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Morocco

Morocco is a populous country in the Maghreb region of North Africa which has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Arabic and Berber are official languages but French, Tarifit, Tashelhit, and Central Atlas Tamazight are also spoken. Most Moroccan natives have Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber descent, and a fair number of Europeans and Sub-Saharan Africans also live in the country. The terrain includes mountains, desert, and coastal plains. The climate is variable due to such diversity. Native animal species include the dorcas gazelle and a dog known as Sloughi, which is fast and adept at hunting. The economy is based mostly on the services sector as well as mining, construction, and manufacturing. Tourism is a growth industry. Check out the action at Djemma el-Fna, the main square of Marrakesh, where halqa (street theater) is constantly happening. Beaches like Essaouira are great, at least for walking and taking in the scenery, or you can do some more strenuous hiking in the High Atlas Mountains. The Sahara may also beckon you to visit.

Couscous and rice are popular starchy staples. Typical vegetables include eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, and cucumbers, and you can get them in refreshing salads as well as cooked dishes. Lamb and seafood are commonly eaten, and you can even get camel and rabbit. Seasonings like lemon pickle and skinjbir (ginger) are a very important part of Moroccan cuisine. Bastilla are pastries traditionally made of squab; today they contain meat slow-cooked in broth and spices then shredded, and a crunchy layer of toasted and ground almonds, along with cinnamon and sugar. Try harira, a complex soup made of flour, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, onions, rice, a bit of beef, lamb, or chicken, olive oil, eggs, and celery. You can find restaurants with vegetarian and farm-to-table approaches using largely organic ingredients, primarily in Marrakech. Ramadan is apparently a time to feast on sugary items like Halwa Shebakia honey-sesame cookies, and coconut fudge cake, known as Zucre Coco, which sounds like a real winner.

Grand Casablanca

Casablanca

Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer

Rabat

Tangier-Tetouan

Tangier

Marrakesh-Tensift-El Haouz

Marrakesh