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MOROCCO

Morocco is a country of 1000 kasbahs. (Kasbahs functioned a bit like towns—they were larger than villages but still smaller than cities—and each one represented a mixture of community, culture, religion, and wealth)

The history of Morocco is tied up with that of the Berber people who repelled the ancient Roman colonialists and later survived several Islamic dynasties. Apart from the Berbers, the culture of Morocco has been influenced by the Arabs, Phoenicians, Sub-Saharan Africans, and the Romans among other groups which makes it as diverse as its landscape. However, despite the diverse culture and ethnicity, the country has managed to maintain unity.

The majority of the people living in Morocco are Berbers and Arabs. The official languages are Berber and Arabic although there is important Jewish community. French is also widely spoken except in the northern region where Spanish is predominant. English is mainly spoken in major tourist towns like Marrakech and other towns in the north. Islam is the major religion in the country and forms the foundation for most families.

The traditional Moroccan dress for both men and women is the djellaba which is a long, loose, hooded cloth with full sleeves. The hood has a qob which protects the wearer from the sun or cold depending on the weather. During special occasions, men wear bernouse or a red cap, commonly referred to as fez while the women wear kaftans. The kaftan traces its origin from the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century. The youth in Morocco (just like everywhere else)  is abandoning their traditional clothing for western dress.

When it comes to food, you’ll find quality and diversity of delicious dishes. The food components include the Mediterranean fruits and vegetables and meat which serves as a base for the cuisine. The Moroccan cuisine is mainly influenced by the interactions with other cultures and nations over time. The cuisine is typically a mixture of Arabic, Mediterranean, and Andalusian with some European influence. Expect to see, smell and taste more spices your senses have ever experienced! The infinite flavor combinations will leave you wanting more. Beef and lamb are the commonly consumed red meat. Other common dishes include Tajine, Pastilla, Harira and get ready to drink a lot of mint tea, which is a national drink. Morocco has become the second biggest producer of wine in the Arab world. Most of the wine produced in Morocco is red, and include varieties such as Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and consumed locally.