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Where can i find infos about organized trip morocco ?

Where can i find infos about organized trip morocco ?
i plan to go to morocco, i need to know where can i find info about organized trips in morocco ?
Organized Tours 
Because many travelers have limited time and resources, organized adventure-travel packages, arranged by tour operators abroad or in Morocco, are a popular and time-efficient way to enjoy activity- and time-specific trips such as climbing Jebel Toubkal or weeklong biking and hiking tours. It's also a good way to experience an activity within a broader sightseeing itinerary.

Group travel can produce several advantages over independent travel. The most obvious is having all your accommodations and transport prearranged, and some (if not all) of your meals included in the cost of a package. Reasonably experienced and professional tour operators should also be able to transport you to each destination or activity without the snags and long delays that those traveling on their own can encounter in Morocco. As an added bonus, you'll have the opportunity to meet like-minded travelers. Joining an organized mountain-trekking tour will usually include prearranged porters or muleteers to carry extra equipment -- sometimes even your own backpack. Dedicated independent travelers will no doubt point out that it always costs extra for the convenience of having all your arrangements handled, and paid for, in advance.

In the best scenario for organized active vacations, group size is kept small (10-16 people) in comparison to the large, escorted bus tours, and tours are conducted by qualified guides knowledgeable about a particular activity. I've mentioned when specific tours or activities are led by specialists, such as naturalists, professors, and the like. Be sure to ask about difficulty levels when you're choosing an active tour. While most companies offer "soft adventure" packages suitable for those in decent (but not necessarily phenomenal) shape, others focus on more strenuous activities geared toward athletic and seasoned adventure travelers.

Moroccan-based operators dedicated to adventure travel are still very thin on the ground, and those that are involved are usually either owned by non-Moroccans and also have a base outside the country, or are activity specific and are therefore mentioned in this chapter under each specialist activity. Other local companies that pertain to adventure-travel specialists are really just general-interest tour operators that have caught on to this particular market and offer a few activities only when specifically requested, and usually within a much broader base of general sightseeing tours. However, it's worth noting that many tour operators contract their ground operations to a locally based outfit that then deals with even smaller operations (such as guides and muleteers for mountain trekking), resulting in some of your tour cost trickling down to the Moroccans themselves.

Tour Operators

Andante Travels (tel. 01722/713800; www.andantetravels.co.uk) has been organizing archaeology and ancient-history tours from their U.K. base since 1985. Their group sizes are small and accompanied by both a tour manager and a specialist lecturer. Their current Morocco offering explores the prehistoric engravings and paintings in the Souss Valley and Anti-Atlas, accompanied by two North African rock art specialists.
Biotrek Adventure Travels (tel. 866/246-8735 toll-free or 540/349-0040; www.biotrektours.com) was created by Sunny Reynolds, a professional photographer, in 1991. The company organizes tours to countries including Morocco, India, Tanzania, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Trips depart from Washington, D.C., and groups are never more than 10 people.
Dragoman Overland (tel. 01728/861133; www.dragoman.com) is based in the U.K. and operates grass-roots tours in their own overland-style trucks through Africa, the Americas, and Asia. The tours are usually camping oriented with group participation, and the trucks are self-sufficient with cooking equipment, water tanks, and tents. They have a 2-week round-trip from Marrakech that is specially geared toward families, with a combination of camping and hotels. The tour visits central Morocco attractions such as the Aït Ben Haddou kasbah, the Dadès Valley, and the Erg Chebbi desert dunes, along with the Western High Atlas village of Imlil and the Atlantic port city of Essaouira. Morocco is also included in their 5-week overland from Malaga, Spain, to Dakar, Senegal.
Epic Morocco (tel. 020/8150-6131; www.epicmorocco.co.uk) is a small U.K.-owned, Marrakech-based tour operator. Owned and managed by Anglo-French couple Charlie Shepherd and Melodie Selvon, they specialize in high-quality, small-group mountain biking, walking, and horse-riding tours in Morocco. They offer a fascinating "Walking with Nomads" experience, which accompanies a family from the Aït Atta tribe as they make their annual migration with their flocks to greener pastures in either the High Atlas or Jebel Sarhro mountain regions. Other tours offer hiking and biking combinations, or they can tailor-make tours to suit.
Explore! Worldwide (tel. 0870/333-4001; www.explore.co.uk) is a U.K.-based operator specializing in small-group adventure holidays worldwide (currently more than 300 tours to more than 130 countries). Their tours cover a wide range of styles, accommodations, and themes such as cycling, trekking, astronomy, and history, as well as dedicated family adventures. They currently offer 18 trips in Morocco, ranging from 5-day mountain treks to a 10-day itinerary that takes in Andalusian Spain.
Imaginative Traveller (tel. 0800/316-2717 toll-free or 01473/667337; www.imaginative-traveller.com) is a U.K.-based outfit specializing in small-group adventure travel worldwide. Their tours come in a range of styles catering to everyone from the independent-minded to the connoisseur traveler. They offer 13 itineraries in Morocco, some of them led by their own leaders and some by local guides. The 15-day "Morocco Caravan" is a good mix of trekking and sightseeing, with plenty of free time for exploring.
Intrepid Travel (tel. 1300/364-512 toll-free or 03/8602-0500; www.intrepidtravel.com) is an Australian-based adventure-travel specialist that has been taking travelers off the beaten track since 1989. They offer small-group tours for individuals, couples, and families, with varying levels of comfort and activities. Their current selection includes a dozen tours within Morocco, which include trekking, cycling, and photographic and general-interest itineraries, along with a few other tours combining a visit to Morocco within a larger tour of southern Europe or North Africa.
Journeys International (tel. 800/255-8735 toll-free or 734/665-4407; www.journeys-intl.com), based in the U.S., offers small-group (4-12 people) natural-history tours guided by naturalists. Trips include an 8-day "Morocco Imperial Cities" tour, which gives you an in-depth look at the country's cultural and historical centers, and a more general 12-day "Discover Morocco."
KE Adventure Travel (tel. 800/497-9675 toll-free in the U.S., or 0176/877366 and 1303/321-0085 in the U.K.; www.keadventure.com) is a leading independent adventure-travel specialist offering a range of tour styles to more than 140 destinations worldwide. Their Moroccan itineraries are unique and diverse, ranging from an 8-day camel trek for families to a 15-day trekking/white-water rafting combo.
Nomadic Expeditions (tel. 0870/2201718; www.nomadic.co.uk) is a U.K.-based company offering overland-style, group-participation tours in Morocco. Clients travel in self-sufficient overland safari trucks, complete with all cooking and camping gear and a driver and tour leader. Eight- and 15-day round-trip itineraries depart Tangier regularly from May to October, and there's also an 8-day round-trip from Marrakech that visits central Morocco and is hotel based rather than camping.
Wilderness Travel (tel. 800/368-2794 toll-free or 510/558-2488; www.wildernesstravel.com) is a U.S.-based tour company specializing in cultural, hiking, and wildlife tours worldwide. Their 15-day "High Atlas Trek" travels from Casablanca to Marrakech via the Central High Atlas, and includes a 6-day trek around the Aït Bou Guemez Valley, with an optional 4-day extension to climb Jebel Toubkal. There's also a 15-day "Camels to Casbahs" tour from Casablanca to Marrakech via central Morocco and Essaouira. These two tours are arranged with tiered pricing (the cost varies according to group size). They also offer a 10-day private tour from Casablanca to Marrakech via central Morocco, with an Essaouira extension.
World Expeditions (tel. 888/464-8735 toll-free in the U.S., 866/606-1721 toll-free in Canada, or 020/8545-9030 toll-free in the U.K.; www.worldexpeditions.com) is one of the world's original adventure-travel companies, organizing Himalayan treks since 1975. Their tours typically offer general-adventure tours as well as activity-specific trips such as sea kayaking, cycling, trekking, and mountaineering. They are highly regarded for their responsible tourism and environmental philosophies, and offer three tours in Morocco consisting of a 13-day trekking/sightseeing combo, a 14-day general sightseeing itinerary, and a combination of the two.


Read more: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/morocco/3871010019.html#ixzz2LWr6APWu
You can arrange your trip in your home country or once you are in Morocco you can arrange there, but Google Morocco Trips you will find many tour operators offering you the choice to suit your budget and itinerary.

Takchita move


caftan blonch 2013 takchita move

The traditional caftan is made out of silk or cotton and can be worn both by women and by men. Below you can read about one of the types of caftans, the Moroccan version.

