Casablanca

Casablanca (Arabic: الدار البيضاء‎, translit. ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; Berber languages: ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, translit. anfa; local informal name: Kaẓa), located in the central-western part of Morocco and bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest city in Morocco. It is also the largest city in the Maghreb region, as well as one of the largest and most important cities in Africa, both economically and demographically.

Casablanca is Morocco's chief port and one of the largest financial centers on the continent. According to the 2014 population estimate, the city has a population of about 3.35 million in the urban area and over 6.8 million in the Casablanca-Settat region. Casablanca is considered the economic and business center of Morocco, although the national political capital is Rabat.

The leading Moroccan companies and international many corporations doing business in the country have their headquarters and main industrial facilities in Casablanca. Recent industrial statistics show Casablanca retains its historical position as the main industrial zone of the country. The Port of Casablanca is one of the largest artificial ports in the world,[3] and the second largest port of North Africa, after Tanger-Med 40 km (25 mi) east of Tangier.[4] Casablanca also hosts the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy.

Casablanca
City / Stateg
Casablanca - Pêlemêle (03)
Nickname(s): 
Casa
Casablanca is located in Morocco
Casablanca
Casablanca
Location of Casablanca within Morocco
Casablanca is located in Africa
Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca (Africa)
Coordinates: 33°32′N 7°35′W / 33.533°N 7.583°W
Country Morocco
RegionCasablanca-Settat
First settled7th century BC
reconstructed1756
Government
 • MayorAbdelaziz El Omari
Area
 • City / Stateg220 km2 (80 sq mi)
 • Metro
20,166 km2 (7,786 sq mi)
Elevation
0 to 150 m (0 to 492 ft)
Population
(2014)[2]
 • City / Stateg3,359,818
 • Rank1st in Morocco
 • Metro
6,861,739[1]
DemonymsCasablancais
Casawis, bidawi
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
Postal code
20000-20200
Websitewww.casablancacity.ma

Etymology

The original name of Casablanca was Anfa, in Berber language, by at least the seventh century BC. After the Portuguese took control of the city in the 15th century AD, they rebuilt it, changing the name to Casa Branca ([kazɐ'bɾɐ̃kɐ]). It derives from the Portuguese word combination meaning "White House" (branca "white", casa "house"). The present name, which is the Spanish version (pronounced [kasaˈβlaŋka]), came when the Portuguese kingdom was integrated in personal union to the Spanish kingdom. During the French protectorate in Morocco, the name remained Casablanca (pronounced [kazablɑ̃ka]). In 1755 an earthquake destroyed most of the town. It was rebuilt by the Sultan who changed the name into the local Arabic which is Ad-dar Al Baidaa', although Arabic also has its own version of Casablanca (كازابلانكا, Kāzāblānkā). The city is still nicknamed Casa by many locals and outsiders to the city. In many other cities with a different dialect, it is called Ad-dar Al-Bida, instead.

History

Early history

The area which is today Casablanca was founded and settled by Berbers by at least the seventh century BC.[5] It was used as a port by the Phoenicians and later the Romans.[6] In his book Description of Africa, Leo Africanus refers to ancient Casablanca as "Anfa", a great city founded in the Berber kingdom of Barghawata in 744 AD. He believed Anfa was the most "prosperous city on the Atlantic Coast because of its fertile land."[7] Barghawata rose as an independent state around this time, and continued until it was conquered by the Almoravids in 1068. Following the defeat of the Barghawata in the 12th century, Arab tribes of Hilal and Sulaym descent settled in the region, mixing with the local Berbers, which led to widespread Arabization.[8] During the 14th century, under the Merinids, Anfa rose in importance as a port. The last of the Merinids were ousted by a popular revolt in 1465.[9]

Portuguese conquest and Spanish influence

Braun Anfa UBHD
Casablanca in 1572, still called "Anfa" in this coloured engraving, although the Portuguese had already renamed it "Casa Branca" -- "White House" -- later Hispanicised to "Casablanca".

In the early 15th century, the town became an independent state once again, and emerged as a safe harbour for pirates and privateers, leading to it being targeted by the Portuguese, who bombarded the town which led to its destruction in 1468.[10] The Portuguese used the ruins of Anfa to build a military fortress in 1515. The town that grew up around it was called Casa Branca, meaning "white house" in Portuguese.

Between 1580 and 1640, the Crown of Portugal was integrated to the Crown of Spain, so Casablanca and all other areas occupied by the Portuguese were under Spanish control, though maintaining an autonomous Portuguese administration. As Portugal broke ties with Spain in 1640, Casablanca came under fully Portuguese control once again.[11] The Europeans eventually abandoned the area completely in 1755 following an earthquake which destroyed most of the town.[12]

The town was finally reconstructed by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah (1756–1790), the grandson of Moulay Ismail and an ally of George Washington, with the help of Spaniards from the nearby emporium. The town was called الدار البيضاء ad-Dār al-Bayḍāʼ, the Arabic translation of the Spanish Casa Blanca.

