Morocco And Rabat 2

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Moroccan DNA

Berber village in the Ourika valley, High Atlas

Distribution of Y haplotype E-M81 E1b1b1b in North Africa, West Asia and Europe.

Main article: Moroccan genetics

Recent studies make clear no significant genetic differences exist between Arabic and non-Arabic speaking populations, HLA DNA data suggest that most Moroccans are of a Berber origin and that Arabs who invaded North Africa and Spain in the 7th century did not substantially contribute to the gene pool. The Moorish refugees from Spain settled in the coast-towns. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21Z battery) According to a 2000 article in European Journal of Human Genetics, Moroccans from North-Western Africa were genetically closer to Iberians than to West Africans and Middle Easterners[50]

The different loci studied revealed close similarity between the Berbers and other north African groups, mainly with Moroccan Arabic-speakers, which is in accord with the hypothesis that the current Moroccan population has a strong Berber background. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21J battery)

Main article: Politics of Morocco

For other political parties see List of political parties in Morocco. An overview on elections and election results is included in Elections in Morocco.

The current King of Morocco, Mohammed VI

Morocco is a de jure constitutional parliamentary monarchy with an elected parliament. With the 2011 constitutional reforms, the King of Morocco still retains few executive powers whereas those of the prime minister have been enlarged(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11 battery). Opposition political parties are legal. Politics of Morocco take place in a framework of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Morocco is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives of Morocco and the Assembly of Councillors(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M battery). The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary.

The constitution grants the king honorific powers; he is both the secular political leader and the "Commander of the Faithful" as a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. He presides over the Council of Ministers; appoints the Prime Minister from the political party that has won the most seats in the parliamentary elections(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S battery), and on recommendations from the latter, appoints the members of the government. The previous constitution(note constitution of 1996) theoretically allows the king to terminate the tenure of any minister, and after consultation with the heads of the higher and lower Assemblies, to dissolve the Parliament, suspend the constitution, call for new elections, or rule by decree, the only time this happened was in 1965(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E battery). The King is formally the chief of the military. Upon the death of his father Mohammed V, King Hassan II succeeded to the throne in 1961. He ruled Morocco for the next 38 years, until he died in 1999. His son, King Mohammed VI, assumed the throne in July 1999. Following protests in Morocco and elsewhere in the Arab world in early 2011, King Mohammed VI announced the establishment of a committee aimed at preparing the text of a new constitution(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J battery), which included further limitations on the powers of the monarch.

Following the March 1998 elections, a coalition government headed by opposition socialist leader Abderrahmane Youssoufi and composed largely of ministers drawn from opposition parties, was formed. Prime Minister Youssoufi's government was the first ever government drawn primarily from opposition parties(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L battery), and also represents the first opportunity for a coalition of socialists, left-of-center, and nationalist parties to be included in the government until October 2002. It was also the first time in the modern political history of the Arab world that the opposition assumed power following an election. The current government is headed by Abbas El Fassi(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M battery).

The legislature's building in Rabat

Since the constitutional reform of 1996, the bicameral legislature consists of two chambers. The Assembly of Representatives of Morocco (Majlis an-Nuwwâb/Assemblée des Répresentants) has 325 members elected for a five-year term, 295 elected in multi-seat constituencies and 30 in national lists consisting only of women. The Assembly of Councillors (Majlis al-Mustasharin) has 270 members, elected for a nine-year term, elected by local councils (162 seats) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H battery), professional chambers (91 seats) and wage-earners (27 seats). The Parliament's powers, though still relatively limited, were expanded under the 1992 and 1996 and even further in the 2011 constitutional revisions and include budgetary matters, approving bills, questioning ministers, and establishing ad hoc commissions of inquiry to investigate the government's actions(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M battery). The lower chamber of Parliament may dissolve the government through a vote of no confidence.

2011 Constitutional reforms

On 1 July voters approved the draft of a new constitution which entered into effect on 29 July 2011.

The constitutional reforms consisted of the following:

The Berber (Amazigh) language is an official state language along with Arabic.

The state preserves and protects the Hassānīya language (spoken by some 200,000 people in the Moroccan southern Sahara) and all the linguistic components of the Moroccan culture as a heritage of the nation(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z battery)

Since 2011, the king has the obligation to appoint a prime minister from the party that wins the most seats in the parliamentary elections. Previously, he could appoint any person in this position regardless of the elections results.

