Friday, December 9, 2011

Mohammed VI of Morocco

Mohammed VI (Arabic: محمد السادس‎, born 21 August 1963) is the present King of Morocco and Amir al-Mu'minin (commander of the faithful). He ascended to the throne on 23 July 1999 upon the death of his father.

On the day of his birth, he was appointed Heir Apparent and Crown Prince. His father, King Hassan II, was keen on giving him a religious and political education from an early age. At the age of four, he started attending the Qur'anic school at the Royal Palace, and received a religious and traditional education.

After primary and secondary studies at Royal College[which?] and after he received his Baccalaureate in 1981, Mohammed obtained in 1985 a Bachelor's degree in law at the College of law of the Mohammed V University at Agdal in Rabat. His research paper dealt with "the Arab-African Union and the Strategy of the Kingdom of Morocco in matters of International Relations". He has also frequented the Imperial College and University of Rabat. In the same year of 1985 he was appointed President of the Pan Arab Games and commissioned Colonel Major of the Royal Moroccan Army on 26 November, and Coordinator of the Offices and Services of the Royal Armed Forces until 1994.

In 1987 he obtained his first Certificat d'Études Supérieures (CES) in Political Sciences and in July 1988 he obtained a Diplôme d'Études Approfondies DEA in Public Law.

In November 1988 he trained in Brussels with Jacques Delors, then President of the European Commission.

He obtained his doctorate in law (PhD) with distinction on 29 October 1993 from the French University of Nice Sophia Antipolis for his thesis on "EEC-Maghreb Relations".

Mohammed was promoted to the rank of Major General on 12 July 1994, the same year he became President of the High Council of Culture and Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Moroccan Army until 1999, the year he succeeded his father on 23 July, being enthroned at Rabat on 30 July.

He received an honorary degree (doctor honoris causa) from George Washington University on 22 June 2000 for his promotion of democracy in Morocco.

Until recently the king and his family held stock in the ONA Group, a holding company with a diverse portfolio (mining, food processing, retail and financial services, etc.), although a new constitutional implementation disallowed this. Mohammed is estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth $2 billion and the Moroccan Royal Family has one of the largest fortunes in the world. His palace's daily operating budget is reported by Forbes to be $960,000, owing much of it to the expense of clothes and car repair.

Mohammed, who was born in Rabat, has one brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, and three sisters, Princess Lalla Meryem, Princess Lalla Asma, and Princess Lalla Hasna.

On 21 March 2002 in Rabat, he married Salma Bennani (now H.R.H. Princess Lalla Salma) in Rabat, and she was granted the personal title of Princess with the style of Her Royal Highness on her marriage. They have two children, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan, who was born on 8 May 2003, and Princess Lalla Khadija, who was born on 28 February 2007.

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