12 Engrossing facts about Morocco

Here are few facts about Morocco- A place to see the Atlantic and the Mediterranean at the same time.

1. Coveted since the Roman times, Morocco’s rare and beautiful thuya wood can be found only in the western foothills of the Atlas Mountains. In modern times, this material is synonymous with wealth, being the first burled wood used for luxury dashboards in the Rolls Royce.

2. In the Drâa Valley, there are 200 kilometers of date palms. Dates are harvested in October and are one of the main foodstuffs of the nomads. Even the sheep are fed dates. The average date palm tree produces between 100 and 200 pounds of dates in a year.

3. You might have heard people expressing their love referring to their hearts. Well, the people in Morocco have a different way to express their love. Traditionally the liver, not the heart, is considered to be the symbol of love in Morocco.

4. At the most country market in Morocco, sehirras or witches can be found who dispense the traditional ingredients of their trade curses and potions and offer advice on their use. Most towns, villages, and medina neighborhoods also have a resident fortune teller shuwaf for male, shuwaffa for a female who can, for a fee, using cards and other prognostic devices— reveal the unknown or the future.

5. The Moroccan national costume is called the djellaba, a one-piece unisex, hooded, coverall garments. Those of the highest quality have the most ornate needlework lining the seams. Wealthy Moroccans have their djellabas tailor-made. Djellabas are indicative of conservative politics and values.

6. A small chunk of Mars landed in Morocco in 2012. It’s one of the few meteorites from the Red Planet. Classified as NWA 7034 for Northwest Africa the meteorite is a 320-gram piece of Martian basaltic breccia made up of small fragments cemented together in a dark matrix. Nicknamed “Black Beauty,” NWA 7034 is one of the oldest meteorites ever discovered and is like nothing else ever found on Earth.

7. A succulent native to Morocco produces Resinifer a toxin, a compound so spicy that it is approximately 1,000 times stronger than pure capsaicin on the Scoville scale. It can cause severe chemical burns and is being researched towards a possible new class of analgesics.

8. One of the world’s largest film studio is located in Morocco consisting mostly of deserts and mountains and was used for various Game of Thrones episodes.  It has also become a popular tourist resort due to the remaining sets of old movie productions.

9. Moroccans love couscous so much, that on Friday, it’s the only thing on the menu at many restaurants. Similar to Berber Whiskey, couscous is also a national Moroccan dish. Moroccan couscous, known locally as seksou. From steaming the vegetables to sitting down with close family and friends, seksou takes several hours of preparation. And regardless of whether you’re in a village, town, or city, you’ll always find Moroccans gathered together over a bowl of couscous every Friday.   

10. Drones are illegal in Morocco. Even small toy drones are illegal and the authorities are grave about this as the punishment includes heavy fines.

11. In Morocco, very few citizens have private baths, and a ritual purification of the body is essential before Muslims can perform prayers, so many Moroccans baths at the public hamman, that is a bath. The hammam is segregated and, along with the local zaouia or saints’ shrine, is an important place for women to socialize.

12. Women’s rights in Morocco achieved a major step forward in 2004 with the reform of the country’s status code, the Moudawana. With the reform, women in Morocco can now have custody of their children, the unilateral repudiation of a wife is abolished, and a man’s taking of a second wife is subject to the approval of his first wife.

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