French conquest

In the 19th century, the area's population began to grow as it became a major supplier of wool to the booming textile industry in Britain and shipping traffic increased (the British, in return, began importing gunpowder tea, used in Morocco's national drink, mint tea).[13] By the 1860s, around 5,000 residents were there, and the population grew to around 10,000 by the late 1880s.[14] Casablanca remained a modestly sized port, with a population reaching around 12,000 within a few years of the French conquest and arrival of French colonialists in the town, at first administrators within a sovereign sultanate, in 1906. By 1921, this rose to 110,000,[15] largely through the development of shanty towns.

French rule and influence

Casa old
Casablanca in 1930—seen from Boulevard de la Gare, now Muhammad El-Khamis Street
Casa didier55 019
Architecture of Casablanca, influenced by French styles

In June 1907, the French attempted to build a light railway near the port and passing through a graveyard. As an act of resistance and protestation, the locals attacked the French, riots ensued, causing a few soldiers to be wounded and one general to be killed. In response, the French attacked by ship, bombarding the city from the coast, and landing troops inside the town, which caused severe damage to the town and 15,000 dead and wounded bodies. The French claimed that it was to restore order there. This effectively began the process of colonization, although French control of Casablanca was not formalised until 1910. Under the French rule, Muslim anti-Jewish riots occurred in 1908.[16]

The famous 1942 film Casablanca (starring Humphrey Bogart) underlined the city's colonial status at the time—depicting it as the scene of a power struggle between competing European powers. The film has a cosmopolitan cast of characters (American, French, German, Spaniard, Czech, Norwegian, Austrian, Bulgarian, Russian, and some other nationalities).

Europeans formed almost half the population.[17] During the 1940s and 1950s, Casablanca was a major centre of anti-French rioting. A bomb attack on 25 December 1953 (Christmas Day) caused 16 deaths.[18]

World War II

Immeuble Liberté à Casablanca
Immeuble Liberté, the first skyscraper in Africa, built in 1949

Operation Torch (initially called Operation Gymnast) was the British-American invasion of French North Africa during the North African campaign of World War II, which started on 8 November 1942.

The Americans attacked at three locations in French North Africa, one of the three being the landings at Casablanca because of its important port and the major administrative centres.[19]

Casablanca was an important strategic port during World War II and hosted the Casablanca Conference in 1943, in which Churchill and Roosevelt discussed the progress of the war. Casablanca was the site of a large American air base, which was the staging area for all American aircraft for the European Theater of Operations during World War II.

Since independence

In October 1958, Casablanca hosted a Grand Prix, held at the new Anfa Racecourse.[20] In 1958, the race was held at Ain-Diab circuit (see Moroccan Grand Prix). Morocco gained independence from France on 1955.[21] In 1983, Casablanca hosted the Mediterranean Games.[22] The city is now developing a tourism industry. Casablanca has become the economic and business capital of Morocco, while Rabat is the political capital.

In March 2000, more than 60 women's groups organized demonstrations in Casablanca proposing reforms to the legal status of women in the country.[23] About 40,000 women attended, calling for a ban on polygamy and the introduction of divorce law (divorce being a purely religious procedure at that time). Although the counter-demonstration attracted half a million participants, the movement for change started in 2000 was influential on King Mohammed VI, and he enacted a new mudawana, or family law, in early 2004, meeting some of the demands of women's rights activists.[24]

On 16 May 2003, 33 civilians were killed and more than 100 people were injured when Casablanca was hit by a multiple suicide bomb attack carried out by Moroccans and claimed by some to have been linked to al-Qaeda. Twelve suicide bombers struck five locations in the city.[25]

A string of suicide bombings struck the city in early 2007. A suspected militant blew himself up at a Casablanca internet café on 11 March 2007.[26] On 10 April, three suicide bombers blew themselves up during a police raid of their safe house.[27] Two days later, police set up barricades around the city and detained two more men who had escaped the raid.[28] On 14 April, two brothers blew themselves up in downtown Casablanca, one near the American Consulate, and one a few blocks away near the American Language Center. Only one person was injured aside from the bombers, but the Consulate was closed for more than a month.

As calls for reform spread through the Arab world in 2011, Moroccans joined in, but concessions by the ruler led to acceptance. However, in December, thousands of people demonstrated in several parts of the city, especially the city center near la Fontaine, desiring more significant political reforms.

Geography

Casablanca is located in the Chawiya Plain which has historically been the breadbasket of Morocco.[29] Apart from the Atlantic coast, the Bouskoura forest is the only natural attraction in the city.[30] The forest was planted in the 20th century and consists mostly of eucalyptus, palm, and pine trees.[31] It is located halfway to the city's international airport.

The only watercourse in Casablanca is oued Bouskoura,[32] a small seasonal creek that until 1912 reached the Atlantic Ocean near the actual port. Most of oued Bouskoura's bed has been covered due to urbanization and only the part south of El Jadida road can now be seen. The closest permanent river to Casablanca is Oum Rabia, 70 km (43.50 mi) to the south-east.

