November 18th in Morocco is known as Eid Al Istiqulal (Independence Day), and honours the return of King Mohammed V to Morocco from exile in Madagascar. On this day the king proclaimed the freedom of Morocco from France and Spain who had colonised the country for 44 years
On November 18, 1956 Morocco gained its independence from France in what became known as the Revolution of the King and the People. France had claimed Morocco as a French protectorate since 1912.
In 1944, Moroccan nationalists formed an independence party seeking an end to colonialism, and became known as the Istiqlals. In response, the French government arrested all the leaders of the group. Following riots in Casablanca in 1952, Istiqlal was banned. King Mohammad V was exiled to Madagascar, and Ben Aarafa took over, but he was not well-liked by Moroccans.
|King Mohammad V returns to Morocco|
Nationalists and supporters of King Mohammad V, angered by the French decision, began revolting on the streets in the form of an armed movement. This forced the French government to bring back King Mohammad V. The return of the king culminated into Morocco’s independence.
On November 18, 1955, King Mohammad V returned to Morocco and negotiated for his country’s freedom through reforms that would transform it into a constitutional monarchy. In 1956, France officially relinquished its protectorate and Morocco gained its independence.
The View From Fez congratulates Morocco on Eid Al Istiqulal