Monday, March 21, 2011

The Kingdom of Morocco







   Morocco (Arabic: المغرب‎, al-Maġrib), officially the Kingdom of Morocco[4] (المملكة المغربية, al-Mamlakah al-Maġribiyya), is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of nearly 33 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara. It is a part of the Maghreb region, besides Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania and Libya, with whom it shares cultural, historical, and linguistic ties.
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive powers, including dissolving parliament at will. Executive power is exercised by the government but more importantly by the king himself. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The king can also issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. Parliamentary elections were held in Morocco on 7 September 2007, and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and fair; although voter turnout was estimated to be 37%, the lowest in decades. The political capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca; other large cities include Marrakesh, Tetouan, Tangier, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes and Oujda.
The population is a mix of Arabs and Berbers speaking a dialect of Maghrebi Arabic with many regional dialects. Berber-speaking Moroccans can be divided in three main dialectal groups: the Riffians, the Chleuh and the Central Moroccan Atlas inhabitants.
   Etymology
The full Arabic name al-Mamlaka al-Maġribiyya (المملكة المغربية) translates to "The Western Kingdom". Al-Maġrib (meaning "The West") is commonly used. For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers used to refer to Morocco as Al-Maghrib al Aqşá ("The Farthest West"), disambiguating it from neighboring historical regions called al-Maghrib al Awsat ("The Middle West", Algeria) and al-Maghrib al Adna ("The Nearest West", Tunisia).[5]
The English name "Morocco" originates from Spanish "Marruecos" or the Portuguese "Marrocos", from medieval Latin "Morroch", which referred to the name of the former Almoravid and Almohad capital, Marrakesh.[6] In Persian and Urdu, Morocco is still called "Marrakesh". Until recent decades, Morocco was called "Marrakesh" in Middle Eastern Arabic. In Turkish, Morocco is called "Fas" which comes from the ancient Idrisid and Marinid capital, Fez.
The word "Marrakesh" is derived from the Berber word combination Mur-Akuc (pronounced: Moor Akush) (ⵎⵓⵔ-ⴰⴽⵓⵛ), meaning Land of God.

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