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Geography of Morocco

Much of Morocco’s landscape is mountainous with slopes that gradually transition into plateaus and valleys. The Atlas mountains dominate the central part of the country, while the Rif mountains make up the northern edge.

Jebel Toubkal is the highest point of Morocco at 13,664 ft (4,165 m), and is also the highest peak of the Atlas mountains.

The southeastern region of the country is blanketed by the Sahara Desert, the world’s third largest desert at over 3,600,000 square miles (9,400,000 sq. km).

Population: 34,377,510 (July 2015 estimate)

Capital: Rabat

Area: 172,414 square miles (446,550 sq km)

Bordering Countries: Algeria, Western Sahara and Spain (Cueta and Melilla)

Coastline: 1,140 miles (1,835 km)

Highest Point: Jebel Toubkal at 13,665 feet (4,165 m)

Lowest Point: Sebkha Tah at -180 feet (-55 m)

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Culture of Morocco

Morocco is a country with a multiethnic society and a rich culture, civilization, and etiquette. Throughout Moroccan history, Morocco has hosted many peoples, in addition to the indigenousBerbers, coming from the East (Phoenicians, Arabs), South (Sub-Saharan African), and North (Romans, Vandals, Spanish-Andalusians both Muslims and Jewish). All of these have left an impact on the social structure of Morocco. It has also hosted many forms of beliefs, from Paganism, Judaism, Christianity to Islam. Each region possesses its own uniqueness, contributing to the national culture. Morocco has set among its top priorities, the protection of its diversity, and the preservation of its cultural heritage.

In the political world, Morocco is referred to as an African state. The majority of Morocco’s population is Berber and Arab by identity. At least a third of the population speaks the Amazighlanguage. During the Islamic expansion, some Arabs came to Morocco and settled in the flat regions, such as Tadla and Doukkala. For example, there are groups called Charkawa and Arbawa who settled in Morocco from Arabia. The Charkawa claimed to be descended from Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second caliph of Islam.

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About Morroco

Morocco has the richest Islamic architectural heritage in North Africa. Key to this was the influence of Muslim Andalusia, as Muslims were expelled from Spain as a result of the Christian Reconquista led by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. This Andalusian style, which was a rich fusion of European and Arab creativity had a far greater architectural influence, than the Middle East. Morocco was at the centre of the Hispano-Moorish architectural movement for almost six centuries (11-17th Century). Algeria and Tunisia came under the Ottoman empire but Morocco maintained its independence and withstood the Ottomans.Morocco’s early Islamic architectural heritage was enriched by the Arab conquest in the seventh century and the indigenous Berber culture which continues to thrive today. Due to Islam’s forbidding of all human representation, most decorative art was based on geometric patterns, arabesques and floral motifs. Cursive or Kufic script also features prominently. Such motifs can be found in stone, brick or wood, but Hispano-Moorish art particularly favored two materials. The first, stucco, was applied in plaster form to surfaces covered in nails and sculpted while still damp, often into stalactite forms. The second, zellij tiling on panels, is a Moroccan decorative feature. The basic layout of the mosque has not changed since the beginning. It always faces Mecca, the direction of which is shown by the mihrab, an alcove in the middle of the qibla wall. Next to it is a minbar , a platform or pulpit, made out of wood or marble, on which the spiritual leader stands to deliver his sermon. In Morocco, the minaret is a square-shaped tower, topped with a battlemented platform where the muezzin stands to call the faithful to prayer five times a day.

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