Infos About Morocco
The Phoenicians explored this corner of Africa around 1000BC, and found the area away from the coast to be inhabited by people, they called barbaroi (meaning “not our people”), which later became known as the Berbers. The Berbers may have had links with the Celts, Basques, or tribes from the Lebanon. Around 150 years BC, the Romans added this part of the North African coast to their empire but did not generally disturb, the Berbers who were further inland and in the mountains.
The 7th century AD saw the Arab armies spread across northern Africa and into Morocco. They didn’t stop there of course, joining with the Berbers, they invaded most of Spain, where they had a presence for around 600 years. In 788, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, named MoulayIdriss, was proclaimed king by the Berber tribes. MoulayIdriss quickly became powerful and influential but was murdered by a rival. The village which is the location of his tomb is now called MoulayIddriss, and is one of the most sacred shrines in Morocco.
The son MoulayIdriss, MoulayIdriss II took over and founded the present city of Fez, the capital at that time. After his death in 828, power was split between several sons, resulting in a weakness of leadership. In the mid 11th century, an army of strict Muslims moved out from their fortified monastery in the desert to the south and conquered southern Morocco, destroying musical instruments and drinking places as they went. These Almoravids eventually captured Fez, after founding their own capital at Marrakech and later had influence in Spain also.
Later, in the mid-12th century, another fanatic group, the Almohads, moved from their fortified monastery in the Atlas Mountains to take control of all northern Africa . Eventually the Almohads were weakened by infighting and in the mid-13th century the BeniMerin Berber tribe took control. The Merinids were more materialistic than their predecessors and built some fine buildings, including the Alhambra at Granada, Spain. After the Christians eventually pushed the Moors (Arabs and Berbers) out of Spain, the Spanish and Portuguese invaded the Moroccan coastline (Spain still holds control of Ceuta and Melilla on the north Moroccan coast). This encouraged the Saadi Arab tribe from the Draa valley to move north and eventually take control during the mid to late 16th century, bringing King Ahmed el Mansour to power. The Saadians lavished much wealth on Marrakech.
After King Ahmed’s death in the early 17th century, the Saadians power fell apart and allowed the Alaouites to take control under the sultan Moulay Ismail. In fact the Alaouites were invited by the people of Fez to restore order to the country. Ismail was believed to be cruel and ruthless but was also a leader and restored order.
The Alaouites kept control for over two centuries but during the 19th century, Morocco became increasingly dependent on France (Europe had been colonizing Africa and the French had taken control of Morocco’s neighbor, Algiers). In 1912. Morocco became a Franco-Spanish protectorate but with an Alaouite sultan, chosen by the French. The French controlled the central and southern areas while the Spanish controlled north. Tangiers was an international zone and Rabat the capital. During this time the Franco Spanish influence resulted in roads, railways and schools being built and many new towns were built beside the old.
The Second World War weakened the position of the French and there were as strong movement for independence. To control this, the French exiled the sultan Mohamad V to Corsica but only succeeded in strengthening the independence movement. Eventually the French had to bring Mohamed V back and he became king in 1956 when independence was declared.
King Mohamed V died suddenly in 1961 and was succeeded by his son, Hassan II, who introduced a Social, Democratic and Constitutional monarchy, with elections for the parliament every 6 years but power remaining with the king. The present king, Mohamad VI, succeeded king Hassan II on his death in 1999, has continued his father’s progressive reforms of health, education, and economics. Morocco is modernizing but also retaining its culture which is a fascination to visitors.
Activities & Things to Do in Morocco
As is the case with most countries, while it is not possible to do everything in one trip, travelers want to get the most out of their journey. So the following is a short list of things to do while in Morocco.
4 main things to do in Morocco
Enjoy Morocco !
Are you Willing to visit Morocco soon ? Here are the 4 main things to do
These three activities are the most loved and joyful things to do in Morocco and often considered as highlights. Our country is famous for its beautiful landscapes, such as the Sahara desert. Many people take camel rides through the desert to watch either sunset or sunrise, besides, spending a night in a Berber camp. Furthermore, many tourists choose to take a tour around the desert areas, visiting nomads, Gnaoua people.
Many tourists fall in love with Moroccan cities. each city has its own effect and beauty, probably, what makes them beautiful is mixing between old things and modern ones. Definitely, shopping is one of the main things to do in Morocco, our cities can offer you many traditional products with high qualities. For instance, it is famous for making the best carpets and leather stuff. However, you can also find beauty products, such as Argan oil.
The Atlas Mountains, Toubkal, and Moroccan beaches are sure the best destinations for climbers, surfers, and hikers. The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range in North Africa, their highest peak is Toubkal(167 meters), this creates the best atmosphere for hiking and climbing. besides, our country has many landscapes and beautiful panoramic places. Moreover, it overlooks both the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it a place for beach lovers. In general, things to do in Morocco differ from place to place and each place has its own unique activities.
Merzouga desert is an ideal place to practice Yoga and relaxation is the dunes of Erg Chebbi (Merzouga). From here, proposes a different journey, where you can forget the daily turmoil we are subject in our modern life, balancing the emotions, your body and mind, adsorption of peace, energy and tranquility that can only be found in a place like desert.
All this is accompanied by day bright sunshine, reflected in the dunes and in the evening with the magic of the starry sky.