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Presentation for “Politics of the Middle East” November 13, 2014 Glenn Rogers.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation for “Politics of the Middle East” November 13, 2014 Glenn Rogers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation for “Politics of the Middle East” November 13, 2014 Glenn Rogers

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3 ● A temperate oasis of golden beaches, sprawling deserts, sacred ruins, luxurious spas, challenging golf courses, and charming local souks (or hand-craft markets). ●Balmy and sun-soaked all year long—with a particular hot period from June to September when temperatures peak above thirty degrees celsius. ●Tourism in Morocco is well developed, with a strong tourist industry focused on the country's coast, culture, and history. ●Morroco has been one of the most politically stable countries in North Africa, which has allowed tourism to develop. The Moroccan government created a Ministry of Tourism in ●But is this the real Morocco as seen through eyes other than those of the tourist industry.

4 Demographics ● 33,000,000 people ● 172,400 square miles ● Distinct culture as a blend of Arab, Imazighen (Berber), and Sub-Saharan African, with European influences ● Official languages are Berber and Arabic; Darija, and French are also spoken ● Berbers are the indigenous people and the bulk of the population, although they have been largely Arabized ● Population is ethnically diverse ● Predominanat religion is Islam (Sunni) ● Literacy rate is 56% and rising ● 30% of the population is under the age of 15 ● Fertility rate has dropped dramatically in last fivety years to 2.19 ● Population growth rate now at about one percent per year

5 Government ● Constitutional monarchy, deeply rooted in an authoritarian tradition ● King holds executive and legislative powers ● Especially over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs ● But the real power rests with the military ● King can issue decrees called dahirs, which have the force of law ● An elected parliament ● Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament ● Powers of parliament are being expanded gradually ● The latest parliamentary elections in 2011 saw a voter turnout of 43%; they were deemed by neutral observers as mostly free and fair ● Social tensions persist mainly centered on charges of political corruption ● General vacilation between participatory politics and heavy handed treatment of opposition ● The regime is waging a “survival strategy.”

6 Economy ● Relatively liberal governed by the law of supply and demand ● Tourism is one of the most important sectors, attracting more han 10,000,000 tourists in 2013 ● Country has an excellent road and rail infrastructure that links the major cities, ports, airports and tourist destinations ● Tourism is second only to the phosphate industry in foreign exchange earnings ● Tourism is focused on Morocco’s culture, such as its ancient cities; 60% of the tourists visit for its culture and heritage ● Resorts in the north are very popular ● The fastest growth area in Moroccan tourism is in activities and adventrues in the Atlas and Rif mountains ● Agriculture accounts for only about 14% of gross domestic product, but employs about 45% of the Moroccan working class; aim is to export much to Europe ● Gross domestic product of $5,600 ● Unemployment hovers around nine percent, though almost fifteen percent of Moroccans are in poverty

7 Foreign Relations ● Tried to join the European Union in 1991 but was rebuffed due to criticizm about human rights record and it stand on the Western Sahara ● Tourism is one of the most important sectors, attracting more han 10,000,000 tourists in 2013 ● Country has an excellent road and rail infrastructure that links the major cities, ports, airports and tourist destinations ● Tourism is second only to the phosphate industry in foreign exchange earnings ● Tourism is focused on Morocco’s culture, such as its ancient cities; 60% of the tourists visit for its culture and heritage ● Resorts in the north are very popular ● The fastest growth area in Moroccan tourism is in activities and adventrues in teh Atlas and Rif mountains ● Agriculture accounts for only about 14% of gross domestic product, but employs about 45% of the Moroccan working class; aim is to export much to Europe ● Gross domestic product of $5,600 ● Unemployment hovers around nine percent, though almost fifteen percent of Moroccans are in poverty

8 Significant Historical Events ● From the eleventh century onwards, a series of powerful Berber dynasties controlled the region ● Joined by many Muslims and Jews who fled from Spain ● In 1549 the region fell to successive Arab dynastites claiming descent from Muhammad ● Among them the Alaouite dynasty has remained in power since the seventeenth century ● Morocco was the first nation to recognize the fledgling United States in 1777, with the sultan declaring protection for American merchant ships ● Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship of 1786 stands as the U.S.’s oldest non-broken friendship treaty ● Portuguese, Spanish and French aggression over the years, with France and Spain carving out zones of influence in Morocco in 1904 ● The Alaouite dynasty succeeded in maintaining the independence of Morocco in the 18th and 19th centuries, while other states in the region succumbed to Ottoman, French, or British domination ● Increased tensions among the powerful European countries, and resulted in the Treaty of Fez (signed on March 30, 1912), which made Morocco a protectorate of France. By a second signed by the French and Spanish heads of state, Spain was granted a Zone of influence in northern and southern Morocco in November, 1912.

9 Significant Historical Events (II) ● Moroccan independence in 1956 ● Sultan Mohammed V proceeded to build a government in the form of a constitutional monarchy in which the sultan would have an active political role ● Hassan II was king from 1961 until his death in His reign was marked by political unrest and a heavy-handed government response to criticism and opposition ● In May 1963, legislative elections took place for the first time, and the royalist coalition secured a small plurality of seats

10 Challenge Questions ● Do you think Morocco has a real chance to become a participatory democracy where secular and religious groups will coexist peacefully? ● What effect do you think the Islamic state (Isis) will have on Morocco? ● What would have become of Morocco had there never been a king? ● Would you invest in Morocco assuming you have sufficient funds to do so? ● What would you want a political party and movement to do to advance welfare within the country?

11 World Heritage Sites ●Medina of Fez

12 World Heritage Sites ●Medina of Marrakesh

13 World Heritage Sites ●Ait -Ben-Haddou


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