If you’re looking to buy Moroccan caftans and clothes, you can get the Best deals from here


 



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Moroccan Wedding Theme – Scents & Colours of North Africa

Moroccan Wedding Theme – Scents & Colours of North Africa
Moroccan Wedding ThemeMorroccan Theme Wedding
Just back from my holiers (well, a month ago now) in Marrakech and if there is one place that offers decorative inspiration in spades it’s Morocco – from the scents and spices of the souk, to the ornate carvings and colourful lanterns that define Moroccan interior design, it’s a place that gets your imagination and creative juices flowing.
Moroccan Colour Scheme
So today we thought it would be fun to put together an inspiration board around the idea of a Moroccan Wedding Theme, drawing together some of the elements that combine to create the colourful aesthetic of the North African nation including those all important lanterns that have been seen at weddings all over…


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Ghriba Lbahla almonds and sesame mmhhh

Ghriba Lbahla almonds and sesame mmhhh

How are you all
So in a few days it will be our Id al-Adha Feast of Sacrifice and said party said some goodies to share with family, friends and neighbors and I started one of the most popular sweets in small and large but the most difficult to do and succeed.
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My husband and my kids love it for years and every time I return from Morocco I brought back with me or someone in my immediate family comes to me I asked them that we find especially succulents in a bakery not far from my parents in Casablanca, and the last time I asked my father if he could asked the owner of the pastry recipe that Ghriba if sandblasted and slush, I confess that I thought she would refuse, but because my father is a loyal and good customer and he explained that it was for me who lived so far to often buy her, so she accepted it and c as I have the secret recipe of a professional and I can tell you that it is a killer!
 
I also sought advice from a friend who has already done well and I'll let you see the results and also noted the recipe you need to keep!
 
   
Ingredients for almost a hundred Ghribas
500 g flour
250g sugar
250g butter
2 sachets of yeast (10g 2 times)
125g lightly toasted sesame seeds
125g blanched almonds and ground very fine pitch
A pinch of salt
Very little oil to pick up the dough.

Preparation
Start by mixing the flour with the sugar, pinch of salt, ground almonds and sesame seeds. Then add the melted butter slowly kneading the mixture well for at least 10min.
If your dough does not pick up a ball add a little oil while working until you get to make small balls of dough.
Put your dough well covered in the fridge for a night or a few hours at least.
(A friend who succeeded his well Ghoribas told me last night that she did not let them cool but fashioned live! But as I do the dough last night just before asking and that I intended to finish this morning So I still have left in the fridge until morning!)
Remove dough 2 hours in advance. Work the dough again to warm it with your hands and then add the two packets of yeast and rework a good 10 minutes.
as my dough was a little crumbly (definitely my flour absorbs too much) I added a little oil while kneading the dough and hop was perfect!
Make small balls the size of a walnut and place good enough apart on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.


Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° first by placing the plate on top of the oven for 15 min and then once Ghribas will be well placed nicely cracked plate in the middle and leave another 5 minutes in the oven.


Some people prefer to leave enough blondes, but I prefer when it is lightly browned but not too much!



So what do you think of my Ghoribas?
I found the Top and my husband who rafolle told me they are better than the cake lol
Soon for other goodies ...
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Morocco religious intolerant

Customs and Religion
Moroccans are religious people. Islamic practices affect all aspects of life, especially in more remote communities. As in all Islamic communities the call to prayer will be heard several times a day. During the holy month of Ramadan (which takes place at a different time each year), Moslems fast from daybreak till sunset. This fast puts a great strain on them as they will often rise at 4am to have breakfast. In towns some shops in the Ramadan month are closed for long periods during daylight hours and also at dusk many shops close for an hour while the fasting population have their meal.

Woman are relatively free in Morocco, most walk around without veils and take part in all aspects of life. Non-Moroccan women should be sensitive to traditions concerning dress. In particular shorts and short skirts and low-cut dresses are considered provocative and should be avoided in towns or villages. When swimming a full bathing costume is strongly recommended for women except for private hotel pools or wild beaches. Men should also avoid bearing themselves too much except in the more informal desert surroundings. In towns shorts are acceptable for men except when visiting religious sites or if invited to visit an Arab family. When passing or receiving any item, in particular food, the right hand should be used.
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Could you tell me how I can travel to Morocco for less?

Could you tell me how I can travel to Morocco for less?
Dear reader,I am in search of a cheaper way to reach Morocco.Do you have any tips?Thank you.


Our recent Real Deal on Morocco for Less really ticked off an ex-pat who lives in Morocco and blogs at Cat in Rabat. In a post titled, Morocco for More, she writes that it's outlandish for us to consider $125 a day per person to be a "budget" trip. She says $125 a day isn't budget travel, especially for a place that's not as expensive and popular as, say, many Western European destinations.
Cat in Rabat makes a larger point, too: Even if we had really wanted to plan a budget trip to Morocco, we'd be hard pressed to succeed. Here's why:
Morocco is not a cheap country. And not that it should be--although it would be nice if it were--but there is an expectation that, as a developing nation, it is. Or ought to be. In truth, some things are cheap: rent is cheap (although rents are on the rise), local transportation (with the exception of domestic airfares) is still cheap, and anything made of leather is risibly inexpensive, but it pretty much ends there. Between holiday housing developments sprouting like poisoned mushrooms along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and the Western predilection for building guest houses and renovating derelict ryads in Morocco's medinas, real estate is starting to go through the roof. All this, in conjunction with the hoards of cash-carrying tourists disembarking from cut-throat European airlines, is serving to not only test the local infrastructure but to ensure that prices will go up up up.
Meanwhile...the blogger Morocco Savvy makes the following comment:
Worse yet, their site says "The Real Deals." Travel around Morocco, even for my slightly older and slightly picky parents, still averaged around $125 a day--FOR TWO! As for myself--unless I'm stuck in a 4-star hotel paid for by the conference I'm attending and forgot to eat dinner so must order the nasty 75dh chawarma that isn't even really a chawarma but more like chicken and cabbage in a baguette--travel around Morocco is more like 125 DIRHAMS [$15] a day.
Hmm...Well, as the guy who wrote the Morocco for Less piece, I was surprised by these reactions. Here's my response:
1) As always, "budget" is in the eye of the beholder. Not every package Budget Travel's editors recommend will be right for everyone. We know that some travelers are willing to pay a little more for an escorted trip to avoid having to research reputable companies that offer activities such as a mountain-bike ride or a nine-hour hike through the mountains of the Tamatert Valley. And some travelers like the idea of a tour company using its size to make sure that an activity, such as a valley tour, will happen at an appointed day and time. Yet if you're an independent soul who prefers simple, or ineffable, pleasures, by all means, know that you can enjoy many aspects of Morocco for as little as about $10 a day. Many travelers have done it, and if you're one of the travelers who have, feel free to share your travel suggestions by posting a comment below.
2) If this package costs too much per day at $990 for eight-nights (plus airfare and some meals), then consider instead a 20-night tour of Morocco that costs only $1,218 (including a local payment of $408, but excluding airfare and all meals). This latter deal, which Budget Travel spotlighted in its July issue, works out to about $61 a day. The cheaper-per-day trip is best for travelers who feel comfortable navigating Morocco on their own. The more expensive-per-day trip will provide assistance to help you maximize your time in the country by arranging in advance for bike rides, tent stays, and sightseeing. Why does the one trip cost twice as much per day? The extra cost is to help ease your way into a country that has a very different culture than America's--and an unfamiliar language to boot. (There's additional value provided by this package, too. Keep reading to find out.)
3) I passed along the criticisms of the trip to Intrepid Travel, the company that offers the package. Spokesperson Dyan McKie offered a detailed response. Here's one point she makes:
We use local operators who help us piece together some of the arrangements like our Camel Safaris into the desert, the mountain biking, etc. We could probably do it cheaper if we did it ourselves but as Intrepid's number one core value is Responsible Travel. It wouldn't be very responsible of us not to support the locals. Therefore, we use their local services, even if it costs us more money.
Dyan also points out another advantage to spending a extra money on an Intrepid Travel package, instead of piecing together an itinerary as a backpacker. For a single traveler such as herself (who is female and doesn't speak Arabic nor French), getting around Morocco is not as easy as it might seem to some people. Intrepid specializes in making solo travelers comfortable in its small groups. It doesn't charge a single supplement, unlike most tour package companies. And in a country like Morocco, Intrepid's group leaders can make female travelers feel more culturally comfortable--and culturally aware of how their actions are received locally.
Finally, Dyan added one relevant note. Intrepid Travel's package includes a homestay with a Moroccan family.
Independent travelers can't just turn up to someones home in remote areas and ask to stay. (Though I am sure the very experienced traveler has but generally travelers wouldn't.) We offer them a once in a lifetime experience.That's cheaper than the budget hotel but we like to support the family while we are staying with them. Allowing their children to get an education, assisting in farming and agricultural support, etc. Again this is in accordance with our core values--we want to give our clients that special experience but don't take for granted that these families who are letting us into their lives.
In hindsight, I realize that I should have included more of the above details when I described the value of this package. I'll know better next time. And if any reader still thinks I'm in need of correcting, please post a comment below. Thanks.