Climate

Casablanca has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). The cool Canary Current off the Atlantic coast moderates temperature variation, which results in a climate remarkably similar to that of coastal Los Angeles, with similar temperature ranges. The city has an annual average of 72 days with significant precipitation, which amounts to 412 mm (16.2 in) per year. The highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded in the city are 40.5 °C (104.9 °F) and −2.7 °C (27.1 °F), respectively. The highest amount of rainfall recorded in a single day is 178 mm (7.0 in) on 30 November 2010.

Climate data for Casablanca (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.1
(88.0)
29.4
(84.9)
32.2
(90.0)
32.8
(91.0)
36.6
(97.9)
37.5
(99.5)
40.1
(104.2)
39.5
(103.1)
40.5
(104.9)
37.8
(100.0)
34.7
(94.5)
30.3
(86.5)
40.5
(104.9)
Average high °C (°F) 17.3
(63.1)
18.0
(64.4)
19.6
(67.3)
20.2
(68.4)
21.9
(71.4)
24.1
(75.4)
25.8
(78.4)
26.3
(79.3)
25.7
(78.3)
23.8
(74.8)
20.9
(69.6)
18.7
(65.7)
21.9
(71.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.6
(54.7)
13.7
(56.7)
15.3
(59.5)
16.5
(61.7)
18.5
(65.3)
20.9
(69.6)
22.7
(72.9)
23.2
(73.8)
22.3
(72.1)
19.8
(67.6)
16.5
(61.7)
14.2
(57.6)
18.0
(64.4)
Average low °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
10.4
(50.7)
11.8
(53.2)
13.2
(55.8)
15.6
(60.1)
18.7
(65.7)
20.5
(68.9)
20.9
(69.6)
19.7
(67.5)
16.8
(62.2)
13.3
(55.9)
11.1
(52.0)
15.1
(59.2)
Record low °C (°F) −1.5
(29.3)
−0.7
(30.7)
2.3
(36.1)
5.0
(41.0)
7.4
(45.3)
10.0
(50.0)
13.0
(55.4)
13.0
(55.4)
10.0
(50.0)
7.0
(44.6)
4.6
(40.3)
−2.7
(27.1)
−2.7
(27.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 68
(2.7)
45
(1.8)
38
(1.5)
40
(1.6)
15
(0.6)
3
(0.1)
1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
9
(0.4)
37
(1.5)
86
(3.4)
74
(2.9)
415
(16.3)
Average rainy days 9 9 7 8 6 2 1 1 3 7 9 11 72
Average relative humidity (%) 83 83 82 80 79 81 82 83 83 82 82 84 82
Mean monthly sunshine hours 189.6 188.5 240.7 261.5 293.6 285.0 303.4 294.1 258.1 234.3 190.6 183.1 2,922.5
Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net[33]
Source #2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)[34]
Casablanca mean sea temperature[35]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
17.5 °C (63.5 °F) 17.0 °C (62.6 °F) 17.1 °C (62.8 °F) 18.4 °C (65.1 °F) 19.5 °C (67.1 °F) 21.8 °C (71.2 °F) 22.7 °C (72.9 °F) 23.3 °C (73.9 °F) 23.1 °C (73.6 °F) 22.5 °C (72.5 °F) 20.4 °C (68.7 °F) 18.5 °C (65.3 °F)

Economy

CasablancaFAR
Boulevard des FAR (Forces Armées Royales)
Port of Casablanca
Port of Casablanca

The Grand Casablanca region is considered the locomotive of the development of the Moroccan economy. It attracts 32% of the country's production units and 56% of industrial labor. The region uses 30% of the national electricity production. With MAD 93 billion, the region contributes to 44% of the industrial production of the kingdom. About 33% of national industrial exportations, MAD 27 billion, comes from the Grand Casablanca; 30% of the Moroccan banking network is concentrated in Casablanca.[36]

One of the most important Casablancan exports is phosphate. Other industries include fishing, fish canning, sawmills, furniture production, building materials, glass, textiles, electronics, leather work, processed food, spirits, soft drinks, and cigarettes.[37]

The Casablanca and Mohammedia seaports activity represent 50% of the international commercial flows of Morocco.[38] Almost the entire Casablanca waterfront is under development, mainly the construction of huge entertainment centres between the port and Hassan II Mosque, the Anfa Resort project near the business, entertainment and living centre of Megarama, the shopping and entertainment complex of Morocco Mall, as well as a complete renovation of the coastal walkway. The Sindbad park is planned to be totally renewed with rides, games and entertainment services.[39]

Royal Air Maroc has its head office at the Casablanca-Anfa Airport.[40] In 2004, it announced that it was moving its head office from Casablanca to a location in Province of Nouaceur, close to Mohammed V International Airport.[41] The agreement to build the head office in Nouaceur was signed in 2009.[42]

The biggest CBD of Casablanca and Maghreb is in the North of the town in Sidi Maarouf near the mosque of Hassan II and the biggest project of skycrapers of Maghreb and Africa Casablanca Marina.

