Friday, December 2, 2011

MAD man.


Soon holding up our stash of 100 and 200 dirham banknotes.  What a handful!
The dirham is the currency of Morocco.  Its ISO 4217 code is "MAD" and the common abbreviation is "dh".

The dirham is subdivided into 100 santimat (singular: santim). The currently used Moroccan coins are:

5 santimat (rarely used)
10 santimat
20 santimat
50 santimat
1 dirham
2 dirhams
5 dirhams
10 dirhams


The Moroccan banknotes that are currently in circulation are: 20 dirhams, 50 dirhams, 100 dirhams, and 200 dirhams.

Last week, Soon and I went to our Credit Union and ordered dirhams for our trip.  Today, Soon picked up the money and what he had was a small pile of 100 and 200 dirham bills.  I had him hold the bills and fan them out just so we could marvel at the pile of money we had in our possession. We split the bounty in half and Soon gave me most of the 100 dirham notes.  I now have a small wad of money of my own :-)

"100 "Curious as I always am about banknotes, I checked out what I had.  All but one of my 100 dirham notes is from the 2002 Series.  The obverse face shows images of the three kings of the Alaouite Dynasty - Mohammed V, Hassan II and Mohammed VI.

The reverse side commemorates the Green March which was a  strategic mass demonstration that took place on November 6, 1975, coordinated by the Moroccan government, that liberated the Moroccan southern provinces from Spanish occupation.  

The Green March
During the march, 350,000 Moroccans converged on the city of Tarfaya in southern Morocco and waited for a signal from King Hassan II to cross into Western Sahara. They brandished flags and banners calling for the “return of the Moroccan Sahara.” The color green for the march’s name was intended as a symbol of Islam. The Green March is considered an important symbol of Moroccan nationalism and liberation from colonialism.

"200 " I only have a handful of the 200 dirham notes and all but one are also from the 2002 Series. On the obverse face are images of Mohammed VI and Hassan II, and the Grand Mosque of Casablanca .  On the reverse face are images of a window of the Hassan II Mosque and the el-Hank Lighthouse.  Both the mosque and lighthouse are located in Casablanca.

Somehow when I hold up a wad of banknotes, I feel rich....that is until I do the currency exchange. At today's exchange rate, 100 dirham is about $12.  I'm hoping that 100 dirham goes a long way in Morocco because $12 doesn't go that far these days in the US!