Soufia

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Republic of Soufia
Jumhūrīyat al Tasswwufiyah
جمهورية فيةمملكة
Flag Coat of Arms
Motto: ولاء الله، الوطن،
Allāh, al-Waṭan, al-Wala
God, Homeland, Loyalty
Anthem: الله أكبر
Allahu Ackbar
God is Great
Location of Soufia in Alqosia
CapitalMédéa
Largest Saïda
Official languages Arabic
Recognised national languages Berber, French
Demonym Soufian
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
 •  President Mohammed El Fassi
 •  Prime Minister Ahmed Sellal
Legislature Parliament
 •  Upper house National Council
 •  Lower house People's Assembly
Formation
 •  Hussein Dynasty 1687 
 •  Protectorate established February 5, 1906 
 •  Protectorate abolished August 5, 1950 
 •  July Revolution July 20, 1956 
Area
 •  393,612 km2
151,974 sq mi
 •  Water (%) 0.9
Population
 •  2017 estimate 35,210,040
 •  2012 census 33,340,911
 •  Density 84.7/km2
219/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
 •  Total $329.1 billion
 •  Per capita $9,347
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
 •  Total $227.7 billion
 •  Per capita $6,467
Gini40.9
medium
HDI 0.717
high
Currency Soufian dinar (SFD)
Time zone MST (UTC +2)
 •  Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Drives on the right
Calling code +213
Internet TLD .so

Soufia (Arabic: الصوفيةمملكة al Tasswwufiyah, French: Soufie), officially the Republic of Soufia, is a country located in North Alqosia in southern Maredoratica. It is one of a few countries in Maredoratica to share three coastlines. Soufia shares two land borders; Aurmasia to the south and Galkayo to the east.

Soufia has a population of 33.3 million inhabitants and an area of over 393,000 square kilometers, making it one of the more densely populated countries in Alqosia. Médéa is the capital city of Soufia with Saïda the largest city. It is also the economic capital of Soufia and is home to many of the country's most important private corporations as well as the second largest stock exchange in Alqosia. Soufia also has a number of other important cities, such as the mountain resort of Ifrane and the seaside resorts of Mascara and Frenda.

Before the establishment of the modern state, Soufia was largely tribal with a few small kingdoms ruling over important trading posts and ports. Unification came shortly after Islam was introduced into Soufia during the 9th century AD, when King Suleiman I began to unite the northern coastal areas. The area became part of the Vahyani Mirasqate in the early 15th century before gaining independence. The country transitioned through a series of Berber kingdoms who expanded their rule beyond the coast and through the Nador Mountains, eventually managing to establish direct rule over parts of the Safra Desert. The establishment of the Alaoui Dynasty in the late 17th century marked the beginning of a massive transition period in Soufian history, where Soufia came into contact with Alisnans, with the establishment of the Hussein Dynasty marking the beginning of Soufia's colonial period. It came to an end in February 1906 with the establishment of a Morivaine protectorate. Independence was restored in August 1950, with the kingdom lasting for six years until the July Revolution in July 1956, which established an independent republic. Soufia became a peaceful and prosperous state until the Years of Lead in the late 1970's and early 1980's, followed by the Years of Blood during the 1990's when the National Islamic Front lead an Islamist insurgency against the government.

Since the end of the insurgency, Soufia has transitioned back into a state of relative peace and prosperity. It remains the largest economy in Alqosia and the second wealthiest in Alqosia, with strong, consistent economic growth brought about by substantial market liberalization. Soufia has also opened itself up to tourism in recent years, with people from all over Maredoratica beginning to explore Soufia's mixture of Arab, Berber and Morivaine cultures.

History

Prehistory

Islamic Era

By the late 7th century AD, the first Muslim traders from modern day Valipac and western Jungastia began trading with the native Arabs and Berbers loving along the norther coast of Soufia. Islam began to take hold in Soufia around 790 AD, with the first mosque constructed in 809 AD in Saïda.

The first of the northern kings to convert to Islam was Suleiman I, who had reigned over the Kingdom of Saïda since 771 AD. Suleiman I was the most powerful of the northern kings and began to unite the northern coast under his rule. He also saw himself as a divine ruler and proclaimed that he had been appointed by Allah to unite all the northern Arab and Berber tribes and kingdoms. In August 813 AD, Suleiman I began the first of a series of conquests by launching a campaign against the eastern tribes. His first conquests were successful, reaching the eastern coast of Soufia within the year. However, pacification of this region was not achieved for another six years until the final tribal rebellion was crushed at Regaïa in 819.

