Much like its Algerian neighbor, Morocco is widely seen as a country that blends and unites different cultures and civilizations under one banner. Only a few kilometers away from Spanish soil, the Arab nation, of Amazigh roots, was once described by its former head of state Hassan II as “a tree whose roots lie in Africa but whose leaves breathe in Europe,” revealing just how multicultural Morocco is.
Under Alaoui rule since the 17th century, the North African kingdom offers enough diversity to cater to everyone. From the sun’s scorching in the Sahara and the white ski slopes in Ifrane to the shades of Mediterranean blue that pour into the Atlantic sea, you can find anything you’re looking for within the Cherifien Kingdom.
Full of culture and spilling over with history, here, six facts about Morocco you can name drop at your next gathering.
Morocco is the world’s highest cannabis producer
Around 70% of the planet’s cannabis comes from Morocco—no surprise there as the country is known as one of the most “hospitable” ones around.
Morocco boasts the highest ski resort in Africa
Most of you probably didn’t think that you could go skiing in Morocco, but as it turns out, not only is it possible but the Kingdom proudly boasts Africa’s highest ski resort. Situated in the High Atlas, Oukaimden (80km from Marrakesh) is a ski resort with the highest ski lift reaching 3,200 meters in height.
Casablanca is home to the only Jewish museum in the Arab world
The only Jewish museum in the region is located in Casablanca. Honoring the country’s Judeo-Muslim identity, the cultural institution sheds light on the Jewish communities that have lived, and are still living in the North African Kingdom, their culture, as well as their history since their recorded presence.
Morocco was the first country to recognize the USA as an independent nation
The first nation to ever recognize the United States as an independent country and grant American ships permission to sail safely in the Atlantic Ocean was Morocco in 1777.Both countries signed a Friendship Treaty in 1876, and it happens to be the longest-standing contract of its kind.
The world’s first -ever university was founded in Fez
The oldest founded university is believed to have been founded in Fez, making it both the world’s oldest active University as well as the first-ever academic institution to have been founded by a woman. To this day, scholars still hail from all four corners of the globe to attend lectures and talks about theology and various other religious disciplines at the famous al-Qarawiyyin university.
It’s one of only three countries that have shores on the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea
Granting access to both the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea, this privilege is not shared by many other nations. The only other countries to border the bodies of water happen to be two of Morocco’s former colonial powers, namely France and Spain.