Administrative divisions

Casablanca is a commune, part of the region of Casablanca-Settat. The commune is divided into eight districts or prefectures, which are themselves divided into 16 subdivisions or arrondissements and one municipality. The districts and their subdivisions are:[43]

  1. Aïn Chock (عين الشق) – Aïn Chock (عين الشق)
  2. Aïn Sebaâ - Hay Mohammadi (عين السبع الحي المحمدي) – Aïn Sebaâ (عين السبع), Hay Mohammadi (الحي المحمدي), Roches Noires (روش نوار).
  3. Anfa (أنفا) – Anfa (أنفا), Maârif (المعاريف), Sidi Belyout (سيدي بليوط).
  4. Ben M'Sick (بن مسيك) – Ben M'Sick (بن مسيك), Sbata (سباته).
  5. Sidi Bernoussi (سيدي برنوصي) – Sidi Bernoussi (سيدي برنوصي), Sidi Moumen (سيدي مومن).
  6. Al Fida - Mers Sultan (الفداء – مرس السلطان) – Al Fida (الفداء); Mechouar (المشور) (municipality), Mers Sultan (مرس السلطان).
  7. Hay Hassani (الحي الحسني) – Hay Hassani (الحي الحسني).
  8. Moulay Rachid (مولاي رشيد) – Moulay Rachid (مولاي رشيد), Sidi Othmane (سيدي عثمان).

Neighborhoods

The list of neighborhoods is indicative and not complete:

Demographics

The commune of Casablanca recorded a population of 3,359,818 in the 2014 Moroccan census.[2] About 98% live in urban areas. Around 25% of them are under 15 and 9% are over 60 years old. The population of the city is about 11% of the total population of Morocco. Grand Casablanca is also the largest urban area in the Maghreb. 99.9% of the population of Morocco are Arab and Berber Muslims.[44] During the French protectorate in Morocco, European Christians formed almost half the population.[17] Since independence in 1956, the European population has decreased substantially.

Judaism in Casablanca

A Sephardic Jewish community was in Anfa up to the destruction of the city, by the Portuguese in 1468. Jews were slow to return to the town, but by 1750, the Rabbi Elijah Synagogue was built as the first Jewish synagogue in Casablanca. It was destroyed along with much of the town in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.[5] Today, the Jewish cemetery of Casablanca is one of the major cemeteries of the city. The Moroccan Jewish Museum is a museum established in the city in 1997. It is the only museum devoted to Judaism in the Arab world (see also History of the Jews in Morocco).

Main sites

The French period Ville Nouvelle (New Town) of Casablanca was designed by the French architect Henri Prost, and was a model of a new town at that time. The main streets radiate south and east from Place des Nations Unies, previously the main market of Anfa. Former administrative buildings and modern hotels populate the area. Their style is a combination of Hispano-Moorish and Art Deco.

Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is situated on a promontory on the Atlantic Ocean. The mosque has room for 25,000 worshippers inside, and a further 80,000 can be accommodated in the mosque's courtyard. Its minaret is the world's tallest at 210 metres (690 feet). The mosque is also the largest in North Africa, and the third-largest in the world.[45]

Work on the mosque started in 1980, and was intended to be completed for the 60th birthday of the former Moroccan king, Hassan II, in 1989. However, the building was not inaugurated until 1993. Authorities spent an estimated $800 million in the construction of the building.

The Parc de la Ligue Arabe (formally called Lyautey) is the city's largest public park. On its edge is the Casablanca Cathedral (Cathédrale Sacré-Coeur). It is no longer in use for religious purposes, but it is open to visitors and a splendid example of Mauresque architecture. The Old Medina (the part of town antedating the French protectorate) attracts fewer tourists than the medinas of cities such as Fes and Marrakech. However, it has undergone some restoration in recent years. Included in this project have been the western walls of the medina, its skala, or bastion, and its colonial-period clock tower.

A popular site among locals is the small island Marabout de Sidi Abderrahmane. It is possible to walk across to the rocky island at low tide. This outcrop contains the tomb of Sidi Abderrhamane Thaalibi, a Sufi from Baghdad and the founder of Algiers. He is considered a saint in Morocco.[46] Because of this, many Moroccans make informal pilgrimages to this site "to reflect on life and to seek religious enlightenment". Some believe that the saint possessed magical powers, so his tomb still possesses these powers. People come and seek this magic to be cured. Non-Muslims may not enter the shrine.

