Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is understood as behavior that demeans, humiliates or embarrasses a person, it is characteristically identified by its unlikelihood in terms of social and moral reasonableness. In the legal sense, these are behaviors that appear to be upsetting or threatening, they evolve from discriminatory grounds, have an effect of nullifying or impairing a person from benefiting their rights. When these behaviors become repetitive they are defined as bullying. Sexual harassment refers to persistent and unwanted sexual advances after refusing in the workplace, where the consequences are very disadvantageous to the victim if there is a power imbalance between the perpetrator; the word is based in English since circa 1618 as a loan word from the French, in turn attested in 1572 meaning torment, bother, trouble and as of 1609 was referred to the condition of being exhausted, overtired. Of the French verb harasser itself there are the first records in a Latin to French translation of 1527 of Thucydides’ History of the war, between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians both in the countries of the Greeks and the Romans and the neighbouring places wherein the translator writes harasser meaning harceler.
A hypothesis about the origin of the verb harasser is harace/harache, used in the 14th century in expressions like courre à la harache and prendre aucun par la harache. The Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, a German etymological dictionary of the French language compares phonetically and syntactically both harace and harache to the interjection hare and haro by alleging a pejorative and augmentative form; the latter was an exclamation indicating distress and emergency but is reported in 1529 in the expression crier haro sur. hare's use is reported in 1204 as an order to finish public activities as fairs or markets and still as command but referred to dogs. This dictionary suggests a relation of haro/hare with the old lower franconian *hara. While the pejorative of an exclamation and in particular of such an exclamation is theoretically possible for the first word and maybe phonetically plausible for harache, a semantic and phonetic similarity of the verb harasser as used in the first popular attestation with the word haras should be kept in mind: Already in 1160 haras indicated a group of horses constrained together for the purpose of reproduction and in 1280 it indicated the enclosure facility itself, where those horses are constrained.
The origin itself of harass is thought to be the old Scandinavian hârr with the Romanic suffix –as, which meant grey or dimmish horsehair. Controversial is the etymological relation to the Arabic word for horse whose roman transliteration is faras. Although the French origin of the word'harassment' is beyond all question in the Oxford English Dictionary and those dictionaries basing on it, a supposed Old French verb harer should be the origin of the French verb harasser, despite the fact that this verb cannot be found in French etymologic dictionaries like that of the Centre national de resources textuelles et lexicales or the Trésor de la langue française informatisé. In those dictionaries the relationship with harassment were an interpretation of the interjection hare as to urge a dog to attack', despite the fact that it should indicate a shout to come and not to go; the American Heritage Dictionary prudently indicates this origin only as possible. Electronic harassment is the unproven belief of the use of electromagnetic waves to harass a victim.
Psychologists have identified evidence of auditory hallucinations, delusional disorders, or other mental disorders in online communities supporting those who claim to be targeted. Landlord harassment is the willing creation, by a landlord or his agents, of conditions that are uncomfortable for one or more tenants in order to induce willing abandonment of a rental contract; such a strategy is sought because it avoids costly legal expenses and potential problems with eviction. This kind of activity is common in regions where rent control laws exist, but which do not allow the direct extension of rent-controlled prices from one tenancy to the subsequent tenancy, thus allowing landlords to set higher prices. Landlord harassment carries specific legal penalties in some jurisdictions, but enforcement can be difficult or impossible in many circumstances. However, when a crime is committed in the process and motives similar to those described above are subsequently proven in court those motives may be considered an aggravating factor in many jurisdictions, thus subjecting the offender to a stiffer sentence.
Harassment directs multiple repeating obscenities and derogatory comments at specific individuals focusing, for example, on the targets' race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. This occurs in chat rooms, through newsgroups, and
Feminism is a range of political movements and social movements that share a common goal: to define and achieve the political, economic and social equality of the genders. This includes fighting gender stereotypes and seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men. Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women's rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, to have maternity leave. Feminists have worked to ensure access to legal abortions and social integration, to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence. Changes in dress and acceptable physical activity have been part of feminist movements; some scholars consider feminist campaigns to be a main force behind major historical societal changes for women's rights in the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving women's suffrage, gender neutrality in English, reproductive rights for women, the right to enter into contracts and own property.
Although feminist advocacy is, has been focused on women's rights, some feminists, including bell hooks, argue for the inclusion of men's liberation within its aims because they believe that men are harmed by traditional gender roles. Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience. Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the years and represent different viewpoints and aims; some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle class, college-educated perspectives. This criticism led to the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of feminism, including black feminism and intersectional feminism. Charles Fourier, a Utopian Socialist and French philosopher, is credited with having coined the word "féminisme" in 1837; the words "féminisme" and "féministe" first appeared in France and the Netherlands in 1872, Great Britain in the 1890s, the United States in 1910, the Oxford English Dictionary lists 1852 as the year of the first appearance of "feminist" and 1895 for "feminism".