The king is no longer "holy and sacred" but the "integrity of his person" is "inviolable",[57] which means that he is still uncriticizable by anybody(Sony VAIO VGN-FW32J battery).

High administrative and diplomatic posts (including ambassadors, CEOs of state-owned companies, provincial and regional governors), are now appointed by the prime minister and the ministerial council which is presided by the king, previously the latter exclusively held this power.

The prime minister is the head of government and president of the council of government, he has the power to dissolve the parliament(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31E battery).

The prime minister will preside over the council of Government, which prepares the general policy of the state. Previously the king held this position.

The parliament has the power of granting amnesty. Previously this was exclusively held by the king.

The judiciary system is independent from the legislative and executive branch, the king guarantees this independence(Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E battery).

Women are guaranteed "civic and social" equality with men. Previously, only "political" equality was guaranteed, though the 1996 constitution grants all citizens equality in terms of rights and before the law.[56]

The King would retain complete control of the armed forces, foreign policy and the judiciary;[63] authority for choosing and dismissing prime ministers[64] and he would retain control of matters pertaining to religion(Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H battery).

All citizens have the freedom of: thought, ideas, artistic expression and creation. Previously only free-speech and the freedom of circulation and association were guaranteed.

On 2 July 2011 some Moroccan protesters said they were undeterred despite a landslide victory for King Mohammed in a referendum on constitutional changes they say do nothing to ease his autocratic grip on power. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M battery)

The nation's interior ministry has offered the tentative date of November 11, 2011 for parliamentary elections.[67]

Moroccan Navy Floreal class frigate

A Moroccan soldier trains with United States Marines

Main article: Military of Morocco

Compulsory military service in Morocco has been suppressed since September 2006, and the country’s reserve obligation lasts until age 50. The country’s military consists of the Royal Armed Forces—this includes the army (the largest branch) and a small navy and air force—the National Police Force, the Royal Gendarmerie (mainly responsible for rural security) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J battery), and the Auxiliary Forces. Internal security is generally effective, and acts of political violence are rare (with one exception, the 2003 Casablanca bombings which killed 45 people[68]). The UN maintains a small observer force in Western Sahara, where a large number of Morocco’s troops are stationed. The Saharawi group Polisario maintains an active militia of an estimated 5,000 fighters in Western Sahara and has engaged in intermittent warfare with Moroccan forces since the 1980s(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31Z battery).

The military of Morocco is composed of the following main divisions:

Main article: Prefectures and provinces of Morocco

Morocco is divided into 38 provinces and 2 wilayas*: Agadir, Al Hoceima, Azilal, Beni Mellal, Ben Slimane, Boulemane, Casablanca*, Chaouen, El Jadida, El Kelaa des Sraghna, Er Rachidia, Essaouira, Fes, Figuig, Guelmim, Ifrane, Kenitra, Khemisset, Rommani, Khenifra, Khouribga, Laayoune, Larache, Marrakech, Meknes, Nador, Ouarzazate(Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery), Oujda, Rabat-Sale*, Safi, Settat, Sidi Kacem, Tangier, Tan-Tan, Taounate, Taroudannt, Tata, Taza, Tetouan, Tinghir, Tiznit; three additional provinces of Ad Dakhla (Oued Eddahab), Boujdour, and Es Smara as well as parts of Tan-Tan and Laayoune fall within Moroccan-claimed Western Sahara.

Because of the conflict over Western Sahara, the status of both regions of "Saguia el-Hamra" and "Río de Oro" is disputed(Sony VGN-NR11S Battery). The United Nations views Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory, and as a case of unfinished decolonization. Morocco's rule in the territory is not internationally recognized, nor is the independent republic proposed by Polisario, a Saharawi group which fought against the Spanish colonial rule and then for Western Sahara's independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (today headquartered in Algeria) (Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery). There is a ceasefire in effect since 1991, and a UN mission (MINURSO) is tasked with organizing a referendum on whether the territory should become independent or recognized as a part of Morocco. At the time, both parties signed an agreement to this effect, but they did not agree on who would be entitled to vote.

The territory is mostly administered as the Southern Provinces by Morocco since Spain handed over the territory to Morocco and Mauritania after the Madrid Accords in 1975–76(Sony VGN-CR11S Battery). Part of the territory, the Free Zone, is a mostly uninhabited area controlled by the Polisario Front as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic with Headquarters at Tindouf in Algeria. A UN-administered cease-fire has been in effect since September 1991. As of 2006, no UN member state has recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. (Sony VGN-CR11M Battery)

Western Sahara War

Main article: Western Sahara War

The Western Sahara War was the armed conflict which saw the Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement Polisario Front (headquartered in Algeria) battling Morocco and Mauritania for the control of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara from 1976 to 1991. The war resulted in the Spanish retreat in 1976, the Mauritanian retreat in 1979 and a cease fire agreement with Morocco. The bigger part of the territory remained under Moroccan control(Sony VGN-CR11E Battery).

