Morocco is a North African country with a rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and friendly people. However, there is much more to Morocco than meets the eye. This fascinating country is full of surprises and mysteries that many people are unaware of. Here are three surprising facts that will blow your mind:
1. Morocco is home to the world’s oldest university
While many people associate ancient universities with Europe, it is a little-known fact that Morocco is home to the world’s oldest university, known as the University of Al Quaraouiyine. Founded in 859 CE by Fatima al-Fihri, the institution has been in continuous operation for over 1,100 years. Located in the city of Fez, the university has a rich history of scholarship in fields such as Islamic law, philosophy, and mathematics. Today, the university remains a vibrant center of learning and attracts students from all over the world.
2. Moroccan women have played a significant role in history
Despite the dominant male narrative of history, Moroccan women have played a significant role in shaping their country’s history. One prominent example is Aicha Kandicha, a legendary female figure who has been a subject of fascination for centuries. According to folklore, Aicha Kandicha was a shape-shifting sorceress who lived near water sources and was known to lure men to their deaths. However, some historians argue that Aicha Kandicha was actually a peaceful spiritual leader who helped protect her community from invaders.
Another notable Moroccan woman is Fatima al-Fihri, the founder of the aforementioned University of Al Quaraouiyine. She was a wealthy woman who chose to use her fortune to establish a center of learning that would benefit her community for generations to come.
3. Moroccan cuisine is incredibly diverse
Moroccan cuisine is known for its rich flavors and spices, but few people realize just how diverse the country’s culinary traditions are. In fact, Moroccan food is a fusion of Berber, Arab, and Mediterranean influences, resulting in a unique blend of flavors and textures. Some of the most popular Moroccan dishes include Tagine, which is a slow-cooked stew made with meat or vegetables, and Couscous, a grain-based dish often served with vegetables, meat, or fish. Other popular ingredients in Moroccan cuisine include olives, almonds, and preserved lemons.
In conclusion, Morocco is a country full of surprises, from its ancient universities to its rich history of strong women to its diverse cuisine. Exploring the mysteries of Morocco is an adventure that promises to be both fascinating and rewarding.