Depending on the historical moment and country, feminists around the world have had different causes and goals. Most western feminist historians contend that all movements working to obtain women's rights should be considered feminist movements when they did not apply the term to themselves. Other historians assert that the term should be limited to the modern feminist movement and its descendants; those historians use the label "protofeminist" to describe earlier movements. The history of the modern western feminist movements is divided into three "waves"; each wave dealt with different aspects of the same feminist issues. The first wave comprised women's suffrage movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, promoting women's right to vote; the second wave was associated with the ideas and actions of the women's liberation movement beginning in the 1960s. The second wave campaigned for social equality for women; the third wave is a continuation of, a reaction to, the perceived failures of second-wave feminism, which began in the 1990s.
First-wave feminism was a period of activity during early twentieth century. In the UK and the US, it focused on the promotion of equal contract, marriage and property rights for women. By the end of the 19th century, a number of important steps had been made with the passing of legislation such as the UK Custody of Infants Act 1839 which introduced the Tender years doctrine for child custody arrangement and gave women the right of custody of their children for the first time. Other legislation such as the Married Women's Property Act 1870 in the UK and extended in the 1882 Act, these became models for similar legislation in other British territories. For example, Victoria passed legislation in 1884, New South Wales in 1889, the remaining Australian colonies passed similar legislation between 1890 and 1897. Therefore, with the turn of the 19th century activism had focused on gaining political power the right of women's suffrage, though some feminists were active in campaigning for women's sexual and economic rights as well.
Women's suffrage began in Britain's Australasian colonies at the close of the 19th century, with the self-governing colonies of New Zealand granting women the right to vote in 1893 and South Australia granting female suffrage in 1895. This was followed by Australia granting female suffrage in 1902. In Britain the Suffragettes and the Suffragists campaigned for the women's vote, in 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed granting the vote to women over the age of 30 who owned property. In 1928 this was extended to all women over 21. Emmeline Pankhurst was the most notable activist in England, with Time naming her one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century stating: "she shaped an idea of women for our time. In the U. S. notable leaders of this movement included Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, who each campaigned for the abolition of slavery prior to championing women's right to vote; these women were influenced by the
Morocco the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2. Its capital is the largest city Casablanca, it overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, spanning parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa; the Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in 1631. In 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier, it regained its independence in 1956, has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces. Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, the war lasted until a cease-fire in 1991. Morocco occupies two thirds of the territory, peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock; the unitary sovereign state of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors; the king can issue decrees called dahirs. He can dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the constitutional court.
Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and Berber. E; the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, French are widely spoken. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences. Morocco is a member of the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union, it has the fifth largest economy of Africa. The full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to "Kingdom of the West". For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ and al-Maghrib al-Adná; the basis of Morocco's English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty and Almohad Caliphate. The origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most from the Berber words amur akush or "Land of God"; the modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc. In Turkish, Morocco is known as a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes.
However, this was not the case in other parts of the Islamic world: until the middle of the 20th century, the common name of Morocco in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature was Marrakesh. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish "Marruecos", from which derives the Tuscan "Morrocco", the origin of the Italian "Marocco"; the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. A recent publication may demonstrate an earlier habitation period, as Homo sapiens fossils discovered in the late 2000s near the Atlantic coast in Jebel Irhoud were dated to 315,000 years before present. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape. Twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains.
The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco. Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered the Saami of Scandinavia; this supports theories that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age. Northwest Africa and Morocco were drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah and Mogador. Mogador was a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. Morocco became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of ancie
Culture of Morocco
The culture of Morocco reflects the Berber and Arab influences represented by its population. The majority of Morocco's population identifies as Arab. At least a third of the population speaks an Amazigh language. Following the Islamic conquests, Arab tribes came to Morocco and settled in the low regions, such as Tadla and Doukkala. For example, there are groups called Arbawa who settled in Morocco from Arabia; the Charkawa claimed to be descended from the second caliph of Islam. The history of Moroccan literature started in the early Middle Ages. In the era of the Berber dynasties, coinciding with the flowering of Al-Andalus, there were several important Moroccan writers in the fields of religion. Morocco is considered by some as an Arab-Amazigh country. Others insist on the Amazigh-African identity of Morocco. Classical Arabic and Tamazight are official language of Morocco. Classical Arabic rather than a mother tongue, is used in a limited and formal socio-economic and cultural range of activities, in competition with French.
