Morocco is a unitary Semi-constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. It is located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital is Rabat and the largest city is Casablanca. Morocco spans an area of 710,850 km2 and has a population of over 36 million.
About Morocco in brief
Morocco is a unitary Semi-constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. It is located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital is Rabat and the largest city is Casablanca. Morocco spans an area of 710,850 km2 and has a population of over 36 million. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Morocco is a member of the Arab League, the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union. The country wields significant influence in both Africa and the Arab world, and is considered a regional power and a middle power. Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. The Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, and French are also widely spoken. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Arab, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences. The name al-Maghribiyyah translates to ‘Kingdom of the West’ or ‘Land of God’ in Arabic. The full Arabic name is al-maḡrib al-Adná. In English, Morocco’s name is based on an ancient Berber word for ‘land’ – al-maghrib. In Turkish, Morocco is known as Fasur akcak, which means ‘land of God or land of the amcush or amur’ The name Marrakesh is derived from its ancient name for the city of Marrakech, which was the capital under the Almoravid dynasty and Almohad Caliphate.
The first Moroccan state was founded by Idris I in 788 AD. It was ruled by a series of independent dynasties until the Alaouite dynasty seized power in 1631. It regained its independence in 1956, and has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards, with the fifth largest economy in Africa. Morocco also claims the exclaves of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction, as well as several small Spanish-controlled islands off its coast. The Portuguese Empire began in Morocco in the 15th century, following Portuguese conquests along the Moroccan coast, founding settlements which lasted into the 17th and 18th centuries. Morocco currently occupies two thirds of the territory, and peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock. The king can issue decrees called dahirs, which have the force of law, and can also dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the constitutional court. For historical references, medieval historians sometimes referred to Morocco as al-Aqrab al-Awsaṭ to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions called al- maghrib-Awsá. The modern Berber name for Morocco is Máná al- Adná.