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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Morocco

HISTORY

Originally occupied by Berber tribes, the coastal region of the area now known as Morocco were under Phoenician and then Carthaginian rule from the 10th to the 3rd centuries BC. Both the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians used their bases on the Berber coast for their trade with the Iberian Peninsula.

By 1500 the Spanish and Portuguese had taken several enclaves on the coast of Morocco, including Ceuta, Tangier, Ifni, Arcila, and Agadir.


In 1513 the Portuguese navigator Magellan was sent to Morocco where he fought in the Battle of Azamor. He received a severe knee wound while fighting against the Moorish-Moroccan stronghold, which made him lame for life.

In 1777 Morocco was the first nation to recognize the independence of the United States of America.

During the nineteenth century, North Africa was increasingly prized for its potential for colonization.
In 1904 Britain agreed to give up its influence in Morocco in favor of France, in return for a reciprocal arrangement in Egypt. The recognition by Britain of France's sphere of influence provoked a strong reaction from the German Empire; and a crisis loomed, which was resolved at the Algeciras Conference in 1906.

The 1912 Treaty of Fez made Morocco a protectorate of France, while Spain was allowed to hold on to its coastal protectorate. By the same treaty, Spain assumed the role of protecting power over the northern and southern Saharan zones. The effect of the agreement was that that Morocco became for four decades, a region divided into two very different colonies, French and Spanish.

The flag of Morocco is made of a red field with a black-bordered green pentagram representing the Seal of Solomon, the signet ring attributed to King Solomon in Islamic legend. The flag was adopted on November 17, 1915, but its use at sea was prohibited until independence was restored forty years later.


In November 1955 the French government accepted the principle of independence for Morocco. This came into effect in March 1956, followed by Spain ceding most of its protectorate in Northern Morocco to the new state on April 7, 1956.


The 1972 Moroccan coup attempt was an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate King Hassan II of Morocco on August  16, 1972. Four Moroccan pilots intercepted a Boeing 727 carrying King Hassan II and fired on it. The King (himself a pilot), grabbed the radio and told the rebel pilots, "Stop firing! The tyrant is dead!" Fooled, the rebels broke off their attack and the coup failed.


FUN FACTS

Spanish territory in Morocco now comprises five enclaves on the Mediterranean coast: Ceuta, Melilla, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, Peñón de Alhucemas, the Chafarinas islands, and the disputed islet Perejil.

Toubka in the Atlas Mountains is the highest peak in North Africa, at 13,671 ft (4,167 m).

Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa,By notcreative123 - Flickr: IMG_0271, Wikipedia Commons

The lowest temperature in Africa and the Arab world was recorded at Ifrane, Middle Atlas: −24 °C (−11 °F), in 1935.

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. The political powers are shared between the king Muhammad VI and the Head of the Government. The King is the head of state.


The biggest city in Morocco is Casablanca, with nearly 4 million people living there.


The third biggest city is Marrakesh from which the word "Morocco" is made.


The Barbary lion, hunted to extinction in the wild, was a subspieces native to Morocco and is a national emblem. The last Barbary lion in the wild was shot in 1942 near Tizi n'Tichka in the Atlas Mountains.

A Barbary lion photographed in Algeria in 1893 by Alfred Edward Pease

Morocco has the highest orange, tangerine and mandarin consumption per head in the world.


The Fez, a red, conical, flat-crowned hat with colorful silk or wool tassel worn by men in northern Africa and Middle East, is named after the city of Fez in Morocco. This is because outside of Fez, red berries were once grown whose dye was exclusively used to color the hat.


Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia


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