By Nyokabi Ng’ang’a
Thumbnail Photo-courtesy: sahara-experience.com
The Kingdom of Morocco originally had its inhabitants as the Berbers. This later changed when the Arabs invaded Morocco between the 7th– 9th century causing a shift in the culture and religion of the latter. It is acclaimed that Morocco was once a province of the Roman Empire as highlighted by https://www.globalblackhistory.com/2019/02/a-brief-history-of-the-kingdom-of-morocco.html.
In 1906, Morocco was a joint colony of France and Spain. This was later cemented with a treaty known as the Treaty of Fez in 1912. This all came within the leadership of Sultan Moulay Yusuf, an Alaouite Sultan, who succeeded King Ahmed of the Saadi Arab tribe who died during the early 17th Century as written by https://www.lawrenceofmorocco.com/country. Upon Sultan Moulay Yusuf’s death, the French appointed Sidi Muhammad, also known as Muhammad V, to take charge as Sultan in 1927. This however, didn’t favor them, as the newly appointed Sultan consolidated powers and threatened French’s rule and power over Morocco as written by https://www.globalblackhistory.com/2019/02/a-brief-history-of-the-kingdom-of-morocco.html
The French responded by exiling Mohamed V in Corsica. This unexpectedly caused a major uproar from the nationalists who started an independent movement due to the reverence they accorded Muhammed V with- as a national hero.
This resulted to the French bringing him back to take up the seat of a King and not a Sultan anymore in 1956 when Morocco gained independence. “Although Morocco gained its independence in 1956, Spain still colonizes two parts of Morocco to this day. The cities of Ceuta and Melilla and a small chain of islands of the coast in the Atlantic Ocean are still under the control of Spain,” https://colonizationofmorocco.weebly.com/independence.html.
In 1961, King Muhammad V died and his Son, Hassan the Second took charge of the newly formed Monarchy until 1999 when he died leaving his position for his son, Mohammed VI.
This Monarchical seat of Morocco is hereditary though with an adopted constitution of 1992 that stipulates the laws of the land. The Moroccan Constitution highlights three arms of the government namely: Judicial, Legislative and Executive as written by https://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/morocco/government.
The Monarch appoints the Prime Minister who is the head of the government. This is done with the assurity that the appointed Prime Minister is from the largest party in Parliament. The Monarch is also regarded as the ‘Commander of the Faithful’ and a secular political leader- an item that is not in practice in Lesotho.
In as much a constitution stipulates what governs the state, the Monarch has a supreme hold of the Monarchy. He is involved in all the nitty-gritties of the Monarch to ensure order and respect for the Kingdom is fully given by its citizenry.
Irrespective of the political tensions and the ‘lack of democracy’ from an international perspective, the Kingdom of Morocco stands out in its own format. From its authentic culture to its beautiful towns and not forgetting their tasty meals served in Tagine clay-pots; this is a Kingdom worth traveling and learning about!
Shukran bezzef! (Thank you in Moroccan-Arabic)