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10 Fun FAQ About Morocco

Did you know that Morocco was the First country to Recognize America?
Or that Morocco is almost the same size as California? How about...Morocco is a Leading Wine Exporter of Award Winning Wines?Learn about these Morocco Fun FAQ and more! 
#1: Morocco was the First Country to Recognize America
On December 20, 1777, the Kingdom of Morocco became the first country in the world to recognize United States independence, only a year and a half after the U.S. Declaration of Independence was issued.
#2: Argan Oil Originates from Morocco
Morocco is the world’s largest producer of Argan oil. You may have come across it in cosmetic products such as hair conditioners or treatments. In Morocco, it is commonly used for more than just cosmetics as it is their main oil used for cooking. Argan oil comes from the fruit/nut that grows on the Argan tree, which is most commonly found in Morocco. Argan trees only grow near the region of Agadir.
#3: Casablanca is Home to the World’s 7th Largest Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the world’s seventh largest mosque and took five years of intensive labor by over 30,000 workers and craftsmen to complete in 1993. The mosque’s minaret at 689 feet (210 m) high is the world’s tallest, and it is Casablanca’s chief landmark. In terms of covered area, the Hassan II Mosque is the largest in the world and has space for 80,000 worshipers. Non-Muslims can enter the mosque for a private tour and are not required to wear a head covering.
#4: Couscous is Morocco’s National Dish & a Delicacy of the Country
In Berber, it is known as K’seksu and has been used as a staple food for most North African dishes since as early as the 7th Century. It is highly nutritious and cheap to make from wheat or other cereals that can be grown in Morocco. The process of making Couscous is very special in Morocco and can be seen as a very sacred and religious routine. Couscous traditionally is made by the females of the house during special occasions and due to its longevity, it can be stored for months after making it.
#5: Fez is Home to Maimonides
Rabbi Moses Maimonides, one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars in the Middle Ages, lived in Fez from 1159 to 1165. Originally from Cordova in Spain, he had fled with his family to escape the Almohad persecution of Jews. (Later this same persecution would see him leave Fez, eastward for Egypt) It was in Fez that Maimonides, as well as serving as working as a physician to the Sultan, wrote one of his most famous works, his Commentary on the Oral Law. The stone home where he lived, still stands in Fez and can be visited during your guided tour.
#6: The Berbers are the Original Inhabitants of Morocco
The Berbers are defined as the pre-Arab race that inhabited and spanned the North of Africa. They call themselves “Amazigh” and the plural being “Imazighen”. It’s estimated that over half of the population of Morocco descends from the Berbers. The name Berber, comes from “Barbar” an abbreviation of barbarian. The people were given this name by the Arabs when they enlisted many Berber’s to fight in their conquest to take Spain. The reason they were associated with the word barbarian was that they were speakers of a language other than Greek or Latin.
#7: Morocco is almost the same size as California 
Morocco is around 172,414 miles squared (446550.21 kilometers squared), which is roughly the same size as California. Morocco and California have many similarities such as beaches, mountains and valleys.
#8: Morocco is a Leading Wine Exporter of Award Winning Wines
The Romans began making wine in Morocco over 2,000 years ago. However, with the establishment of Islam in the 7th century A.D., Moroccan vineyards were not kept up. Under the French Protectorate, the Moroccan vineyards were revived and, in 1956, passed into state control. Today, Morocco is home to several wineries and Award Winning Wines. The country is a leading wine exporter. Located in the regions of Meknes, Volubilis and Essaouira travelers can visit Moroccan vineyards for a wine tasting and lunch.
#9: The Kairaouine Mosque is the World’s First University
The Kairaouine Mosque became the world’s first university and the world’s foremost center of learning at the beginning of the second millennium. Built in A.D. 857 by Fatima al-Fihri, the daughter of a wealthy Kairaouine refugee, the Kairaouine Mosque was Morocco’s largest mosque until Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque was built in the early 1990s. The Kairaouine Mosque is the World’s First University.
#10: Morocco is home to the Tallest Peak in North Africa
It is called Jebel Toubkal and it stands at a great 13,665 feet (4,165 meters) tall. Not only is it the highest peak in Morocco and North Africa, but also of the Arab World.
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