GENERAL INFORMATION on MOROCCO


Since independence, about 40 years ago, Morocco has achieved to tackle many social problems, mainly in education and health fields. In fact, French left behing a well-developed industrial sector, a reasonably well planned irrigation system and an efficient transportation network. But the sudden departure of the old colonial masters had left the country without an operational political system from which a modern government could be established. Also the lack of locally trained public officers have caused to a black period of mismanagement for the young country.

Desert, Morocca The Kingdom of Morocco is a democratic and constitutional monarchy. The current monarch, King Hassan II, is a member of the Alouite dynasty, which has been in power for the last 300 years. The other constitutional institution to govern the country is a single-chamber parliament. It shares the part of the governmental power with King. For administrative purposes the country is divided into 39 provinces and 8 urban prefectures, each with its own governor. The large units are subdivided into more than 1500 urban and rural communes, administered by people called 'pashas' and 'caids'. The legal systems is based on the French law and legal procedures as well as Islamic law. Overall performance of the democratic system is far more superior to any other Muslim or African country.

Morocco does not have the rich oil fields as the most other fortunate Arab countries. But, the rich phosphate deposits and mild Mediterranean climate as well as resourceful land and water supplies play an important role on the self-sufficiency of the country. The strong manufacturing sector contributes nearly 35% to the Gross Domestic Product. The fast-growing services sector, including booming tourism industry, claims to be the most promising economical sector in today's Morocco.

The large majority of Moroccans are Berbers, Arabs or mixed race people. During the last century the increasing trade activities between Morocco and the other African countries have caused a black African population to settle in Morocco. This minority group live in the sourhern regions of the country and especially in Meknes and Marrakesh. Finally, a small community of Jews and some other European nationals such as Spaniards, French and Italians live in Morocco.

More than half of the population live in small, dusty towns. The fortified buildings constructed from palm tree fiber and compressed mud-clay are known as 'kasbahs'. There are also villages carved into or clinging onto the rock of mountainsides. Also the remote mountain valleys are dotted with the black tents of nomadic tribes.

The arts and the architectural styles have been improved over the centuries mainly under the Islamic influence. The Arabs who brought Islam to Morocco and converted the indigenous Berbers to Islam, also introduced a wealth of ideas about architecture and methods of decoration. Under the influence of Islam, Moroccans constructed mosques, minarets, religious schools, palaces and public buildings. Moroccan mosques took as their inspiration the great mosques of Kairouan in Tunisia and Cordoba in Spain.

There are many other colourful facets of life in Morocco which are worth to look at very closely.



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