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Definition: Casablanca from Philip's Encyclopedia

(Dar el-Beida) City in W Morocco, on Africa's Atlantic coast. Resettled in 1515 by the Portuguese after their destruction of the old town. An earthquake damaged the city (1755). Today, Casablanca is Morocco's largest city and a busy commercial centre, exporting phosphates and importing petroleum. Industries: tourism, textiles. Pop. (2005) 3,743,000.


Summary Article: Casablanca from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Port, commercial, and industrial centre on the Atlantic coast of Morocco; population (2004) 2,933,700. Casablanca is one of the major ports of Africa, and the industrial and commercial centre of Morocco. Industries include textiles, leather, electronic goods, and processed food; it trades in fish, phosphates, and manganese. The Great Hassan II Mosque, completed in 1989, is the world's largest; it is built on a platform (40,000 sq m/430,000 sq ft) jutting out over the Atlantic, with walls 60 m/200 ft high, topped by a hydraulic sliding roof, and a minaret 175 m/574 ft high.

History In 1907 Casablanca, a small town trading in agricultural products, was bombarded and occupied by French troops. During World War II the city was the scene of the Casablanca Conference between Roosevelt and Churchill, accompanied by the combined chiefs of staff (13–23 January 1943). The population was greatly increased by the influx of war refugees from France, Tunisia, and Algeria, many of whom remained. By 1957 Casablanca had become an important military and air base in which the American Air Force was conspicuous.

Economy Casablanca handles about 80% of all Morocco's trade; one of the most important exports is phosphates, transported by rail from the Khouribga mining centre inland. It has cement, chemicals, textiles, engineering, and food processing industries. There are regular services to the Western European ports, and the city is served by two international airports; there are rail links to Algeria and Tunisia, and rail and road links to the interior.

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