Top 50 Interesting Facts About Morocco and Moroccans

Morocco epitomizes the characteristics of a typical North African country, exhibiting similarities with its neighboring nations. Yet, it stands out as a unique destination with its distinct customs, rich history, and vibrant culture. Our article compiles 50 captivating facts about Morocco and its inhabitants, offering insights that will aid in forming an initial impression and planning an engaging vacation in this culturally rich nation.

50 Interesting Facts About Moroccans and Morocco

Embarking on our exploration, we delve into the enthralling history, cherished traditions, and captivating sights that define this remarkable country. Join us on a journey through the heart of Morocco’s cultural tapestry.

Unveiling Morocco’s Rich History

1. The origins of modern Morocco trace back to 300-400 thousand years ago, when the first inhabitants settled in caves, engaging in hunting and gathering activities.

2. Around 4 thousand years ago, Phoenician cities emerged along the coast, evolving into present-day cities such as Tangier, Rabat, and Larache. Subsequently, the region came under the rule of Carthage.

3. In the 4th century B.C., the state of Mauritania, formed by ancient Berber tribes, emerged. By 42 A.D., Mauritania became a part of the Roman Empire.

4. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, these lands were briefly seized by the Vandals before becoming part of Byzantium.

5. Morocco’s history took a transformative turn in the 8th century, when it became part of the Arab Caliphate. In 789, Idris I, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, established the first Islamic state.

6. Over the next millennium, Morocco witnessed continuous conflicts involving Arabs, Portuguese, and Spanish forces. In the 17th century, many of the country’s cities fell under the rule of pirates.

7. A notable historical moment occurred in 1777 when Morocco became the world’s first country to recognize the independence of the United States.

8. The mid-20th century marked a significant chapter as Morocco gained independence from Spain and France in 1956. However, some cities in the northern part of the country still remain under Spanish rule.

Modern Morocco Unveiled

9. Present-day Morocco is a kingdom divided into 12 regions. While Moroccans assert ownership of Western Sahara, the global community often considers it disputed territory.

10. The term «Morocco» has French origins. Moroccans themselves prefer to refer to their lands as the «Maghreb Kingdom» or the «Far West.»

11. The capital city is the ancient Rabat, founded by Phoenicians in the 3rd century BC under the name Shella. In 1146, it experienced a rebirth, becoming Ribat el-Fath, meaning the «camp of victory.»

Рабат столица

12. Today, Rabat is one of the four ancient capitals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to 5 million people.

13. Morocco shares land borders with Algeria, Mauritania, and Spain, with the Spanish-Moroccan border spanning 16 kilometers.

14. The kingdom covers an area of 710 (446) thousand square kilometers (excluding Western Sahara) and houses a population of 37 million.

15. The monetary unit is the Moroccan dirham, divided into 100 centimes, with the French franc previously in circulation.

16. Morocco predominantly relies on agriculture, exporting phosphate fertilizers, citrus, vegetables, and clothing.

17. Despite a high unemployment rate of 23%, Morocco boasts a relatively low average salary of $425 per month, surpassing many African countries.

18. The country recognizes two official state languages – Arabic and Berber, spoken by up to 40% of the population. French and Spanish are also widely used.

19. Morocco is not a multinational country; approximately 60% of the population is Arab, almost 40% are Berbers, and Europeans constitute a small minority.

20. Sunni Islam prevails as the predominant religion, embraced by over 98% of the population.

21. Positioned in the UTC+1 time zone, Morocco is ahead of Greenwich time by 1 hour, but during Ramadan, this hour is adjusted, aligning with Coordinated Universal Time.

Exploring Morocco’s Enchanting Attractions

22. Morocco’s allure is encapsulated in its four historical capitals – Rabat, Fez, Marrakesh, and Meknes. These picturesque cities boast numerous historical monuments, earning them recognition as World Heritage Sites.

23. In Rabat, key attractions include the royal palace, the iconic Hassan Minaret, the Kasbah of Oudaya, and the remnants of the Shella Fortress.

24. Fez enchants visitors with landmarks like the religious and educational hub, Al-Qaraouin, and the Bab Boujeloud Gate, known as the city’s calling card.

Фес ворота Баб Бужелуд

25. At the heart of Marrakech lies the country’s oldest mosque, Ibn Yusuf, situated in the vibrant Jemaa al-Fna square, home to the largest souk where oriental magicians and acrobats captivate audiences.

26. Marrakech also boasts the renowned royal palace, El Badi, transformed into an expansive exhibition space surrounded by an orange garden where storks nest abundantly.

