Morocco (Arabic: المغرب [al-Maġrib - al-Maghrib], Berb. Murakuc, ⵎⵓⵔⴰⴾⵓⵛ), or officially the Kingdom of Morocco (Arabic: المملكة المغربية [al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah], Berb. Tageldit en Murakuⵎⵓⵔⴰⴾⵓⵛ, ⵝⴰⴳⴻⵍⴷⵉⵝ ⴻⵏ ), is a country in northwest Africa. It exits the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. It borders Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south. Morocco has placed Western Sahara under its control, most of which it has held since 1975.
The full Arabic name al-mamlakâ l-maġribīyâ (المملكة المغربية) can best be translated as "Kingdom of the West", although "West" in Arabic is الغرب al-Gharb. The name can also be translated as "kingdom of the evening". Medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes called Morocco al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá (المغرب الأقصى - meaning ‘farthest west’) to distinguish it from neighboring regions then called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ (المغرب الأوسط - meaning 'Middle West') and al-Maghrib al-Adná (المغرب الأدنى, meaning 'nearest west'). The word Morocco is derived from the name of the city of Marrakech, which was its capital under the Almoravid dynasty and the Almohad Caliphate. The origin of the name Marrakech is disputed, but it most likely comes from the Berber words amur (n) akush (ⴰⵎⵓⵔ ⵏ ⴰⴽⵓⵛ), which means "God's land". The modern Berber name for Marrakech is Mṛṛakc (in the Berber Latin alphabet). In Turkish, Morocco is known as Fas, a name derived from its ancient capital Fes. However, in other parts of the Islamic world, such as Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature before the mid-20th century, the name often used to denote Morocco was Marrakesh (مراكش), a name still used today for a nation in some languages, including Persian, Urdu and Punjabi. The English name Morocco represents the anglicization of the Spanish name of the country, Marruecos. That Spanish name was also the basis for the old Tuscan word for country, Morrocco, from which the modern Italian word for country, Morocco, was derived.
The countries with which Morocco borders are: Algeria, Mauritania and Spain (enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla). The area of the state is 446,550 km².
Geology and relief
The relatively wide lowlands along the Atlantic coast are framed from the north by the Reef Mountains, parallel to the Mediterranean coast, and from the east and south.