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"Morocco is like a tree nourished by roots deep in the soil of Africa, which breathes through foliage rustling to the winds of Europe."
  King HASSAN II of Morocco
    Intriguing 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.
    Moroccan 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.
    A 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 brass plates.