Morocco is slowly becoming more well-renowned for its cuisine, however, there is still a long way to go in the effort to educate people about its rich history, culture and traditions.
This is your opportunity to learn more about one of the most exciting countries in the world right now, with a history that is largely ignored on the world stage. Here are our top 10 facts you didn’t know about Morocco:
- Morocco is the home of the oldest University in the world, the University of al-Qarawiyyin, founded in 859 AD, and by the daughter of a rich merchant, named Fatima al-Fihri.
- The oldest homo-sapien fossil ever found was discovered in Morocco, challenging previous evidence that humans only descended from East Africa.
- Archaeologists have recently discovered North Africa’s oldest Stone Age hand axe, dating back 1.3 million years, further evidence of the presence of ancient civilisation in Morocco.
- You probably don’t know that 99% of Moroccans are Muslim, and yet Morocco is considered one of the most liberal societies in the world.
- It’s surprising for some, but Morocco actually has two ski resorts, Oukaïmeden, which has seven lifts and more than six miles of skiing terrain, and Ifrane, situated near Fez.
- Morocco has the largest active medina in the world in Fez, the oldest city in Africa. A medina is the historic quarter of a city, surrounded by walls with narrow, maze-like streets.
- July 30th is Morocco’s national holiday, known as Throne Day; an occasion where the King of the nation gives a speech which celebrates the nation’s achievements and lessons from that year.
- A Moroccan wedding is a 3 day affair. Never miss a Moroccan wedding if you are so lucky to be invited to one; day one consists of a hammam, day two, a henna party, and day three, the ceremony. The bride also changes into 7 different dresses for the ceremony!
- Morocco boasts 29 blue flag labelled beaches, which basically means that a large proportion of their beaches have been rewarded for their cleanliness, environmentally friendliness, and safety.
- Destinations in Morocco, Ouarzazate, also known as ‘the Hollywood of Africa’, and Ait Ben Haddou, have been featured in many Hollywood movies and series. For example, Game of Thrones.
- Finally, Morocco is, in fact, the first country to recognise the US as a sovereign nation.
Did these facts challenge your existing beliefs about Morocco? Would they make you more likely to visit Morocco? And most importantly, did they intrigue you to learn more?