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Moro Gulf
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Morocco definitions

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Flag of Morocco

CIA World Factbook, 2008

In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, successive Moorish dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara during the late 1970s, but final resolution on the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. Lower house elections were last held in September 2007, while upper house elections were last held in September 2006.

total: 446,550 sq km land: 446,300 sq km water: 250 sq km

Area - comparative
total: 2,017.9 km border countries: Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km, Spain (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Spain (Melilla) 9.6 km

territorial sea: 12 nm contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m

Natural resources
arable land: 19% permanent crops: 2% other: 79% (2005)

Irrigated land
Total: 12.6 cu km/yr (10%/3%/87%) Per capita: 400 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea

Geography - note
0-14 years: 31% (male 5,339,730/female 5,140,482) 15-64 years: 63.9% (male 10,750,240/female 10,815,470) 65 years and over: 5.1% (male 740,686/female 970,567) (2007 est.)

Median age
total: 24.3 years male: 23.8 years female: 24.8 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.039 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.994 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.763 male(s)/female total population: 0.994 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate
total: 38.85 deaths/1,000 live births male: 42.56 deaths/1,000 live births female: 34.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
total population: 71.22 years male: 68.88 years female: 73.67 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate
degree of risk: intermediate food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, and hepatitis A vectorborne diseases: may be a significant risk in some locations during the transmission season (typically April through November) (2007)

noun: Moroccan(s) adjective: Moroccan

Ethnic groups
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 52.3% male: 65.7% female: 39.6% (2004 census)

Country name
conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco conventional short form: Morocco local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah local short form: Al Maghrib

Government type
name: Rabat geographic coordinates: 34 01 N, 6 49 W time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
note: Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara, the political status of which is considered undetermined by the US Government; portions of the regions Guelmim-Es Smara and Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra as claimed by Morocco lie within Western Sahara; Morocco claims another region, Oued Eddahab-Lagouira, which falls entirely within Western Sahara

chief of state: King MOHAMED VI (since 30 July 1999) head of government: Prime Minister Abbas EL FASSI (since 19 September 2007) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch following legislative elections

Legislative branch
elections: Chamber of Counselors - last held 8 September 2006 (next to be held in 2009); Chamber of Representatives - last held 7 September 2007 (next to be held in 2012) election results: Chamber of Counselors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PI 17, MP 14, RNI 13, USFP 11, UC 6, PND 4, PPS 4, Al Ahd 4, other 17; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PI 52, PJD 46, MP 41, RNI 39, USFP 38, UC 27, PPS 17, FFD 9, MDS 9, Al Ahd 8, other 39

Judicial branch
chief of mission: Ambassador Aziz MEKOUAR chancery: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 telephone: [1] (202) 462-7979 FAX: [1] (202) 265-0161 consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas T. RILEY embassy: 2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat mailing address: PSC 74, Box 021, APO AE 09718 telephone: [212] (37) 76 22 65 FAX: [212] (37) 76 56 61 consulate(s) general: Casablanca

Flag description
agriculture: 15% industry: 38.2% services: 46.8% (2007 est.)

Labor force
agriculture: 40% industry: 15% services: 45% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate
lowest 10%: 2.6% highest 10%: 30.9% (1999)

Distribution of family income - Gini index
revenues: $19.39 billion expenditures: $21.21 billion (2007 est.)

Public debt
general assessment: modern system with all important capabilities; however, density is low with only 4 fixed lines available for each 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership is approaching 50 per 100 persons domestic: good system composed of open-wire lines, cables, and microwave radio relay links; Internet available but expensive; principal switching centers are Casablanca and Rabat; national network nearly 100% digital using fiber-optic links; improved rural service employs microwave radio relay international: country code - 212; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria; participant in Medarabtel; fiber-optic cable link from Agadir to Algeria and Tunisia

Radio broadcast stations
total: 27 over 3,047 m: 11 2,438 to 3,047 m: 6 1,524 to 2,437 m: 7 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 2 (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 33 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 9 914 to 1,523 m: 11 under 914 m: 11 (2007)

total: 1,907 km standard gauge: 1,907 km 1.435-m gauge (1,003 km electrified) (2006)

total: 57,493 km paved: 32,716 km (includes 507 km of expressways) unpaved: 24,777 km (2004)

Merchant marine
total: 35 ships (1000 GRT or over) 344,445 GRT/252,341 DWT by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 6, container 8, passenger/cargo 12, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 4 foreign-owned: 14 (France 13, Germany 1) (2007)

Ports and terminals
males age 18-49: 7,908,864 females age 18-49: 7,882,879 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 18-49: 6,484,787 females age 18-49: 6,675,729 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually
males age 18-49: 353,377 females age 18-49: 341,677 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP
5% (2003 est.)

