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Hassan 2
Arabic: (FULL NAME:) mawlay hassan muhammadi bni yussuf
Arabic: (OFFICIAL TITLE:) hassan th-thānī

King Hassan 2 of Morocco
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King Hassan 2 of Morocco

(1929-1999) King of Morocco from 1961-1999, altogether 38 years.
Hassan was the oldest son of the former king, Muhammad 5, and father of the present king, Muhammad 6.
Hassan conducted politics with relative conservatism, but with emphasis on a market economy. His relations with neighbouring countries (Algeria and Mauritania) were at times tense, and inside Morocco strict efforts were sometimes used to uphold the king's position and the stability of the country.
His politics was one of the most Western-friendly in North Africa, and in many cases Hassan played an important role in international politics. He was also recognized for being one of the most important participants in the Middle East peace process that went on for more than 10 of the last years of his rule.

Heavy internal control
Much of Hassan's success on home ground, especially confronting the Islamists, rested in his family's claim to be sharifs; descendants of Muhammad, a claim that was widely accepted in Morocco as well as abroad. Also, Hassan was careful to care for Moroccan heritage and religion. The world's highest mosque, completed in 1993, was built by his initiative and is named after him.
On the political scene, an effective secret police and severe reaction to political opposition, provided political stability, or rather absence of political agitation. Anyone involved in politics in Morocco was forced, in on way or another, to swear loyalty to Hassan 2. Hassan 2 was at periods fiercly criticized by organizations in other countries for what was seen as human rights violations, political oppression and cruel punishment of prisoners.
At the same time, Hassan is widely respected for keeping together a country which always has been ruled by strong and freedom loving tribes throughout the country, but especially in the mountains.

Economic stagnation
Despite strong efforts by the king, Morocco experienced relatively little economic progress. But among the several elements making economic growth difficult these 2 were the most important: Significant increase in the population, and isolation from neighbouring countries. As for the isolation, Algeria always conducted politics quite different from Hassan's, Europe imposed strong limitations on economic relations with Morocco, and all the countries to the south are separated by the Sahara desert, and there still are no continuous roads or railways in this direction.
Morocco, at the time of Hassan's death, suffered from high unemployment, an educational system that did not meet the needs of the Moroccan society, an unresolved situation in Western Sahara, and strong tensions within the population.
On the brighter side, Morocco had during the last decades of Hassan's rule developed an excellent infrastructure, and in some sectors, Moroccan economy had seen very positive growth (as, for example, in information technology and tourism).
Hassan became fairly popular among his own population, even if many Moroccans felt that they gained little from his politics.

1929 July 9: Born in Rabat, as son of Muhammad 5.
1934: Starts at the Koranic school at the Royal Palace.
1936: Finishing his Koranic training, Hassan starts modern school.
1941: Secondary training is started at the Imperial College at the Royal College, where he was taught by the best Moroccan and foreign teachers.
1947 April: Hassan accompanies his father to Tangier, where king Muhammad 5 for the first time officially declares a goal of Moroccan independence.
1948: Hassan receives his Baccalaureate.
— Hassan starts studying at the Institute of Higher Juridical Studies in Rabat, an institute that is part of the College of Law of Bordeaux, France.
1951: Hassan receives his B.A. in law.
1953 August 20: Hassan is together with the rest of the royal family exiled to Corsica, France, as a reaction to the king's unwillingness to cooperate with the French colonial powers.
1954 January: The royal family is forced to leave for Madagascar.
1955 November: The royal family returns to Morocco, with the promise of Moroccan independence.
1956 May: Appointed commander of the Royal Armed Forces.
1957 July 9: Invested as crown prince, and becomes also commander-in-chief of the Moroccan army.
1960: Appointed minister of defence, and deputy premier.
— Hassan leads the negotiations with France, Spain and the USA which ensure the withdrawal of foreign troops from Morocco.
1961 February 26: Immediately following the death of Muhammad 5, Hassan becomes the new king of Morocco.
March 3: Hassan is officially crowned as new king.
1962: Introduction of a new constitution, which provides for a popularly elected legislature.
1965: Hassan starts to exercise authoritarian rule out of fear of the opposition.
1971: Survives an attempt on his life.
1972: Survives another attempt on his life.
1973: A third attempt on Hassan's life is avenged.
1975 November: Initiates the Green March, where 350,000 civilians marched into the former Spanish colony, later named Western Sahara, claiming that the territory is Moroccan. Morocco takes control over the northern two thirds of the territory.
1976: The part of Western Sahara occupied by Moroccco the preceding year, is officially annexed. This act is not accepted by any foreign state.
1979: After the Mauritanian withdrawal from the southern part of Western Sahara, Morocco annexes the rest, without taking control over the border town of La Gouera.
1991: Morocco is the only Maghreb country to send troops to the UN actions against Iraq in Kuwait.
1999 July 23: Hassan dies in Rabat from a heart attack at 16.30.
July 25: Hassan is buried in the mausoleum next to his father. The funeral is attended by the most prominent world leaders and members of royal families, in addition to enormous crowds of Moroccans.

By Tore Kjeilen