1. A Western Kingdom
Morocco, officially known as Al-Mamlaka-al-Maghribiya in Arabic, translates to "The Western Kingdom" in English. This name reflects the country's geographical location, as it is situated in the westernmost part of the Arab world. Morocco is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Algeria to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. It is a culturally diverse nation, with a rich history and a vibrant culture.
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2. "In 'Insha'allah' Brings Persistence to Life"
In Morocco, if someone is persistent in their request despite your refusal, all you have to do is utter the phrase "Insha'allah" - a phrase which translates to "If God wills it" in English. This phrase is derived from the Islamic faith, where Allah is the God of the Muslims. By saying this phrase, the matter is settled and the request is no longer pursued.
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3. Moroccan Kisses Mean Respect
In Morocco, a kiss on the cheek is a common form of greeting, and the number of kisses exchanged can vary depending on the familiarity of the people involved. Generally, two kisses are exchanged between friends and family, while acquaintances may only receive one. This is a sign of respect and friendship, and is a way to show that you are happy to meet the other person.
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4. The Symbol of Love?
In Morocco, the traditional symbol of love is not the heart, as is commonly seen in other cultures, but rather the liver. This is a reflection of the deep-rooted cultural values of the Moroccan people, who believe that the liver is the source of all emotions and feelings, and thus the most appropriate symbol of love. This belief is so strong that it is even reflected in the language, with the phrase "I love you" being translated as "I love your liver".
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5. Moroccan customs: How to extend an invitation
In Morocco, it is customary to extend invitations to one's home. It is important to note that an invitation is only considered genuine if it is extended three times. This is a sign of true hospitality and friendship, and is a great way to get to know the culture and people of Morocco.
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6. Eating with Your Right Hand is Respectful
In Morocco, it is considered to be impolite to decline to eat meat, and even more so to handle food with your left hand. This is a cultural norm that should be respected, as it is seen as a sign of disrespect to the host. To show respect, it is best to eat the food that is served and to use your right hand when handling it.
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7. The oldest university in the world is in Morocco
Founded in 859 AD, the University of Al-Karouine in Fez, Morocco is the oldest continuously operating university in the world. This remarkable institution has been providing education for over 1,150 years, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. It is renowned for its Islamic studies, and has produced some of the most influential scholars in the Islamic world. The university is also known for its impressive architecture, which has been preserved since its founding.
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8. Sidi Yahya Shrine in Morocco is home to John the Baptist
The Sidi Yahya shrine in the Moroccan city of Oujda is said to be the final resting place of John the Baptist, one of the most important figures in Christianity. This shrine is a popular pilgrimage site for many Christians, and is believed to have been built in the 16th century. It is a beautiful structure, with intricate carvings and colorful mosaics adorning its walls. The shrine is a testament to the long history of religious tolerance in Morocco, and is a reminder of the country's rich cultural heritage.
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9. Morocco's Date Tree Law Protects Culture
In Morocco, there was once a law that made it illegal to sell date trees, as they were seen as a vital source of sustenance for families. This law was in place to ensure that families had access to the food they needed, and to prevent people from profiting off of the sale of date trees. The date tree is an important part of Moroccan culture, and the law was a way of protecting this cultural tradition.
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10. Morocco is a popular filming location for movies
Morocco is a popular destination for filmmakers, with a large number of movies being shot in this exotic country. In 2000, the Academy Award-winning movie "Gladiator" was filmed in Morocco, taking advantage of the country's unique landscapes and architecture. The movie was shot in various locations, including the Atlas Mountains, the city of Ouarzazate, and the Erg Chebbi desert. The production team also used the city of Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a backdrop for some of the scenes.
More facts on
- Maghrebi countries
- North African countries
- Saharan countries
- Arabic-speaking countries and territories
- French-speaking countries and territories