27. The uniquely romantic town of Chefchaouen is notable for its predominantly sky-blue painted houses. Locals view their town as a symbol of peace and tolerance.

айт-бен-Хадду

28. Morocco’s landscape is dotted with xaras, ancient Berber fortresses. Ait-ben-Haddou stands out as one of the most picturesque, featured in numerous films like «Prince of Persia,» «Alexander,» and «The Mummy.» The town also served as a backdrop for scenes in the TV series «Clone.»

Unveiling the Character, Traditions, and Customs of Moroccans

29. The hallmark of the ordinary Moroccan character is their profound hospitality, elevated to the status of a national virtue. Guests are enveloped in honor and respect, with an earnest effort to fulfill any desires.

30. However, one must navigate the oriental disposition, as locals often seek personal gain, and the warmth of hospitality might unexpectedly come with a cost.

31. Moroccans are notably temperamental, displaying vibrant emotions and expressive gestures, viewed as a cultural norm rather than aggression. A subdued demeanor is often considered a sign of weakness.

32. Contrarily, Moroccan women exhibit reserved and modest behavior, aligning with societal expectations in Arab countries.

марокканки

33. Despite a penchant for profiting from tourists, Moroccans consider themselves generous among their own, readily offering assistance and alms to the less fortunate.

34. In Morocco, a genuine culinary culture prevails, characterized by abundant and calorific meals. The local diet contributes to a noticeable obesity trend among Moroccans.

35. Central to Moroccan cuisine is couscous – a wheat porridge accompanied by meat and vegetables. Eating couscous involves the hands, with the left hand considered unclean and thus not used for eating.

36. Desserts, rich in fruits and nuts, grace Moroccan tables, adorned with vibrant and flavorful oriental sweets. The meal concludes with the quintessential mint tea.

37. Family values hold sacred importance in Morocco. Marriages are resilient, deeply rooted in Islamic traditions, though modern practices involve mutual consent rather than parental arrangements.

38. Moroccan families often embrace larger households, having more than three children. Yet, urban areas are witnessing a shift towards smaller families with one or two children.

39. Parenting in Morocco is a nuanced art – a balance of spoiling favored children while allowing independence. Disobedience is addressed with disciplinary measures such as the use of a belt.

40. Berber traditions diverge significantly from those of the broader Muslim population. Berber women, in contrast, do not cover their faces, favoring direct communication and adorning their faces with symbolic patterns.

дети берберов

41. In the Berber culture, gold is deemed impure, leading to a preference for silver jewelry. The measure of wealth for Moroccan Berbers lies in the ownership of camels.

Exploring the Rich Tapestry of Morocco’s Nature

42. Nestled in the northwest of Africa and separated from Europe by the iconic Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco enjoys a predominantly pleasant Mediterranean climate across a significant portion of its territory.

43. The kingdom experiences the familiar European cycle of four seasons, featuring hot summers, cool winters, and transitional periods marked by occasional rainfall. Notably, the western slopes of the Atlas Mountains bear the brunt of heavy rainfall during the off-season.

44. The Atlas Mountains, an extensive and lengthy mountain range, begin on the southwest coast of the Atlantic Ocean and extend northeastward to the borders with Algeria.

45. The Moroccan Atlas stands as the highest segment of this mountain range, with the summit of Toubkal soaring to 4165 meters, claiming the title of the highest point in the entire Atlas.

46. Morocco’s fame extends to its picturesque landscapes that captivate even the most discerning viewer. Noteworthy among these is the Ouzoud waterfall, the country’s tallest, cascading in three tiers from a height of 110 meters into a deep gorge.

47. Paradise Valley, situated near the city of Agadir, is a haven of beauty, attracting numerous tourists with its picturesque river canyons and waterfalls.

48. The ancient Berber path, Zaouiet Ahansal, unveils stunning vistas, featuring sections with wooden bridges clinging to steep cliffs.

49. For the daring adventurer, the Dades Gorge beckons with its complex and hazardous serpentines, weaving through majestic landscapes and ancient ruins.

Ущелье Дадес

50. Morocco’s wildlife presents a blend of European and African influences. Despite lions, still considered a symbol of the kingdom, not being sighted for centuries, the country is home to a diverse array of fauna, including gazelles, wild boars, and leopards.

Request for Additional Insights

If you have additional fascinating facts or insights about Moroccans and Morocco, please feel free to share them in the comments. This country is rich with captivating stories, diverse culture, and unique traditions, and your contributions will be greatly valued. Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge and enhancing our understanding of this extraordinary destination!

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