Moroccan Autonomy Initiative

Main article: Moroccan Initiative for Western Sahara

Recently, the government of Morocco has suggested autonomous status for the region, through the Moroccan Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS). The project was presented to the United Nations Security Council in mid-April 2007. The proposal was encouraged by Moroccan allies such as the United States, France and Spain,[72] and the Security Council "takes note of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April 2007 to(Sony VGN-CR21E Battery) the Secretary-General and welcoming serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards resolution". The Security Council has called upon the parties to enter into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach a mutually accepted political solution.[73]

Morocco's economy is considered a relatively liberal economy governed by the law of supply and demand(Sony VGN-CR21S Battery). Since 1993, the country has followed a policy of privatization of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of the government.[74] Morocco is the world's biggest exporter and third producer of phosphorus. Price fluctuations of phosphates in the international market strongly influence Morocco's economy.

Government reforms and steady yearly growth in the region of 4–5% from 2000 to 2007, including 4.9% year-on-year growth in 2003–2007(Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery) helped the Moroccan economy to become much more robust compared to a few years ago. For 2012 the World Bank forecasts a rate of 4% growth for Morocco and 4.2% for following year, 2013.[75]

Economic growth is far more diversified, with new service and industrial poles, like Casablanca and Tangier, developing. The agriculture sector is being rehabilitated, which in combination with good rainfalls led to a growth of over 20% in 2009(Sony VGN-CR31S Battery).

The services sector accounts for just over half of GDP and industry, made up of mining, construction and manufacturing, is an additional quarter. The industries that recorded the highest growth are tourism, telecoms, information technology, and textile. Morocco, however, still depends to an inordinate degree on agriculture. This economic sector accounts for only around 14% of GDP but employs 40–45% of the Moroccan working population(Sony VGN-CR31E Battery). With a semi-arid climate and an ill-developed irrigation system, it is difficult to assure enough irrigation. Morocco’s economy depends heavily on the weather, a typical characteristic of third-world countries. Fiscal prudence has allowed for consolidation, with both the budget deficit and debt falling as a percentage of GDP.

The economic system of the country presents several facets. It is characterized by a large opening towards the outside world(Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery). France remains the primary trade partner (supplier and customer) of Morocco. France is also the primary creditor and foreign investor in Morocco. In Africa, Morocco has the fifth largest economy and the fastest growing internet usership.

Since the early 1980s the Moroccan government has pursued an economic program toward accelerating real economy growth with the support of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Paris Club of creditors(Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery). The country's currency, the dirham, is now fully convertible for current account transactions[clarification needed]; reforms of the financial sector have been implemented; and state enterprises are being privatized.

The major resources of the Moroccan economy are agriculture, phosphates, and tourism. Sales of fish and seafood are important as well. Industry and mining contribute about one-third of the annual GDP(Sony VGN-CR41S Battery). Morocco is the world's third-largest producer of phosphorus (after China, which is first, and the United States which is second),[76] and the price fluctuations of phosphates on the international market greatly influence Morocco's economy. Tourism and workers' remittances have played a critical role since the Kingdom's independence. The production of textiles and clothing is part of a growing manufacturing sector that accounted for approximately 34% of total exports in 2002(Sony VGN-CR41E Battery), employing 40% of the industrial workforce. The government wishes to increase textile and clothing exports from $1.27 billion in 2001 to $3.29 billion in 2010.

The high cost of imports, especially of petroleum imports, is a major problem. Another chronic problem is unreliable rainfall, which produces drought or sudden floods; in 1995, the country's worst drought in 30 years forced Morocco to import grain and adversely affected the economy. Another drought occurred in 1997(Sony VGN-CR42Z Battery), and one in 1999–2000. Reduced incomes due to drought caused GDP to fall by 7.6% in 1995, by 2.3% in 1997, and by 1.5% in 1999. During the years between drought, good rains brought bumper crops to market. Good rainfall in 2001 led to a 5% GDP growth rate. Morocco suffers both from unemployment (9.6% in 2008), and a large external debt estimated at around $20 billion, or half of GDP in 2002. (Sony VGN-CR42S Battery)

Among the various free trade agreements that Morocco has ratified with its principal economic partners, are The Euro-Mediterranean free trade area agreement with the European Union with the objective of integrating the European Free Trade Association at the horizons of 2012; the Agadir Agreement, signed with Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia, within the framework of the installation of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area(Sony VGN-CR42E Battery); the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement with United States which came into force on January 1, 2006, and lately the agreement of free exchange with Turkey.