Education

Colleges and universities

Public: University of Hassan II Casablanca

Private:

Primary and secondary schools

International schools:

Sports

Hosting

Casablanca staged the 1961 Pan Arab Games, the 1983 Mediterranean Games, and games during the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations. Morocco was scheduled to host the 2015 African Nations Cup, but decided to decline due to Ebola fears. Morocco was expelled and the tournament was held in Equatorial Guinea.[47]

Venues

  • Stade Larbi Zaouli
  • Stade Mohamed V
  • Stade Sidi Bernoussi
  • Complexe Al Amal de Casablanca

The Grand Stade de Casablanca is the proposed title of the planned football stadium to be built in the city. Once completed in 2014, it will be used mostly for football matches and will serve as the home of Raja Casablanca, Wydad Casablanca, and the Morocco national football team. The stadium was designed with a capacity of 93,000 spectators, making it one of the highest-capacity stadiums in Africa. Once completed, it will replace the Stade Mohamed V. The initial idea of the stadium was for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for which Morocco lost their bid to South Africa. Nevertheless, the Moroccan government supported the decision to go ahead with the plans. It will be completed in 2025. The idea of the stadium was also for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, for which Morocco lost their bid to Canada, Mexico and United States. It is now hoping for the 2030 FIFA World Cup which Morocco is co-bidding with either African neighbors Tunisia and Algeria or two European nations Spain and Portugal

Association football

Casablanca is home to two popular football clubs, Wydad Casablanca[48] and Raja Casablanca.[49] Raja's symbol is an eagle and Wydad's symbol is a goose. These two popular clubs have produced some of Morocco's best players, such as: Salaheddine Bassir, Abdelmajid Dolmy, Baddou Zaki, Aziz Bouderbala, and Noureddine Naybet. Other football teams on top of these two major teams based in the city of Casablanca include Rachad Bernoussi, TAS de Casablanca, Majd Al Madina, and Racing Casablanca.

Tennis

Casablanca hosts The Grand Prix Hassan II, a professional men's tennis tournament of the ATP tour. It first began in 1986, and is played on clay courts type at Complexe Al Amal.

Notable winners of the Hassan II Grand-Prix are Thomas Muster in 1990, Hicham Arazi in 1997, Younes El Aynaoui in 2002, and Stanislas Wawrinka in 2010.

Transport

Tram

The Casablanca tramway is the rapid transit tram system in Casablanca. The route is 31 km (19 mi) long, with 49 stops, and Y-shaped; further lines are planned.[50]

Air

Casablanca's main airport is Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco's busiest airport. Regular domestic flights serve Marrakech, Rabat, Agadir, Oujda, Tangier, Al Hoceima, and Laayoune, as well as other cities.

Casablanca is well-served by international flights to Europe, especially French and Spanish airports, and has regular connections to North American, Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan African destinations. New York City, Montreal, Paris, Washington D.C., London and Dubai are important primary destinations.

The older, smaller Casablanca-Anfa Airport to the west of the city, served certain destinations including Damascus, and Tunis, and was largely closed to international civilian traffic in 2006. It has been closed and destroyed to build the "Casablanca Finance City", the new heart of the city of Casablanca. Casablanca Tit Mellil Airport is located in the nearby community of Tit Mellil.

Coaches

CTM coaches (intercity buses) and various private lines run services to most notable Moroccan towns, as well as a number of European cities. These run from the Gare Routière on Rue Léon l'Africain in downtown Casablanca.

Metro

See also: Casablanca RER or Casablanca metro

Since the 1970s, Casablanca had planned to build a metro system to offer some relief to the problems of traffic congestion and poor air quality.[51][52] However, the city council voted to abandon the metro project in 2014 due to high costs, and decided to continue expanding the already operating tram system instead.[53]

Taxis

Registered taxis in Casablanca are coloured red and known as petit taxis (small taxis), or coloured white and known as grands taxis (big taxis). As is standard Moroccan practice, petits taxis, typically small-four door Dacia Logan, Peugeot 207, or similar cars, provide metered cab service in the central metropolitan areas. Grands taxis, generally older Mercedes-Benz sedans, provide shared mini-bus like service within the city on predefined routes, or shared intercity service. Grands taxis may also be hired for private service by the hour or day.

Trains

Casablanca is served by three principal railway stations run by the national rail service, the ONCF.

Casa-Voyageurs is the main intercity station, from which trains run south to Marrakech or El Jadida and north to Mohammedia and Rabat, and then on either to Tangier or Meknes, Fes, Taza and Oujda/Nador. A dedicated airport shuttle service to Mohammed V International Airport also has its primary in-city stop at this station, for connections on to further destinations.

CasablancaTrainStation
Casa-Port railway station

Casa-Port serves primarily commuter trains such as the Train Navette Rapide (TNR or Aouita) operating on the Casablanca – Kenitra rail corridor, with some connecting trains running on to Gare de Casa-Voyageurs. The station provides a direct interchange between train and shipping services, and is located near several port-area hotels. It is the nearest station to the old town of Casablanca, and to the modern city centre, around the landmark Casablanca Twin Center. Casa-Port station is being rebuilt in a modern and enlarged configuration. During the construction, the station is still operational. From 2013, it will provide a close connection from the rail network to the city's new tram network.

Casa-Oasis was originally a suburban commuter station which was fully redesigned and rebuilt in the early 21st century, and officially reopened in 2005 as a primary city rail station. Owing to its new status, all southern intercity train services to and from Casa-Voyageurs now call at Casa-Oasis. ONCF stated in 2005 that the refurbishment and upgrading of Casa-Oasis to intercity standards was intended to relieve passenger congestion at Casa-Voyageurs station.

