Mouhcine was born and raised in Morocco. He loves animals, books, and most importantly coffee. He's also interested in meditation or, generally speaking, spirituality.
He is fond of learning more about various civilizations because a new culture for him is a fresh window into a different reality.
The Kingdom of Morocco is situated in the Maghreb Region, on the tip of North Africa. Lots of people have heard about this vibrant country, and our tourism industry is well developed. Though it also helps to know that Morocco is one of the most stable countries in the region.
Morocco, though it is officially an Islamic country, as stated in our constitution, is filled with people from various other cultures, like Moroccan Jews, Sahrawi, Imazighen (which means “free people”) and so on. Here are some other amazing facts that you might not know about Morocco. Let’s start with…
1. Amazing Beaches
Morocco is located in between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; this alone tells us a lot about the fishing industry in Morocco, especially in the coastal cities. As a matter of fact, the fishing industry is an economic pillar of Morocco.
Additionally, tourists love to visit Morocco for its splendid beaches where they can tan and swim. Moroccan cities with the top beaches include:
- Al Hoceima
2. Unique Apparel
Morocco is very well-known for the different types of its traditional apparel. The most famous one is called “Djellaba.” This item of clothing has an attached hood (called “qob” in Moroccan Arabic) plus long sleeves. There are many other types of outfits in Morocco which reflect the spirit of our country, like Takchita, Melhfa, and Gandoura.
Another famous type of clothing is called “Deraa.” People who wear Deraa usually reside in the southern parts of Morocco. This dress came as a consequence of Deraa’s particularly rough climate conditions. Finally, there’s one more popular type of garment made specifically for women called, “Melhfa.”
3. Lovely Handicrafts
Handicraft is one of the countless things that differentiate Morocco from other destinations. In Marrakech, for example, there are lots of places where one can easily find handmade works of art. One can also find Moroccan handicrafts in such ancient cities like Fes, Essaouira, and even Marrakech (also known as Jemaa el-Fnaa, which stands for “the assembly of the dead”).
In Marrakech’s main square, people from different subcultures, love to engage in what’s known in Moroccan Arabic as “Lhalka” (الحلقة) where everyone shows off his or her various artisan skills.
4. Diverse Food
There are lots of different types of food in Morocco. In fact, each region is known for its distinct meals. For instance, Marrakech is famous for a unique dish called “Tanjiya.”
Furthermore, there are other types of food which are served only on special occasions. During Ramadan, which is the most praised holiday on the Islamic calendar, people would prepare “El harira” (Moroccan soup) after “Maghreb prayer.” Right after this prayer, Moroccan Muslims would start eating their first meal, after a whole day of fasting.
5. Rich Native Language
Morocco is a linguistically rich country. Moroccans have various phonemes in our primary language (Moroccan Arabic). In turn, this makes us able to speak different dialects which might have some weird and rare elements in them.
Moroccan Arabic has many different phonemes which are not present in the standard or even the classical Arabic. Moroccan Arabic, though it has its roots in the original Arabic language, gained its richness due to the unique blend of various cultures, like Tamazight, Tarifit, and Tachlhit, which inhibited Morocco for hundreds of years.
6. Spiritual Music
Music also had a massive impact on the Moroccan culture. Morocco is known primarily for Gnawa, as well as other types of music. Moreover, Gnawa can only be found in the North African countries, specifically in Algeria and Morocco.
Gnawa is a spiritual form of musical art. It combines ritual poetry with traditional music and dancing. Morrocco also hosts an event called “The Gnaoua World Music Festival,” which takes place annually. And since Essaouira is the heart of Gnawa in Morocco, numerous locals visit it every year with their friends to enjoy the alluring beat at the festival.
7. Colorful Weddings
We cannot talk about Morocco and not mention Amariya, which is a key element in our traditional weddings. Amariya is a big chair held by four men carrying the bride and groom to greet their guests at the wedding reception. Sometimes, the couple would also throw either flowers or some lollipops at the attendees.
8. The Earliest Homo Sapiens
Recently, archeologists discovered the oldest fossil of a homo sapiens in Morocco, namely a skull. It was found in a place called “Jebel Irhoud.” Prior to this finding, it was widely believed that the oldest fossil of a homo sapiens was roughly 195,000 years old. However, the Jbel Irhoud fossil dates back to 300,000 years ago.
Before this remarkable event, many thought that homo sapiens originally came into existence from the central part of Africa. Now we have an actual proof that homo sapiens have emerged from the North Africa, namely Morocco!
9. Movie Sets
If you are a fan of “the Vikings,” Morocco should be your must-visit destination, right after season 5. The History Channel has published some beautiful pictures of its crew, shooting in Morocco.
10. The Festival of Sacrifice
Moulay Idriss I (745 – 791), who was the first Arab and the first Muslim ruler of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, founded Morocco. Some people think that he is the direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed. He was very successful in spreading the Islamic religion in Morocco.
There is also a city called “Moulay Idriss Zerhoune” in Morocco, where an annual event called Moussem (which stands for a “festival”) takes place. Visitors come to see it from all over the country for a number of reasons. Some of them come to listen to music, while others come to look at those who participate in sacrifices, which involve cows, sheep, and other animals.
11. Miss Cherry
In Sefrou, there’s a festival of cherries (Moussem Hab Al-Moulouk) which happens every year in June. Women compete here for the title of the most beautiful woman of Hab Al-Moulouk, which literally stands for… “cherries”. Locals also celebrate the fruit via different kinds of music, clothing, and rituals.