Main article: Agriculture in Morocco

Typical scenery of agricultural lands in the fertile Doukkala region

Argan trees are endemic to Morocco. They produce the Argan oil, valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties

Agriculture in Morocco employs about 40% of the nation's workforce and is the largest employer in the country. Barley, wheat, and other cereals are amongst the main products(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/L Battery). On the Atlantic coast, where there are extensive plains, olives, citrus fruits, and grapes are grown.

Below is a table of the agricultural output of Morocco according to estimates of the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation, data is from 2009:

Solar cell panels in eastern Morocco

In 2008, about 56% of the electricity source of Morocco came from coal.[78] However, as forecasts indicate that energy requirements in Morocco will rise 6% per year between 2012 and 2050, (Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/P Battery) a new law passed encouraging Moroccans to look for ways to diversify the energy supply, including more renewable resources. The Moroccan government has launched a project to build a solar thermal energy power plant[80] and is also in looking into the use of Natural Gas as a potential source of revenue for Morocco’s government. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/W Battery)

Morocco has embarked upon the construction of large solar energy farms to lessen dependence on fossil fuels, and to eventually export electricity to Europe.[81]

Narcotics

Cannabis is cultivated in the Rif Region since the VIIth century.[82] According to the UN 2004 World Drugs Report, Morocco is considered as the largest producer of Cannabis in the world. According to that report, its cultivation and transformation represents 0.57% of the national GDP of Morocco in 2002. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR11Z/R Battery) − Around 88% of the cannabis consumed in Europe comes from the Rif region in Morocco.[84] In addition to that, Morocco is a transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe.[85]

Marrakesh Railway Station

Main article: Transport in Morocco

The railway network of Morocco consists of 1,907 kilometres (1,185 mi) 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge and 1,003 kilometres (623 mi) electrified with 3 kV DC. There are connections to Algeria, and consecutively Tunisia, but since the 1990s the connections are closed(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/B Battery). The Gibraltar Tunnel is a rail tunnel link proposed between Tangier, Morocco and Spain under the Strait of Gibraltar to be in operation in 2025.

There are plans for high-speed lines: Work by ONCF could begin in 2007 from Marrakech to Tangier in the north via Marrakesh to Agadir in the south, and from Casablanca on the Atlantic to Oujda on the Algerian border. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/L Battery) If the plans are approved, the 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) of track may take until 2030 to complete at a cost of around 25 billion dirhams ($3.37 billion). Casablanca to Marrakesh could be cut to 1 hour and 20 minutes from over three hours, and from the capital Rabat to Tangier to 1 hour and 30 minutes from 4 hours and 30 minutes.

There are around 56,986 kilometres (35,409 mi) of roads (national, regional and provincial) in Morocco.[86] In addition to 610.5 kilometres (379.3 mi) kilometre of highways. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/P Battery)

The Tangier-Casablanca high-speed rail link marks the first stage of the ONCF’s high-speed rail master plan, pursuant to which over 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) of new railway lines will be built by 2035 The high speed train -TGV- will carry 8 million passengers per year. It will have a capacity of 500 passengers. the work in the High Speed Train project has started in September 2011[88] and the infrastructure works and railway equipment will end in 2014, and the HST will be operational in December 2015. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/R Battery)

Main article: Education in Morocco

See also: Science and technology in Morocco and List of universities in Morocco

Al Akhawayn University in Ifran

Education in Morocco is free and compulsory through primary school. The country's illiteracy rate has been stuck at around 50% for some years, with male literacy at 65.7% and female at 39.6%.[2] On September 2006, UNESCO awarded Morocco amongst other countries such as Cuba, Pakistan, India and Turkey the "UNESCO 2006 Literacy Prize".(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/W Battery)

Morocco has about 230,000 students enrolled in fourteen public universities. The Mohammed V University in Rabat and Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (public university) are highly regarded. Al-Akhawayn, founded in 1993 by King Hassan II and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, is an English-language American-style university comprising about 1,780 students. Morocco allocates approximately one fifth of its budget to education. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G Battery) Much of this is spent on building schools to accommodate the rapidly growing population. Education is mandatory for children between the ages of 7 and 13 years. In urban areas the majority of children in this age group attend school, though on a national scale the level of participation drops significantly. About three quarters of school age males attend school, but only about half of school age girls; these proportions drop markedly in rural areas(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/B Battery). Slightly more than half of the children go on to secondary education, including trade and technical schools. Of these, few seek higher education. Poor school attendance, particularly in rural areas, has meant a low rate of literacy, which is about two fifths of the population.

