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The Bad Boy of Morocco is Cleaning Up its Act

Crowing over the tip of Africa just 35 miles from Spain, Tangier has always had a reputation for being different. Between 1912 and 1956, it became a place where artists, misfits, libertarians and dissidents came to lead freewheeling lives, in a stopgap between the Moroccan French protectorate and the corseted powers of Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar. Even today, the population of Tangier is more diverse than anywhere else in Morocco, with 40 per cent being non-Muslim. The city’s geographical position, which once helped forge Tangier’s unique relationship with Europe, is now being used to turn Tangier into a key industrial zone for the Moroccan government and a commercial gateway to Africa.