The Monarch and the Moroccans
Morocco is home to a monarchy with ancient roots that enable a strong relationship between the royal family and its citizens. The Alaouite dynasty, led by the current royal family of Morocco, is one of the oldest ruling dynasties in the world. The king, Mohammed VI, is deemed a symbol of national unity and the protector of the kingdom’s territorial integrity (Chahir 2019).
While the ruling Alaouite dynasty established their authority in 1666, a monarch has been in power since the creation of the kingdom of Morocco in the year 791 (Morocco Embassy). Throughout its history, Morocco has defended against numerous invasions from empires like the Roman and the Byzantine, carried out territorial conquests, and accumulated wealth and both national and international experiences (Oumazzane 2021).
The relationship between the royal family and Moroccan citizens has been strong throughout history. Moroccan forces liberated numerous port cities from Portuguese and Spanish colonial rule in the 17th century, and the Green March, made up of a mass of peaceful volunteers, liberated the south of Morocco from Spanish colonialism in 1975 (Oumazzane 2021). Annual traditions, such as Al biea’, work to strengthen the bond between royalty and citizens that promises security, public order, justice, and dignity from the monarchy in return for allegiance from the people. The allegiance holds true; when movements across the Middle East during the 2011 Arab Spring called for “the removal of the regime,” protests in Morocco called for economic and social reforms to be brought forth by the Moroccan parliament and government, not the monarchy. The relationship between king and citizen remains strong
Sultan Mohammed VI is seen as one of the most progressive leaders that the Moroccan monarchy has had to date, as he is reportedly willing to break from the repressive heritage of his father, Hassan III (Chahir 2020). This is demonstrated through diplomatic foreign policy, emphasis on the “protection of liberties and the preservation of rights,” his push to “fight (religious) intolerance and extremism,” and the launch of the National Initiative for Human Development, which aims to improve living standards.
Fun Fact: The 1787 American-Moroccan “Treaty of Peace and Friendship” is the longest-standing treaty in American history, and Morocco was the first country to recognize the American colonies as a nation (Morocco on the Move).
“225 Yrs & Counting: America's Longest Standing 'Treaty of Peace & Friendship' - Morocco -.” Morocco On The Move, 7 July 2014, moroccoonthemove.com/2012/07/17/225-years-counting-americas-longest-standing-treaty-of-peace-friendship-with-morocco/.
“A Brief History of The Kingdom of Morocco.” Embassy of Kingdom of Morocco in Vietnam, moroccoembassy.vn/en/history-116/a-brief-history-of-the-kingdom-of-morocco.html.
Chahir, Aziz. “Morocco: Ten Reasons Why Mohammed VI's Reign Has Lasted 20 Years.” Middle East Eye, 29 Aug. 2019, www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/morocco-king-mohammed-vis-reign-year-20.
Oumazzane, Tarik. “The Monarch and the Moroccans.” Https://Www.moroccoworldnews.com/, 20 Mar. 2021, www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/03/337175/the-monarch-and-the-moroccans.