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Under the Saadi dynasty, the country repulsed Ottoman incursions and a Portuguese invasion at the battle of Ksar el Kebir in The reign of Ahmad al-Mansur brought new wealth and prestige to the Sultanate, and a large expedition to West Africa inflicted a crushing defeat on the Songhay Empire in However, managing the territories across the Sahara proved too difficult.concothihodgquan.gq
Teach in Morocco
After the death of al-Mansur, the country was divided among his sons. In , Morocco was reunited by the Alaouite dynasty, who have been the ruling house of Morocco ever since. Morocco was facing aggression from Spain and the Ottoman Empire allies pressing westward. The Alaouites succeeded in stabilising their position, and while the kingdom was smaller than previous ones in the region, it remained quite wealthy. Against the opposition of local tribes Ismail Ibn Sharif — began to create a unified state.
However, the Siege of Melilla against the Spanish ended in defeat in Morocco was the first nation to recognise the fledgling United States as an independent nation in On 20 December , Morocco's Sultan Mohammed III declared that American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage. As Europe industrialised, Northwest Africa was increasingly prized for its potential for colonisation. France showed a strong interest in Morocco as early as , not only to protect the border of its Algerian territory, but also because of the strategic position of Morocco with coasts on the Mediterranean and the open Atlantic.
Victorious Spain won a further enclave and an enlarged Ceuta in the settlement. In , Spain created a protectorate in the coastal areas of Morocco. In , France and Spain carved out zones of influence in Morocco. Recognition by the United Kingdom of France's sphere of influence provoked a strong reaction from the German Empire ; and a crisis loomed in The matter was resolved at the Algeciras Conference in The Agadir Crisis of increased tensions between European powers. By the same treaty, Spain assumed the role of protecting power over the northern and southern Saharan zones.
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Tens of thousands of colonists entered Morocco. Some bought up large amounts of the rich agricultural land, others organised the exploitation and modernisation of mines and harbours. Interest groups that formed among these elements continually pressured France to increase its control over Morocco — a control which was also made necessary by the continuous wars among Moroccan tribes, part of which had taken sides with the French since the beginning of the conquest.
Governor general Marshall Hubert Lyautey sincerely admired Moroccan culture and succeeded in imposing a joint Moroccan-French administration, while creating a modern school system. Between and , a Berber uprising in the Rif Mountains, led by Abd el-Krim , led to the establishment of the Republic of the Rif. The Spanish lost more than 13, soldiers at Annual in July—August That party subsequently provided most of the leadership for the nationalist movement.
France's exile of Sultan Mohammed V in to Madagascar and his replacement by the unpopular Mohammed Ben Aarafa sparked active opposition to the French and Spanish protectorates. The most notable violence occurred in Oujda where Moroccans attacked French and other European residents in the streets. France allowed Mohammed V to return in , and the negotiations that led to Moroccan independence began the following year. A month later Spain ceded most of its protectorate in Northern Morocco to the new state but kept its two coastal enclaves Ceuta and Melilla on the Mediterranean coast.
How to Move to Morocco: the Complete Relocation Guide | InterNations GO!
Sultan Mohammed became king in Morocco held its first general elections in However, Hassan declared a state of emergency and suspended parliament in In , there was a failed attempt to depose the king and establish a republic. A truth commission set up in to investigate human rights abuses during his reign confirmed nearly 10, cases, ranging from death in detention to forced exile. Some people were recorded killed during Hassan's rule according to the truth commission. The Spanish enclave of Ifni in the south was returned to Morocco in The Polisario movement was formed in , with the aim of establishing an independent state in the Spanish Sahara.
Some , civilians were reported as being involved in the " Green March ". Moroccan forces occupied the territory. Moroccan and Algerian troops soon clashed in Western Sahara. Morocco and Mauritania divided up Western Sahara. Fighting between the Moroccan military and Polisario forces continued for many years. The prolonged war was a considerable financial drain on Morocco. In , Hassan cancelled planned elections amid political unrest and economic crisis. Polisario claimed to have killed more than 5, Moroccan soldiers between and Algerian authorities have estimated the number of Sahrawi refugees in Algeria to be , In , a UN-monitored ceasefire began in Western Sahara, but the territory's status remains undecided and ceasefire violations are reported.
