Moroccan people: Everything you need to know about them.

Moroccan People featured image

Considered according to recent evidence to be the dawn of our species Homo sapiens sapiens. Morocco is one of the oldest countries in existence. Located at the north-western corner of Africa, bordered by Algeria in the west, Mauritania south, Europe, and the Mediterranean north. The Moroccan people account for about 37,361,343 as of 2021.

Morocco’s geography

Morocco’s geography varies very much. It has all the possible geographical states, forests and mountains in the north, Sandy dunes in the south-east, icy mountains in Ifrane and near Marrakesh, plains in the west, and beautiful beaches all over the coastline. This diversity is extended to the customs, traditions, language, and cooking of Moroccan People.

Moroccan people ethnicity

Moroccan People are a product of many civilizations that have visited Morocco throughout History. Berbers were the original people of Morocco. Firstly, they were conquered by the Phoenicians as early as the 6th century BC, then created their own kingdom. The kingdom of Mauretania, itself was conquered and annexed by the Roman empire in 33 BC. After the fall of the roman empire, the remaining western part, the byzantine empire settled in modern-day Morocco. Finally, The Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, which started in the middle of the 7th century, brought the Arabic language and Islamic religion to the area. All of these events are some of what makes Moroccan people a melting pot of cultures and races.

Volubilis an ancient roman city’s remains near Meknes, Morocco

Many claim that Moroccan people are divided into Arabs and Berbers. However, they are not divided, they are one ethnolinguistic group called Arab-Berbers. Actually, 99% of the Moroccan population are Arab-Berbers.

Moroccan people’s language

Roughly all Moroccan People can speak Moroccan Arabic (Darija) which can be considered a dialect of the Arabic language. But not in the very sense of the word since Darija has been heavily influenced mainly by the Berber-Languages. And to a lesser extent by Punic, French, and Spanish Languages. And around Half the Moroccan population speaks Berber. Berbers themselves can be divided into subgroups, depending on the dialect of the Berber language they speak and the geographic region they live in. There are mainly 3 subgroups(Soussi people, the Riffians, the Chleuhs).

Moroccan people’s hospitality

Moroccan people’s hospitality is undebatable. They are one of the most hospitable people out there, regardless of looks, religion, or race. They are almost always hospitable towards foreigners. Check out this testimony from Jeannie Baker an Australian artist who visited Morocco in late 2005 and visited my hometown as she shares extracts from her journey.

Australians eating couscous with Moroccans

Culture and tradition of Moroccan People

Despite their openness, generosity, and hospitality. Moroccan people are deeply attached to their traditions, customs, and culture. Their identity, moral values, and religion are sacred. This being said, Morocco is a progressive country though, on a development path, more and more. Moroccan people are now being influenced by western culture and are more open and understanding of western traditions and customs. At least more understanding than fellow Arabic countries in the middle east and north Africa.

I cannot deny that Moroccan people at first glance seem unapproachable, or rather angry-faced and unfriendly. However, It is only the illusion of the first impression. Out of all the people in the world, I can argue the Moroccan people are the most likely to allow you, a stranger into the warmth of their homes. With the company of their families, no matter your social status or their social status.

Commonly used languages in Morocco

We already mentioned that Moroccan Arabic (Darija) is the main communication language of the Moroccan people. Nevertheless, French is the language of business and administration and a high proportion of people speak a little bit of French. So you wouldn’t find many difficulties communicating with Moroccans if you speak a little french. More and more Moroccan people, especially youth speak also English. And it is a language progressively taught more in schools.

Moroccan marriage ceremony

Throughout history, the Moroccan people’s culture has been influenced by many civilizations and cultures. which makes it rich and diverse. The dresses are colorful. Moroccan women dress beautiful Kaftans in all colors during special occasions. Moroccan men dress beautiful Djellabas mainly white but can also have light colors accompanied with beautiful slippers called Balgha. Attending Moroccan ceremonies, weddings, or baby showers is like attending a colorful Carnaval. Where Moroccan people dress their most beautiful costumes, chant beautiful Moroccan songs in Darija or Berber. And present the tastiest Moroccan dishes (Couscous, Tagines, Rfissa, Pastilla..).

Moroccan groom kissing his bride

I reckon that it is hard and nearly impossible to generalize a certain characteristic to the people of a particular country. However, based on my experience although biased because I’m Moroccan, and the experience of foreign people who visited Morocco. I can say all things considered that Moroccan people are fun all and one of the most hospitable people in the world.

Shakira pictured wearing a Moroccan kaftan

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