An overview of Morocco (Oualidia & Chefchaouen)

Hi there, thanks so much for stopping by. I’ve been doing a series of posts on various locations featured within my novel, Eteka: Rise of the Imamba©. It’s a thriller/historical fiction about mercenary activity spanning the Cold War era in the 1960s through the 1990s. For this post, I’ll give an overview of another location featured within my novel: Morocco.

Morocco is a beautiful country located in North Africa. It’s bordered by land by Algeria and Mauritania, and by water by the Atlantic Ocean. The Sahara Desert occupies a large portion of the country’s interior, with the northern parts of the country having more of a Tropical/Mediterranean climate.

Fun Fact: The 2000 movie Gladiator starring Russell Crowe had many of its scenes shot in Morocco (in particular the slavery and training scenes):

Gladiator film poster

The official currency of Morocco is the Dirham, and as of the time of me writing this post, 1 Moroccan Dirham = 0.12 USD, or in reverse, 1 USD = 8.32 Moroccan Dirhams. Morocco is a predominantly Muslim nation, with most of its native residents being of Berber/Arab descent.

The strongest point of Morocco’s economy is with services, in particular tourism, with major tourist destinations in the cities of Marrakech and Fez. There are alot of great things to do and see in Morocco, for example:

The Menara Gardens in Marrakech (built in the 12th Century)

The Dar Batha Musuem of Muslim Arts in Fez

The El Badi Palace in Marrakech:

El Badi Palace

As always, here’s a brief history of Morocco:

In the 7th Century the Arabs settled into the Moroccan region, which was then occupied by the Berbers. After a series of dynasties ruling the region between the 10th — 17th centuries, France and Spain fought over control of the Moroccan region. Morocco was eventually deemed a protectorate of France in 1912, while Spain assumed control of much of the surrounding region. Nationalism in Morocco began in 1943 with the formation of the Istiqlal party, who pushed for Independence from France. In 1956, France relinquished its control of Morocco. Today, Morocco exists under a multiparty system of government, with a Prime Minister functioning as its head.

Morocco, specifically the quiet coastal village of Oualidia and the city of Chefchaouen, makes their appearance within the pages of my novel in the 1960s and the 1990s. Oualidia is a very serene place which is most famous for its lagoon that attracts all manner of wildlife. It houses many tourists and expats in its cozy hotels/resorts all year round.

Oualidia

Chefchaouen (also known as the blue city and Chaouen to Moroccans) on the other hand is a beautiful city most renowned for its beautiful backdrop and its blue buildings. It’s also famously known for its vast marijuana (kif) economy, and access to the Rif Mountains for hiking. Below are some shots from Chefchaouen:

Chaouen
Chaouen and the Rif Mountains

I’ll leave you with this walk-through video of Chaouen. Enjoy.



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