Contemporary Morocco rests at a geographic and developmental crossroads. Uniquely positioned on the Northwestern tip of Africa, Morocco is a short distance away from continental Europe, cradled between North African tradition and identity, and Western embrace. The landscape is varied: craggy mountains trail into desert oases; cobbled streets of the medina anchor the urban centers; mud homes dot the rural countryside. Obscured from the outside observer, behind the walls of the Imperial cities and between the footpaths of village olive groves, Morocco’s rich and diverse Arab and Amazigh cultures and languages circle one another in a contested dance. Morocco’s identity is complex, an amalgam of geographic, cultural, and linguistic variation. A stratified nation, Morocco is defined by contrasting binaries: urban vs. rural, dominant group vs. ethnic minority, Arab vs. Amazigh. These social divisions breed and perpetuate inequality and marginalization; they limit and hinder individual and group success. Together these elements play a significant role in the creation of Moroccan identity and the sublimation of indigenous rights.

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