Morocco has more than four dozen universities, institutes of higher learning, and polytechnics dispersed at urban centres throughout the country(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/L Battery). Its leading institutions include Muḥammad V University in Rabat, the country’s largest university, with branches in Casablanca and Fès; the Hassan II Agriculture and Veterinary Institute in Rabat, which conducts leading social science research in addition to its agricultural specialties; and Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, the first English-language university in North Africa, (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/W Battery) inaugurated in 1995 with contributions from Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The al-Qarawiyin University, founded in the city of Fez in 859 as a madrasa,[92] is considered by some sources, including UNESCO, to be the "oldest university of the world".[93] Some historians though [94] consider it not a "university" before the 13th century, when the teaching became general and it started to form philosophers and thinker, including several non-Muslims(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/P Battery). These views, however, are contested by other historians who consider the university to have been a uniquely Christian creation of medieval Europe.[95] The university was established in 1963 and designated University of Al-Karouine in 1965.[96]

Morocco has also some of prestigious Postgraduate Schools like : EMI, ISCAE, INSEA, l'École nationale d'industrie minérale, École Hassania des travaux publics, ENCG (écoles nationales de commerce et de gestion), EST (écoles supérieures de technologie). (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/L Battery)

Old Walls of Essaouira

Morocco is an ethnically diverse country with a rich culture and civilization. Through Moroccan history, it has hosted many people coming from East (Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Jews and Arabs), South (Sub-Saharan Africans) and North (Romans, Vandals, Andalusians, Moors and Jews). All those civilizations have had an impact on the social structure of Morocco. It conceived various forms of beliefs, from paganism, Judaism, and Christianity to Islam(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/P Battery).

The production of Moroccan literature has continued to grow and diversify. To the traditional genres—poetry, essays, and historiography—have been added forms inspired by Middle Eastern and Western literary models. French is often used in publishing research in the social and natural sciences, and in the fields of literature and literary studies(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/R Battery), works are published in both Arabic and French. Moroccan writers, such as Mohamed Choukri, Driss Chraïbi, Abdallah Laroui, Abdelfattah Kilito, and Fatema Mernissi, publish their works in both French and English. Expatriate writers such as Pierre Loti, William S. Burroughs, and Paul Bowles have drawn attention to Moroccan writers as well as to the country itself(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/W Battery).

Since independence a veritable blossoming has taken place in painting and sculpture, popular music, amateur theatre, and filmmaking. The Moroccan National Theatre (founded 1956) offers regular productions of Moroccan and French dramatic works. Art and music festivals take place throughout the country during the summer months, among them the World Sacred Music Festival at Fès(Sony Vaio VGN-CR150E/B Battery).

Moroccan music, influenced by Arab, Amazigh, African, and Andalusian traditions, makes use of a number of traditional instruments, such as the flute (nāy), shawm (ghaita), zither (qanūn), and various short necked lutes (including the ʿūd and gimbrī). These are often backed by explosive percussion on the darbūkka (terra-cotta drum). Among the most popular traditional Moroccan artists internationally are the Master Musicians of Jajouka(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21/B Battery), an all-male guild trained from childhood, and Hassan Hakmoun, a master of gnāwa trance music, a popular spiritual style that traces its roots to sub-Saharan Africa. Younger Moroccans enjoy raï, a style of plain-speaking Algerian music that incorporates traditional sounds with those of Western rock, Jamaican reggae, and Egyptian and Moroccan popular music(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/L Battery).

Each region possesses its own specificities, thus contributing to the national culture and to the legacy of civilization. Morocco has set among its top priorities the protection of its diverse legacy and the preservation of its cultural heritage.

Culturally speaking, Morocco has always been successful in combining its Berber, Jewish and Arabic cultural heritage with external influences such as the French and the Spanish and, during the last decades, the Anglo-American lifestyles(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/P Battery).