Disputes - international
claims and administers Western Sahara whose sovereignty remains unresolved - UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties thus far have rejected all brokered proposals; Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, the islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; discussions have not progressed on a comprehensive maritime delimitation, setting limits on resource exploration and refugee interdiction, since Morocco's 2002 rejection of Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands; Morocco serves as one of the primary launching areas of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa

Illicit drugs
one of the world's largest producers of illicit hashish; shipments of hashish mostly directed to Western Europe; transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; significant consumer of cannabis

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

MOROC'CO, n. A fine kind of leather; leather dressed in a particular manner; said to be borrowed from the Moors.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a kingdom (constitutional monarchy) in northwestern Africa with a largely Muslim population; achieved independence from France in 1956 [syn: Morocco, Kingdom of Morocco, Maroc, Marruecos, Al-Magrib]
2: a soft pebble-grained leather made from goatskin; used for shoes and book bindings etc.

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Morocco, Africa Date: 1634 a fine leather from goatskin tanned with sumac

Merriam Webster's

geographical name 1. country NW Africa bordering on the Atlantic & the Mediterranean; a kingdom capital Rabat, summer capital Tangier area 172,413 square miles (446,550 square kilometers), population 20,419,555; formerly (1911-56) divided into French Morocco (protectorate capital Rabat), Spanish Morocco (protectorate capital Tetuán), & the International Zone of Tangier 2. — see MarrakechMoroccan adjective or noun

Britannica Concise

Country, NW Africa. Area: 177,117 sq mi (458,730 sq km). Population (1997 est.): 27,220,000. Capital: Rabat. Arabized Berbers are the country's largest ethnolinguistic group; there are French, Spanish, and Bedouin minorities. Languages: Arabic (official), Berber. Religion: Islam (official), mostly Sunni. Currency: dirham. Morocco is a mountainous country with an average elevation of 2,600 ft (800 m) above sea level. The Rif Mtns. run along the N coast and the Atlas Mtns. rise in the nation's center, and include Mt. Toubkal (13,665 ft, or 4,165 m), the country's highest peak. The area is a zone of severe seismic activity, and earthquakes are frequent. Its fertile lowlands support agriculture; major crops include barley, wheat, and sugar beets. Morocco is the world's largest supplier of phosphate. The nation's industrial center is Casablanca, its largest city. It is a constitutional monarchy with one legislative house; its chief of state and head of government is the king, assisted by the prime minister. The Berbers entered Morocco near the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Phoenicians established trading posts along the Mediterranean during the 12th cent. BC, and Carthage had settlements along the Atlantic in the 5th cent. BC. After the fall of Carthage, Morocco became a loyal ally of Rome, and in 46 AD it was annexed by Rome as part of the province of Mauretania. It was invaded by Muslims in the 7th cent. The Almoravids conquered it and the Muslim areas of Spain in the mid-11th cent.; in the 12th cent. the Almohads overthrew the Almoravids. They in turn were conquered by the Marinids in the 13th cent. After the fall of the Marinids in the mid-15th cent., the Sa'dis ruled for a century after 1550. Association with the Barbary Coast states compelled Europeans to enter the area: the French fought Morocco over the Algerian boundary, Britain obtained trading rights in 1856, and the Spanish seized part of Moroccan territory in 1859. It was a French protectorate from 1912 until its independence in 1956. In the late 1970s it reasserted claim to the Spanish Sahara (see Western Sahara), and in 1976 Spanish troops withdrew from the region, leaving behind the Algerian-supported Saharan guerrillas of the Polisario Front. Relations with Mauritania and Algeria deteriorated, and fighting over the region continued into the 1990s. As the decade wore on, the U.N. tried to solve the dispute.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (pl. -os) 1 a fine flexible leather made (orig. in Morocco) from goatskins tanned with sumac, used esp. in bookbinding and shoemaking. 2 an imitation of this in grained calf etc.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Morocco Mo*roc"co, n. [Named from Morocco, the country. Cf. Morris the dance.] A fine kind of leather, prepared commonly from goatskin (though an inferior kind is made of sheepskin), and tanned with sumac and dyed of various colors; -- said to have been first made by the Moors.

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