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Morocco is located on the westernmost tip of north Africa, bordering Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south and southeast, the Atlantic ocean to the west and the Mediterranean to the north. Running through the middle of the country is the Atlas mountain range, which leads to the fertile plains and sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast. The Middle Atlas range sweeps up from the south, rising to over 3000m (9850ft), covered with woodlands of pine, oak and cedar, open pastureland and small lakes. The Rif Mountains run along the north coast. The ports of Ceuta (Sebta) and Melilla on the north coast are administered by Spain.
Morocco is the fourth most populous Arab country, after Egypt, Sudan and Algeria. Most Moroccans are Sunni Muslims of Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber stock. The Arabs invaded Morocco in the 7th and 11th centuries and established their culture there. Morocco's Jewish minority has decreased significantly and numbers about 7,000 (See History of the Jews in Morocco). Most of the 100,000 foreign residents are French or Spanish; many are teachers or technicians and more and more retirees, especially in Marrakesh.