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Morocco: The First Constitutional Monarchy of the Arab World


By Sofia El Otmani

After crossing half of the world to be in Willamette University, I have discovered that being the only Moroccan here is a unique and very interesting experience. Not only do I get to see the surprise and amazement of people when I describe how it is to be from Morocco, but I also get to share the image of my country through my own eyes’ perception.

Morocco is geographically located in the Maghreb region of North Africa and is characterized by a rugged mountainous interior, large portions of desert, and a vast littoral that is spread around both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Its distinct culture is a blend of Arabs, indigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African and several European influences (Romans, Vandals, Andalusian [Muslims and Jews]). All of them share a common culture and leader: the king.

Yes, we do still have a king in Morocco, with his palaces and inspiring speeches. Mohamed VI leads the constitutional monarchy that represents the symbolic image of both tradition and modernity. Morocco is the first constitutional monarchy in the Arab world, which means that despite the power of its king, it contains its own elected parliament. However, Mohamed VI also has a moral authority over Moroccan citizens that may be explained by 13 centuries of history and religion, and a dynasty that has been in power for more than three centuries.

In the article, “King Mohammed VI of Morocco celebrates 16 years on the throne,” you can see the announcement of King Mohammed VI Throne Day. This year was the celebration of his 16th anniversary to his throne’s accession. Since my very early childhood, I can tell you that I still remember how important it is for each single citizen to listen to his speech that is made on the occasion of the Throne Day. At that moment, streets are silenced and the audience rates reach their highest figures. The most respected man of the country is giving us his feedback of the year and it has always been an amazing cheer up for all of us. Here is the King’s translated speech of the year.

/!\Please note: the statement made in these articles do not reflect the view of Willamette University or the countries of the respective contributors./!\

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