40 Interesting Facts About Morocco

  1. Morocco is a country in the northwestern part of Africa. The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean are located to Morocco's north and west. It shares a land border with Algeria.
  2. The southern part of Morocco, known as the Western Sahara, is disputed due to a claim by the Arab Sahrawi Republic. Morocco controls a large part of the Western Sahara, while the partially recognized Arab Sahrawi Republic only controls the eastern parts of the disputed region.
  3. Morocco is divided into three geographic regions. There are coastal areas in the north and west, highland areas of the Rif and Atlas mountains, and a desert in the east and south of Atlas Mountain. Around 75% of the population resides in coastal regions.
  4. The oldest reliable hominoid fossil was discovered in Jebel Irhoud in Morocco. This fossil is around 315,000 years old. (Source)
  5. More than 98% of Moroccans are Sunni Muslims. The Umayyad brought Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th Century after their conquest of this area.
  6. Morocco was the only Arab country that remained free from Ottoman rule.
  7. The current dynasty of Morocco seized power in the 17th Century. It has been ruling Morocco directly or indirectly till now.
  8. The relations of Morocco deteriorated with colonial powers, France and Spain, during the 19th Century. It came under the control of these two countries in 1912.
  9. Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. The king holds absolute powers in armed forces, national security, and religious affairs.
  10. Morocco gained independence from both France and Spain in 1956. Spain transferred some of its occupied territories later.
  11. Morocco was the first country to recognize the USA on 20th December 1777. It was also the first Muslim, Arab and African country to sign a treaty with the USA in 1786. It is the longest unbroken treaty in American history. The oldest U.S. diplomatic property in the world is in the Moroccan city of Tangier. (Source)
  12. Morocco has the 4th best performance in the world (after Sweden, the UK, and Denmark) for the Climate Change Performance Index. (Source)
  13. Morocco left African Union in 1984 in a dispute over the status of the Western Sahara. The country rejoined the bloc after 32 years. (Source)
  14. The period between the 1960s and early 1990s is known as Years of lead in Morocco. It was during Hassan II's reign when hundreds of political opponents were killed and disappeared. These include political rivals, protestors, military personnel involved in the coup attempts, and rebels in Western Sahara and Rif Mountains.
  15. Morocco has one of the best roads in Africa. It levels with Mauritius at the 4th spot with a road quality of 4.7. (Source)
  16. Tanger-Med Port in Morocco is the largest port in Africa and the 18th largest in the world. It can handle 9 million shipping containers. (Source)
    A high-speed rail
    Africa's first high-speed railway is in Morocco

  17. The first high-speed railway system in Africa started operations in Morocco in 2018. It connects three major cities of Tangier, Rabat, and Casablanca by traveling at a maximum speed of 186 mph. (Source)
  18. Marathon des Sables is known as the toughest footrace on earth. It is held in Morocco yearly, where participants cover 156 miles in 6 days. The runners have to carry all of their supplies during the race.
  19. Atlas Film Studios in Morocco is the world’s biggest film studio. It is spread over an area of 31,000 sq. m and was built in 1983. Famous Hollywood movies shot at Atlas Film Studios include "The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and Aladdin (2019)". (Source)
  20. Argan oil is known for its anti-aging and other medicinal properties, and is used extensively by big beauty brands. The oil is obtained from nuts of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco. (Source)
  21. Morocco has the highest reserves of phosphate in the world. The North African country has 50 billion metric tons of phosphate. It is far more than 3,200 million tons of reserves of China, the 2nd in the list. (Source)
  22. Morocco is the largest exporter of sardines in the world. Its export of $226 million is far more than the second-largest exporter (Japan with $75.5 million). (Source)
  23. In 1986, Morocco became the first Arab and African country to qualify for the second round of the FIFA World Cup.
  24. The winner of the first-ever women's 400 m hurdles event in the Olympics was a Moroccan athlete. Nawal El Moutawakel won a gold medal in women's 400m hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
  25. Hicham El Guerrouj was the best Moroccan athlete, holding several world records in middle-distance running. He set a world record in indoor 1,500 m and an indoor mile in 1997. He made another record in the mile race in 1999. He won two gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 1,500 m and mile race. It was the first time after 1924 that an athlete won Olympic gold medals in these two events. (Source)
  26. The world’s oldest continually operating educational institute is the University of Karueein in Morocco. It was founded in 859 AD in the city of Fez. (Source)
  27. Amazigh (Berber) women in Morocco have an ancient tradition of tattooing their faces, arms, feet, and other body parts for beauty and other purposes. However, this tradition has reduced markedly, thanks to French occupation and the influence of Islam in society. (Source)
  28. Marrakech in Morocco is known as the Red City. It is due to the salmon-pink color of almost all the buildings in this city.
  29. Ibn Rushd or Averroes (famous Muslim polymath), Al Idrisi (famous Muslim geographer), and Abed al Jabri (Arab philosopher) are a few of the several prominent Moroccans in history.
  30. Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains is known as the Blue City due to the striking blue color of its buildings. The reasons for using blue color in this city may include Jewish customs, repelling mosquitoes, or avoiding extreme heat in summer. (Source)
  31. After Algeria, the second-highest numbers of immigrants in France are from Morocco. Around 12% of immigrants in France were born in Morocco. 
  32. Mount Toubkal in Morocco is the highest mountain in North Africa. It has an elevation of 4,167 m. (Source)
    Aerial view of Mt. Toubkal in Morocco
    Mt. Toubkal is North Africa's highest mountain

  33. Oukaimeden in Morocco is the highest ski resort in Africa. It is located atop the Atlas Mountains reaching 3,200 m (10,734 ft.).
  34. Mint tea is the national drink of Morocco, commonly known as Berber whiskey. It is famous due to the inclusion of various herbs and spices. 
  35. The thuya tree is present only in Morocco. The wood of this tree was the first wood ever used in Rolls Royce cars. Luxury carmakers such as BMW and Mercedes Benz also used this wood for the dashboard of their cars. (Source)
  36. Around 70% of Moroccans are Arab or Arabized Berbers, while 20% have Berber ethnicity. The remaining population primarily consists of Mauritanian Moors.
  37. Arabic is the national and official language, while Tamazight is the second official language of Morocco.
  38. Morocco has the third largest wind energy market in Africa and the Middle East region after South Africa and Senegal. (Source)
  39. Morocco is the world’s largest illicit supplier of cannabis to Europe. In 2016, Morocco supplied 62% of the cannabis to Europe after receiving it from Africa. (Source)
  40. Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the 7th largest mosque in the world. It has the tallest minaret in the world, with an elevation of 700 feet. (Source)

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