The following decade saw much wrangling over a proposed referendum on the future of the territory but the deadlock was not broken. Political reforms in the s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature in and Morocco's first opposition-led government came to power in He is a cautious moderniser who has introduced some economic and social liberalisation.
Mohammed VI paid a controversial visit to the Western Sahara in Morocco unveiled an autonomy blueprint for Western Sahara to the United Nations in The Polisario rejected the plan and put forward its own proposal. Spanish troops had taken the normally uninhabited island after Moroccan soldiers landed on it and set up tents and a flag. There were renewed tensions in , as hundreds of African migrants tried to storm the borders of the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta. Morocco deported hundreds of the illegal migrants. In , the Spanish Premier Zapatero visited Spanish enclaves.
He was the first Spanish leader in 25 years to make an official visit to the territories.
During the —12 Moroccan protests , thousands of people rallied in Rabat and other cities calling for political reform and a new constitution curbing the powers of the king. In July , the King won a landslide victory in a referendum on a reformed constitution he had proposed to placate the Arab Spring protests.
Despite the reforms made by Mohammed VI, demonstrators continued to call for deeper reforms. Hundreds took part in a trade union rally in Casablanca in May Participants accused the government of failing to deliver on reforms. Since Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, its de facto southern boundary is with Mauritania. The geography of Morocco spans from the Atlantic Ocean, to mountainous areas, to the Sahara desert.
It is one of only three nations along with Spain and France to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. A large part of Morocco is mountainous. The Atlas Mountains are located mainly in the centre and the south of the country. The Rif Mountains are located in the north of the country. Both ranges are mainly inhabited by the Berber people. Algeria borders Morocco to the east and southeast, though the border between the two countries has been closed since To the north, Morocco is bordered by the Strait of Gibraltar, where international shipping has unimpeded transit passage between the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
The Rif mountains stretch over the region bordering the Mediterranean from the north-west to the north-east. The Atlas Mountains run down the backbone of the country,  from the northeast to the southwest. Most of the southeast portion of the country is in the Sahara Desert and as such is generally sparsely populated and unproductive economically. Most of the population lives to the north of these mountains, while to the south lies the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that was annexed by Morocco in see Green March.
Morocco's capital city is Rabat ; its largest city is its main port, Casablanca. The country's Mediterranean climate is similar to that of southern California , with lush forests in the northern and central mountain ranges of the country, giving way to drier conditions and inland deserts further southeast.
The Moroccan coastal plains experience remarkably moderate temperatures even in summer, owing to the effect of the cold Canary Current off its Atlantic coast. In the Rif, Middle and High Atlas Mountains, there exist several different types of climates: Mediterranean along the coastal lowlands, giving way to a humid temperate climate at higher elevations with sufficient moisture to allow for the growth of different species of oaks, moss carpets, junipers, and Atlantic fir which is a royal conifer tree endemic to Morocco.
In the valleys, fertile soils and high precipitation allow for the growth of thick and lush forests. At higher elevations, the climate becomes alpine in character, and can sustain ski resorts. Southeast of the Atlas mountains, near the Algerian borders, the climate becomes very dry, with long and hot summers.
Extreme heat and low moisture levels are especially pronounced in the lowland regions east of the Atlas range due to the rain shadow effect of the mountain system. The southeastern-most portions of Morocco are very hot, and include portions of the Sahara Desert , where vast swathes of sand dunes and rocky plains are dotted with lush oases. The direct exposure to the North Atlantic Ocean, the proximity to mainland Europe and the long stretched Rif and Atlas mountains are the factors of the rather European-like climate in the northern half of the country.
That makes Morocco a country of contrasts. In general, apart from the southeast regions pre-Saharan and desert areas , Morocco's climate and geography are very similar to the Iberian peninsula. Thus Morocco has the following climate zones:. South of Agadir and east of Jerada near the Algerian borders, arid and desert climate starts to prevail. Due to Morocco's proximity to the Sahara desert and the North Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, two phenomena occur to influence the regional seasonal temperatures, either by raising temperatures by 7—8 degrees Celsius when sirocco blows from the east creating heatwaves, or by lowering temperatures by 7—8 degrees Celsius when cold damp air blows from the northwest, creating a coldwave or cold spell.
