On November 18th, is Morocco’s Independence Day! We wish a very happy day of celebration to our amazing Nobel team members from Morocco! We are grateful to have you in our multicultural Nobel family!
Let’s take this special occasion to expand our knowledge about this beautiful country and discover together the rich Moroccan culture.
Did you know that?
- Morocco is one of the homes to the largest hot desert in the world. The Sahara Desert spans more than 3.3 million square miles and stretches across 11 North African countries, including Morocco.
- Despite being home to the Sahara Desert and having an arid climate, Morocco surprisingly has a ski resort, as well! Oukaïmeden is the highest ski resort in Africa.
- Morocco boasts more than just deserts and a ski resort. It is also a country with numerous beaches as it borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
- A popular oil found in luxury cosmetics and hair care products, argan oil, is a major export of Morocco. The oil comes from argan nuts, which grow in the arid climate of Morocco. Moroccans have used this oil for years for everything from food to traditional medicine. The production of argan oil, also referred to as “liquid gold”, is deeply rooted in the heritage of the region, where it has been traditionally extracted by Berber women for centuries. The process involves manually harvesting the fruit from the argan tree, extracting the kernels, and cold-pressing them to yield the precious oil.
- Berbers are an ethnic group native to North Africa who primarily live in Morocco. This indigenous group has its own language and lives a simplistic lifestyle, relying on agriculture, herding, and crafts as their primary means of livelihood. Berbers are often characterized as nomads, and some tribes still inhabit and live nomadically in the Sahara Desert.
- Moroccan powered dye, present throughout all the markets in the country, varies in color and is used in the creation of traditional garments like djellabas and kaftans, but also for intricate temporary body art, particularly during celebrations and festivals.
- Moroccan leather is considered some of the most valuable in the world, and the process of making it has become somewhat of a spectacle in cities like Fez. Leather items include the famous Moroccan leather poufs, leather bags and purses featuring intricate hand-stitched patterns and excellent attention to detail.
- Considered to be the cultural capital of Morocco, Fez is the oldest city in Africa, and should be included on any Morocco itinerary. The Fez (or Fes) medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is divided into two main sections: Fes el-Bali (Old Fes) and Fes el-Jdid (New Fes).
- The oldest existing educational institution in the world is widely believed to be Al-Qarawiyyin University, located in Fes, Morocco. Founded in 859, it has been continuously operating for over a millennium.
- Couscous is the national dish of Morocco, but many Moroccans only eat this dish on Friday, which is the Islamic holy day. The couscous dish consists of steamed granules of rolled semolina that is often served with a stew spooned on top.
- Meals in Morocco are commonly eaten with your right hand instead of a fork or spoon. In Moroccan culture, the left hand is reserved for bathroom hygiene and chores, and eating should be done with the right hand only.
- Many Moroccans tend to have a more relaxed approach toward Islam than in many other Islamic countries, but it is wise for guests to know and respect the guidelines around dietary restrictions for Muslims.
- The official language in Morocco is Arabic, but French is the standard language for business communication.
- Moroccans typically pride themselves on their hospitality and are generous hosts.
- Personal and family honor and dignity are extremely important in Moroccan culture, and individuals will go to great lengths to preserve this.
- Moroccan arguments are often loud and may appear threatening, however they are usually just representative of the country’s expressive communication style.