Main article: Moroccan cuisine

An array of Moroccan pastries

Moroccan cuisine has long been considered as one of the most diversified cuisines in the world. This is a result of the centuries-long interaction of Morocco with the outside world. The cuisine of Morocco is mainly Berber-Moorish, European, Mediterranean cuisines. The cuisine of Morocco is essentially Berber cuisine (sometimes referred to as the Moorish cuisine) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/W Battery). It is also Influenced by Sephardic cuisine and by the Moriscos when they took refuge in Morocco after the Reconquista. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Tiliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown. Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Morocco. The most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco is beef(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/L Battery); lamb is preferred but is relatively expensive. Couscous is the most famous Moroccan dish along with pastilla, tajine, and harira. The most popular drink is green tea with mint.

Main article: Moroccan literature

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech. The name is derived from al-Koutoubiyyin, meaning librarian.

Moroccan literature is written in Arabic, Berber and French. It also contains literature produced in Al-Andalus. Under the Almohad dynasty Morocco experienced a period of prosperity and brilliance of learning. The Almohad built the Marrakech Koutoubia Mosque(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/P Battery), which accommodated no fewer than 25,000 people, but was also famed for its books, manuscripts, libraries and book shops, which gave it its name; the first book bazaar in history. The Almohad Caliph Abu Yakub had a great love for collecting books. He founded a great library, which was eventually carried to the Casbah and turned into a public library(Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/B Battery).

Modern Moroccan literature began in the 1930s. Two main factors gave Morocco a pulse toward witnessing the birth of a modern literature. Morocco, as a French and Spanish protectorate left Moroccan intellectuals the opportunity to exchange and to produce literary works freely enjoying the contact of other Arabic literature and Europe(Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/P Battery).

During the 1950s and 1960s, Morocco was a refuge and artistic centre and attracted writers as Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams and William S. Burroughs. Moroccan literature flourished with novelists such as Mohamed Zafzaf and Mohamed Choukri, who wrote in Arabic, and Driss Chraïbi and Tahar Ben Jelloun who wrote in French. Other important Moroccan authors include, Abdellatif Laabi, Abdelkrim Ghallab, Fouad Laroui(Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/L Battery), Mohammed Berrada and Leila Abouzeid. It should be noted also, that orature (oral literature) is an integral part of Moroccan culture, be it in Moroccan Arabic or Amazigh.

Main article: Music of Morocco

Jewish Wedding in Morocco by Eugène Delacroix, Louvre, Paris

Moroccan music is of Amazigh, Arab and sub-Saharan origins. Rock-influenced chaabi bands are widespread, as is trance music with historical origins in Muslim music.

Morocco is home to Andalusian classical music that is found throughout North Africa. It probably evolved under the Moors in Cordoba, and the Persian-born musician Ziryab is usually credited with its invention(Sony VAIO VGN-NW battery). A genre known as Contemporary Andalusian music and art is the brainchild of Morisco visual artist/composer/ oudist Tarik Banzi founder of the Al-Andalus Ensemble

Chaabi (popular) is a music consisting of numerous varieties which are descended from the multifarious forms of Moroccan folk music. Chaabi was originally performed in markets, but is now found at any celebration or meeting.

Popular Western forms of music are becoming increasingly popular in Morocco, such as fusion, rock, country, metal and particularly hip hop(Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S battery).

Morocco participated in 1980's Eurovision Song Contest, being in penultimate position.

Main article: Sport in Morocco

Marrakech Stadium

Spectator sports in Morocco traditionally centred on the art of horsemanship until European sports—football (soccer), polo, swimming, and tennis—were introduced at the end of the 19th century. Football is the country’s premier sport, popular among the urban youth in particular, and in 1986 Morocco became the first Arab and African country to qualify to the second round in World Cup competition(Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF battery). Many football players with Moroccan roots hold dual citizenship and play for European league teams. Examples include Ibrahim Afellay (FC Barcelona/Netherlands national side), Marouane Fellaini (Everton/Belgium national side), and Adil Rami (Valencia/French national side). Morocco will be hosting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. The host cities will include Tangier, Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir and Marrakech(Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF battery).

Hicham El Guerrouj (left), double Olympic champion.

At the 1984 Olympic Games, two Moroccans won gold medals in track and field events. Nawal El Moutawakel won in the 400 metres hurdles; she was the first woman from an Arab or Islamic country to win an Olympic gold medal. Saïd Aouita won the 5000 metres at the same games. Hicham El Guerrouj won gold medals in the 1500 metres and 5000 metres for Morocco at the 2004 Summer Olympics and holds several 1.609 km (1.000 mi) (Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W battery) List of world records in athletics|world records. Morocco is identified by the abbreviation MAR at the Olympics.

