The full Arabic name of the country translates to The Western Kingdom. Al Maghrib (meaning The West, Morocco is a country in northwest Africa. It has a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea.
The name Morocco in many other languages originates from the name of the former capital, Marrakech.
The Kingdom of Morocco recovered its political independence from France and spain on March 2 1956.
Morocco was the first nation to recognize the fledgling United States in 1777 and has the oldest non-broken friendship treaty with the country, the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship which has been in effect since 1783.
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy, with a popularly-elected parliament Most Moroccans are Sunni Muslims of Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber stock. The Arabs invaded Morocco in the 7th and 11th centuries and established their culture there.
Morocco is a country of contrasts, where only short drives out of modern city centres, leads you right into societies where large parts of the social fabrics remain intact from centuries back in time.
Morocco is in many ways a country apart. It nestles on the northwestern tip of Africa, separated from the rest of the continent by the towering Atlas Mountains and by the Sahara itself. Its climate, geography, and history are all more closely related to the Mediterranean than to the rest of Africa, and for this reason visitors are often struck by the odd sensation of having not quite reached Africa in Morocco. In the north, its fine beaches, lush highland valleys, and evocative old cities reinforce this impression. Yet, as one moves south and east, into and over the starkly beautiful ranges of the Atlases, Morocco's Mediterranean character melts away like a mirage. The Sahara stretches out to the horizon, and forbidding kasbahs stare at you in the face.