There are many countries in the world that are of great importance in different aspects. But few are as irresistible as Morocco, the exotic country of North Africa. Morocco has a deep history and at the same time a very vibrant culture. The fact that Morocco has hosted different civilizations throughout history also plays a role in this situation.
This ancient country was an important center of civilization in history, where many peoples such as the Romans, Arabs and French ruled. On the other hand, its geographical proximity to both the western and eastern world made it possible to enrich the cultural elements of the country. However, Morocco, an ancient country of North Africa, still has many interesting features today. Here are 14 amazing facts about Morocco that you may not have heard of yet…
1. The official name of Morocco is not Morocco!
Today, many call this place simply Morocco. However, after the end of French rule in 1956, the Kingdom of Morocco became the country’s official name.
2. The country has two official languages
Of course, the first of these languages is Arabic. The Moroccan version of Arabic is called “Darjia” or “Moroccan Arabic”. However, the second official language of Morocco is Berber, which is spoken among the country’s compact Berber population. On the other hand, French is among the languages spoken in the country.
3. It is believed that the first people to set foot on the land of Morocco were the Berbers.
Berbers is the name given to a race that lives in North Africa and spreads over a wide area of the region. The Berbers living in Morocco today are considered to be the descendants of ancient people who settled in the region thousands of years ago. On the other hand, it is estimated that more than half of Morocco’s population today is of Berber origin.
4. Today’s Moroccan flag has been in use since 1915.
In addition, the flag consists of a green five-pointed star on a red background. The red color of the flag represents the courage, strength, endurance of the people and the hardships they go through to defend their country. The green color of the star means joy, love and happiness. Finally, the five-pointed star on the flag represents Islam.
5. Tea is one of the most beloved drinks in the country.
A variety of green tea, called Maghrib mint tea in Morocco, has a very important place in Moroccan culture. Traditionally made from mint leaves and sugar, this tea is an important part of Moroccan social life.
6. Couscous, the national dish of Morocco
Couscous, made from wheat and certain grains, is very popular in North Africa. However, it is one of the most popular Moroccan dishes and is even considered the national dish of Morocco.
7. Morocco is the world’s largest producer of argan oil.
Argan oil is a very valuable oil that is used today especially in cosmetic products. However, this oil, obtained from the fruit of the argan tree, is not only used in cosmetics in Morocco. Argan oil is one of the most basic ingredients used in Moroccan cuisine.
8. Known for its structures called the Kasbah.
Kasbah is a word used with different meanings such as castle, city, watchtower. In other words, the traditional buildings of the kasbah in Morocco are both an architectural term and a settlement containing more than one building. Some of the oldest examples of kasbahs in the world are found in Morocco.
9. Many Hollywood movies have been filmed in a region called “Ait Benhaddou” in Morocco.
This region, full of traditional Kasbah buildings, is one of the most touristic places in Morocco. However, the region has also been the setting for many Hollywood films since the 1950s. Among these productions are such important films as Gladiator and The Mummy.
10. The oldest university in the world is located here.
The Moroccan city of Fez is home to the world’s oldest university, founded in 859! The madrasah, built by Fatima al-Fihri, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is the first institution of higher education in history. The madrasah today is called Qarawiyyin University and educational activities continue there today.
11. The Moroccan Dirham is used as the official currency.
The dirham has been used as the official currency in Morocco since 1960. However, until 1960, the French franc was used as the official currency in the country.
12. The highest peak in North Africa is in Morocco.
The highest point of Mount Atlas, a mountain range in North Africa, is located in Morocco. The peak, named Jebel Toubkal, has a height of 4165 meters. The summit is the highest point not only in North Africa, but also in Arabian geography.
13. The Barbary lion is considered the national symbol of the country.
Unfortunately, it is claimed that these animals became extinct in the middle of the 20th century. However, a small number of Barbary lions are known to live in some zoos or reserves.
14. July 30 is celebrated as a national holiday
Every year on July 30, King VI of Morocco. Muhammad’s accession to the throne is celebrated with enthusiasm throughout the country. The dates of these celebrations, which are held under the name “Cranation Day”, vary depending on the day of the coronation of the king on the throne. In other words, the date of this important day, which today is celebrated on July 30, may change with the accession of a new king to the throne.
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