity in society, such as increased wedding, inheritance and divorce rights.

Mohammed VI

A liberal program of this type, in the conservative and religious society of Morocco, has fueled the dissent of Islamic groups, and a number of organizations - ranging from Muslim fundamentalist groups to members of international organizations to defend the rights of the rights of the Man - have gathered in major events in Casablanca and Rabat to support or oppose the government's program.

While a series of popular events and uprings have swept the Middle East and North Africa in early 2011 on February 20, Moroccan protesters favorable to democracy have organized gatherings in the main cities of the country. Claim economic and political reforms.

Sporadic clashes between protesters and the police have been reported during the events. In March, Muḥammad responded to the wave of pro-democratic activism in Morocco by promising to advance political reforms such as the establishment of an independent judicial system and the strengthening of Parliament's role in the government.

In June, Muḥammad tried to counter the protest movement by proposing a new constitution which, according to him, would limit his powers and strengthen the representative government. The new document expands the powers of Prime Minister and Parliament, but preserves the role of the King as a final authority in all areas of the government and gives it exclusive control over religious affairs, security and strategic policy.

Voters approved the new Constitution in a referendum in July, despite the objections of his detractors who felt that she did not do enough to open the political system.

The Party of Justice and Development (PJD), a moderate Islamist party that had campaigned on economic reform and corruption, won 107 of the 395 seats in the November 2011 legislative elections.

In accordance with the new Constitution, Muḥammad appointed Abdelilah Benkirane, the Chief of the PJD, Prime Minister and commissioned him to form a cabinet. The PJD and Benkirane adopted a generally pragmatic approach to the government. The party is cooperative with the monarchy, which remains legitimate in the eyes of the Moroccan people despite the Arab Spring, and expresses a lack of interest in the legislation on religious issues.

The close links of its coalition with the monarchy, however, prevented the Government led by the PJD from achieving significant reforms. Yet the popularity of the PJD remained strong, and it expanded its representation at the local election in 2015 and the parliamentary elections in 2016. Benkirane, yet popular among the partisans of the party, has not been able to train A coalition because of its uncompromising approach to coalition negotiations.

The King has sacked it in March 2017 and commissioned Saadddine El Othmani, a PJD leader reputed for his sense of compromise and consensus, to form a government.

In the meantime, Morocco has experienced its worst troubles since the Arab Spring - in its Rif region, a predominantly Berber region (see Rif people) that has long been neglected and is one of the most impoverished regions of the country.

The protests started in Al-Hoceïma after a local fish vendor was crushed to death in October 2016 while attempting to recover fish in a garbage truck. The fish had been confiscated by the police who claimed that he had been purchased illegally.

For many, this incident has resonated as an example of how the government has contributed to widespread poverty. The protesters went down the street and the events lasted several months. At the end of 2017, protests erupted in the city of Jerada after minors died due to poor working conditions.

The two protest movements were suppressed by the use of force and the arrest of the organizers, while the government promised to improve development initiatives.

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