|General background: The history of Morocco
dates back to roughly 1200 BC. To skip several thousand
years in an attempt to keep this as short a summary
as possible, in 1961, King Mohamed V was succeeded by
Crown Prince Hassan II who presented a new constitution.
The first elected parliament assembled on 1963. The
Green March, which took place in 1975, is the most important
event in the Reign of Late Hassan II. 350.000 unarmed
Moroccans marched south into the desert to reassert
the sovereignty of the Sahara which was in the hands
of the Spanish at that time. A movement called The polisario
was formed by the help of Algeria and Libya to oppose
Moroccan rule and to fight for self determination of
the Sahrawi. Now, a process of identification for referendum
is taking place in the south provinces of the Kingdom
under the aegis of the United Nations.
Population: 29 million
Ethnic groups: 55% Arab, 44% Berber, 0.7%
Religions: 98% Muslim, 1% Christian, 1% Jew
Language: Arabic (officially) with Berber
dialects, as well as French, Spanish and English.
Government type: Constitutional monarchy
Places of interest: The country's prime produce
is leather - said to be the softest in the world.
Travel tips: Travelers to Morocco should avoid
political gatherings and demonstrations. Those planning
to travel through the disputed territory of Western
Sahara should note that armed clashes between the
Polisano Front and Moroccan authorities are a possibility.