However, these phenomena do not last for more than two to five days on average. Annual rainfall in Morocco is different according to regions. Botanically speaking, Morocco enjoys a great variety of vegetation, from lush large forests of conifer and oak trees typical of the western Mediterranean countries Morocco, Algeria, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal , to shrubs and acacias further south. This is due to the diversity of climate and the precipitation patterns in the country.
Morocco's weather is one of the most pristine in terms of the four-season experience. Most regions have distinct seasons where summer is usually not spoiled by rain and winter turns wet, snowy and humid with mild, cool to cold temperatures, while spring and fall see warm to mild weather characterised by flowers blooming in spring and falling leaves in autumn. This type of weather has affected the Moroccan culture and behaviour and played a part in the social interaction of the population, like many other countries that fall into this type of climate zone.
Morocco has a wide range of biodiversity. It is part of the Mediterranean basin , an area with exceptional concentrations of endemic species undergoing rapid rates of habitat loss, and is therefore considered to be a hotspot for conservation priority.
Morocco Area and Population Density
The Barbary lion , hunted to extinction in the wild, was a subspecies native to Morocco and is a national emblem. Relict populations of the West African crocodile persisted in the Draa river until the 20th century. The Barbary macaque, a primate endemic to Morocco and Algeria, is also facing extinction due to offtake for trade  human interruption, urbanisation, wood and real estate expansion that diminish forested area — the macaque's habitat.
Trade of animals and plants for food, pets, medicinal purposes, souvenirs and photo props is common across Morocco, despite laws making much of it illegal. Morocco was an authoritarian regime according to the Democracy Index of The Freedom of the Press report gave it a rating of "Not Free".
This has improved since, however, and in , Morocco was upgraded to being a " hybrid regime " according to the Democracy Index in and the Freedom of the Press report in found that Morocco was "partially free". Following the March 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, and also represents the first opportunity for a coalition of socialists, left-of-centre, and nationalist parties to be included in the government until October It was also the first time in the modern political history of the Arab world that the opposition assumed power following an election.
The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary. With the constitutional reforms , the King of Morocco retains less executive powers whereas those of the prime minister have been enlarged. 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, and on recommendations from the latter, appoints the members of the government.
The previous constitution of theoretically allowed 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 The King is formally the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Since the constitutional reform of , the bicameral legislature consists of two chambers. The Assembly of Councillors Majlis al-Mustasharin has members, elected for a nine-year term, elected by local councils seats , professional chambers 91 seats and wage-earners 27 seats.
The Parliament's powers, though still relatively limited, were expanded under the and and even further in the constitutional revisions and include budgetary matters, approving bills , questioning ministers, and establishing ad hoc commissions of inquiry to investigate the government's actions. The lower chamber of Parliament may dissolve the government through a vote of no confidence.
The latest parliamentary elections were held on November 25, , and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and fair. Compulsory military service in Morocco has been officially suspended since September , and Morocco's reserve obligation lasts until age Internal security is generally effective, and acts of political violence are rare with one exception, the Casablanca bombings which killed 45 people .
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, fighters in Western Sahara and has engaged in intermittent warfare with Moroccan forces since the s. Morocco's relationships vary greatly between African, Arab, and Western states.
Morocco has had strong ties to the West in order to gain economic and political benefits. From the total foreign investments in Morocco, the European Union invests approximately Many countries from the Persian Gulf and Maghreb regions are getting more involved in large-scale development projects in Morocco. Morocco was the only African state not to be a member of the African Union due to its unilateral withdrawal on 12 November over the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in by the African Union then called Organisation of African Unity as a full member without the organisation of a referendum of self-determination in the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Morocco rejoined the AU on 30 January A dispute with Spain in over the small island of Perejil revived the issue of the sovereignty of Melilla and Ceuta. These small enclaves on the Mediterranean coast are surrounded by Morocco and have been administered by Spain for centuries.