Read more: http://www.budgettravel.com/blog/can-you-enjoy-morocco-on-a-budget,9243/#ixzz2LWsSahkc

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General Concepts of Sexuality and Love in morocco


General Concepts of Sexuality and Love

In Islam, the love of God occupies a big place in the heart of the believer with regard to carnal love. This has not prevented sexuality from flourishing with the advance of Arab-Islamic civilization, across the different dynasties, in passing through the great sociocultural cities of Damas, Baghdad, and Cairo (Malek 1995). Since those early times, the arts, knowledge, amorous poetry, and sexual culture have not ceased to deteriorate. This degradation puts in relief the contradictions that exist between the religious law and the traditions that are a part of what is prescribed by Islam concerning sexuality and what is forbidden within the family, in the extended community, and in the whole society. While the Muslim religion is more permissive, in contrast to Christianity, it gives primacy to carnal pleasure within the framework of marriage as a means of union with the other and with God. This glorification of sexual pleasure is a necessary ornament to the existence of the believer. Sexual abstention is, consequently, advised against, almost forbidden: “Rahbaniatan: The monasticism that they [Christians] have created has not ever been recommended or enjoined by us,” the Koran tells us. The nikah (marriage), the religious and judicial framework in which sexuality exerts itself, organizes the sexual connections, their breaks, their changes, and the practical consequences that they entail.


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Sociolegal Status of Males and Females of morocco

In the legal sphere, the rights of the individual man or woman are governed by the penal code, the code of commerce, and the code of family law (mudawana). Morocco’s penal and commercial codes are identical in scope, with men and women sharing the same rights and obligations. On the contrary, the code of family law, which regulates man-woman relations in the domains of marriage, repudiation, filiation, custody of the children, guardianship, and inheritance, is far from being equitable (Statut du Code, 1996).


[A first step in reform of the mudawana came in the early 1980s, when the Union de l’Action Feminin and other groups gathered over a million signatures in support of a petition urging the King to reform the family law regulating marriage, divorce, inheritance, child custody, and polygamy. There is still no central office to deal with alimony or child support. The new code is known as the Statut du Code Personnel “Mudawana” (1996) (Fernea 1998:106, 113, 120). (Editor)]

If the penal and commercial codes are inspired by French law, the Moroccan code of family law is inspired by the Chariâ (Islamic Law), especially that of the Malékite rite. Although the Chariâ accepts polygamy with up to four legitimate wives, Moroccan law adopts some restrictions with the view of limiting the practice of polygamy, and poses conditions of equality in the treatment of the co-spouses. Polygamy is to be avoided when a disparity is to be feared (Article 30.1).

On the other hand, Moroccan women still have not been able to reach a real emancipation and autonomy vis-à-vis men, despite the important changes observed in our modern society. The Moroccan woman still commonly estimates the man to be superior to her, tolerates work of a temporary nature, judges having children, especially boys, as all important for inheritance, thinks that virginity is of major importance, and accords a great place to the ceremony of marriage. The woman in our society is a woman in evolution, but she remains linked to the group (Amir 1988; Kacha 1996; Moussaid 1992). This woman is opposed to the total transformation of those who might lead us toward an insecure situation. This opposition is because of internal resistance that is linked to the educational and external schemas in the measure where the social milieu brakes this desire for change (Amir 1988; Kacha 1996).

On March 12, 2000, two rival demonstrations by several hundred thousand Moroccans bore testimony to the transitional tensions and evolution evident in our country. The issue of both demonstrations was a government plan for a variety of social and human rights reforms proposed by the new King, Mohammed VI, who came to the throne after the death of his father, King Hassan II, in July 1999. Among other reforms, the government plan would fully replace with a court divorce the practice of repudiation, in which the husband can divorce his wife by a triple verbal declaration. The reform would also provide for equal division of money and property in a divorce, and support a literacy program for rural Moroccan women, over 80 percent of whom are illiterate. In the capital, Rabat, 200,000 to 300,000 members and representatives of women’s groups, human rights movements, and political parties ended their march supporting the reform with a concert. In Casablanca, at least 200,000 men and women marching in separate columns - some claimed twice that number - denounced the reform (Associated Press 2000).

[In terms of judiciary power, Morocco is far ahead of Egypt, with 20 percent of its judges being women, compared with no Egyptian female judges. On the other hand, whereas Egyptian President Sadat appointed 35 women to his country’s Parliament in 1981, Moroccan women had to wait 37 years following independence to have two women elected to the Moroccan Parliament (Fernea 1998:117).



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Character of Gender Roles of morocco

Character of Gender Roles

The traditional family structure remains very faithfully attached to the archaic patriarchal scheme. The father is, in general, a patriarch who inspires respect and to whom one owes obedience and acknowledgment. The mother is the housekeeper “wife-mother” who does everything. She is the one who makes the decisions in the social sphere. But she prepares her own strategy for managing her ecosystem by imposing a strong personality in the household. She reveals herself to be more conservative than the man. When a woman becomes a mother, she is always considered a potential danger, because she is perceived as having a devastating effect on the man. However, our Islamic religion adopts an ambivalent attitude toward women. On one side, she is considered as being more wily than Iblis (Satan) whom she incarnates in our collective unconscious; on the other side, the Hadith (Words of the Prophet) considers woman as a simple being of spirit, whose faith is incomplete. This notion is largely predominant in the rural population, whereas city women have begun to rebel against this state of things (Moussaid 1992; Naamane 1990). [In terms of Moroccan cultural change, there are continuing tensions between the people of the magzken in the urban organized government and the people of the rural and tribal bled. These tensions often focus on the differences between modern Western sexual and marital values and those espoused by the tribal and rural cultures (Fernea 1998:63).

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A Brief Historical Perspective in morocco


A Brief Historical Perspective in morocco

Morocco is rich in Paleolithic remains, particularly in parts of North Africa and the Sahara, which were populated until the Neolithic era. The people who settled in the region soon after that were probably natives of Europe and Asia. They became the ancestors of today’s Berbers. In the seventh century BCE, the Phoenicians laid the foundations of commerce on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa at sites having Berber names that became the great ports of Tingi (Tangier), Melilia (Russadir), and Casablanca. The conquest of Carthage by the Roman Empire in the first century BCE assured Roman domination of the entire African Mediterranean coastline to the Straits of Gibraltar. From 25 to 23 BCE, Juba II, a Berber sovereign, administered the Berber kingdom of Mauritania (Algeria, Morocco, and a part of Mauritania). Around 42 CE, the emperor Claudius I annexed the whole empire of Mauritania to the Roman Empire. In 429, Morocco underwent the invasion of the Vandals. The Byzantine general Bélisaire regained the region in 533. After the conversion of the emperor Constantine I the Great in the fourth century, Christianity expanded in the Roman regions.

It appears that Islamic troops reached the Atlantic Ocean in 681 under the command of Oqba Ibn Nafii. The real conquest started later on, between 705 and 707, under the direction of Moussa Ibn Nousair. The Muslim establishment was in the meantime long and difficult. Many Muslim dynasties, claiming Arabic origins for religious reasons or prestige, ruled in various areas of the country. In 788, Idriss I, descendant of Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet, founded the dynasty of the Idrissides. It is from this age that dates the founding of the city of Fès, which became an important religious and cultural center of the Islamic world under Idriss II. The rigorist Almoravide warriors of Islam went on to dominate the region beginning in 1062, the date at which they founded Marrakech as the crossroads of commercial routes between the Arab world and the Sahara. A new reform movement, the Almohades (the Unities), launched by Ibn Toumart in the first half of the twelfth century, put an end to the Almoravide empire in 1147, marking the triumph of the seated Berbers of the anti-Atlas under the aegis of Abd Al-Moumen (1130-1163). The Almohades exercised their authority over what is currently Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and part of Portugal and Spain.

In 1269, the Mérinides, of the Arabic Berbers, took over the throne, but they could not maintain the unity of the North African empire of the Almohades. During the reconquest of Spain, which exiled the Arabs and the Jews, the great majority of Spanish Muslims found refuge in Morocco they took over. In 1415, Ceuta (Sebta) was occupied by the Portuguese. In 1497, Melilia fell to the Spanish. The intrusions of the Europeans provoked the rise of the Beni Saâd (or Saâdiens), who became master of the country in 1554. Moroccan Saâdiens, aided by Moorish and Jewish refugees from Spain, created a prosperous and unified country. In this period, Moroccan architecture and arts flourished. In 1664, Maulay Rachid founded the Alaouite dynasty, which still reigns to this day in Morocco. The Alaouite dynasty knew its apogee under the sultan Moulay Ismail (1672-1727), the builder of the city of Meknès. His reign was followed by a long period of family rivalries. At the end of the eighteenth century, only the northern third of Morocco remained under the administration of the sultan.

On March 30, 1912, the sultan recognized the French protectorate. Spain, for its part, assumed control of the north of Morocco, from the enclave of Ifni (southwest) and from the Moroccan Sahara (west). The occupation of the country was not total until 1934. After World War II, the Moroccan nationalist resistance forced independence in 1956, opening the era of the constitutional monarchy in Morocco. The last vestiges of European colonialism persisted until the recent past. The enclave of Ifni was not returned to Morocco until 1964, and the Moroccan Sahara was not recovered until 1976 at the end of a popular nationalist march called the “Green March.” Two other enclaves, small ports situated on the Mediterranean coast west of Tangier, Ceuta and Melilia, are still occupied by Spain.



