Morocco, officially Kingdom of Morocco, Situated on the northwestern corner of Africa, Morocco is bordered with Algeria to the east and southeast, Mauritania to the south and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
The country is divided into three natural regions; the fertile northern coastal plaint along the Mediterranean which contains Rif, mountains varying in elevation up to about 8,000 ft; the rich plateaus and lowlands lying between the rugged Atlas mountains, which extend in three parallel ranges from the Atlantic coast in the southwest to Algeria and the Mediterranean in the northeast; and the semiarid area in southern and eastern Morocco, which merges into the Sahara Desert, The Atlas Mountains, with an average elevation of 11,000 ft, contain some of the highest peaks of North Africa, including Mt. Toubkal (13,665 ft), the highest of all. South of the Atlas lie the Anti-Atlas Mountains, with volcanic Mt. Siroua (10,000 ft).
Principal cities include Rabat (the capital), Casablanca, Marrakech, and Fez. Agriculture and mining are the mainstays of the economy. Morocco is the world's leading producer and exporter of phosphates; other important minerals include iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, molybdenum, and coal. Food processing and the manufacture of leather goods and textiles are also important. Half the labor force is employed in agriculture, growing cereals, citrus fruits, and vegetables. Tourism and fishing also contribute to the economy. Most Moroccans are of mixed Arab-Berber descent and are Muslim; Islam is the state religion. There are small Christian and Jewish minorities. Arabic is the official language; Berber dialects, French (a main language of commerce), and Spanish are also spoken.
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