Tax Free Shopping in Morocco
Morocco was the first country in the world to recognise US sovereignty in The Western Sahara War saw the Polisario Front , the Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement, battling both Morocco and Mauritania between and a ceasefire in that is still in effect. Its administrative headquarters are located in Tindouf , Algeria.
Morocco is officially divided into 12 regions ,  which, in turn, are subdivided into 62 provinces and 13 prefectures. During the early s to the late s, under the leadership of Hassan II , Morocco had one of the worst human rights record in both Africa and the world. Government repression of political dissent was widespread during Hassan II's leadership, until it dropped sharply in the mids. Following worldwide criticism of its human rights record, Hassan II gradually liberated the country in order to avoid international isolation and tension with other nations.
Since the current King of Morocco , Mohammed VI, took power in , the nation's human rights record has improved significantly and is now among the best in Africa and the Arab world. According to Human Rights Watch annual report , Moroccan authorities restricted the rights to peaceful expression, association and assembly through several laws. The authorities continue to prosecute both printed and online media which criticizes the government or the king. Morocco has been accused of detaining Sahrawi pro-independence activists as prisoners of conscience. Homosexual acts are illegal in Morocco, and can be punishable by six months to three years of imprisonment.
Morocco's economy is considered a relatively liberal economy governed by the law of supply and demand. Since , the country has followed a policy of privatisation of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of the government. Morocco was ranked as the first African country by the Economist Intelligence Unit 's quality-of-life index , ahead of South Africa. 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. Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Moroccan economy. It is well developed with a strong tourist industry focused on the country's coast, culture, and history. Tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner in Morocco after the phosphate industry. Large government sponsored marketing campaigns to attract tourists advertised Morocco as a cheap and exotic, yet safe, place for tourists. Most Europeans visit in April and the autumn.
Because of its proximity to Spain, tourists in southern Spain's coastal areas take one- to three-day trips to Morocco.
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Since air services between Morocco and Algeria have been established, many Algerians have gone to Morocco to shop and visit family and friends. Morocco is relatively inexpensive because of the devaluation of the dirham and the increase of hotel prices in Spain.
Morocco has an excellent road and rail infrastructure that links the major cities and tourist destinations with ports and cities with international airports. Low-cost airlines offer cheap flights to the country. Tourism is increasingly focused on Morocco's culture, such as its ancient cities.
The modern tourist industry capitalises on Morocco's ancient Roman and Islamic sites, and on its landscape and cultural history. Agadir is a major coastal resort and has a third of all Moroccan bed nights. It is a base for tours to the Atlas Mountains. Other resorts in north Morocco are also very popular. Casablanca is the major cruise port in Morocco, and has the best developed market for tourists in Morocco, Marrakech in central Morocco is a popular tourist destination, but is more popular among tourists for one- and two-day excursions that provide a taste of Morocco's history and culture.
The Majorelle botanical garden in Marrakech is a popular tourist attraction. Their presence in the city helped to boost the city's profile as a tourist destination. As of [update] , activity and adventure tourism in the Atlas and Rif Mountains are the fastest growth area in Moroccan tourism. These locations have excellent walking and trekking opportunities from late March to mid-November.
The government is investing in trekking circuits. They are also developing desert tourism in competition with Tunisia. With a semi-arid climate and an ill-developed irrigation system, it is difficult to assure enough irrigation. 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. Morocco is the world's third-largest producer of phosphorus after China and the United States,  and the price fluctuations of phosphates on the international market greatly influence Morocco's economy. Morocco suffers both from unemployment 9.
Although Morocco runs a structural trade deficit, this is typically offset by substantial services earnings from tourism and large remittance inflows from the diaspora, and the country normally runs a small current-account surplus. The Moroccan government has launched a project to build a solar thermal energy power plant  and is also looking into the use of natural gas as a potential source of revenue for Morocco's government. Morocco has embarked upon the construction of large solar energy farms to lessen dependence on fossil fuels, and to eventually export electricity to Europe.