Tennis and golf have become popular. Several Moroccan professional players have competed in international competition, and the country fielded its first Davis Cup team in 1999.

Kickboxing is also popular in Morocco. Badr Hari, heavyweight kickboxer and martial artist, is a former K-1 heavyweight champion and K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 and 2009 finalist(Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W battery).

Morocco first participated at the Olympic Games in 1960, and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since then, except when they participated in the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics. Morocco also boycotted the 1976 Games, withdrawing after having initially sent a delegation. In doing so, Morocco joined the boycott of the Games by most African countries(Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF battery), in protest against New Zealand's participation following an All Blacks rugby match, unrelated to the Olympics, against an apartheid team from South Africa.[1] Only one Moroccon representative had time to compete before his country's withdrawal: Abderahim Najim took part in the Men's Light Flyweight event in boxing, and lost his first and only match(Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF battery).

Morocco has also participated in the Winter Olympic Games on four occasions since 1968, but not since 1992. Moroccan athletes have won a total of twenty one medals, eighteen in athletics and three in boxing. Hicham El Guerrouj, with two gold medals and one silver medal, and Saïd Aouita, with one gold and one silver, are Morocco's two multiple medal winners. The National Olympic Committee for Morocco was created in 1959(Sony VAIO VGN-NW35e battery).

Rabat (Arabic الرباط; Berber ⵕⴱⴰⵟ, transliterated ar-Rabāṭ or ar-Ribāṭ or (Er-)Rbāṭ, literally "Fortified Place"; French Ville de Rabat; Spanish Ciudad de Rabat), is the capital and third largest city of the Kingdom of Morocco with a population of approximately 650,000 (2010). It is also the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer region(Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/S battery).

The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, the city's main commuter town. Together with Temara the cities account for a combined metropolitan population of 1.8 million. Silting problems have diminished the Rabat's role as a port; however, Rabat and Salé still maintain important textile, food processing and construction industries(Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/S battery). In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country.

Rabat is accessible by train through the ONCF system and by plane through the nearby Rabat-Salé Airport.

Rabat has a relatively modern history compared to the ancient city of Sala. In 1146, the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min turned Rabat's ribat into a full scale fortress to use as a launching point for attacks on Spain(Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/T battery). In 1170, due to its military importance, Rabat acquired the title Ribatu l-Fath, meaning "stronghold of victory," from which it derives its current name.

Yaqub al-Mansur (known as Moulay Yacoub in Morocco), another Almohad Caliph, moved the capital of his empire to Rabat.[4] He built Rabat's city walls, the Kasbah of the Udayas and began construction on what would have been the world's largest mosque. However, Yaqub died and construction stopped(Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/T battery). The ruins of the unfinished mosque, along with the Hassan Tower, still stand today.

Yaqub's death initiated a period of decline. The Almohad empire lost control of its possessions in Spain and much of its African territory, eventually leading to its total collapse. In the 13th century, much of Rabat's economic power shifted to Fez. In 1515 a Moorish explorer, El Wassan, reported that Rabat had declined so much that only 100 inhabited houses remained(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15L battery). An influx of Moriscos, who had been expelled from Spain, in the early 17th century helped boost Rabat's growth.

Corsair republics

Rabat and neighboring Salé united to form the Republic of Bou Regreg in 1627. The republic was run by Barbary pirates who used the two cities as base ports for launching attacks on shipping. The pirates did not have to contend with any central authority until the Alaouite Dynasty united Morocco in 1666. The latter attempted to establish control over the pirates(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15M battery), but failed. European and Muslims authorities continued to attempt to control the pirates over many years, but the Republic of Bou Regreg did not collapse until 1818. Even after the republic's collapse, pirates continued to use the port of Rabat, which led to the shelling of the city by Austria in 1829 after an Austrian ship had been lost to a pirate attack.

The French invaded Morocco in 1912 and established a protectorate. The French administrator of Morocco, General Hubert Lyautey, (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15S battery)decided to relocate the country's capital from Fez to Rabat. Among other factors, rebellious citizens had made Fez an unstable place. Sultan Moulay Youssef followed the decision of the French and moved his residence to Rabat. In 1913, Gen. Lyautey hired Henri Prost who designed the Ville Nouvelle (Rabat's modern quarter) as an administrative sector. When Morocco achieved independence in 1956, Mohammed V, the then King of Morocco, chose to have the capital remain at Rabat(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ160E battery).