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Demographics in Morocco

Demographics in Morocco

Morocco is situated on the northwestern coast of Africa. It shares its borders with Algeria to the east and south, and with Mauritania to the southwest. It is bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, the two expanses of water being separated by the Strait of Gibraltar, which is situated to the north of Morocco. The area of Morocco is 172,400 square miles or 710,850 square kilometers, slightly larger than the state of California. About 20 percent of the land of Morocco is arable. Fertile plains extend the length of the Atlantic coastline: in the regions from the center-north, the plain of Fès-Saiss; to the south, the plain of Souss-Massa; and to the south-southwest, the Tadla. To the east of these plains, the Atlas Mountains, which peak at 4,165 meters (Toubkal), extend from the southwest of Morocco to the confines of the Algerian borders in the northeast. To the north, the Rif Mountains connect the northwest coast of Morocco to West Algeria (l’Ouest Algérien). Among the great wealth of Morocco, along with farming and its human resources, is the mining of phosphate, which is found in great abundance in the central regions of Morocco, the city of Khouribga, and in the Moroccan Sahara. Until 1976, the Moroccan Sahara represented one of the last vestiges of French colonialism in Morocco.

In 1997, the population of Morocco was estimated at 30,391,423; in 2000, more than half of this population, 53 percent, lived in the cities. The regional distribution of the urban population remains marked by the concentration of 56 percent of this population in two areas: the center and the northwest. The axis of the cities of Casablanca-Rabat-Kenitra clusters 35 percent of the urban population of Morocco. Ethnically, Morocco is very homogeneous, with 99 percent of the population Arab-Berber. The great majority of Moroccans are Muslim (98.7 percent); 1.1 percent are Christian and 0.2 percent are Jewish. Sunni Malikite Islam is the state religion. The 1998 age distribution of the population reveals that about 80 percent of the population were less than 40 years old, the active population, 15 to 60 years old, comprised 56 percent, and those over 60 years represented only 7 percent of Moroccans. The life expectancy from birth in 2000 was 66.85 years for men and 71 years for women. The birthrate in 2000 was 25.78 per 1,000 population, the infant mortality rate was 50.96 per 1,000 live births, and the death rate was 6.12 per 1,000, for an annual natural growth of 1.96 percent. In 1998, the average Moroccan woman of fertile age was expected to bear 3.1 children (the Total Fertility Rate, TFR), placing the country 90 among 227 nations of the world. In 2000, the literacy rate in the rural areas was about 25 percent, with two thirds of the urban population being literate. With school attendance compulsory from age 7 to 13, the estimated overall literacy rate is just 50 percent and 25 percent for women (Fernea 1998:110). In 1994, Morocco had one hospital bed for 978 persons and one physician for 2,923 people. The 1997 estimated per capita Gross Domestic Product was $3,500.morocco culture,moroccan food,morocco food,moroccan cuisine,morocco beaches,moroccan meal,beaches in morocco,moroccan culture,hercules cave,hercules cave morocco 

What percentage of people in Morocco are truly religious?


What percentage of people in Morocco are truly religious?
The ones who go to the mosque or pray or dress modestly? If given a choice to change their religion how many people in Morocco would convert to another one?

I saw too many that weren't going to the mosque at all and pretending to be religious by their talk and not actions when I was there visiting on a long holiday. Especially the younger generation. So I am wondering if you are being sarcastic or joking in your answer.
Considering how over-crowded the prisons are, how people are so desperate to leave Morocco for a better life that they will scam foreigners in marriages in order to get residency visas, the fact that during riots in the past few years anarchists made their presence known I would say that the younger generation is not very religious at all, they are going along with traditions. I would say less than 50%. While traveling it didn't seem the mosques were all that busy for prayers, few shops and restaurants closed up for prayers, and cyber-cafes seemed to get more attention.Percentage wise it is difficult to say as there is no official statistics nor there is registry maintain of Moroccan converting to other religion. All Muslims go to mosque whether that be once a week or five times a day, and you will find in Morocco the mosques are full at times. Majority of Moroccans are religious and remember Allah all the times.

Yes that is true the younger generation are distracted by the worldly things and have time for that rather performing their prayers five times a day, But generally you will find young and old attending mosques be that one time a day or more. I have witnessed too that when there is a football on the TV, some would just watch TV rather then answer the call of "adhan",

I am not being sarcastic or joking but stating the facts, of course you will find this in all Muslim countries where all in all the Muslims do attend and pray in the mosques. Of course some pray at home too.

The one who did not turn the music down or stopped playing music are in need of help or guidance.

I noticed that they did turn down their music when it was prayer time but went ahead with everything else that they were doing.

more than being religioud, they're traditional..so they will stick to their religion.at least 85% of men go to the mosque at least once a day some older citizens who are retired go to all prayers...women mostly go to Friday prayers.
dressing modestly..well between 60-70 wear scrafs,moroccan jilbabs or pants...but most of them cover their hair..a lot of them dont...then there are the really religious ones who wear the burka like in middle east...
it will be hard to find a moroccan converting to christianity or any other religion as it will go against their traditions. but there are a few of them who do convert..mostly if they get married to christians or move overseas..it's a choice.
otherwise, i don't see why you asked this question....kind of~~weird lol



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Dorcas gazelle-Animals in Morocco

Dorcas gazelleThe Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas) is closely related to the mountain gazelle, but is different on a few points. They have longer ears and they have curvier horns. The Dorcas gazelles live in northern Africa, and the Sahara and Negev deserts in Morocco, Rio de Oro, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Chad, Somalia and Ethiopia. In the Middle East they live in parts of Israel and Sinai. The coloring in subspecies is different, in the Northern Sahara, they are an ocher color and they have darker flanking stripes. But the population near the Red Sea, has a more reddish-brown and lighter flanking stripes.

Their diet consists of leaves, flowers
 and pods of Acacian trees and various bushes.

When they feel threatened they sound their alarm call which sounds like barking. When chased, these gazelles use "stotting" (leaping straight up during pursuit by a predator) as a method to signal their fitness to the predator and warn other gazelles a predator is present. Dorcas gazelles can reach speeds of up to 80 km/hr. Their natural predators are the lion, cheetah and the leopard, but their main threats are habitat destruction, hunting, and the introduction of domestic sheep and goats.

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What is the most common animals in Morocco


The most common animals in Morocco are Barbary lion, the Barbary Macaque, the camel and the Fennec.
What are the Common animals in Morocco?
I'm doing a report on several countries and one physical characteristic of the country(Morocco) is animal! what animals live in Morocco?

Number one is cats, they are every where, in the medina, in the outdoor cafes and restaurants, parked near every outdoor butcher shop, on top of roof top terraces, inside the waiting area of airports, in the parks or anywhere people congregate. Donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens and cows are also common domesticated animals and some people have canaries, lovebirds and parakeets. Snake handlers are common in tourist areas, you will see them holding Cobras or desert snakes.
Morocco is a country that is made up of mostly desert and is known for its extremely high heat, particularly in mid-day. The plants and animals that live in Morocco have adapted to these conditions over time and have survived in spite of the intense heat and lack of sufficient water. Morocco is the home to several species of animals that are not found in other parts of the world.
Mammals
dorcas gazelle
the dorcas gazelle
Approximately 105 species of animals live in Morocco, and of these, 18 are on the endangered species list. The most typical type of mammal to live in Morocco is the dorcas gazelle. This type of gazelle is the smallest of its species, and it is recognizable by its extremely long legs and curved horns. Both male and female dorcas gazelles have full sets of horns. To compensate for the lack of fresh water, dorcas gazelles absorb water from the Acacia leaves that make up the majority of their diet. Due to the intensity of the mid-day sun, dorcas gazelles are usually only spotted being active in the early morning and late evening hours.
A type of dog that is unique to Morocco is the Sloughi breed. They are fast dogs that people of that nation use for hunting purposes. Their appearance is close to that of a greyhound.
Birds
There are more than 450 types of birds that have managed to survive the desert heat of Morocco. Pelicans and gulls can be found most often on the coast lines, while partridges, woodpeckers, doves, pigeons and pheasants are more often found in the desert areas. Bird species that are typically only seen in zoos in the United States, such as ostriches, swans and flamingoes, originate from Morocco and must be shipped overseas for anyone outside of Morocco to see them.

Native Plants & Animals of Morocco

Native Plants & Animals of Morocco




Native Plants & Animals of Morocco thumbnail
















Despite the harsh desert climate, Morocco boasts hundreds of species of plants and animals.
The geographical terrain of Morocco is one of the most grueling in the world during the heat of the day as it is mostly desert. Despite this, Morocco is home to many species of plants and animals. The majority of these plants and animals have adapted to the terrain and have become excellent at utilizing what little water is available to them.
Other People Are Reading
 Morrocan Plants & Flowers Plant Life in Morocco

Native Plants
Morocco is home to a variety of plant species. Its geographical location and unusual desert and mountain terrain give rise to many different types of flora. There is an estimated 4,979 different types of plant taxa in Morocco. Nine major families that include more than 100 species each make up 60 percent of Morocco's flora. The genus Silene is the most diverse Moroccan flora---containing more than 69 species. Other important Moroccan families include Asteraceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae, and Caryophyllaceae.

