What Should I Know About Morocco?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Morocco, or the Kingdom of Morocco, is a North African country with coasts in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The Moroccan coast also includes a connection to the Strait of Gibraltar, a body of water that separates the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. The Strait of Gibraltar separates Morocco from Spain, which is to the north.

The University of Al Karaouine in Fez, Morocco, is one of the oldest universities in the world.
The University of Al Karaouine in Fez, Morocco, is one of the oldest universities in the world.

Morocco also shares borders with Algeria. In size, Morocco is slightly smaller than the state of California. Archeologists have confirmed that the land of present-day Morocco has been inhabited for at least 10,000 years. This has been confirmed by relics from a Caspian culture that have been found.

Although Morocco is located in Africa, it is the only country on the continent that is not a member of the African Union.
Although Morocco is located in Africa, it is the only country on the continent that is not a member of the African Union.

The Morocco governments is a de jure constitutional monarchy. Although there is an elected parliament in the government, the King of Morocco has great powers. In fact, he can dissolve the current government at will if he so chooses. In current Moroccan law, political parties and groups who oppose the government are legal. Several of them have formed and are active. There is a debate over whether Western Sahara, a very sparsely populated territory, should be under the control of Morocco or not. Since a cease fire which was sponsored by the UN in 1991, Morocco and the Polisario Front have split control over the region. Morocco, however, controls a larger portion.

Writer William S. Burroughs took up residence in Morocco.
Writer William S. Burroughs took up residence in Morocco.

Although Morocco is located in Africa, it is the only country on the continent that is not a member of the African Union. However, it does have many political affiliations. Morocco is a member of the Francophonie Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Mediterranean Dialogue Group, and the Arab League. It is also an ally of the United States although it is not a member of NATO.

Morocco's Mediterranean climate makes it a popular tourist destination.
Morocco's Mediterranean climate makes it a popular tourist destination.

Morocco has an interesting cultural history and has developed an interesting literary community. In the 1950s and 1960s, the country became a popular destination and artistic haven for many writers. Some famous writers who visited or took up residence in Morocco are Tennessee Williams, William S. Burroughs, and Paul Bowles. Since then, Moroccan literature has flourished.

Leila Abouzeid, Fouad Laroui, Tahar ben Jelloun, Mohamed Choukri, Mohammed Berrada, and Driss Chraibi are all important Moroccan writers. There are a number of different languages spoken in Morocco. Therefore, the literature is written in Arabic, Berber, and French by local authors.

Archeologists have confirmed that the land of present-day Morocco has been inhabited for at least 10,000 years.
Archeologists have confirmed that the land of present-day Morocco has been inhabited for at least 10,000 years.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

knittingpro

Has anyone ever been to Morocco? I am going to visit there soon and would really love some advice/tips!

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