People in Morocco

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Berbers in Sahara

Berbers in Sahara

John Ferguson

Population: 29 114 497 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 36% (male 5 398 692; female 5 200 660)

15-64 years: 59% (male 8 525 344; female 8 682 277)

65 years and over: 5% (male 606 203; female 701 321) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.89% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 26.37 births/1 000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 6.24 deaths/1 000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.28 migrant(s)/1 000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 52.99 deaths/1 000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 68.51 years

male: 66.49 years

female: 70.64 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.35 children born/woman (1998 est.)


noun: Moroccan(s)

adjective: Moroccan

Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber 99.1% other 0.7% Jewish 0.2% The majority- about 60% are indigenous Berbers with the minority being Arabic. However, the Arabs are the ruling class.

Religions: Muslim 98.7% Christian 1.1% Jewish 0.2%

Languages: Arabic is the official language. There are several  Berber dialects among the Berbers. There is a movement underway to make Berber a united, written language. French is often the language of business government and diplomacy. People working with tourists speaks several other languages.


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 43.7%

male: 56.6%

female: 31% (1995 est.)


Moroccan Customs and Home Decor:  

- The Moroccan Roofs
The roof is a center of everyday life of Moroccan families.
Almost every house in Morocco has a roof that is constructed as a terrace.

On the roof not only the laundry is washed and hung to dry, but the women here also receive their friends or hold a small talk with the neighbor from the roof vis-a-vis. The terrace is often furnished comfortably with chairs and tables. Sometimes a part of the roof also serves as a chicken-house or temporary abode for muttons before the great holidays.

As tradition regards the house as the adequate domain for women, especially women and children in smaller cities and rural regions spend a large part of their day on the roof-terrace. So they are sheltered and can get fresh air at the same time. The Moroccan filmer Farida Ben Lyziad decribes the former social function of the roof: the streets were reserved for the men, the roofs belonged to the women.

In summer-time, when the house is too heated, the whole family often sleeps on the roof in the cool night-air. If you have the chance to be invited to a Morrocan house you should not miss spending some time on the roof and enjoy the fresh breeze.

- The Salon Marocain
A very important part of the Moroccan house or apartment is the salon. Here, in the best room, visitors are received and large festivities and family reunions are held. Every Moroccan regards it as the center of hospitality and social life. Its decoration is every "marocaine's" pride and joy.

In some houses, especially the large ones, the salon is a room or even a hall of its own. In others it's part the living room. Whether small or large, they all have a certain structure in common. Along the walls there are sofas or comfortably cushioned and padded (sheep wool) benches with a backrest, coated with expensive fabrics. The little tables in front of the benches or sofas, are often beautifully ornated and serve for setting down the tea and sweets. The walls are decorated, usually with the traditional "zellije" (hand cut tile) ornaments. But there are also more European-style wall decorations, depending on the owner's preference and taste.

According to the financial means, the coverings are changed every few years, sometimes even every year. There are special shops that sell fabrics and cusions for the salon. Especially in the large cities like Casablanca, Rabat or Fès you can have a great time window-shopping for interior decoration! It's just a pity all those beautiful fabrics and cushions are too heavy for the plane!


October 07, 2006 change by bernhadette (2 points)

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