Land Mammals
Morocco has an estimated 105 species of land mammals, and close to 18 are considered endangered. One of the most common mammals is the dorcas gazelle, the smallest gazelle that exists. This particular breed has long, curved horns on both the males and females and very long legs. They tend to feed on Acacia leaves and are very active in the evening and morning, due to the heat of the Moroccan desert. They rarely drink water and absorb the water from plants they eat.

The Sloughi, a species of dog, is one of the most interesting Moroccan animals. Sloughis are often domesticated and are used for hunting. They appear very similar in appearance to greyhounds and are also very fast.

Birds
Although the desert heat can be hard on many animals, Morocco boasts more than 454 species of birds, nearly all of them native to the country. The most common types of birds include pheasants, pigeons, doves, woodpeckers, and partridges. Other types of birds that occupy the coast include pelicans, gulls, and boobies. Ducks, swans, storks, flamingos, and even ostriches are native to Morocco as well.

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Morocco: Animals and Plants


Morocco: Animals and Plants



In Morocco there are 460 species of birds, including the rare bald ibis.
Morocco has a rich birdlife including birds of prey such as eagles, falcons and buzzards. Woodpeckers, larks and finches are found in parts of the country as are many kinds of waterbirds.

There are at least 104 different reptiles. Many of the reptiles such as geckos are nocturnal. Go here to read about geckos 



The spiny-tailed lizard lives here too.


In the desert in the south of Morocco, mammals such as genets, fennec foxes (see picture below) jerboas (which are jumping mice), gerbils, striped hyena, baboons and wild goats. European animals such as porcupines and hedgehogs are active at night and there are rabbits and foxes.




  Foxes like this one can be found in Morocco
In the mountainous parts of Morocco there are forests of cork oak, evergreen oak, juniper, cedar, fir, and pine. The plains are usually covered with scrub brush and alfa grass.






.. .....Some snakes like this sand viper are active at night.












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Plant Life in Morocco

Morocco is a country on the coast of North Africa. It mostly has a Mediterranean climate with an awe-inspiring abundance of flora. There are an estimated 5,000 different species of plants in Morocco, and many of them are endemic to the region. Going on a nature walk through any part of the country will give you an entertaining view of plants both big and small.




Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a highly aromatic tree that produces leathery leaves that are full of the camphorous essential oil. These trees thrive in Morocco and provide a pleasant scent through many parts of the regi


Maquis grows all over Morocco and other Mediterranean regions.

Maquis

Maquis is the word that is used to describe the thick, massive growth of brush along the region. The brush consists of aromatic shrubs and herbs like laurel, mint and myrrh. Olive trees also grow within the maquis ground covering.

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The Animal Kingdom Of Morocco


The Animal Kingdom Of Morocco

Morocco has plenty of wildlife and has a government that is equally conscious about wildlife conservation. Lets take a look at some of Morocco's wildlife and the efforts involved in their conservation.

The animal kingdom of Morocco is not as rich as the flora. The Lions and a form of red deer that inhabited the country have gradually become extinct. But you would surely find other species like panthers, jackals, foxes and gazelles in most parts of the country. You may also find the North African Cheetah in some parts in small numbers. Though scientists haven’t been able to spot many cheetahs, local nomads confirm their existence in the country but surely in lesser numbers.

The fauna is an interesting mix of the species from the Palaearctische Region and African region. There are some species of small Dorcas Gazelles that can survive on water it gets from plants it eats. The only monkey found in Morocco is the Magot, which is rare as deforestation is taking a toll on it. The smallest foxes, the fennec fox are also found near the Sahara desert that survive on insects, lizards and fruits. Another one from the canine family is the Sloughi called also as Arabian sighthound, which comes from the same family as greyhounds and salukis.

There is a wind range of lizards and skinks found in the deserts of the Sahara. You may find lizards like the Atlas Dwarf Lizard, which are endemic to Morocco, as they have a natural habitat with temperate shrub lands and rocky areas. Manuel’s skinks, Ebner’s skinks are some of the species that have been largely endangered by some agricultural practices. There are some species of newts like the Iberian Ribbed Newt that can be found here.

You would also be able to catch a glimpse of different species of birds like Flamingos, Pelicants, Falcons, Buttonquails, storm-petrels, sandpipers, small species of bats, mapies, larks, swallows, martins etc. There are three species of Divers – the red throated, black throated and the great northern diver found in Morocco. Grebes, which are the fresh water diving birds can also be found. The lammergeyer, dark chanting goshawk and tawny eagle are also nearly extinct from Morocco.

The Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea are home to some rich ocean wildlife. Though affected by the fish poaching as well as due to over fishing and contamination of waters there has been a reduction in number of fishes like mullets, sea beams, marlin, sea perch, grouper, tuna, barracudas and swordfish. You may also find fish in the tranquil lakes and rivers. These are home to fish like carp, perch, black bass, trouts, barbell, eel and roach. However, with the number of fishes on a lower side there are many restrictions that are being implemented. If you have the required permit you may hire fishing vessels to go deep sea fishing from the ports of Mohammedia and Saharan.

The kingdom of Morocco provides animal and adventure lovers great opportunities to explore the flora and fauna in all landscapes of the country and catch a glimpse of some exotic varieties more than any place else.


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Gallery: 10 highly destructive plants and animals


Gallery: 10 highly destructive plants and animals

 

Although they're no competition for humans, some plants and animals can do quite a bit of harm to their environments. Sometimes it's because they're invasive species, other times it's because their natural predators have disappeared and once in a while, it's simply in their nature. Take a look at 10 of the most destructive species on the planet.

Officials with the snakehead fish after it was captured from Burnaby's Central Lake pond Friday.
 

This snakehead fish caused a small panic when it was spotted in Burnaby's Central Lake this year. The highly invasive species has no predators outside of its natural environment in Asia and is able to travel short distances over land by wriggling on the ground. It's been blamed for destroying North American waterways by eating every species in its path.




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Morocco


LOCATION


Morocco is located in western North Africa and is bordered on the north by the Strait of Gibraltar opposite Spain and the Mediterranean Sea, on the east and southeast by Algeria, on the south by Western Sahara, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The southeastern boundary, in the Sahara, is not precisely defined.Within Morocco are the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, on the Mediterranean coast. Several small islands off the north coast of Morocco are also Spanish possessions. The area of Morocco is with it's 446,550 square kilometres slightly smaller than Uzbekistan. Morocco occupies and administers the region to the south, known as Western Sahara, but sovereignty has not yet been determined. The United Nations (UN) is attempting to hold a referendum on the issue and has imposed a ceasefire since September 1991. Morocco contests Spanish control of Ceuta and Melilla.

TOPOGRAPHY

Morocco has the broadest plains and the highest mountains in North Africa. The country has four main physiographic regions: an area of highlands, called Er Rif, paralleling the Mediterranean coast; the Atlas Mountains, extending across the country in a southwest to northeast direction between the Atlantic Ocean and Er Rif, from which the mountains are separated by the Taza Depression; a region of broad coastal plains along the Atlantic Ocean, framed in the arc formed by Er Rif and the Atlas Mountains; and the plains and valleys south of the Atlas Mountains, which merge with the Sahara along the southeastern borders of the country. The highest mountain is Jebel Toubkal, which rises 4,165 metres (13,665 feet) in the High Atlas range.

MAJOR RIVERS AND LAKES

Morocco has many rivers, which, although unimportant for navigation, are used for irrigation and for generating electric power. The main rivers are the Moulouya, which drains into the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sebou, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

CLIMATE

Along the Mediterranean, Morocco has a subtropical climate, tempered by oceanic influences that give the coastal cities moderate temperatures. At Essaouira, for example, temperatures average 16 C (61 F) in January and 22 C (72 F) in August. Towards the interior, winters are colder and summers warmer. Thus, in Fs the mean temperature is 10 C (50 F) in January and 27 C (81 F) in August. At high elevations, temperatures of less than 18 C (less than 0 F) are common, and mountain peaks are covered with snow during most of the year.Rain falls mainly during the winter months and is heaviest in the northwest and lightest in the east and south. The average annual precipitation is about 955 millimetres (about 38 inches) in Tangier, 430 millimetres (17 inches) in Casablanca, 280 millimetres (11 inches) in Essaouira, and less than 102 millimetres (less than 4 inches) in the Sahara.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Agricultural production has been expanding and has led to soil erosion and associated problems. Siltation of reservoirs has occurred as a result of irrigation. Raw sewage has contaminated portions of the water supplies. Coastal waters have been polluted by oil.

The People -POPULATION
Capturing Rain in the Desert: Near Zagora in the Dra Valley of the Sahara, a farmer builds a straw water-diverter. Mud villages like Zagora are scattered throughout the desert, clustered near palm oases. Huge Moorish caravans of traders and camels once passed through this region, bringing cloth, glass beads, and salt to settlements to the south in return for gold, slaves, leather, and pepper.
Human inhabitants in what is now Morocco were preceded by hominids who produced stone hand axes some 200,000 years ago. Remains have been found of Neanderthal-type desert hunters that date back to 30,000 BC. Moroccos earliest known settlers were the Imazighen, often referred to as the Berbers, believed to have come from the Middle East.Morocco's population is composed of three main ethnic groups, the largest being the Imazighen, who account for about 60 per cent of the population, and the next largest being the Arabs and the Haratin, who are descendants of slaves brought from West Africa and who live throughout the southern area of the country. Among the Imazighen are a number of regional groups who call themselves by other names. For instance, people of the Rif refer to themselves as Irifin, and people of the High Atlas call themselves Ashilhayn.Western Sahara has an official population of about 283 thousand (1995), most of whom are ethnic Sahrawis. These are nomadic peoples who make a living through animal husbandry and subsistence agriculture. Morocco includes them in its official statistics, trade calculations, budgets, and other official data.An estimated 48.4 per cent (1995) of all Moroccos people live in urban areas, and urban migration is swelling the populations of its cities. Casablanca the largest city and the metropolitan areas of Rabat the capital and Sal  account for about 35 per cent of Morocco's urban population.

