Morocco

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 30.6
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 58%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.6%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 446,55


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Arab70
Berber 29.8
Other 0.2



Main Cities Population
Casablanca 2 933 684
Rabat 1 622 860
Fès 946 815
Marrakech 823 154
Agadir 678 596
Tanger 669 685



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Rabat (GMT).



Languages
Official language: Arabic is the official language in Morocco. French is also spoken, along with Arabic, for administration purposes. Berber and English are widespread. Spanish is spoken mainly in the North of the country.

Free translation tools

Arjeeb
Free English-Arabic-English translation of texts and web pages

Ectaco
Free Arabic-English-Arabic dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Islam is the State religion, practised by almost all the population. But there is a liberty of cult. 90% of the Moroccans are Sunni, of the malekite rite. There are also Jewish minorities.


Political context

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy and has an elected parliament. In Morocco (official name: Kingdom of Morocco) the King has ultimate authority and is the “Defender of the Faith”. King is the chief of state. Monarch is hereditary. King has the powers to dissolve the parliament, suspend the constitution, call for new elections and even rule by decree. The King is the head of the military and the country's religious leader. King appoints the Prime Minister as head of the government following legislative elections (generally the leader of the majority party or coalition) to serve a five-year term. Prime Minister holds the executive powers which include implementation of the law and running the day-to-day affairs of the country . The Council of Ministers (cabinet) is appointed by the President in consultation with the Prime Minister. The legislature in Morocco is bicameral. The parliament consists of: Chamber of Counsellors (the upper house) having 270 seats with its members elected indirectly by local councils, professional organizations, and labour syndicates for nine-year terms; and Chamber of Representatives (the lower house) having 325 seats with its members elected by a popular vote for five-year terms. The lower house of the parliament (Chamber of Representatives) can dissolve the government through a vote of no confidence. The people of Morocco enjoy limited political rights. The judiciary lacks independence and is subject to corruption and bribery. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1 972 (revised in 1992 and 1996). The legal system is based on Islamic law as well as French and Spanish civil law system. The judicial language is Arabic, but French is very often used in the business circles as well as in government.
Morocco is ruled by law. However foreign nationals cannot be guaranteed a fair trial from the country's judicial system. Though corruption is under control, but there have been instances of bribery of officials but government generally takes measures to curb the same.


Major political parties

Morocco has a multi-party system with numerous political parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and as a result parties work with each other to form coalition governments. Some of the major political parties in the country are:
-USFP (Socialist Union of People's Forces) – a socialist left-wing party,
-PI (Independence Party) – a nationalist party,
-PJD (Justice and Development Party) –an Islamic party,
-RNI (National Rally of Independents) – a party of independent candidates.


Major political leaders

The King: MOHAMED VI (since July 1999) – hereditary
Prime Minister: Driss JETTOU (since October 2002) – heading a coalition of USFP and PI.


Next political election dates

Chamber of Counsellors: Year 2006
Chamber of Representatives: Year 2007




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Morocco 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 5,501 5,843 6,558
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
Agadir, Fes, Marrakech, Meknès, Ouarzazate, Tangier and world patrimonies Ait-Ben-Haddou-Fes-Marrakech (medina), Meknès (historic city), Tetouan (medina), Volubilis (archeological site).

For more information about tourism in Morocco , check out the following web site(s) :
Tourism Board of Morocco



Food


Traditional dishes
http://www.maghreb.net
Kebab : beef or chicken skewers marinaded in spices
Couscous: semolina with vegetables or onions, chickpeas and grapes.
Mechoui: meat stuffed in the couscous.
Pastilla: pigeon, chicken or seafood (this recipe contains all Middle Eastern and North African flavours).
Tajines (meat stews): chicken with lemons and olives or almonds and prune.


Last modified on December 2006

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