Morocco is characterized by a rugged mountainous interior and large portions of desert. It is one of only three countries (with Spain and France) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.
Moroccans descend from Berbers (Amazigh/Imazighen), Arabs, Europeans (mainly Spanish) and Black Africans exactly like the neighboring Algerians and Tunisians. The Berbers are the prehistoric populations of Morocco and are related to the wider group of Paleo-Mediterranean peoples.
Morocco is best described as a nation of both Arabs and Berbers. The Berbers were Morocco’s original inhabitants. The Arabs arrived at the end of the seventh century, after sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East in the name of their new revolutionary ideology, Islam.
Morocco has a coast by the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into theMediterranean Sea.
It is bordered by Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with three small Spanish- controlled exclaves, Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera), Algeria to the east, and Western Sahara to the south. Since Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, its de facto southern boundary is with Mauritania.
Morocco claims the non-self- governing territory of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces. Morocco annexed the territory in 1975, leading to a guerrilla war with indigenous forces until a cease-fire in 1991.
Morocco is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Morocco is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives of Morocco and the Assembly of Councillors.
The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary. The constitution grants the king honorific powers; he is both the secular political leader and the "Commander of the Faithful" as a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.
He presides over the Council of Ministers; appoints the Prime Minister from the political party that has won the most seats in the parliamentary elections, and on recommendations from the latter, appoints the members of the government.