Since the 7th century, Cannabis has been cultivated in the Rif Region. Also, the region extends from the Mediterranean in the south, home of the Wergha River, to the north. Water supply and sanitation in Morocco is provided by a wide array of utilities. They range from private companies in the largest city, Casablanca , the capital, Rabat , and two other cities, [ clarification needed ] to public municipal utilities in 13 other cities, as well as a national electricity and water company ONEE.
The latter is in charge of bulk water supply to the aforementioned utilities, water distribution in about small towns, as well as sewerage and wastewater treatment in 60 of these towns. There have been substantial improvements in access to water supply, and to a lesser extent to sanitation, over the past fifteen years. The issue of lack of water connections for some of the urban poor is being addressed as part of the National Human Development Initiative , under which residents of informal settlements have received land titles and have fees waived that are normally paid to utilities in order to connect to the water and sewer network.
The Moroccan government has been implementing reforms to improve the quality of education and make research more responsive to socio-economic needs. The aim was to give universities greater financial autonomy from the government to make them more responsive to research needs and better able to forge links with the private sector, in the hope that this would nurture a culture of entrepreneurship in academia. The Moroccan Innovation Strategy fixed the target of producing 1, Moroccan patents and creating innovative start-ups by In , Moroccan inventors applied for patents, up from two years earlier.
The idea is to create a network of players in innovation, including researchers, entrepreneurs, students and academics, to help them develop innovative projects. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is supporting research in advanced technologies and the development of innovative cities in Fez, Rabat and Marrakesh. The government is encouraging public institutions to engage with citizens in innovation. As of , Morocco had three technoparks. Since the first technopark was established in Rabat in , a second has been set up in Casablanca, followed, in , by a third in Tangers.
The technoparks host start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises specializing in information and communication technologies ICTs , 'green' technologies namely, environmentally friendly technologies and cultural industries. In , the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology identified a number of sectors where Morocco has a comparative advantage and skilled human capital, including mining, fisheries, food chemistry and new technologies. It also identified a number of strategic sectors, such as energy, with an emphasis on renewable energies such as photovoltaic, thermal solar energy, wind and biomass; as well as the water, nutrition and health sectors, the environment and geosciences.
On 20 May , less than a year after its inception, the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research presented a report to the king offering a Vision for Education in Morocco — The report advocated making education egalitarian and, thus, accessible to the greatest number. Morocco has a population of around 35,, inhabitants est.
According to the Morocco population census, there were around 84, immigrants in the country. Of these foreign-born residents, most were of French origin, followed by individuals mainly from various nations in West Africa and Algeria. Some of them are descendants of colonial settlers, who primarily work for European multinational companies, while others are married to Moroccans or are retirees. Prior to independence, Morocco was home to half a million Europeans ; who were mostly Christians.
Morocco has a large diaspora , most of which is located in France, which has reportedly over one million Moroccans of up to the third generation. There are also large Moroccan communities in Spain about , Moroccans ,  the Netherlands , , and Belgium , Followers of several Sufi Muslim orders across the Maghreb and West Africa undertake joint annual pilgrimages to the country.
Most foreign resident Christians reside in the Casablanca , Tangier , and Rabat urban areas. Various local Christian leaders estimate that between and there are 5, citizen converted Christians mostly ethnically Berber who regularly attend "house" churches and live predominantly in the south. The most recent estimates put the size of the Casablanca Jewish community at about 2,,  and the Rabat and Marrakesh Jewish communities at about members each. The remainder of the Jewish population is dispersed throughout the country.
This population is mostly elderly, with a decreasing number of young people. Morocco's official languages are Arabic and Berber. Approximately French is widely used in governmental institutions, media, mid-size and large companies, international commerce with French-speaking countries, and often in international diplomacy. French is taught as an obligatory language in all schools. According to the census, 2. According to Ethnologue , as of , there are 1,, individuals or approximately 4. After Morocco declared independence in , French and Arabic became the main languages of administration and education, causing the role of Spanish to decline.
Morocco is a country with a rich culture and civilisation. All those civilisations have affected the social structure of Morocco. Since independence, a veritable blossoming has taken place in painting and sculpture, popular music, amateur theatre, and filmmaking. 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. The indigenous Berber people and a series of foreign invaders as well as religious and cultural influences have shaped Morocco's architectural styles. The vernacular architecture can range from ornate with bold with colours to simple, clean lines with earth tones.