Notable people

Merieme Chadid
Merieme Chadid led an international scientific program to install a major astronomical observatory in Antarctica.

In popular culture

Casablanca, title
Casablanca, an American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz

International relations

See also List of twin towns and sister cities in Morocco

Twin towns – sister cities

Casablanca is twinned with:

See also

  • Portal-puzzle.svg Casablanca portal

References

  1. ^ "Historique & Développement urbain de la Région". casablance.ma. Retrieved 20 February 2017.(in French)
  2. ^ a b "POPULATION LÉGALE DES RÉGIONS, PROVINCES, PRÉFECTURES, MUNICIPALITÉS, ARRONDISSEMENTS ET COMMUNES DU ROYAUME D'APRÈS LES RÉSULTATS DU RGPH 2014" (in Arabic and French). High Commission for Planning, Morocco. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  3. ^ "CasablancaEncyclopedia of the Orient". Lexicorient.com. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Discovering Casablanca". Africa-ata.org. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b "''Casablanca''". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  6. ^ Tore Kjeilen. "Casablanca – LookLex Encyclopaedia". Lexicorient.com. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
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External links

Coordinates: 33°32′N 7°35′W / 33.533°N 7.583°W

Administrative divisions of Morocco

In Morocco, the 75 second-level administrative subdivisions are 13 prefectures and 62 provinces. They are subdivisions of the 12 regions of Morocco. Each prefecture or province is subdivided into arrondissements (only in prefectures of some metropolitan areas), municipalities (communes, sing. commune) or urban municipalities (communes urbaines, sing. commune urbaine) in other urban areas, and districts (cercles, sing. cercle) in rural areas. The districts are subdivided into rural municipalities (communes rurales, sing. commune rural). One prefecture (Casablanca) is also subdivided into préfectures d'arrondissements (sing. préfecture d'arrondissements), similar to districts (cercles) except they are grouping a few arrondissements instead of rural municipalities.

Note: The arrondissements and (urban) municipalities should probably be thought of as fourth-level subdivisions, on the same level as the rural municipalities, but they are not part of any district.

Botola

The Botola (Arabic: البطولة‎), literally "the Moroccan Championship" (known as Botola Maroc Telecom for sponsorship reasons) is a Moroccan professional league for men's association football clubs. At the top of the Moroccan football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 16 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Football League.

The Premier League is a corporation in which the 16 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 30 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away) totalling 214 matches in the season. Most games are played in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays, the other games during weekday evenings. It is sponsored by Maroc Télécom and thus known as the Botola-Ittisalat. Outside England, it is commonly referred to as the Moroccan Premier League (MPL).

The competition formed as the FRFM on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Botola Pro to break away from the UNAF, which had been founded in 1911, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. This deal is worth MAD 55 million a year domestically as of 2015–16, with Arryadia securing the domestic rights to broadcast games respectively. The league generates MAD 123 million per year in domestic and international television rights.

The Botola Pro is the most-watched football league in Africa, broadcasts in 153 territories to 54 million homes and a potential TV audience of 2 billion people. In the 2010–11 season, the average Botola Pro match attendance was 25,363, the highest of any professional football league in Africa, and stadium occupancy was 92% capacity. The Premier League ranked second in the CAF 5-Zaers of leagues based on performances in African competitions over the last five years.

Of the 16 clubs to have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, five have won the title: Wydad Casablanca (14), Association Sportive des FAR (12), Raja de Casablanca (11), Magreb Fez (4) and Hašania Agadir (2). The current champions are Ittihad Tanger, who won the title in 2017-18.

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On 5 June 2016 FUS Rabat won the football championship for the first time after being runner-up to the title for 5 previous times.

Casablanca-Settat

Casablanca-Settat (Arabic: الدار البيضاء - سطات‎, Berber languages: ⴰⵏⴼⴰ - ⵙⵟⵟⴰⵜ) is one of the twelve administrative regions of Morocco. It covers an area of 20,166 km² and recorded a population of 6,861,739 in the 2014 Moroccan census, 69% of which lived in urban areas. The capital of the region is Casablanca.

Casablanca-class escort carrier

The Casablanca-class escort carriers are the most numerous class of aircraft carriers ever built. Fifty were laid down, launched and commissioned within the space of less than two years – 3 November 1942 through to 8 July 1944. These were nearly one third of the 151 carriers built in the United States during the war. Despite their numbers, and the preservation of more famous and larger carriers as museums, none of these modest ships survive today. Five were lost to enemy action during World War II and the remainder were scrapped.

Casablanca was the first class to be designed from keel up as an escort carrier. It had a larger and more useful hangar deck than previous conversions. It also had a larger flight deck than the Bogue class. Unlike larger carriers which had extensive armor, protection was limited to splinter plating. Their small size made them useful for transporting assembled aircraft of various sizes, but fighters were limited to smaller and lighter aircraft such as the Grumman F4F Wildcat. The hull numbers were assigned consecutively, from CVE-55 Casablanca to CVE-104 Munda.