LANGUAGE

The official language is Arabic, but French, Spanish, and various Berber dialects are also spoken. French is widely used in business, government, and higher education. Moroccan Arabic, called Derija, which literally means dialect , is the most widely spoken dialect. Derija is quite different from the classical Arabic of the Koran, the scriptural text of Islam. Amazigh dialects are spoken by the Imazighen peoples. Other prominent dialects include Tashilhayt, which is spoken in the High Atlas and Souss Valley; Tarifit, spoken in the Rif region; and Tamazight, spoken in the Moyen Atlas. Hasaniya, an Arabic dialect, is spoken around Guelmim and in the south, including Western Sahara. Spanish is spoken in the north, which was formerly under Spanish control. English is gaining in popularity.

RELIGION

Islam is the country's official religion. The king is both the political and the spiritual leader of the people. All ethnic Moroccans are Muslim. Conversion to another religion is not recognized by the state. Popular religion mixes aspects of various folk beliefs with traditional Islamic practices. Some Christians and Jews also live in Morocco. Friday is the Muslim day of worship, when a sermon is given at the mosque during the noon prayer. However, businesses are not usually closed on Fridays.

DRESS

Many Moroccans still wear the traditional djellaba, a hooded kaftan made from wool, cotton, or silk and worn by both men and women except women in rural areas. Many women still cover themselves from head to toe and wear the traditional veil, called a letam. When visiting a mosque, Muslims cover their arms and legs, and remove their shoes.

GREETINGS AND GESTURES

Moroccans generally shake hands when greeting each other. To demonstrate pleasure in seeing another person or to show personal warmth, people cover their hearts after shaking hands. Children in rural areas conventionally kiss the right hand of their parents or elders to show respect when greeting them. Westernized people might greet close friends or relatives by brushing or kissing cheeks.The most common general greeting is Assalam oualaikoum (Peace be upon you). Sbah al kheir (Good morning) and Msa al kheir (Good evening) are also used. More formally, one might say Ahlan wasahlan (Pleased to see you). Greetings between friends also include enquiries about each other's well-being and that of their families. Repeated enthusiastic phrases of welcome are often extended to guests less fervent greetings might be considered rude. It is polite to greet an acquaintance when passing on an urban street, but people do not greet strangers. In rural areas, most people know one another, so men greet men and women greet women when passing on the street. Titles are always used in formal situations and to address acquaintances. Friends address each other by their first names. Elders might be referred to by a title such as Hadj, which is an honorary title reserved for those who have completed a pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah), or by the equivalent of Aunt or Uncle.Items are passed with the right hand or with both hands, not with the left. It is impolite to point at people and improper to let the bottom of one's foot face a person. Crossing one's legs or placing an ankle over a knee is generally considered improper in Morocco.

The Lifestyle-FAMILY
Berber Houses of Morocco: Berbers have lived in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco for more than 3,000 years, many of them in houses made of mud bricks, wood, or stone. Berber houses typically consist of one large room that serves as kitchen, living room, sleeping quarters, and barn. The majority of Berbers make a living by farming or raising livestock
Religious Festival Music: In Morocco, musicians are believed to possess almost magical powers. Master musicians are of a special caste in Moroccan villages and are exempt from farmwork. Musical knowledge is handed down to sons, who are apprenticed to their fathers at a very young age.
The extended family is the most important element in Moroccan social life. One's family is a source of reputation and honour as well as financial and psychological support. It is considered a duty to provide financial assistance to other members of the extended family when it is necessary or requested. The tie between mother and son is the most important relationship within the family. Children are indulged but are also expected to contribute to the family by attaining a respectable position in society. Adult children expect to care for their ageing parents when it becomes necessary. Parents do not generally interfere with the domestic or private affairs of their children's families.Women are traditionally restricted to domestic roles and to working in the fields. However, in more modern cities such as Casablanca and Rabat, it is not unusual for women to take paid employment.Many marriages are still arranged by the parents of the bride and groom. When a couple is to be married, the man pays the woman's father or eldest brother a sum of money to meet her wedding expenses. The bride's family provides her with a dowry of household furnishings. A woman is expected to be chaste prior to marriage. Divorce, although frowned upon, is not uncommon.Weddings signify a new union between families and are celebrated as lavishly as possible. A wedding usually lasts two days. The first day is for the bride's female relatives and friends to come together to sing, dance, and decorate the bride's arms and legs with henna dye. On the second day, the groom's family and bride's family meet to celebrate the wedding and to show that they have become one family.

DIET AND EATING

Traditional Communal Dish: Women gather to eat at a name-giving ceremony in Morocco. Savoury Moroccan dishes blend the traditional nomads diet of mutton and lamb, vegetables, and dairy products with European and African ingredients. Couscous, the national dish, is a combination of steamed wheat with vegetables, fish or meat, and a soup-like sauce. Cool mint tea is the national drink.
Mutton, beef, and chicken are the principal meats in the Moroccan diet. Traditional Moroccan dishes include harira, a tomato-based soup with beef or mutton, chickpeas, and lentils; kefta, mixed beef or mutton, seasoned and cooked over charcoal; and tajine, a meat stew using a variety of ingredients, often including almonds. Couscous and fish are also common. Moroccans cook fish in a variety of ways. Mint tea is the national drink. Islam prohibits the consumption of pork and alcohol, and although some men do drink alcohol, it is not entirely socially acceptable.In most homes, the family eats the main meal of the day together. Hands are washed before and after eating. In rural areas, a basin of water for washing is usually provided, while people in urban areas simply use the sink. Cutlery is used, but traditionally Moroccans eat with their fingers using the right hand only from the nearest part of a large communal dish.

SOCIAL LIFE

Visiting friends and relatives frequently is considered necessary to maintain close relationships. Visiting is most popular on holidays but may occur at any time. Among family members, it is acceptable to visit unannounced. However, whenever possible, friends make arrangements in advance. This is less common in rural areas, where telephones are not always available for calling ahead.Hospitality is valued in Morocco, and hosts make a point of taking their time with guests and making them comfortable. When invited to dinner, guests are not expected to bring a gift unless the occasion is to celebrate something special. Milk and dates are served as a sign of hospitality. Guests please their hosts by complimenting them on their home. Men and women do not always socialize together. In rural areas, they more often associate separately, while couples in urban areas will socialize in mixed company. Men also often socialize in public coffee houses, especially at weekends, holidays, or evenings during Ramadan.

RECREATION

Storyteller in Fes: Fes, the oldest of Moroccos imperial cities, is an important religious, intellectual, and cultural centre, and home to more than 1 million people (1990). Although more than 99 per cent of Morocco s population is identified as Arab Berber, there are two distinct groups, recognized by the languages they speak. Berbers have lived in this region since 1000 BC, whereas Arabs are comparative newcomers, having arrived in the 7th century AD.
Soccer is by far the most popular sport in Morocco. Basketball is also widely enjoyed. The main recreational activity is socializing by visiting friends, going to coffee houses, strolling through town, or going to the beach.

HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS

Each year Muslims observe Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer. During this observance, no eating, drinking, or smoking is permitted between dawn and sunset, although children, pregnant women, travellers, and those with illnesses are exempt from the fast. In the evenings, families eat together and then visit relatives or friends. Business is slower than usual during this month. At the end of Ramadan, heads of households give gifts of money or goods to the poor. Significant holidays include Aid al Saghir (the three-day feast at the end of Ramadan), Aid al Kebir (the feast at the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca, and Mouloud, celebrating the birth of Muhammad. Because Muslims use a lunar calendar, the dates of these holidays constantly change in relation to the western calendar.In addition, there are numerous local moussem (religious festivals) held around the country throughout the year. Official public holidays include New Year (1 January), Manifesto of Independence Day (11 January), Throne Day (3 March), Labour Day (1 May), National Feast Day (23 May), King Hassan IIs Birthday (9 July), Allegiance of Oued ed ed'Dahab (14 August), Green March Day (6 November), and Independence Day (18 November).


Society

GOVERNMENT

European nations became involved in Morocco in the 19th century, and the country became a French protectorate in 1912. The French ruled until Morocco's independence in 1956, when a constitutional monarchy was established. French influence is still strong in Morocco. The country remains a constitutional monarchy, but King Hassan II has broad powers as the head of state. The king names a prime minister and other ministers to run the government but he retains ultimate executive authority. Members of the legislature, called the Majlis Nawab, are elected partly by direct elections (for 222 seats) and partly by indirect elections (for 111 seats). There are several parties with relatively equal strength in the legislature. The voting age is 21.

