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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

A worshipper on his way to the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.

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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

A young man smokes and relaxes at dusk in the Rif Mountains in Chefchaouen. The Rif Mountains are known as one of the largest cannabis-producing regions in the world. While the harvest is mainly used to make hashish for export to Europe, many locals smoke a fine powder called kifi, made of the leftover flowers and stems.

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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

Cranes working on a new luxury housing development in Casablanca.

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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

Ahmed climbs the diving wall in Larache.

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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

Sleeping outside the medina wall in Salé, an ancient city on the bank of the Bou Regreg river, just across from the national capital Rabat. In the 17th century it was an independent pirate republic, home to the notorious "Salé Rovers" who amassed a fortune at the expense of European commercial ships and sailed as far as the Americas.

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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

Shanty-town community in Casablanca. The Moroccan government has focused on the goal of eradicating the country's shanty-towns by 2012 but as the the new year approaches, these communities can be found clustered around the edges of many urban areas.

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Soon to be demolished for a new housing development, an old stable stands as the last remnant of what was formerly an aristocratic land-owning family's farm in Casablanca.

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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

Workers paint the roof of a resort in the luxurious beach district of Ain Diab in Casablanca.

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Postcard stand by the beach at Ain Diab in Casablanca. Morocco's tourism industry has played a large role in national development and ranks as the second largest source of income for the nation after the phosphate industry.

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The afternoon crowd on the steps leading to the Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca.

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Kids playing near the town cemetery, Salé.

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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

Jamila enjoys a summer rain storm in her Berber village situated in the remote Anti-Atlas Mountains in Issafen. The Berber people have resided in North Africa for at least 5000 years and are estimated to make up more than half of the population of Morocco. Their language and culture are only beginning to be formally recognized, after centuries of suppression and disparagement.

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Insha'Allah: Morocco's Changing Culture

Trails leading through a large barren field on the city outskirts, Casablanca. As Casablanca grows, areas which were once farmland have become semi-rural wastelands between housing developments. Massive urban expansion consumes vast quantities of natural resources and puts pressure on sanitation and water systems.

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New housing development in the outskirts of Casablanca. The Moroccan government has been ambitiously building new housing blocks for low-income families with the goal of eradicating the city's remaining shanty-towns, largely inhabited by rural people looking for work in the city.

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Tangier Photograph by Joachim Ladefoged/VII/AP Where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean at the northern tip of Africa, Tangier dispenses a diverse mix of culture and cuisine. Beyond the picturesque beaches, Tangier—known as the White City—satisfies visitors with an array of culturally and historically significant sites: the Ancient City, the Kasbah, and endless suqs and museums.

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Rif Mountains Photograph by Travel Ink/Getty Images Extending from Tangier to the Moulouya River Valley near the Moroccan-Algerian border, the Rif Mountains carve up 180 miles (290 kilometers) of rugged, remote terrain. The craggy mountain range travels along the Mediterranean Sea, sparing only a few coastal valleys for agricultural use or settlement.

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Suq, Marrakech Photograph by Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images Textiles, animal hides, and edibles fill Marrakech's suq, the largest in Morocco. The market stalls are filled with wares from Berber, Tuareg, and Dogon communities; what has not been imported from the desert is handcrafted in the city.

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Photograph by Peter Phipp/Getty Images At the center of Marrakech’s old quarter is the city's main square, usually filled with peddlers and entertainers of all kinds. Ringing Jemaa el Fna are the suq, cafes, and hotels and gardens.

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Photograph by Sergio Amiti, My Shot Sundown at Menara Gardens provides a tranquil escape from sprawling Marrakech to the east. Designed in the 12th century as a summer escape from the city heat, the gardens' palms and olive trees rely on this artificial lake for irrigation.

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Photograph by Scott E. Barbour/Getty Images Twilight falls on the Place Mohammed V in the heart of Casablanca. The vast square is fronted by administrative buildings—including the Palais de Justice law courts building, at left, and the Ancienne Prefecture (Old Police Station) at right.

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Moroccan Bride - Photograph by Alexandra Boulat A young Berber bride is adorned for pre-wedding festivities in the High Atlas mountains. Numbering some 25 million in North Africa and concentrated today in Morocco and Algeria, the Berbers (or Amazigh, as some prefer to be called) are an ethnically distinct tribal people who inhabited this area thousands of years before the Arab conquest brought Islam here in the seventh century A.D.

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