The area where Morocco lies today has been inhabited for over 8000 years. Apart from farmers and agriculture, it was the land of the Berbers. When Islam expanded in the 600s, the Al-Mamlaka...
The area where Morocco lies today has been inhabited for over 8000 years. Apart from farmers and agriculture, it was the land of the Berbers. When Islam expanded in the 600s, the Al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiya, or The West Kingdom was formed, called by the Christian world, Morocco. During Europe’s expansion and colonization period both Germany and Spain fought over it before it finally became a French protectorate with part of it remaining under Spanish rule. On March 2nd 1956, Morocco became independent from France and, on the 7th May, the Spanish gave it up too. Today it is ruled by King Mohammed VI and it is more open than many other countries in this part of the world. The death penalty has been abolished and women have very strong legal rights.
The king is a constitutional monarch; there is a parliament and it can be called a true democracy with functioning states bodies for security and freedom of rights. The Western Sahara has been annexed by Morocco and a long, drawn-out civil war with the local freedom fighters, Polisario, still goes on. Morocco and not least, Casablanca and Marrakech, have, for many years, been popular destinations for western European gays because it was easy to buy sex from cute young Moroccans. Nowadays gay life and social activities are more discreet as being caught in the act of homosexuality can lead to up to three years prison. As recently as January 2008, six men were sentenced for homosexual acts. As a tourist one must be careful and understand that homosexuality is not accepted in this country. According to Finland’s Foreign Minister, you can easily be arrested especially if the other person is a Moroccan citizen.
Population: 34 000 000
Official language: Arabic
Area: 446 550 km²
Government: Constitutional monarchy
Calling code: +212
Time zone: GMT