THE 20TH CENTURY

In 1975 Morocco occupied Western Sahara following threats of invasion that forced Spain to cede control of its former colony. Morocco began developing the region, but was opposed by its neighbours, particularly Algeria. Some objecting nations supported a rebel group within Western Sahara called the Polisario Front. The ensuing conflict was very expensive and cost many lives. Determined to retain Western Sahara, Morocco devoted many resources to providing schools, hospitals, roads, and housing for the people of the region.Negotiations between King Hassan II's government and the Polisario guerrillas began in 1989 as part of a United Nations (UN) effort to solve the problem. In 1991 the UN agreed to help administer a referendum in Western Sahara, giving the people a chance to choose between annexation by Morocco or independence. A ceasefire came into effect in September 1991, ending 15 years of fighting. The referendum was scheduled for 1992, but was then postponed indefinitely until it could be determined who would be allowed to vote. The Saharan people, known as the Sahrawi, are nomadic, roaming beyond, as well as within, the borders of Western Sahara; furthermore, many Sahrawi have emigrated to Morocco over the years, clouding issues of eligibility. The UN hopes to hold the referendum in 1996.


ECONOMY

Dye Pits of Fes: Animal skins are dipped into natural dyes in the dye pits of the ancient medina, or city centre, of Fes. The pits are run as a cooperative, and jobs are usually passed down within families. While practising an art that has changed little since medieval times, workers must carefully manoeuvre themselves along the narrow paths between stone vats. The pungent smell of the skins, human sweat, and strong dye can be overpowering in the Moroccan heat.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy, employing a third of the labour force. Most agricultural production is by subsistence farmers, but a small modernized agricultural sector produces food for export. Wheat, barley, and beans are grown for the home market, and citrus fruit, olive oil, wine, figs, and dates are produced for export. Morocco has the world's third largest deposits of phosphate, but a stagnant market and lower world prices have reduced the contribution made by this previously important export earner. A small manufacturing sector is growing and bringing export revenues to the country. Consumer goods and semi-finished goods now account for about half of Morocco s export earnings. Tourism is growing in importance to the economy.About 15 per cent of the labour force works abroad, primarily in European countries such as Belgium and France, and the money these workers send back to Morocco helps to offset the country's large foreign debt. In an effort to stimulate sluggish economic growth, the government is selling more than 100 state-owned enterprises and encouraging other economic reforms. The currency is the Moroccan dirham.

TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION

Coastline at Essaouira: The long, sandy beaches at the town of Essaouira are cooled by constant gentle breezes, and for hundreds of years they have served as a route for camel drivers as well as a popular stopping-off point for navigators. Essaouira lies south of Casablanca along Morocco s Atlantic coast. Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdullah selected this site for a naval base in the 1760s. He ensured the ventures success by employing the town-planning skills of Thodore Cornut, a captive French engineer who laid out the towns broad streets on a grid surrounded by ramparts. Cornuts rampart fortification earned the new town the name Es Saouira, or fortified palace.
Paved roads connect all major cities and provide access to much of the rest of the country. Public buses and intercity taxis are available throughout the country, but rural people usually walk or ride bicycles or motorcycles to get around while urban people use public transit systems. Seven airports offer a national service, and a rail network links the major cities of the north. The government provides basic telegraph, telephone, and postal services throughout the country, although services are considerably better in urban areas than in rural regions. There are two television stations: the government-owned station broadcasts nationwide, while the private station serves major urban areas. Two national radio stations and eight regional stations also serve the country.

EDUCATION

Since the 1980s, the government has devoted considerable resources to improving Morocco's education system. The adult literacy rate, 44 per cent (1995), is 14 per cent higher than in 1982. Literacy among 15- to 19-year-olds is higher than the adult literacy rate, reflecting the government's efforts to build schools and train teachers. Rural children are less likely than urban children to attend school, and girls are less likely to be encouraged to go to school than boys. Pre-school education concentrates on religious and patriotic instruction. Primary and secondary education is broadly modelled on the French system, with instruction in Arabic. Morocco has 13 universities.


HEALTH AND WELFARE
Morocco lacks a comprehensive national health-care system, but the Ministry of Health is trying to provide services to every region of the country. Each province has at least one hospital and some clinics, but this does not generally meet the needs of the population. Facilities are severely limited in rural areas. While water in urban areas is usually potable, rural water supplies are not as clean.
Animals
Leopard

From southernmost Africa, the range of the leopard, Panthera pardus, sweeps in a great arc north through the rest of that continent and then across southern Asia as far as Java and the Russian Far East. It avoids only the driest reaches of the Sahara and the Eastern Desert. Throughout its vast and varied range, the adaptable leopard is remarkably tolerant of people, although people do not always return the favour. Its appetite for goats, sheep, and dogs angers farmers and pastoralists, and its spotted coat makes the leopard a target of hide-hunters. Black leopards also have a spotted coat, but the spots are difficult to discern against the coat�s dark, glossy background.
Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus Famous for its mastery of flight, the peregrine falcon has been clocked at 100 kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour) in level flight and more than 320 kilometres per hour (199 miles per hour) when diving after avian prey in midair. The impact of the falcon�s grasping claws is usually enough to kill its prey. The peregrine falcon is found all over the world and has the most extensive range of any bird species. The species is in peril, nevertheless, because pesticide poisoning has thinned the shells of peregrine eggs. In the early 1990s, only about 500 pairs of the North American subspecies remained, mainly in the western United States.
Lebetine Viper

Vipera lebetina Able to survive in a variety of habitats ranging from plains to mountains to rocky scrubland, the Lebetine viper has spread across Europe, northern Africa, and central and western Asia. The viper is particularly dangerous because of its ability to fold its fangs back in its mouth like a pocketknife. This allows it to carry extra-long fangs, which result in deep wounds. While usually brown and grey, the Lebetine viper displays a variety of colour schemes depending on its habitat.
Blue Tit

Parus caeruleus In 1921 a blue tit in England learned to open milk bottles left on doorsteps. Within a few years, the practice of training the birds had spread throughout the country. The highly intelligent blue tit prefers the oak forests of Europe, where it nests in tree holes. Its diet of insect eggs makes it popular among farmers. A pair of these small songbirds can produce 36 offspring per year, but 85 per cent die within 10 months, usually from the cold or predators. Every few years, triggered by high population density, the blue tits will undertake a mass migration to new territory.
European Nuthatch

Sitta europaea During breeding season, this sparrow-sized bird uses clay to plug the entrance to its den to the smallest possible size to deter predators. Common across Europe and Asia, it lodges nuts in tree crevices and hammers away at them with its beak. It is particularly fond of hazelnuts. The agile nuthatch can jump sideways and backwards and can climb down the trunks of trees beak first.
Golden Oriole

Oriolus oriolus This brilliantly coloured golden-and-black bird breeds in the forests of southern Europe, Asia, and northwest Africa, building hammocklike nests strung between two branches. One of the few birds that eats woolly caterpillars, the golden oriole beats them against stones to remove their hairs.
Great Bustard

Otis tarda This enormous bird, weighing 15 kilograms (33 pounds) with a wingspan of 2.4 metres (7.9 feet), offers a wild courtship display; the male turns its back feathers over, exposing their white undersides, and inflates the air sacs in its throat. Adapted to the open plains of Africa, India, and Australia, the great bustard lays its eggs in depressions on the ground.
Greater Flamingo

Phoenicopterus ruber Thousands of these magnificent birds, which stand 1.2 metres (3.9 feet) tall on spindly legs, live together in the shallow brackish lakes and lagoons of southern Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. In Africa, flocks can reach 1 million pairs. The flamingo feeds with its head upside down under water, filtering tiny plants and animals from the water. It constructs nests of heaped mud on the water, leaving the young vulnerable to changes in the water�s level.
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major The tap-tap-tapping of this bird can be heard throughout the woods of Europe. One of 200 species of woodpeckers, it pecks at trees to find food and build nests. After digging a hole, it pulls insects out with its 8-centimetre (3.1-inch) tongue. It can carve a nest 30 centimetres (11.8 inches) into a trunk. The woodpecker�s sharp beak and toughened skull helps it withstand the beating, and its two backwards-facing toes make it a skilled tree climber.
Hoopoe

Upupa epops Reaching 30 centimetres (11.8 inches) long, with a fan-shaped crest and black-and-white striped tail and wings, the hoopoe is easy to spot. This elaborately decorated bird from southern Europe, Asia, and southern Africa spends its days probing the soil for insects and grubs. Although timid, the hoopoe can elude most birds of prey. The bird�s nest is easy to identify by its foul-smelling accumulation of faecal matter.
Lammergeier (or Bearded Vulture)

Gypaetus barbatus Opportunistic and cowardly, this vulture is nevertheless magnificent in flight. With a 3-metre (9.8-foot) wingspan, the lammergeier can glide long distances and reaches speeds of 130 kilometres per hour (81 miles per hour). Ranging from southern Europe across Asia, it feeds on carrion, particularly bone marrow, and can be seen dropping bones onto rocks in order to get at the marrow inside. To avoid overpopulation, the mother kills all but one of her young.
Long-eared Owl

