A bit of History:
In the XIII century, the Moroccan king Moulay Ismail decided to built a “Kasbah” which is a sort of rampart that secures passengers from Anfa (today Casablanaca) to Marrakech in order to protect merchants from robbers and pirates that were active in that area. And establish security order in that very strategic zone. At that time there were many suburbs and country villages surrounding Settat, and it was very appropriate to start the urbanization process of the City. The initiative was taken by the king by assigning a Caid (a Moroccan rank in the authority that means the mayor), and charge him of the urbanization process and the economic development of the area, commonly known for its based agriculture economy.
Thanks to its prosperous farming land and strategic position between the north and south, Settat was considered in the XIII as an administrative center, this new position of the town developed a very large market of agricultural trade. And become a new direction for massive foreign entrepreneurs, like Moroccan Jews, who built their own neighborhood the Mellah at the edge of Kasbah.
Settat was perturbed by the anarchical era (Seba) in Morocco and later by the French colonization. Nevertheless, Settat considerably grown between 1913 and 1925, and keep a prosperous trade until the beginning of 50s when Casablanca grown massively and dominate the entire transport pathways and becomes the main capital of trade. And certainly the growth of the neighboring city which is only 60 km far away has undermined the economic interests of Settat.
Settat in 90s
No Moroccan could forget about the brilliant Settat city during 90s. When the native police commissioner from Settat, Driss Bassri became the minister of the interior, occupying the most sensitive and powerful rank in the Moroccan authority, and being the only reliable man for the King Hassan II. Basri was very keen to make of Settat the golden city. He built Hassan I university, the Royal golf, the hippodrome, and developed the Industry activities. The power owned by his hands combined with his love for his native city motivated him to attract many international companies like Roca, Christalstrass, Settavex, and others to Settat, and carry out a big business deal for a small town.
After the death of the king Hassan II in July 1999, a few months later Basri was relieved of his duties by the new king Mohammed VI. This bad cloud of news immediately damaged all development projects for the city and canceled hundreds of new deals that Basri was planning to handle for Settat. This bad event has driven Settat slowly to the ruin, and brings it years back into the dry grass of gardens and deserted industry zone. Some interpretations see that Settat was deliberately abandoned by the government as an act of revenge from the previous minister who was seen as responsible for many political violations during the reign of the dead king.
Since 2005, Settat has been able to breathe the air of its beauty again thanks to some subventions and the regionalization process that match its requirements.
Settat Today is a quite simple city; the main economic activities rely on basic individual shopping trade, agriculture and most of job opportunities are in public functions like education or administrative representatives.
Settat is the capital of Chaouia-Ouardigha zone according to the last national zoning featured by the Moroccan government, with almost 116 570 habitants (2006) and growing considerably.
Young people work in Casablanca as hot liners for call centers, and shuttling between Settat and Casablanca. Some of them are engineers, doctors and intellectuals. People from Settat are known for their hard work, cleverness and mostly for their hospitality in a way that since centuries this inherited quality didn’t miss the town.
Social conditions are being slightly improved due to the economic reforms initiated by the previous government of Driss Jatou and some important Royal initiatives.
People in Settat are very peaceful, warms and welcoming, in the heart of city as in the suburbs, there are no crimes or robberies. For that main reason Settat was a safe shelter for Jews and foreign people through centuries. However people from Settat are sometimes underestimated by some Moroccans for their countrymen background and origins or dialect accent, Settat shows the perfect example of the committed and modern citizens. And the prosperous international companies in Settat are to notice the organization ability and communication skills of his employees from the city.
Religion and beliefs:
Like other Moroccan cities, the official religion is Islam. Nevertheless there’s a Catholic Church and Christians graveyard, and a Temple for Jews community. People in Settat respect the other religions and beliefs and coexisted with Jews community for almost ten centuries, trading and living with each other in peace. And the big popular neighborhood in Settat is named “Mimouna” in a memorial for the annual festival celebrated by the Moroccan Jews “Mimouna”.
The main spoken language in Settat is the Moroccan dialect, and all the administration procedures are in formal Arabic or French. However, with the globalization approach and immigration to foreign countries, many languages are also spoken like English and Spanish.
Nachit Abdelmajid, 27 years I am a technical engineer. I’m a hobbyist writer. I have 3 degrees in technical engineering, I’m interesd in business, economic development and engineering.
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