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Casablanca is now Morocco’s largest city with a population of almost 4 million and also boasts the world’s largest artificial port. It is also the most liberal and progressive of Morocco’s cities. Young men flirt openly with women, designer labels are the norm in the chic, beach front neighborhood of ‘Ain Diab and many young Moroccans speak to each other by alternating simultaneously between Arabic, French, and English.

Over a dinner of steamed fish, spiced shrimp and seafood soup, Lahcen Haddad, the Moroccan Minister of Tourism, talked to us about the stability of Morocco, the safety of cities like Rabat, (the capital of Morocco) Marrakesh, Tangier, Casablanca, Fez (for early Islamic architecture) and how every region is proud of its particular characteristics.

“Morocco offers something for everyone,” said Haddad, who holds a Ph.D. in comparative cultural studies from the University of Indiana.

Haddas, who was relaxed and thoughtful at our informal gathering, talked about the geographic diversity of the country from the embroidered fabrics, ceramics, jewelry, wooden sculptures and leather objects in Marrakesh and Rabat, to a museum in Tangier that is housed in the former British consulate, to the Sahara Desert, mountains, valleys and the sea.

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco, Mohammed V1, holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military, foreign policy, and religious affairs.

We found Morocco to be a safe country with an old-style tradition of hospitality and travelers touring Morocco seem to feel secure and welcome. The beauty and cultural together with exquisite modern hotels, and resorts; world class golf courses makes Morocco one of the most exciting travel destinations in the world.

It’s no wonder Morocco’s new tourism slogan resonates with visitors: “The country that travels within you.”

For more information, click on www.visitmorocco.com.

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