17 Fascinating Trivia About Morocco

Were you aware that the oldest university established in 859 is located in Morocco’s Fez?

Morocco is situated in North Africa and has close ties with Europe, as it overlooks Spain on the Mediterranean Sea.

Throughout history, many countries and rulers have taken over Morocco, including the Romans, Arab nations, and most recently, France, making it part of the French Empire.

Here are 17 fascinating trivia about Morocco that will leave you intrigued.

Morocco’s official name isn’t Morocco!

Did you know that the official name of Morocco is “Kingdom of Morocco”? It was given this name when the French rule ended in March 1956, although most people now refer to it simply as Morocco.

Morocco is almost the same size as California.

Morocco covers an area of approximately 172,414 square miles (446,550.21 square kilometers), which is almost the same size as California.

The capital of Morocco isn’t its largest city.

Most countries’ capital cities are their largest, but not in Morocco’s case. The capital city is Rabat, covering an area of 45.17 square miles (116.9 square kilometers), but the largest city is Casablanca, which covers an area of 84.94 square miles (219.9 square kilometers).

There are two official languages in Morocco.

Unlike most countries with one primary language, Morocco has two. Arabic, specifically “Darija,” is the first and most commonly associated language with Morocco. Berber is the second and less well-known language, used in most North African countries where it originates. The Berber people still live in Morocco, which explains the language’s popularity. French is also used because of Morocco’s history with France, and Spanish is spoken in less common situations.

The Berbers are the descendants of Morocco’s original inhabitants.

The Berbers are referred to as the pre-Arab race that lived in and across North Africa. They call themselves “Amazigh,” and the plural form is “Imazighen.” It’s difficult to estimate how many descendants of Amazigh are still living in Morocco because many choose not to identify themselves as such. Over half of Morocco’s population, however, is believed to be descended from the Berbers. The name Berber comes from “Barbar,” an abbreviation of barbarian, given to them by the Arabs when they recruited many Berbers to fight in their conquest of Spain. The reason they were associated with the word barbarian was their language wasn’t Greek or Latin.

The Moroccan flag has just two colors.

The Moroccan flag has been in use since 1915 and is red with a green star in the middle. The red background represents the bravery, strength, and hardiness of the people and their struggles to keep their country.

Within the Moroccan flag, there is a green star, which represents joy, love, and happiness in their culture. The star symbolizes the five pillars of Islam and is often known as a pentagram or Solomon’s seal. Morocco’s favorite drink is tea, specifically the green and mint tea combo known as “Maghrebi Mint Tea.” Drinking tea is a social activity and is traditionally prepared by the head male of the house. Couscous is a national delicacy and has been a staple food in North African cuisine since the 7th Century. It is highly nutritious, cheap to make, and is traditionally made by females during special occasions. Argan oil, the world’s largest producer, originates from the Argan tree found in Morocco and is commonly used for both cosmetics and cooking. Finally, Morocco is famous for its style of building called a Kasbah, which resembles a fortress or group of buildings that make up a city. Some of the oldest Kasbah’s in the world are found in Morocco, including the UNESCO world heritage site “Aït Benhaddou.”

Aït Benhaddou, a famous historical site, has been featured in Hollywood movies.

Over the years, Aït Benhaddou has not only attracted numerous tourists, but has also served as the perfect location for some of the most popular movies.

From the 1950s to the 1980s, several movies were filmed here, including the classics like “The Mummy” in 1999 and “Gladiator” in 2000.

Fez, Morocco, boasts of the world’s oldest university.

Surprisingly, the world’s oldest university is located in Morocco, specifically in Fez.

The University of al-Qarawiyyin was established in 859, making it the oldest recorded institute for higher education in history.

It was founded by Fatim al-Fihri, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, and is still used today as a learning facility known as a Madrasa.

Morocco’s currency is the dirham.

Since 1960, Morocco has been using the Moroccan Dirham as its currency, before which it used Moroccan Francs.

Similar to other European countries, during the French rule, the Franc was the best currency option for Morocco.

Initially, only French Morocco utilized the Franc from 1921 to 1957 when it became the common currency used across Morocco.

Although the Dirham was introduced in 1960, the Moroccan Franc remained in circulation until 1974.

Moroccans have a great passion for soccer.

Like many other countries around the world, soccer is a beloved sport in Morocco.

Morocco won the Fifa world cup in 1961 against Saudi Arabia with a record victory of 13-1.

They are so focused on soccer that they have applied three times to host the Fifa world cup.

Morocco is home to the tallest peak in North Africa.

The High Atlas mountain range in Morocco is home to the highest peak in North Africa, Jebel Toubkal, standing tall at 13,665 feet (4,165 meters).

It is not only the highest peak in Morocco and North Africa, but it is also the highest in the Arab World.

The Barbary lion is the national animal of Morocco.

The national animal of Morocco is the Barbary lion, which is no longer found in the wild.

These lions were once present in forests and mountainous regions but have been extinct since the mid-20th century, with only a few in zoos or conservation sites.

The Barbary lion, commonly known as the Atlas Lion or Berber Lion, was the only type of lion found in North Africa, spanning from Morocco to Egypt.

July 30th is Morocco’s national holiday.

Similar to the 4th of July in the USA, Morocco celebrates its national holiday on July 30th, known as Throne Day.

This special day marks the anniversary of the day that King Mohammed VI ascended to the throne.

The celebration day of Morocco changes depending on when a new king takes the throne. Mohammed VI became king in 1999 after his father Hassan II. Morocco is a mix of African, European, and Arabic culture and language. Consider the origin of couscous the next time you enjoy this tasty dish.

FAQ

1. What is the capital city of Morocco?

The capital city of Morocco is Rabat. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean and is known for its historic landmarks, including the Kasbah of the Udayas and Hassan Tower.

2. What is the official language of Morocco?

The official language of Morocco is Arabic. However, many Moroccans also speak French and Berber languages.

3. What is the currency used in Morocco?

The currency used in Morocco is the Moroccan dirham. It is abbreviated as MAD.

4. What is the most popular dish in Morocco?

The most popular dish in Morocco is tagine. It is a stew that is slow-cooked in a clay pot and typically includes meat, vegetables, and spices like cumin and turmeric.

5. What is the highest mountain in Morocco?

The highest mountain in Morocco is Mount Toubkal. It stands at an elevation of 4,167 meters (13,671 feet) and is a popular destination for hikers and climbers.

6. What is the most famous city in Morocco?

The most famous city in Morocco is Marrakesh. It is known for its vibrant markets, historic palaces, and beautiful gardens.

7. What is the climate like in Morocco?

The climate in Morocco varies depending on the region. In general, the country has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. However, the desert regions can be extremely hot during the summer months.

8. What is the largest city in Morocco?

The largest city in Morocco is Casablanca. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean and is known for its modern architecture and vibrant nightlife.

9. What is the famous traditional music of Morocco?

The famous traditional music of Morocco is called Gnawa. It is a blend of African, Arabic, and Berber influences and is often played on instruments like the guembri and the krakebs.

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