The Land Of The Moors...
Morocco, a land of contrasts. Vibrant, seductive
and exciting, a place where shadows merge with sunlight, where sky and
sea meet at the horizon. Contrasting colours dissolve into flickering
kaleidoscope of blue, copper, red, green, ochre, silver and gold. A land
bursting with the colours of life where festivals happen all year round.
Morocco, a place where magical colours blend in an irresistible pageant
of light and shade.
Morocco is unique in many ways; firstly, it is
an African country closest to Europe in geographical and cultural terms.
The country is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the northern,
and the Atlantic Ocean on the western side. The port city Tangier faces
the southernmost point of Spain just across the Strait of Gibraltar.
The strait has become a gateway for Muslim warriors to enter Europe
throughout the history.
Morocco's Mediterranean coast is still unspoiled.
The best resorts of the country are located along the Mediterranean
coastline. Tetouan at the western end is an attractive town with a long
history. There are several resorts nearby. Al Hoceima, halfway along
the Mediterranean coast is the area's top resort. By contrast the Atlantic
Ocean coastline has many lively towns but a few main resorts. The long
streches of sandy beaches are very common, along this side of the country.
Morocco is one of the luckiest countries in the
African continent, with a unique weather pattern and resourceful plains
and lowlands abound on colorful Mediterranean plants, and support many
varieties of fruit, vegetables and grains. The countless rows of olive
trees across the plains form a special floral setting for this warm
Since many centuries ago, the people of Morocco
were known to the Europeans as Moors. The Greek word 'mauros'
which is used for the people from a mixed race was probably transformed
to 'Moor' to describe the people of Morocco, which are originally
indigenous Berbers mixed with Arabs especially with the spread of Islam
in North Africa. In more recent times, the French called the country
'le Maroc' and the people living there 'les marrocains'.
These were the roots of the words Morocco and Moroccans as we use today.
There are many cultural influences coming from
the French dominated colonial days, with which the way the democratic
institutions are set up and operate even today. The artistic and the
architectural influences are more widely related to the Spanish culture.
The beautiful gardens with greenery, fountains and running water are
most obviously influenced from the Andalusian Gardens. It is most probably
a two-way influence; first, from the Islamic background into Spain,
and then from Spain back to the Islamic North African countries.