Casablanca-class carriers were built by Kaiser Company, Inc.'s Shipbuilding Division, Vancouver Yard on the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. The Vancouver yard was expressly built in 1942 to construct Liberty Ships, but exigencies of war soon saw the yard building LST landing craft and then escort carriers all before the end of the yard's first year in operation. The yard had twelve building ways and an enormous 3,000 foot outfitting dock along with a unique additional building slip originally intended to add prefabricated superstructures to Liberty ships. Their relatively small size and mass-production origins led their crews to refer to them as "jeep carriers" or "Kaiser Jeeps" with varying degrees of affection.

Casablanca (film)

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid; it also features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson. Set during contemporary World War II, it focuses on an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her and her husband, a Czech Resistance leader, escape from the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

Warner Bros. story editor Irene Diamond convinced producer Hal B. Wallis to purchase the film rights to the play in January 1942. Brothers Julius and Philip G. Epstein were initially assigned to write the script. However, despite studio resistance, they left to work on Frank Capra's Why We Fight series early in 1942. Howard Koch was assigned to the screenplay until the Epsteins returned a month later. Principal photography began on May 25, 1942, ending on August 3; the film was shot entirely at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California with the exception of one sequence at Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys, Los Angeles.

Although Casablanca was an A-list film with established stars and first-rate writers, no one involved with its production expected it to be anything other than one of the hundreds of ordinary pictures produced by Hollywood that year. Casablanca was rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier. It had its world premiere on November 26, 1942, in New York City and was released nationally in the United States on January 23, 1943. The film was a solid if unspectacular success in its initial run.

Exceeding expectations, Casablanca went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, while Curtiz was selected as Best Director and the Epsteins and Koch were honored for writing the Best Adapted Screenplay. Its reputation gradually improved, to the point that its lead characters, memorable lines, and pervasive theme song have all become iconic, and it consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films in history.

Casablanca Conference

The Casablanca Conference (codenamed SYMBOL) was held at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, French Morocco, from January 14 to 24, 1943, to plan the Allied European strategy for the next phase of World War II. In attendance were United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill. Also attending and representing the Free French forces were Generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud, though they played minor roles and were not part of the military planning. Premier Joseph Stalin had declined to attend, citing the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad as requiring his presence in the Soviet Union.

The conference agenda addressed the specifics of tactical procedure, allocation of resources, and the broader issues of diplomatic policy. The debate and negotiations produced what was known as the Casablanca Declaration, and perhaps its most historically provocative statement of purpose, "unconditional surrender". The doctrine of "unconditional surrender" came to represent the unified voice of implacable Allied will—the determination that the Axis powers would be fought to their ultimate defeat.

Casablanca Records

Casablanca Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group and operated under Republic Records. Under its founder Neil Bogart, Casablanca was successful in the disco era of the 1970s. The label currently focuses on Dance and Electronic music under the direction of Rob Stevenson and Brett Alperowitz.

Casablanca Stock Exchange

The Casablanca Stock Exchange (Arabic: بورصة الدار البيضاء‎; French: La Bourse de Casablanca) is a stock exchange in Casablanca, Morocco. The Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE), which achieves one of the best performances in the region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), is Africa's third largest Bourse after Johannesburg Stock Exchange (South Africa) and Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos. It was established in 1929 and currently has 19 members and 81 listed securities with a total market capitalisation of $71.1 billion in 2018.The exchange is relatively modern, having experienced reform in 1993. The CSE installed an electronic trading system, and is now organized as two markets: the Central Market and a Block Trade Market, for block trades.

In 1997 the CSE opened a central scrip depository, Maroclear.

Casablanca–Anfa Airport

Casablanca–Anfa Airport (French: Aéroport de Casablanca–Anfa, Arabic: مطار الدار البيضاء أنفا‎) was an airport in Morocco (IATA: CAS, ICAO: GMMC), located about 6 kilometres (4 mi) southwest of Casablanca. Anfa Airport was one of three airports serving the Casablanca area, the others being the newer and larger Mohammed V International Airport and the Casablanca Tit Mellil Airport.

Anfa Airport is now closed, and its buildings and runways have been demolished.

Casablanca–Tangier high-speed rail line

The Casablanca—Tangier high-speed rail line (also called Al Boraq) is a high-speed rail line in Morocco that is the first on the African continent. The line was inaugurated on 15 November 2018 by King Mohammed VI of Morocco following over a decade of planning and construction by Moroccan national railway company ONCF. It is the first phase of what is planned to eventually be a 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) high-speed rail network in Morocco.

Grand Prix Hassan II

The Grand Prix Hassan II is an annual men's tennis tournament on the ATP Tour and is currently part of the ATP World Tour 250 series. The event is played on clay courts and was held annually at the Complexe Al Amal in Casablanca, Morocco through 2015, before relocating to Marrakesh in 2016. Between 1984 and 1989 it was part of the Challenger Series. It is currently the only ATP event held in Africa. It is held in April.

