The sites, sounds, and smells of Morocco are captivating. In large cities, you can see a donkey cart parked alongside a new BMW. Everywhere there is a mixture of ancient and modern, tradition and change. Brightly colored bazaars move to the rhythm of Arabic music and noisy shoppers. The call to prayer echoes over the bustle of the city and the quiet of the country. Men sip hot mint tea as they chat in a corner café. Women peel fruit and prepare spicy stews for the midday meal.
Moroccans are experiencing many social and technological advances since the youthful King Mohammed VI took the throne in 1999. A new mind-set has contributed to a dramatic growth in the technology industry. This in turn has increased the demand for teachers in related fields such as business and English language study. Other encouraging signs of development in Morocco include the many disabled children who, once shunned, are seeing daylight and receiving therapy for the first time. An increasing number of new programs are springing up to address their need.
Along with these advances has come a growing openness in Morocco. With young people making up a large percentage of the population, it is even more important to focus on their generation. Despite the many changes taking place, the rates of poverty and illiteracy remain high. In this country of over thirty million people, many seek a better way of life and an eternal hope.
Fast Facts About Morocco:
- Population: 33 Million
- Ethnic Groups: Arab-Berber 99%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%
- Languages: Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French (often used in business and government)[ 1]
- Religions: Sunni Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%
- Government: Constitutional Monarchy, King Mohammad VI
- Economy: GDP=$US 4,100 per capita. More than 5 million Moroccans live on the equivalent of one US dollar or less per day.