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The Thousand and One Faces

Moroccan Flag History

The use of the flag in Morocco as a symbol of the state dates way back to the Almoravide dynasty (1062-1125 ad).

Prior to this time, white silk banners were often carried in battle, sometimes with Koranic inscriptions written on them. The Almoravides institutionalized this practice. They gave one banner to every unit of 100 soldiers; the leaders always carried one inscribed: "There is no god but god, and Mohammad is His Prophet."

The two following dynasties (the Merinides and the Saadiens) continued the use of the White flag as the symbol of the State. The Alaouites (beginning in the 17th Century), which are the ruling dynasties and the ancestors of His Majesty King Hassan II, were the first to introduce the red flag. It was raised every morning and lowered every evening on the fortresses at Rabat and Sale.

The green Sulayman star on the flag was introduced in 1912, when Morocco was put under the French protectorate, in order to distinguish the nation 's flag from the others.

Moroccan Hanbels (Rugs) and Carpets

The great artistic beauty and diversity which Morocco enjoys is nowhere more apparent than in the refined art form displayed by the weavings produced throughout the country.

There are four main weaving groups in Morocco: the commercial looms of the cities, the rural Arab tribes in the central region known as the Plains of Marrakech, the Berber tribes of the High Atlas Mountains in the south, and the Berbers of the Middle Atlas to the north and west.

Each group employs overall pattern concepts, designs, color tones and weaving techniques which dramatically distinguish one from the other. Best known among the urban carpets are the Rabats, traditionally produced on commercial looms in the modern national capital, Rabat.

Beyond Marrakech, among the peaks of the High Atlas and the semi-desert areas beyond, the tribal confederations produce weavings which are as distinctive each from the other as they are from the rest of Moroccan pieces. These rpgs contain bright colors with geometric central medallions and many Rabat border elements.

Familiar Faces

Morocco has been settled by an equal mixture of races, made up of Berbers, Arabs, Blacks, and Africans, Jews, and Spaniards, not to exclude the few chromosomes that still run in the blood of certain Moroccans from Romans, Vandals, and other predecessors. There is not one type of Moroccan, there are many. But there is only one Moroccan soul, which is filled with great pride; only one Morcoccan smile, which is one of welcome and friendship,.

The Kingdom of Morocco lies just 14 kilometres from Europe, sits on the northwest edge of Africa, and resides as a leading Arab nation. Morocco is bound by both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts; this in addition to the beautiful mountain regions of the High Atlas, Anti-Atlas and Rif, makes Morocco an ideal destination for travel.

Morocco should spring to mind when one thinks of traveling to an ancient, exotic and interesting land. It is a country of rich intricate history, endowed with unsurpassed natural beauty which has inspired and aroused artists, writers, and travelers since the dawn of time. Due to itís ancient learning centers and the wisdom of itís rulers, Morocco has been the home of countless personalities and thinkers that have helped to shape our world of today.

Before the discovery of the New World, Morocco was known as the most westward shore on earth, where history recorded the end of every mythological or realistic story, and left the rest to the imagination.

Morocco was called ëAtlantis landí in Greek mythology. Atlas was the king after whom all the mountains are named as well as the Atlantic Ocean, ěthe green ocean of darknessî, that still carries the mythical name after all influences, where manís sense of exploration ended and the power of the unknown began. Later in time, the Arabs, as many people before them, were attracted and fascinated by the wealth and beauty of this country and itís people. They migrated west from the Arabian peninsula to discover the land where the sun sets on the mysterious Atlantic shores. The Arabs were known for their love and appreciation of beauty in any form, and they were overwhelmed looking at the sun going down over the Islamic empire which stretched as far as the end of the ancient world westward. Of course, the sunset is the fourth principle prayer of every day and it is called the ěMagribî, literally sunset. The country of the ethereal sunsets and perpetual prayers deserves the named Maghrib.

Morocco is a modern name for this country, derived from the word Marrakech, mainly by travelers and historians of the medieval age from western origins. The country today is widely referred to as Morocco, but for the Moroccans and Arabic speaking people, the name Maghrib has no substitute.