Casablanca is Morocco's most modern city, and diverse 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; wealthy business executives in the prestigious neighborhoods of California and Anfa; new and poor arrivals from the countryside, living in conspicuous shantytowns; and thousands of others from all over the kingdom who have found jobs here. There is also a large community of expats—most of them French. 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 name—casa blanca in Spanish (white house), which, in turn, is Dar el-Beida in Arabic—the city is a conglomeration of white buildings. Present-day Casablanca, known colloquially as "Casa" or "El Beida," was only founded in 1912, so it lacks the abundance of ancient monuments that resonate in Morocco's other major urban centers; however, there are still some landmarks, including the famous Hassan II Mosque.