In 1912, the sultan of Morocco, Moulay Abd al-Hafid, permitted French protectorate status. Nationalism grew during World War II. Sultan Mohammed V was disposed by the French in 1953 and replaced by his uncle, but nationalist agitation forced his return in 1955. In 1956, France and Spain recognized the independence and sovereignty of Morocco.
At his death on February 26, 1961, Mohammed V’s son succeeded him as King Hassan II. In the 1990s, King Hassan promulgated “Hassanian democracy,” which allowed for significant political freedom while at the same time retaining ultimate power for the monarch. In August 1999, King Hassan II died after 38 years on the throne and his son, Prince Sidi Mohammed, was crowned King Mohammed VI.
Since then, Mohammed VI has pledged to make the political system more open, allow freedom of expression and support economic reform. He has also advocated more rights for women, a position opposed by Islamic fundamentalists. The entrenched political elite and the military have also been leery of some reform proposals. With about 20% of the population living in dire poverty, economic expansion is a primary goal.
It is about aromatic tajines, endless palm trees valleys, red-earthed mountains and villages and limitless generosity which define the home of the Maghreb. Any visit, whether one week or one month, will give you a glimpse of the friendliness, vibrancy, and flavor of this Berber-Arab-Spanish-Portuguese-French melting pot. A real Souladventure!
BEST TIME TO VISIT
As far as the climate goes, it is better to visit the south – or at least the desert routes – outside midsummer, when for part of the day it’s far too hot for casual exploration. July and August, the hottest months, can be wonderful on the coast, however, while in the mountains there are no set rules. Spring and autumn time, is perhaps the best overall time, with a summer climate in the south and in the mountains, as well as on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. Winter days can be excellent during the day time, though desert nights can get very cold.