The most common spoken languages of Morocco are Moroccan Arabic. Linguistically, Amazigh belongs to the Afro-Asiatic group, has many variants; the three main varieties used in Morocco are Central Atlas Tamazight and Riff. Collectively, they are known as Shelha in Moroccan Arabic, as Barbaria in the Classical Arabic used in the Middle East; the terms Barbar and Shelha are considered offensive by most Berber activists, who prefer the term Tamazigh. Shilha is spoken in southwest Morocco, in an area between Sidi Ifni in the south, Agadir in the north, Marrakesh and the Draa/Sous valleys in the east. Central Atlas Tamazight is spoken in the Middle Atlas, between Taza, Khemisset and Errachidia. Riff is spoken in the Rif area of northern Morocco in towns like Nador, Al Hoceima, Ajdir, Tétouan and Taza. Most Amazigh embraced Islam though their non-Arab ethnic and linguistic distinction has resisted the Arab-Islamic influence. Hundreds of Amazigh associations have been created to defend their culture and identity in the last few decades in Morocco and Algeria.
Newsstands and bookstores in all the major cities are filled with new Berber publications that provide articles and essays about the Amazigh culture and art. In 1994, the state-owned TV station RTM started broadcasting a daily, 10-minute-long news bulletin in the 3 Berber dialects. Berber activists are demanding a 50% share of broadcasting time in standardized Berber on all state-owned TV channels. There is a national Tamazight channel in Morocco, called Tamazight TV, it opened in 2010, broadcasts for over 13 hours a day, with an extended broadcast on weekends.. Morocco' official religion is Islam. Throughout the year, Moroccans life is rhythmed by many religious celebrations like Ramadan and Eid Al Adha. During these celebrations, most of them being public holidays, Moroccans focus on praying and spending time with their family. Other religious celebrations include the Friday weekly prayer where most Moroccans go to the mosque for the Friday mid-day prayer; the traditional dress for men and women is called djellaba.
The djellaba has a hood. The qob protects the wearer from the sun or in colder climates, like the mountains, the qob keeps in body heat and protects the face from falling snow. For special occasions, men wear a red cap called a bernousse, more referred to as a Fez. Women wear kaftans decorated with ornaments. Nearly all men, most women, wear balgha —- soft leather slippers with no heel dyed yellow. Women wear high-heeled sandals with silver or gold tinsel; the distinction between a djellaba and a kaftan is the hood on the djellaba, while a kaftan does not. Most women's djellabas are brightly colored and have ornate patterns, stitching, or beading, while men's djellabas are plainer and colored neutrally. 1944: Establishment of the "Moroccan Cinematographic Center". Studios were open in Rabat. 1958: Mohammed Ousfour creates the first Moroccan movie "Le fils maudit" 1982: The first national festival of cinema – Rabat. 1968: The first Mediterranean Film Festival was held in Tangier. The Mediterranean Film Festival in its new version is held in Tetouan.
2001: The first International Film Festival of Marrakech was held in Marrakech. Some directors have set films in Morocco. In 1952 Orson Welles chose Essaouira as the setting for several scenes in his adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello", which had won the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at that year's Cannes Film Festival. In 1955, Alfred Hitchcock directed The Man Who Knew Too Much and in 1962, David Lean shot the Tafas Massacre scene of Lawrence of Arabia in the city of "Ouarzazate", which houses Atlas Studios. Aït Benhaddou has been the setting of many films; the film Hideous Kinky was filmed in Marrakech. Morocco has many beautiful gardens, including the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech and the Andalusian Garden in the Kasbah of the Udayas in Rabat. Dar, the name given to one of the most common types of domestic structures in Morocco, is a home found in a medina, or walled urban area of a city. Most Moroccan homes traditionally adhere to the Dar al-Islam, a series of tenets on Islamic domestic life.
Dar exteriors are devoid of ornamentation and windows, except occasional small openings in secondary quarters, such as stairways and service areas. These piercings provide ventilation. Dars are composed of thick, high walls that protect inhabitants from thievery, and
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
As OCLC expanded services in the United States outside Ohio, it relied on establishing strategic partnerships with "networks", organizations that provided training and marketing services. By 2008, there were 15 independent United States regional service providers. OCLC networks played a key role in OCLC governance, with networks electing delegates to serve on the OCLC Members Council. During 2008, OCLC commissioned two studies to look at distribution channels. In early 2009, OCLC negotiated new contracts with the former networks and opened a centralized support center. OCLC provides bibliographic and full-text information to anyone. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat—the OCLC Online Union Catalog, the largest online public access catalog in the world. WorldCat has holding records from private libraries worldwide; the Open WorldCat program, launched in late 2003, exposed a subset of WorldCat records to Web users via popular Internet search and bookselling sites.
