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In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, successive Moorish dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara during the late 1970s, but final resolution on the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. Lower house elections were last held in September 2002, while upper house elections were last held in September 2006.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 33,757,175 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Moroccan(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Moroccan

Official Language(s): Arabic

Major Languages Spoken: Arabic, French

Map of Morocco

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Kingdom of Morocco

Country Name (short form): Morocco

Country Name (local long form): Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah

Country Name (local short form): Al Maghrib

Name of Capital: Rabat

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Morocco: Spain, Algeria

Land Area: 446300 sq km

Water Area: 250 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly larger than California

Total Land Boundry: 2,017.9 km

Coastline: 1,835 km

National Holiday: Throne Day (accession of King MOHAMED VI to the throne), 30 July (1999)

International Phone Code: 212

Currency Code: Moroccan dirham (MAD)

Internet Country Code: .ma

US Embassy Location: 2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat

US Embassy Mailing Address: PSC 74, Box 021, APO AE 09718


Morocco flag

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