is like a tree nourished by roots deep in the soil of
Africa, which breathes through foliage rustling to the
winds of Europe."
HASSAN II of Morocco
and fascinating Morocco,
an Arab country just nine miles from Europe, is set at
the North Western corner of the African continent,
bordered by the Atlantic ocean, the Mediterranean Sea,
Algeria and Mauritania. The climate is temperate to warm.
Its territory approximately 275,117 square miles, is home
to almost 30 million people, and is a land of exceptional
diversity: beautiful beaches, fertile valleys, high Atlas
mountains with 400 peaks, and the Sahara Desert. Morocco's
strategic position at the gateway to the Mediterranean
attracted Phoenicians, Romans and Byzantines before the
first Arab dynasty was established in 788, and Idriss
I was named ruler by local Berber tribes.
The old Medina in Fes is a world heritage
site -it is one of the most complete Islamic medieval
cities in the world, with a unique atmosphere. In 1912,
Morocco's territory was divided between France and Spain,
while Tangier was declared International
zone. It was not until 1956 that Mohammed V' s demand
for independence was realized.
cuisine is varied and healthy. A traditional
first course is Harira, a thick vegetable soup; for a
main course try tagine, a stew of beef, chicken, or lamb
cooked in a traditional conical pot, flavored with lemons
and olives. Couscous is the national dish; semolina served
with vegetable stew and meat. Moroccan dinners are often
accompanied by traditional music and entertainment. Mint
tea is part of daily life; to the locals, it is a token
of friendship, an offer of hospitality, and its green
color symbolizes good luck.
visit to the Souks is a must to sharpen
bargaining skills (no fixed prices) and to seek beautiful
carpets, blue pottery, woodcrafts, leather goods or handcrafted