In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
It offers the bibliographic discovery system WorldCat Discovery, which allows for library patrons to use a single search interface to access an institution's catalog, database subscriptions and more. OCLC has been conducting research for the library community for more than 30 years. In accordance with its mission, OCLC makes its research outcomes known through various publications; these publications, including journal articles, reports and presentations, are available through the organization's website. OCLC Publications – Research articles from various journals including Code4Lib Journal, OCLC Research, Reference & User Services Quarterly, College & Research Libraries News, Art Libraries Journal, National Education Association Newsletter; the most recent publications are displayed first, all archived resources, starting in 1970, are available. Membership Reports – A number of significant reports on topics ranging from virtual reference in libraries to perceptions about library funding. Newsletters – Current and archived newsletters for the library and archive community.
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Casablanca, located in the central-western part of Morocco and bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest city in Morocco. It is the largest city in the Maghreb region, as well as one of the largest and most important cities in Africa, both economically and demographically. Casablanca is one of the largest financial centers on the continent. According to the 2014 population estimate, the city has a population of about 3.35 million in the urban area and over 6.8 million in the Casablanca-Settat region. Casablanca is considered the economic and business center of Morocco, although the national political capital is Rabat; the leading Moroccan companies and many international corporations doing business in the country have their headquarters and main industrial facilities in Casablanca. Recent industrial statistics show Casablanca retains its historical position as the main industrial zone of the country; the Port of Casablanca is one of the largest artificial ports in the world, the second largest port of North Africa, after Tanger-Med 40 km east of Tangier.
Casablanca hosts the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy. The original name of Casablanca was Anfa, in Berber language, by at least the seventh century BC. After the Portuguese took control of the city in the 15th century AD, they rebuilt it, changing the name to Casa Branca, it derives from the Portuguese word combination meaning "White House". The present name, the Spanish version, came when the Portuguese kingdom was integrated in personal union to the Spanish kingdom. During the French protectorate in Morocco, the name remained Casablanca. In 1755 an earthquake destroyed most of the town, it was rebuilt by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah who changed the name into the local Arabic, Ad-dar Al Baidaa', although Arabic has its own version of Casablanca. The city is still nicknamed Casa by many outsiders to the city. In many other cities with a different dialect, it is called Ad-dar Al-Bida, instead; the area, today Casablanca was founded and settled by Berbers by at least the seventh century BC.
It was used as a port by the Phoenicians and the Romans. In his book Description of Africa, Leo Africanus refers to ancient Casablanca as "Anfa", a great city founded in the Berber kingdom of Barghawata in 744 AD, he believed Anfa was the most "prosperous city on the Atlantic Coast because of its fertile land." Barghawata rose as an independent state around this time, continued until it was conquered by the Almoravids in 1068. Following the defeat of the Barghawata in the 12th century, Arab tribes of Hilal and Sulaym descent settled in the region, mixing with the local Berbers, which led to widespread Arabization. During the 14th century, under the Merinids, Anfa rose in importance as a port; the last of the Merinids were ousted by a popular revolt in 1465. In the early 15th century, the town became an independent state once again, emerged as a safe harbour for pirates and privateers, leading to it being targeted by the Portuguese, who bombarded the town which led to its destruction in 1468; the Portuguese used the ruins of Anfa to build a military fortress in 1515.
The town that grew up around it was called meaning "white house" in Portuguese. Between 1580 and 1640, the Crown of Portugal was integrated to the Crown of Spain, so Casablanca and all other areas occupied by the Portuguese were under Spanish control, though maintaining an autonomous Portuguese administration; as Portugal broke ties with Spain in 1640, Casablanca came under Portuguese control once again. The Europeans abandoned the area in 1755 following an earthquake which destroyed most of the town; the town was reconstructed by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah, the grandson of Moulay Ismail and an ally of George Washington, with the help of Spaniards from the nearby emporium. The town was called الدار البيضاء ad-Dār al-Bayḍāʼ, the Arabic translation of the Spanish Casa Blanca. In the 19th century, the area's population began to grow as it became a major supplier of wool to the booming textile industry in Britain and shipping traffic increased. By the 1860s, around 5,000 residents were there, the population grew to around 10,000 by the late 1880s.
Casablanca remained a modestly sized port, with a population reaching around 12,000 within a few years of the French conquest and arrival of French colonialists in the town, at first administrators within a sovereign sultanate, in 1906. By 1921, this rose to 110,000 through the development of shanty towns. In June 1907, the French attempted to build a light railway near the port and passing through a graveyard; as an act of resistance and protestation, the locals attacked the French, riots ensued, causing a few soldiers to be wounded and one general to be killed. In response, the French attacked by ship, bombarding the city from the coast, landing troops inside the town, which caused severe damage to the town and 15,000 dead and wounded bodies; the French claimed. This began the process of colonization, although French control of Casablanca was not formalised until 1910. Under the French rule, Muslim anti-Jewish riots occurred in 1908; the famous 1942 film Casablanca, although filmed in Los Angeles, is supposed to have been set in Casablanca.
The film underlined the city's colonial status at the time—depicting it as the scene of a power s
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.