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currency: Moroccan dirham (MAD)
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Morocco profile
strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar
Morocco history
In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, a series of Moroccan Muslim dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. The Alaouite dynasty, to which the current Moroccan royal family belongs, dates from the 17th century. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Sultan MOHAMMED V, the current monarch's grandfather, organized the new state as a constitutional monarchy and in 1957 assumed the title of king. Although Morocco is not the UN-recognized Administering Power for the Western Sahara, it exercises de facto administrative control there. The UN assists with direct negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front, but the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. Morocco enjoys a moderately free press, but the government has taken action against journalists who they perceive to be challenging the monarchy, Islam, and the status of Western Sahara. Influenced by protests elsewhere in the region, in February 2011 thousands of Moroccans began weekly rallies in multiple cities across the country to demand greater democracy and end to government corruption. Overall the response of Moroccan security forces was subdued compared to the violence elsewhere in the region. King MOHAMMED VI responded quickly with a reform program that included a new constitution and early elections. The constitution was passed by popular referendum in July 2011; some new powers were extended to parliament and the prime minister, but ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch. In early elections in November 2012, the Justice and Development Party - a moderate Islamist party, won the largest number of seats, becoming the first Islamist party to lead the Moroccan Government. In January 2012, Morocco assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.
interesting Morocco facts
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
Conventional short form: Morocco
Local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
Local short form: Al Maghrib
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Morocco's capital city is Rabat
amazing Morocco facts
Morocco Constitution:
10 March 1972; revised 4 September 1992, amended September 1996; revised constitution approved by referendum 1 July 2011 referendum
Morocco facts for kids
Morocco population growth rate: 1.054%
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Morocco highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m
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Morocco lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m
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About 19% of Morocco's land is arable.
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Draa River is the Longest River in Morocco
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Morocco birth rate is 19 births/1,000 population
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Morocco infant mortality rate is 26 deaths/1,000 live births
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Morocco fertility rate is 2.17 children born/woman
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Morocco climate:
Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior
interesting Morocco facts
Top 10 cities of Morocco with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Casablanca: 3,356,337
2. Rabat: 1,884,917
3. Fes: 1,072,468
4. Marrakech: 953,305
5. Tanger: 793,776
6. Meknes: 616,110
7. Agadir: 600,177
8. Oujda: 435,378
9. Kenitra: 418,222
10. Tetouan: 363,031
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Morocco ethnic groups:
Arab-Berber - 99%
other - 1%
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Morocco Exports:
clothing and textiles, electric components, inorganic chemicals, transistors, crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, citrus fruits, vegetables, fish
interesting Morocco facts
Morocco Imports:
crude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics
interesting Morocco facts
bicameral Parliament consists of the Chamber of Counsilors (or upper house) (270 seats - to be reduced to a maximum of 120; members elected indirectly by local councils, professional organizations, and labor syndicates to serve six-year terms; one-third of the members are elected every three years) and Chamber of Representatives (or lower house) (395 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
15 regions
1. Grand Casablanca
2. Chaouia-Ouardigha
3. Doukkala-Abda
4. Fes-Boulemane
5. Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen
6. Guelmim-Es Smara
7. Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra
8. Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz
9. Meknes-Tafilalet
10. Oriental
11. Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer
12. Souss-Massa-Draa
13. Tadla-Azilal
14. Tanger-Tetouan
15. Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate
Political parties and leaders:
Action Party (PA) - Mohammed EL IDRISSI
Al Ahd (The Covenant) Party - Najib EL OUAZZANI
Alliance des Libert'es (Alliance of Liberty) (ADL) - Ali BELHAJ
An-Nahj Ad-Dimocrati (An-Nahj) - Abdellah EL HARIF
Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) - Mustapha BAKKOURY, secretary general
Choura et Istiqlal (Consultation and Independence) Party (PCI) - Abdelwahed MAACH
Citizens' Forces (FC) - Abderrahman LAHJOUJI
Citizenship and Development Initiative (ICD) - Mohamed BENHAMOU
Constitutional Union Party (UC) - Mohammed ABIED
Democratic and Social Movement (MDS) - Mahmoud ARCHANE
Democratic Forces Front (FFD) - Touhami EL KHIARI
Democratic Socialist Vanguard Party (PADS) - Ahmed BENJELLOUN
Democratic Society Party (PSD) - Zhor CHEKKAFI
Democratic Union (UD) - Bouazza IKKEN
Environment and Development Party (PED) - Ahmed EL ALAMI
Istiqlal (Independence) Party (PI) - Hamid CHABAT
Justice and Development Party (PJD) - Abdelillah BENKIRANE
Labor Party (PT) - Abdelkrim BENATIK
Moroccan Liberal Party (PML) - Mohamed ZIANE
National Democratic Party (PND) - Abdallah KADIRI
National Ittihadi Congress Party (CNI) - Abdelmajid BOUZOUBAA
National Popular Movement (MNP) - Mahjoubi AHERDANE
National Rally of Independents (RNI) - Mustapha EL MANSOURI
National Union of Popular Forces (UNFP) - Abdellah IBRAHIM
Popular Movement (MP) - Mohamed LAENSER
Progress and Socialism Party (PPS) - Ismail ALAOUI
Reform and Development Party (PRD) - Abderrahmane EL KOUHEN
Renaissance and Virtue Party (PRV) - Mohamed KHALIDI
Renewal and Equity Party (PRE) - Chakir ACHABAR
Social Center Party (PSC) - Lahcen MADIH
Socialist Democratic Party (PSD) - Aissa OUARDIGHI
Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) - Driss LACHGAR
Unified Socialist Left Party (PGSU) - Mohamed Ben Said AIT IDDER



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