Morocco, a small continent
Bounded by nearly 3000 kilometers of Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, Morocco is situated in the northwesternmost part of Africa. Roman mythology would have it that Hercules smashed through the Atlas Mountain to connect the Atlantic Ocean and and the Mediterranean Sea, creating the 14.3 kilometer wide Straits of Gibraltar (Jebel Tariq) that separate Morocco from Europe.
At the crossroads of the Arab World, Africa and Europe, Morocco faces the New World and has a long history of friendship with the United States of America. In December 1777, Morocco became the first country to recognize the independence of the United States, and in July of 1787, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, representing the youngest nation of the world, and Mohammed III, Sultan of Morocco, representing one of the oldest nations in the world, signed the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship, the oldest unbroken United States treaty. More recently, in June 2004, the United States and Morocco signed a Free Trade Agreement to promote and increase commercial exchanges between the two countries.
Morocco's location has given rise to a nation with a diverse population: Berber, Arab, African and European all living and working in peace for centuries. The country is also blessed with a diverse geography. The Rif and Atlas mountains' majestic peaks reach over 4000 meters and their snowcapped summits overlook oases and fertile plains that pave the way to sweeping deserts. Blessed with a mild climate, Morocco is truly a place of light and color.
The Moroccan Kingdom has a long history that began in 789 when Idriss I established the first dynasty, laying the foundations for a history rich in culture, science and the arts. The oldest university in the world, Al-Karaouine University was founded in 859 by Fatima Al-Fihri (daughter of a well to do merchant) and it continues to function to this day. Morocco's 800-year history in Al Andalus in southern Spain is still viewed as a model of multi-religious tolerance (Muslim, Christian and Jewish) that allowed remarkable developments in the arts and sciences. Al Andalus is also recognized to have played an important role in the development of the European Renaissance.
Today, Morocco is a dynamic developing nation, well-integrated into the global business environment. Industry, agriculture, mining and tourism drive the Moroccan economy, while the Moroccan government has set sustained and ecological development as one of its primary objectives. Many multi-national companies have found in Morocco a friendly home for their operations, be it in production or services.