Following World War II, the United States established a military presence in Rabat at the former French air base. By the early 1950s, Rabat Salé Air Base was a U.S. Air Force installation hosting the 17th Air Force and the 5th Air Division, which oversaw forward basing for Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-47 Stratojet aircraft in the country. With the destabilization of French government in Morocco(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ17G battery), and Moroccan independence in 1956, the government of Mohammed V wanted the U.S. Air Force to pull out of the SAC bases in Morocco, insisting on such action after American intervention in Lebanon in 1958. The United States agreed to leave as of December 1959, and was fully out of Morocco by 1963. SAC felt the Moroccan bases were much less critical with the long range capability of the B-52 Stratofortresses that were replacing the B-47s and with the completion of the USAF installations in Spain in 1959. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ17L battery)

With the USAF withdrawal from Rabat-Salé in the 1960s, the facility became a primary facility for the Royal Moroccan Air Force known as Air Base Nº 1, a status it continues to hold.

Neighborhoods of Rabat

Rabat is an administrative city, it does not have many shopping districts, but many residential neighborhoods. Geographically spread out neighborhoods as follows:

The heart of the city consists of three parts: the Medina (old town), the Oudayas and Hassan, both located to meet the Bou Regreg and the Atlantic Ocean(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18E battery).

To the west, and along the waterfront, there is a succession of neighborhoods: First, around the ramparts, the old quarters of the ocean and orange (popular and middle class). Beyond that, a succession of mostly popular neighborhoods: Diour Jamaa, Akkari, Yacoub El Mansour, Massira and Hay el Fath are the main parts of this axis. Hay el Fath, which ends this sequence, evolves into a kind of middle class attendance(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18G battery).

To the east, along the Bouregreg,the Youssoufia region Mabella,Taqaddoum, Hay Nahda, Aviation, Rommani (working and middle classes).

Between these two axes, going from north to south, there are 3 main areas (middle class to very weatlhy): Agdal (Ward Building lively mixing residential and commercial functions, predominantly habitants are upper middle classes), Hay Riad (affluent villas which has been a surge of momentum since the 2000s), and Souissi (residential neighborhood ) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18S battery). On the outskirts of Souissi, as one goes further we get into less dense regions mainly constituted of large private houses to areas that seem out of the city .

Called Rbatis, these families have lived for more than four hundred years many events in common. From the expulsion of the Moriscos to arrive at the foundation of a culture that combines the Arabic and Andalusian cultures(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18T battery), through the Republic of Bouregreg events than other families coming to live in Rabat recently, have not known.

Since its founding, Rabat was inhabited by several families from the High Atlas with Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, who founded the city in 1198, then families from many parts of Morocco have settled. Rabat has around 1240 a few hundred fifty families whose families Chiadmi, Regragui, Loudiyi, etc(SONY Vaio VGN-SR11M Battery).

Since the end of the thirteenth century, the city has an influx of Moriscos expelled from Granada until 1609, year of total expulsion of Muslims from Spain by Philip III. These families include: Bagach (Vargas), Guedira (Gadaira), Mouline (Molina), Sebbata (Zapata), Frej. The said families are considered, until today, such as "Rbati's Families of strain." They are about four hundred families(SONY Vaio VGN-SR12G/B Battery).

Other families in the city, are considered residents of Rabat because they came at the time when Rabat became the capital of the country, either through rural exodus or to work in public administration based in the city since the establishment of the protectorate.

Rabat features a Mediterranean climate with Köppen climate classification of Csa. Located along the Atlantic Ocean, Rabat has a mild, temperate climate(SONY Vaio VGN-SR12G/P Battery), shifting from cool in winter to warm days in the summer months. The nights are always cool (or colder in winter), with daytime temperatures generally rising about +9/10 C° (+15/18 F°). The winter highs typically reach only 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) in December–January.

The biggest place for theatre is the Theatre Mohamed V in the centre of the town. The city also has a few official galleries and an archeological museum. Many organizations are active in cultural and social issues(SONY Vaio VGN-SR12G/S Battery). Orient-Occident Foundation and ONA Foundation are the biggest of these. An independent art scene is active in the city. L'appartement 22, which is the first independent space for visual arts created by Abdellah Karroum, opened in 2002 and introducing both international and local artists. Other independent spaces opened few years after, such as Le Cube, also set up in a private space(Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S battery).

Rabat was selected as a filming location for the war film Black Hawk Down (2001).

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