TAMURT N UMRRUK AMUR N WAKKUC
The geography of Morocco spans from the Atlantic Ocean, to mountainous areas, to the Sahara (desert). Morocco is a Northern African country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara.
A large part of Morocco is mountainous. The Atlas Mountains are located mainly in the center and the south of the country. The Rif Mountains are located in the north of the country. Both ranges are mainly inhabited by the Berber people. At 172,402 sq mi (446,519 km2), Morocco is the fifty-seventh largest country in the world (after Uzbekistan). Algeria borders Morocco to the east and southeast though the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994.
There are also four Spanish enclaves on the Mediterranean coast: Ceuta, Melilla, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, Peñón de Alhucemas, and the Chafarinas islands, as well as the disputed islet Perejil. Off the Atlantic coast the Canary Islands belong to Spain, whereas Madeira to the north is Portuguese. To the north, Morocco is bordered by and controls part of the Strait of Gibraltar, giving it power over the waterways in and out of the Mediterranean sea.
The Rif mountains occupy the region bordering the Mediterranean from the north-west to the north-east. The Atlas Mountains run down the backbone of the country, from the south west to the north east. Most of the south east portion of the country is in the Sahara Desert and as such is generally sparsely populated and unproductive economically. Most of the population lives to the north of these mountains, while to the south is the desert. To the south, lies the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that was annexed by Morocco in 1975 (see Green March). Morocco claims that the Western Sahara is part of its territory and refers to that as its Southern Provinces.
Morocco's capital city is Rabat; its largest city is its main port, Casablanca. Other cities include Agadir, Essaouira, Fes, Marrakech, Meknes, Mohammadia, Oujda, Ouarzazat, Safi, Salé, Tangier and Tétouan.
The area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Neolithic times (at least since 8000 BC, as attested by signs of the Capsian culture), a period when the Maghreb was less arid than it is today. In Mesolithic ages the geography of Morocco resembled a savanna more than the present day arid landscape. In the classical period, Morocco was known as Mauretania, although this should not be confused with the modern-day country of Mauritania. Modern DNA analysis (see link) has confirmed that various populations have contributed to the present-day gene pool of Morocco in addition to the main ethnic group which is the Amazighs/Berbers. Those other various populations are Arabs, Iberians, Phoenicians, Sephardic Jews and sub-Saharan Africans.
Roman and pre-Roman Morocco
North Africa and Morocco were slowly drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by Phoenician trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Major early substantial settlements of the Phoenicians were at Chellah, Lixus and Mogador, with Mogador being a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. The arrival of Phoenicians heralded a long engagement with the wider Mediterranean, as this strategic region formed part of the Roman Empire, as Mauretania Tingitana. In the fifth century, as the Roman Empire declined, the region fell to the Vandals, Visigoths, and then Byzantine Greeks in rapid succession. During this time, however, the high mountains of most of modern Morocco remained unsubdued, and stayed in the hands of their Berber inhabitants. Christianity was introduced in the second century and gained converts in the towns and among slaves and Berber farmers....
Languages of morocco
Morocco's official language is Modern Standard Arabic. The country's distinctive Arabic dialect is called Moroccan Arabic. Approximately 18 million (60% of the population), mostly in rural areas, speak Berber – which exists in Morocco in three different dialects (Tarifit, Tashelhiyt, and Tamazight) – either as a first language or bilingually with the spoken Arabic dialect. French, which is Morocco's unofficial second language, is taught universally and serves as Morocco's primary language of commerce and economics. It also is widely used in education and government. About 2.000,000 Moroccans in the northern part of the country speak Spanish as a second language in parallel with Tarifit. English, while still far behind French and Spanish in terms of number of speakers, is rapidly becoming the second foreign language of choice among educated youth (after French). As a result of national education reforms entering into force in late 2002, English will be taught in all public schools from the fourth year on. French however, will remain the second foreign language because of Morocco's close economic and social links with other French-speaking countries and especially France.
Most people live west of the Atlas Mountains, a range that insulates the country from the Sahara Desert. Casablanca is the center of commerce and industry and the leading port; Rabat is the seat of government; Tangier is the gateway to Morocco from Spain and also a major port; Fes is the cultural and religious center; and Marrakech is a major tourist center.
There is a European expatriate population of 100,000, mainly of French or Spanish descent; many are teachers or technicians and more and more retirees
The climate is Mediterranean in the North and in some mountains ( West of Atlas), which becomes more extreme towards the interior regions. The terrain is such that the coastal plains are rich and accordingly, they comprise the backbone for [[agriculture], especially in the North. Forests cover about 12% of the land while arable land accounts for 18%. 5% is irrigated. In the Atlas ( Middle Atlas), there´s some different climates: Mediterranean ( with some more humid and fresher variants), Maritime Temperate ( with some humid and fresher variants too) that allow different species of oaks, moss carpets, junipers, atlantic cedars and many other plants, to form extense and very rich humid cloud forests. In the highest peaks a different climate may occur. On the other side of Atlas mountains ( East Atlas), the climate changes, due to the barrier/shelter effect of these mountainous system, turning it very dry and extremely warm during the summer ( that can last several months), especially on the lowlands and on the valleys faced to the Sahara. Here it starts the big Desert Sahara and it´s perfectly visible, for example, on the Draa Valley, on which it´s possible to find oasis, sand dunes and rocky desert landscapes. So the climate in this region is desertic.
Name of morocco:
Morocco (Arabic: المغرب, al-Maġrib; Amazigh: AMURWAKUC Amrruk / Murakuc), officially the Kingdom of Morocco (المملكة المغربية, al-Mamlakah al-Maġribiyya, Tagldit Umrruk), is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of nearly 32 million and an area just under 447,000 square kilometres (173,000 sq mi). Its capital is Rabat, and its largest city is Casablanca. Morocco has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with three small Spanish enclaves, Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera), Algeria to the east, and Mauritania to the south.
Several dialects of Arabic and Berber are spoken in Morocco. However, this linguistic diversity doesn't affect the ethnic situation as the population is largely homogeneous.
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