Jean Reno

Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez (born 30 July 1948), known as Jean Reno (French: [ʒɑ̃ ʁeno]), is a French actor of Spanish descent. He has worked in French, English, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian productions, and appeared in films such as Crimson Rivers, Godzilla, The Da Vinci Code, Mission: Impossible, The Pink Panther, Ronin, Les visiteurs, The Big Blue, Hector and the Search for Happiness and Léon: The Professional.

Mohamed Moatassim

Mohamed Moatassim, born 1956 in Settat, is a Moroccan scholar and politician who currently serves as advisor to King Mohammed VI.

Mohammed V International Airport

Mohammed V International Airport (French: Aéroport international Mohammed V; Arabic: مطار محمد الخامس الدولي‎, Matar Muhammad al-Khamis ad-Dowaly, IATA: CMN, ICAO: GMMN) is an international airport serving Casablanca, Morocco. Located in Nouaceur Province, it is operated by ONDA (National Airports Office). With just under 8 million passengers passing through the airport in 2014, it was the busiest airport in Morocco and the fourth busiest in Africa. In August 2014, ONDA reported a year-on-year increase of 7.28% passenger traffic, to 918,238. The airport serves as hub for Royal Air Maroc, Jetairfly, Air Arabia Maroc and RAM Express. It is named after King Mohammed V of Morocco.

Mohammed V is one of the six airports in Morocco where ONDA offers its special VIP service Salon Convives de Marque.

Morocco Tennis Tour – Casablanca

The Morocco Tennis Tour – Casablanca is a professional tennis tournament played on outdoor red clay courts. It is currently part of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour. It is held annually in Casablanca, Morocco, since 2011.

Morocco Tennis Tour – Casablanca II

The Morocco Tennis Tour – Casablanca II is a professional tennis tournament played on clay courts. It is currently part of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour. It is held annually in Casablanca, Morocco since 2015.

Raja Casablanca

Raja Club Athletic (RCA) (Arabic: نادي الرجاء الرياضي‎; transliterated: nādī ar-Rajāʾ ar-Riyāḍi) is a sports club with sections in many different disciplines in Casablanca, Morocco. Raja was founded in 20 March 1949 as part of the political struggle against French rule by nationalists who aimed to create a focus for working-class young Moroccans. The club is most well known outside Morocco for its football team.

In Morocco, Raja Casablanca is still regarded as the club of the people. For many years it had a reputation of playing entertaining football without winning many trophies. However Raja has evolved recently into a more professional outfit capable of winning trophies at home and abroad. Since 1949, Raja CA has been crowned domestic champions on eleven occasions, and has never been relegated to the Second Division.

On the continental side, Raja has won more CAF trophies than any other Moroccan team. The club has 3 CAF Champions League, 1 CAF Super Cup titles and 2 CAF Cup titles. Raja Casablanca placed third in 2000 in CAF's ranking of African clubs of the last century, finishing behind the Egyptian teams Al Ahly and Zamalek. The club was listed as one of the most valuable football clubs in Africa and one of the most widely supported teams in the continent and the first in its country.

Internationally, Raja has also won 1 Afro-Asian Cup title. Raja Casablanca is the first Moroccan and African club to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup. They competed in the first edition that took place in 2000 in Brazil. Raja Casablanca became the second club to reach the FIFA Club World final as the representative of CAF, after TP Mazembe, as well as the host nation's national champions, after Brazilian club Corinthians, and the first under the current seven-club format since the 2007 edition, as they defeated Atlético Mineiro at the semi-final of 2013 FIFA Club World Cup with the Tunisian coach Faouzi Benzarti.

Stade Mohammed V

The Stade Mohammed V (Arabic: مركب محمد الخامس‎) is part of a big athletic complex situated in the heart of the city of Casablanca, Morocco, in the western part of Maarif district. It was inaugurated March 6, 1955, and currently has a capacity of 45,891.

The stadium's record attendance of 100,000 was set in 1997, in a football match between Raja Casablanca and their rivals Wydad.

Often hosting the games of the Morocco national football team, the Mohammed V Stadium is equally known as the home of Wydad Casablanca and Raja Casablanca. It is named after King Mohammed V of Morocco.

Wydad AC

Wydad Athletic Club (Arabic: نادي وداد الرياضي‎, Arabic pronunciation: [naːdiː‿l.wydaːd arːiyːadˤiː]), commonly known as WAC, also called Wydad Al Omma is a Moroccan sports club based in Casablanca, Morocco, best known for its football team.

Wydad have won the Morocco league title a record 19 times, 9 Moroccan Throne Cups, 7 Moroccan Super Cups, 5 Chaouia Leagues, Chaouia cup in 1947 and the Independence Cup in 1956. In continental competitions they have won the CAF Champions League twice. CAF Cup Winners, Afro-Asian Club Championship, Arab Champions League, Arab Super Cup, and North African Cup, as well as winning the North African Championship and North African Super Cup three times. It is the most titled club in Morocco and second-most in Africa with trophies after Al Ahly, with 106 trophies

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