Maghreb countries: list and brief description. Origin of the term "Maghrib"

Maghreb countries: list and brief description. Origin of the term "Maghrib"
Maghreb countries: list and brief description. Origin of the term "Maghrib"

In what part of the planet is the Maghreb? What is this region and what states does it consist of? In our article, we will answer all these questions.

Maghrib countries and their characteristics

El-Maghrib - in Arabic it means "west" (literal translation: "where the sun sets"). Medieval sailors used this word to refer to the territories located to the west of Egypt. The term has survived to this day. In particular, this is how the Arabic name of the state of Morocco sounds.

Geographically, the Maghreb is the space between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts in the north and the Sahara Atlas mountain ranges in the west. The political meaning of this concept is broader. Thus, five independent states are traditionally considered to be Maghreb. In addition, the region also includes one partially recognized republic - Western Sahara.

Maghreb countries

In modern political geography, the Maghreb is a region in North Africa, consisting of six countries. This is:

  • Libya;
  • Tunisia;
  • Morocco;
  • Algeria;
  • Mauritania;
  • Western Sahara.

The climate in this region is extremelyaridity. Therefore, all the capitals and major cities here are located exclusively on the sea coast.

Arab Maghreb Union - what is it? Briefly about the organization

Five Maghreb countries in 1989 signed an agreement to establish an intergovernmental organization. True, the idea of ​​such an association first arose in the 1950s. The activities of the so-called Union of the Arab Maghreb (abbreviated as UMU) are declaratively aimed at creating a single political and economic bloc of states in North Africa. The headquarters of the organization is located in the city of Rabat.

Among the members of the Arab Maghreb Union are Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Mauritania. Each of these countries chairs the Council in turn. The organization has its own flag and emblem. The latter shows a schematic map of the region framed by an ear of wheat and reeds.

It should be noted that the work of the organization is significantly complicated by numerous political disagreements between the participating countries. In particular, between Libya and Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria. The issue of recognizing the sovereignty of Western Sahara remains unresolved.

Initially, the agreement on the establishment of the AMU also provided for the creation of a free trade zone in this region. But today the share of mutual trade between the member countries of this organization does not exceed 10%.


Libya is the easternmost country of the Maghreb. And the richest (in terms of GDP per capita). 90% of its area is occupied by deserts. The main economic trump cards of this state are gas and oil. Here, too, verythe manufacturing and military industries are developed.

Arab Maghreb Union

5 most interesting facts about Libya:

  • Libya has the longest coastline among the Maghreb countries - 1770 km.
  • From 1977 to 2011, the country had a unique flag, which is a solid green flag.
  • About 90% of the people of Libya live in just two cities - Tripoli and Benghazi.
  • On the territory of this country is the hottest place on the planet.
  • Water in Libya is more expensive than gasoline.

Among the main problems of modern Libya are the dominance of refugee migrants, a large contrast in population density, lack of water and food.


Among all Maghreb countries, Tunisia has the highest Human Development Index (HDI): 94th. It is the smallest country in the region in terms of area. Tunisia is a dynamically developing industrial and agricultural country. The main branches of its economy are agriculture, textile industry and tourism.

Algeria is a member of the Arab Maghreb Union

5 most interesting facts about Tunisia:

  • Tunisia is one of the top five countries in the world in terms of olive oil exports.
  • Doctor and teacher are the two most prestigious professions in this African state.
  • During the summer, the working day in Tunisia ends at 14:00 (this is due to the unbearable heat).
  • Tunisia is often referred to as the “country of flat roofs” because it is this roof structure that gets the least heat from the sun.
  • It is here that the ruins of one of the largest cities of antiquity - the famous Carthage are located.


"Pearl of the Maghreb" - this is how Morocco is often called. This country is located in the extreme west of the region and has a wide outlet to the Atlantic. It also controls part of the territory of a partially recognized country (Western Sahara). The basis of the state economy is the mining industry (phosphate mining) and agriculture. Tourism has been actively developing in recent years.

Libya Tunisia

5 most interesting facts about Morocco:

  • Moroccan Dirham is one of the world's most stable currencies.
  • Morocco is a deeply religious country; The Koran is studied here from the age of five.
  • Moroccan women are very afraid and do not like to be photographed.
  • This sultry tropical country has pretty good ski resorts.
  • Laziness and parasitism are the mental traits of Moroccans. Groups of men idly sitting on the street doing nothing is a common sight in this African country.


Algeria is the largest state not only in the Maghreb, but in all of Africa. At the same time, more than 80% of its territories are occupied by deserts. The bowels of Algeria are very rich in various minerals: oil, gas, phosphorites. The extraction of these mineral resources provides 95% of the country's export earnings.

5 most interesting facts about Algeria:

  • "The Maghreb is a bird and Algiers is its body" is a popular Arabic saying.
  • In the Middle Ages, this countrysupplied all of France with wax.
  • In Algeria, as in France, baguettes are very popular.
  • Algerian houses are rarely equipped with elevators (the reason for this is frequent and strong earthquakes).
  • Algerians are incredible football fans.
Morocco Mauritania


What do we know about Mauritania? It is a poor and underdeveloped Islamic republic located in the western part of the Maghreb. A third of its inhabitants are unemployed, about half of the population live below the poverty line. The basis of the Mauritanian economy is agriculture (cattle breeding, growing dates, rice and corn). Industry is limited to iron ore, copper and gold.

Maghreb countries

5 most interesting facts about Mauritania:

  • Every second inhabitant of the country is illiterate.
  • In Mauritania, only one river does not dry up in summer - this is Senegal.
  • The oldest mosque in Africa is located on the territory of this state.
  • Meat and beans are the basis of the Mauritanian national cuisine.
  • In Mauritania there is a unique geological formation - the "Eye of the Sahara", whose diameter reaches 50 km.

One of the main problems of modern Mauritania is slavery. Officially, slave owners are illegal here. However, in fact, the authorities completely turn a blind eye to this important problem. According to statistics, about 20% of Mauritanians are slaves.

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