Influences from the Arab world, Spain, Portugal and France are seen in Moroccan architecture , both on their own and blended with Berber and Islamic styles. Among the buildings, and old Kasbah walls, sit French style-towns left behind by colonisation and intersect with intricately detailed mosques and riad-style homes. Sleek, modern designs are being constructed in cities like Rabat and Casablanca that give no particular homage to any of the past Moroccan architecture styles.
Moroccan literature is written in Arabic, Berber and French.
Under the Almohad dynasty Morocco experienced a period of prosperity and brilliance of learning. The Almohad built the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh, which accommodated no fewer than 25, 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. Modern Moroccan literature began in the s. 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. Three generations of writers especially shaped 20th century Moroccan literature. The second generation was the one that played an important role in the transition to independence with writers like Abdelkrim Ghallab — , Allal al-Fassi — and Mohammed al-Mokhtar Soussi — The third generation is that of writers of the sixties. Those writers were an important influence the many Moroccan novelists, poets and playwrights that were still to come.
During the s and s, Morocco was a refuge and artistic centre and attracted writers as Paul Bowles , Tennessee Williams and William S. Orature oral literature is an integral part of Moroccan culture, be it in Moroccan Arabic or Berber. Moroccan music is of Arabic, Berber and sub-Saharan origins. Rock-influenced chaabi bands are widespread, as is trance music with historical origins in Islamic music. Morocco is home to Andalusian classical music that is found throughout Northwest Africa.
It probably evolved under the Moors in Cordoba , and the Persian-born musician Ziryab is usually credited with its invention. Aita is a Bedouin musical style sung in the countryside. 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, in particular, hip hop. Morocco participated in the Eurovision Song Contest , where it finished in the penultimate position.
Between that time and , many foreign movies were shot in the country, especially in the Ouarzazate area. Studios were also opened in Rabat. However, the Festival's musicians did not play the Moroccan national anthem , as no one in attendance knew what it was. In , the first Mediterranean Film Festival was held in Tangier. In its current incarnation, the event is held in Tetouan. This was followed in with the first national festival of cinema, which was held in Rabat.
Moroccan cuisine is 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. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan cuisine. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients such as 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; lamb is preferred but is relatively expensive. The main Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is couscous ,  the old national delicacy. Beef is the most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco, usually eaten in a Tagine with vegetables or legumes. Chicken is also very commonly used in Tagines, knowing that one of the most famous tagine is the Tagine of Chicken, potatoes and olives.
Lamb is also consumed, but as Northwest African sheep breeds store most of their fat in their tails, Moroccan lamb does not have the pungent flavour that Western lamb and mutton have. Poultry is also very common, and the use of seafood is increasing in Moroccan food.
Although the latter is a soup , it is considered as a dish in itself and is served as such or with dates especially during the month of Ramadan. Pork consumption is forbidden in accordance with Sharia , religious laws of Islam. A big part of the daily meal is bread. Bread in Morocco is principally from durum wheat semolina known as khobz. Bakeries are very common throughout Morocco and fresh bread is a staple in every city, town and village. The most common is whole grain coarse ground or white flour bread.
There are also a number of flat breads and pulled unleavened pan-fried breads.
The most popular drink is "atai", green tea with mint leaves and other ingredients. Tea occupies a very important place in the culture of Morocco and is considered an art form. It is served not only at mealtimes but all through the day, and it is especially a drink of hospitality, commonly served whenever there are guests. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel. Women, especially when travelling alone, may receive unwanted attention from men. To minimise hassle, you may choose to wear loose-fitting clothing which cover the arms, legs and chest.
See our information and advice page for women before you travel. Alcohol is served in licensed hotels, bars and in tourist areas. Possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can result in a lengthy prison sentence and a heavy fine. British passports sent to or through Morocco by post or courier companies will be confiscated by the Moroccan authorities. It is against the law to carry bibles in Arabic, to attempt to distribute any non-Muslim or evangelical literature, or to be involved in any such activity.