The Maghreb countries: list and brief description. The origin of the term "Maghrib".
In which part of the world is the Maghreb? What is this region and from what states does it consist? In this article we will answer all these questions.
The Maghreb countries and their characteristics
El-Maghrib - in Arabic this means "west"(literal translation: "where the sun sets"). This word medieval sailors called the territory, located to the west of Egypt. The term has survived to the present day. In particular, this is how the Arabic name of the state of Morocco sounds.
Geographically, the Maghreb isThe space between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts in the north and the system of mountain ranges of the Sakha Atlas in the west. The political significance of this concept is broader. So, traditionally the Maghreb is ranked five independent states. In addition, the region also includes one partially recognized republic - the Western Sahara.
In modern political geography, the Maghreb is a region in North Africa, consisting of six countries. It:
- West Sahara.
The climate in this region is characterized by extreme aridity. Therefore, all the capitals and major cities here are located exclusively on the sea coast.
Union of the Arab Maghreb - what is it? Briefly about the organization
Five countries of the Maghreb in 1989 signedagreement on the establishment of an intergovernmental organization. True, the idea of such an association first arose in the 1950s. The activities of the so-called Union of the Arab Maghreb (abbreviated as CAM) are declaratively aimed at creating a single political and economic bloc of states in North Africa. The headquarters of the organization is located in the city of Rabat.
Among the members of the Arab Maghreb Union are Algeria,Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Mauritania. Each of these countries presides in the council alternately. The organization has its own flag and emblem. The last one shows a schematic map of the region framed by the ear of wheat and reeds.
It should be noted that the work of the organizationis significantly complicated by the numerous political disagreements between the participating countries. In particular, between Libya and Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria. The issue of recognizing the sovereignty of Western Sahara remains unresolved.
Initially, the contract for the establishment of the AMMalso the creation of a free trade zone in this region. But today the share of mutual trade between the member countries of this organization does not exceed 10%.
Libya is the most eastern country of the Maghreb.And the richest (in terms of GDP per capita). 90% of its area is occupied by deserts. The main economic trump cards of this state are gas and oil. There is also a very developed manufacturing and military industry.
5 most interesting facts about Libya:
- In Libya, the largest among the countries of the Maghreb, the length of the coastline is 1,770 km.
- In the period from 1977 to 2011, the country had a unique flag, which is a monochromatic green cloth.
- About 90% of the residents of Libya live in only two cities - Tripoli and Benghazi.
- On the territory of this country is the hottest place on the planet.
- Water in Libya is more expensive than gasoline.
Among the main problems of modern Libya - the dominance of migrant refugees, a great contrast in the density of the population, a shortage of water and food.
Among all the countries of the Maghreb, Tunisia has the mosthigh index of human development (HDI): 94th place. This is the smallest state in the region. Tunisia is a dynamically developing industrial-agrarian country. The main branches of its economy are agriculture, textile industry and tourism.
5 most interesting facts about Tunisia:
- Tunisia is one of the top five countries in the world in terms of exports of olive oil.
- A doctor and a teacher are the two most prestigious professions in this African state.
- In the summer, the working day in Tunisia ends at 14:00 (this is due to unbearable heat).
- Tunisia is often called the "country of flat roofs", since it is this type of roofing that is least heated in the sun.
- It is here that the ruins of one of the largest cities of antiquity - the famous Carthage - are located.
"The pearl of the Maghreb" - this is often calledMorocco. This country is in the extreme west of the region and has a wide outlet to the Atlantic. It also controls part of the territories of a partially recognized country (Western Sahara). The basis of the state economy is the mining industry (phosphate mining) and agriculture. In recent years, tourism is actively developing.
5 most interesting facts about Morocco:
- The Moroccan dirham is one of the most stable world currencies.
- Morocco is a deeply religious country; The Koran begins to study here from the age of five.
- Moroccan women are very afraid and do not like to be photographed.
- In this sultry tropical country there are quite good ski resorts.
- Laziness and parasitism are the mental traits of the Moroccans. Groups of men, idly sitting on the street without work, is a common picture for this African country.
Algeria is the largest state not only of the Maghreb,but the whole of Africa. At the same time, more than 80% of its territories are occupied by deserts. The subsoil of Algeria is very rich in various minerals: oil, gas, phosphorites. The extraction of these mineral resources provides 95% of the country's total export earnings.
5 most interesting facts about Algeria:
- "Maghreb is a bird, and Algeria is her body" is a popular Arab proverb.
- In the Middle Ages, this country supplied wax throughout France.
- In Algeria, as in France, baguettes are very popular.
- Algerian houses are quite rarely equipped with elevators (the reason for this is frequent and strong earthquakes).
- Algerians are incredible football fans.
What do we know about Mauritania?It is a poor and underdeveloped Islamic republic, located in the western part of the Maghreb. One third of its residents are unemployed, about half of the population live below the poverty line. The basis of the Mauritanian economy is agriculture (cattle breeding, cultivation of dates, rice and corn). Industry is limited to the extraction of iron ore, copper and gold.
5 most interesting facts about Mauritania:
- Every second inhabitant of the country is illiterate.
- In Mauritania, only one river does not dry out in the summer - it's Senegal.
- On the territory of this state is the oldest mosque in Africa.
- Meat and beans are the basis of Mauritanian national cuisine.
- In Mauritania there is a unique geological formation - the Eye of the Sahara, whose diameter reaches 50 km.
One of the main problems of modern Mauritania -slavery. Officially, the slaveholders here are outlawed. However, in fact, the authorities completely turn a blind eye to this important problem. According to statistics, about 20% of Mauritanians are slaves.