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Casablanca is Morocco's most modern city, and various groups of people call it home: hardworking Berbers who came north from the Souss Valley to make their fortune; older folks raised on French customs during the protectorate; pious Muslims; wealthy business executives in the prestigious neighborhoods called California and Anfa; new and poor arrivals from the countryside, living in shantytowns; and thousands of others from all over the kingdom who have found jobs here. The city has its own stock exchange, and working hours tend to transcend the relaxed pace kept by the rest of Morocco.
True to its Spanish name—casa blanca, "white house," which, in turn, is Dar el-Beida in Arabic—Casablanca is a conglomeration of white buildings. The present city, known colloquially as Casa or El Beida, was only founded in 1912. It lacks the ancient monuments that resonate in Morocco's other major cities; however, there are still some landmarks, including the famous Hassan II Mosque.
Casablanca at a Glance
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