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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen
Morocco: much Mor
    2017-October-24  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

I think I have an idealized view of Morocco and some of its other North African neighbors — Algeria and Tunisia, especially — shaped by too many ’40s movies and the Moorish-influenced architecture around my hometown. Columbus sailed the year the Moors left Spain, and Spanish architecture of the period owes them a great debt. Two cities over from mine was a place called “Alhambra,” named for the Moorish palace occupied by Ferdinand and Isabella when Columbus solicited their permission to sail; between my town and Alhambra is San Gabriel, which features a Moorish-influenced mission church built in 1771.

Morocco is on Africa’s top left corner on the map, with Algeria to its east, the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea — with tiny Gibraltar in the strait between — to the north, and Spain above there. The Atlantic is also to the west. To the south is a rather ambiguous entity called “Western Sahara;” Morocco occupies a portion of it, but the territory claims independence. The United Nations considers it a “non-self-governing territory.”

Just the names of the cities — Marrakesh, Tangier, and above all, Casablanca — evoke a picture of crowded bazaars, fez-wearing men, belly dancers and sumptuous feasts.

But, as with all such youthful fantasies, maturity has dashed it to bits. Don’t get me wrong: Morocco has its admirable traits. The first Moroccan state was established in 789, and it has never been colonized by any of the European powers. Indeed, it could be argued that Morocco colonized Spain. There is some connection between the words “Moor” and “Morocco.” However, for less than half of the 20th century it was split into “protectorates” of France and Spain, with Tangier an international zone in between. Full independence has prevailed from 1956 on.

Today, the country is 99 percent Muslim, and the official languages are Arabic and Berber, though French is widely spoken. Berber is the tongue of an indigenous tribe of North Africa, some groups of whom were traditionally nomadic (though many were agriculturalists). The country is now ruled by a king and an elected parliament.

Vocabulary:

Which word above means:

1. thought of in overly-perfect terms

2. destroyed, smashed

3. one built for the planting of a religion in a new area

4. narrow body of water connecting two others

5. call forth, bring out

6. market quarter

7. farmers

8. open to several interpretations

9. existing thing

10. traditional Middle Eastern cap, usually red with a black tassel

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