Morocco, officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco, situated in North Africa, is a country under the regional umbrella of Maghreb which constitutes Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania and Libya. Morocco has a population of almost 33 million and currently administers the much disputed region of the Western Sahara. It is a constitutional Monarchy with an elected parlament.
Parliamentary elections were held in Morocco on 7 September 2007, and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and fair; although voter turnout was estimated to be 37%, the lowest in decades.
The political capital of Morocco is Rabat, the largest city. Casablanca is known for its industry. Other large cities include Tetuan, Fez, Meknes, Tangier, Marakesh and Agadir. The population of Morocco is a mix of Arab and Berber/Imazighen (see article below).
Languages most heard in Morocco are Dariija, (a Moroccan dialect of classical Arabic), three Berber/Tamazigh languages, French and Fousha( classical Arabic). The paramount religion is Muslim, though it has in the past hosted other religions and cultures along side and prior to Islam.
A long country with a diverse history, Morocco is rich and varied in it’s culture, customs and people.
Berbers/Imazighen of Morocco
Many Berbers call themselves some variant of the word Imazighen (singular: Amazigh), possibly meaning “free people” or “free and noble men”. The word has probably an ancient parallel in the Roman name for some of the Berbers, “Mazices”.
The Berbers/Imazighen were living in North Africa long before the arrival of the Arabs – their culture probably dates back more than 4,000 years. Today, there are substantial Berber populations in Morocco and Algeria, plus smaller numbers in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. About half of the population of Morocco are currently native Berber speakers.
The Berbers/Imazighen of Morocco are of three main types which, in turn, are sub-divided into countless tribes: the Riffians of the north; the Chleuhs/ Shilha from the Middle and High Atlas and the Soussi, found in the southwest. The Berbers/Amazigh people are most strongly identifiable by their language, which is split into three distinct dialects: Riffi in the Rif Mountains and northern Morocco, Tashelhaït in the High Atlas, Anti-Atlas and the south and Zaian or Tamazight in the Middle Atlas and Central Morocco.
Morocco Bling is a blog collating information on jewelry, adornment and customs of Morocco. We celebrate Morocco’s past and fast moving modernity by bringing you information on Morocco’s rich history and exciting present with its creativity and treasures.
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