Asio otus While its large ears provide excellent hearing, this owl possesses such fantastic eyesight that, from the light of one candle, it can spot a mouse 600 metres (1,968 feet) away. This nocturnal hunter ranges across Europe, Asia, and the United States. Voles and mice are its primary prey.
Mediterranean Monk Seal

Among seals and sea lions, only the monk seals inhabit waters that are warm year-round. The Caribbean monk seal is believed to be extinct, and the Hawaiian and Mediterranean species are considered extremely rare. It is believed that fewer than 500 Mediterranean monk seals, Monachus monachus, remain, widely scattered among rocky islets and rugged shores that extend from Turkey and Greece to northwest Africa. Like the young of most seals, the monk seal pup grows rapidly. By the age of five or six weeks, it sheds its black, woolly infant coat and soon begins feeding on its own.
Osprey

Pandion haliaetus The long claws and narrow wings of this large bird are adapted to diving for fish. The osprey circles the water at heights up to 30 metres (98 feet) and then drops feet first to snatch prey. It can carry more than its own weight in flight. Because the young osprey must teach itself how to hunt, many starve once they leave the nest. Native to North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, the osprey is on the decline due to habitat loss and pesticide residues in their food which interferes with reproduction.
Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes A crafty hunter, the red fox is known to charm its prey. It begins its pursuit by playing wildly, chasing its tail and jumping around. Baffled birds and rabbits will stop to watch the antics, not realizing until too late that the fox is drawing nearer. The 60-centimetre (23.6-inch) red fox prefers the wooded and bushy areas across Europe and Asia. It lives in shallow holes and communicates through a wide variety of calls.
Small-spotted Genet

Genetta genetta This swift and graceful catlike mammal is a skilled nighttime hunter. It prefers arid, bushy areas in Spain, southwest France, and Africa, avoiding rain forest and Sahara areas. Upon reaching a new home range, the genet memorizes every twig and branch. It walks its territory slowly at first, gradually increasing its speed until it can run through the area in the dark. Half of the genet�s 1-metre (3.3 foot) length is its tail.
Wild Boar

Sus scrofa This wild pig ranges across northern Europe, Asia, and North Africa, though it is increasingly rare. Growing to 2 metres (6.6 feet) and weighing 180 kilograms (397 pounds), the wild boar sports tusks up to 30 centimetres (11.8 inches) long. Aided by a keen sense of smell, the boar roots for nuts, roots, fruit, and small lizards. Farmers in southern Europe use the boar to locate buried truffles (a prized fungus).
Wild Cat

Felis sylvestris While this nocturnal hunter from the mountains of Europe looks like a large domestic cat, it is one of the fiercest of all cats and is untamable. Growing up to 75 centimetres (29.5 inches) long and weighing up to 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds), the wildcat is stouter and longer than a domestic cat. It hunts rabbits, grouse, and poultry, and it zealously defends its home territory.
Dromedary Camel

Camelus dromedarius Domesticated some 2,000 to 4,000 years ago for their ability to haul people and cargo, the camel is amazingly well adapted to life in the harsh deserts of Southwest Asia. Its two rows of eyelashes, slit nostrils, and hairy ear openings help keep out sand. While it cannot store water, it can drink more than 160 litres (more than 42 gallons) at a draught, and it can drink sea water. Its urine is highly concentrated, and its dung so dry it can be burned immediately. Camels drop their body temperature at night, which prolongs the heating-up period the next day. No wild camels remain in Asia, though an introduced population has gone feral in Australia.
Chameleon

Chamaeleo chamaeleon Growing to 28 centimetres (11 inches) long, this reptile inhabits the deserts of North Africa. Unlike most chameleons, which live in trees, the chameleon digs holes in the sand near oases, where it can avoid the worst of the heat. It survives mainly on a diet of locusts. Like all chameleons, it can move its eyes independently, and has distinctive colour changes for mating, fighting, and camouflage.
Green Toad

Bufo viridis The male green toad, common across Europe, calls for a mate as soon as it finds water, and any temporary puddle will do. Males will alternate their calls, each in the area taking turns, like a round-table discussion. With an air sac three times the size of its head, its calls can be heard a mile away. The female green toad can lay her eggs in brackish water. This is unusual because the eggs of frogs and toads are usually killed by the slightest salinity.
Desert Jerboa

Jaculus jaculus Resembling a miniature kangaroo, this tan-coloured rodent is well adapted to the deserts of Asia and Africa. It feeds on water-bearing roots in wetter periods, but during droughts, it can live on dry seeds without water for three or more years. Its urine is highly concentrated. In very high temperatures, the jerboa lies dormant in its burrow, which is plugged to block out hot air. Its long rear legs enable it to jump 3 metres (9.8 feet) at a bound and to travel 24 kilometres per hour (14.9 miles per hour).
European Robin

The European robin, Erithacus rubecula, is common in forests with dense understories of shrubs, where it announces its presence by singing through most of the year. The robin is the national bird of the United Kingdom, where it is equally at home in parks, gardens, and orchards.
Song Thrush

Among the thrushes, so many species are renowned for their musical calls that it is unclear why the song thrush, Turdus philomelos, is singled out by name. Like others in the thrush genus, such as the Eurasian blackbird, the fieldfare, and the American robin, the song thrush tends to feed on the ground, where it searches for its invertebrate prey of worms, insects, and snails. The omnivorous song thrush also consumes berries and other fruits, which it gleans from the shrubby undergrowth of forests, parks, and hedgerows throughout Europe and in neighbouring parts of North Africa and the Middle East.
Eurasian Otter

The Eurasian otter, Lutra lutra, is high-spirited and seems to be a fun-loving creature. Most mammal species play when young, presumably to build strength and hone the skills needed for the serious business of adulthood. Otters are unusual in that they continue to play when adults, rolling, wrestling, racing, chasing, juggling, and sliding on land and in the water. Habitat destruction, water pollution, and overhunting have sent otter populations into decline in many parts of its range, especially in the more industrialized regions.
Facts
Official name Kingdom of Morocco
Capital Rabat
Area 446,550�square kilometres 172,414�square miles
Major cities (Population) Casablanca 3.3 million (1995)
Rabat 1.6 million (1995)
Marrakesh 1.5 million (1990)
F�s 1 million (1990)
Tangier 554,000 (1990)
Population 27 million (1995)
Region North Africa
Population growth rate 2.1 per cent (1990-1995)
Population density 61 persons per square kilometre 158 persons per square mile (1995)
Per cent urban 48.4 per cent (1995)
Per cent rural 51.6 per cent (1995)
Life expectancy, female 65 years (1995)
Life expectancy, male 62 years (1995)
Infant mortality rate 82 deaths per 1,000 live births (1990)
Literacy rates Total 44 per cent (1995)
Female 31 per cent (1995)
Male 57 per cent (1995)
Ethnic divisions Arab-Berber 99.1 per cent
Harratin and other 0.7 per cent
Jewish 0.2 per cent
Languages Arabic (official)
Derija (Moroccan Arabic)
Berber dialects
French
Religions Muslim 98.7 per cent
Christian 1.1 per cent
Jewish 0.2 per cent
Government Constitutional monarchy
Parties Morocco has 15 political parties; the major ones are the Constitutional Union (UC), National Assembly of Independents (RNI), Popular Movement (MP), National Popular Movement (MPN), Istiqlal, Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), National Democratic Party (PND), and the Party for Progress and Socialism (PPS).
Independence 2 March 1956 (from France)
Constitution 10 March 1972; revised in September 1992
Voting rights Universal at age 21
Member of ABEDA, ACCT (associate), AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CCC, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INRO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITTO, ITU, OAS (observer), NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
GDP US$31.50 billion (1994)
GDP per capita US$1,076 (1991)
Government expenditures US$6.6 billion (1992)
Government revenues US$8.2 billion (1992)
Government deficit/surplus US$1.6 billion (1992)
Monetary unit 1 Moroccan dirham (DH) = 100 centimes
Major export partners European Union (EU) countries, India, Japan, former Soviet republics, United States
Major import partners EU countries, United States, Canada, Iraq, former Soviet republics, Japan
Exports Phosphates, fertilizers, citrus fruit, hosiery, seafood, semi-processed goods, consumer goods
Imports Chemicals, petroleum, iron and steel, semi-processed goods, raw materials, food and beverages, consumer goods
Industries Phosphate mining and processing; food processing; petroleum refining; the manufacture of cement, leather goods, textiles, hosiery; tourism
Agriculture Accounts for 20 per cent of GDP (1991), 50 per cent of employment, and 30 per cent of export value;
barley, wheat, sugar beet, sugarcane, sunflower seeds, pulses, corn, citrus fruit, grapes, beans, vegetables, olives; livestock and livestock products are sheep, goats, cattle, poultry, meat, milk, wool, animal hides, eggs; not self-sufficient in food.
Natural resources Phosphate rock, phosphoric acid, iron ore, coal, petroleum, copper, fluorspar, barites, manganese, lead, zinc, salt





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