Vahyanid Mirasqate

Berber Dynasties

Alaoui Dynasty

Hussein Dynasty

Morivaine Protectorate

Main Article: Morivaine Protectorate in Soufia

As Morieux's economy and influence grew at the turn of the 20th century, so did its need for securing trade routes to existing and former colonies, especially in Wilassia. The important straits at the northern tip of Alqosia and the southwestern portion of Wilassia were busy and strategically important shipping lanes. The Hussein Dynasty had maintained good relations with Morieux and had established lucrative trade routes between Soufia and Morieux. However, their authority barely extended beyond the Nador Mountains in the north and smaller coastal ports in the southeast. The interior, in particular the Al Haouz Desert and the Kneitra Mountains in the southeast, were virtually lawless. Berber tribesmen launched raids against caravans and fortified towns in the southeast, as well as cross-border raids into the Borgosesian colony of Galkayo. In December 1905, a delegation from Borgosesia travelled to Médéa to discuss the issues surrounding the raids in the north of Galkayo. The Borgosesians gave King Ibrahim V conditions that if he didn't exercise control over the Berbers in the southeast, Borgosesia would invade and deal with the issue themselves. Imbrahim feared Borgosesia's colonial ambitions and in January 1906, traveled to Saint-Lô to meet with Morivaine First Citizen Henri Parseval-Deschenes about securing Soufia's territorial integrity without sacrificing its sovereignty. Parseval-Deschenes proposed that Morieux would provide Soufia with protection against Borgosesia in return for favorable trade conditions and the ability to station Morivaine military assets in Soufia itself. In turn, Soufia would retain the right to conduct foreign affairs as it saw fit, although Morieux would be able to requisition Soufian military personnel in times of war. Morivaine citizens would also be allowed to live in Soufia and purchase property without repercussions from the government, something which Ibrahim was reluctant to give.

However, realizing that Soufia was in no position to fight Borgosesia on its own, Ibrahim agreed to the conditions. He signed the Convention of Saint-Lô in February 1906, with the Protectorate of Soufia proclaimed on March 1. The proclamation was not well received by ordinary Soufians and resulted in six days of rioting in Médéa immediately following the proclamation. On March 10, 1906, Ibrahim V was forced to abdicate and was replaced with his successor, Abdelhafid. Abdelhafid was the younger brother of Ibrahim V and was second in line to the throne, as Ibrahim's only son, Hassan bin Said al Hussein, was too young to assume the throne. He was also a lot more popular with the people and maintained good relations with the new protectorate authorities.

Abdelhafid's rule was marked by a period of relative prosperity within Soufia. In 1907, with the assistance of Morivaine advisers, he launched the Kneitra Pacification which ended the lawlessness in the southeast and signed the 1907 Seso Proclamation which delineated the border between Soufia and Galkayo. He also allowed the Morivaine government in Saint-Lô to authorize economic reforms and infrastructure building programs. He also allowed mass immigration to Soufia from Morieux, which was highly unpopular in Soufia. Many of the immigrants brought vast tracts of productive farmland from poor farmers, which saw many of them coming into the cities looking for work or remaining on the farms as indentured servants. This prompted the Nador Rebellion which lasted between 1908 and 1912 and killed approximately 22,000 people. The rebellion the emergence of a new kind of nationalism that was not previously seen in Soufia prior to the establishment of the protectorate.

In December 1913, Abdelhafid was forced to abdicate and was replaced by his cousin, Abdullah. Abdullah was less friendly towards the Morivaine authorities and was one of a number of princes in the Soufian Royal Family that pushed for the abdication of Ibrahim V. Abdullah also disliked Abdelhafid, whom he regarded as a puppet of the protectorate. He was also a commander in the military during the Nador Rebellion and resented the killing of "thousands of kind men and women seeking justice". Even before his coronation, Abdullah established a more confrontational relationship with Morieux, announcing that he would reduce the numbers of colonists moving into the area. He also pressed for more Soufian representatives in the administration, something which the Morivaines initially resisted. With the outbreak of the Great Maredoratic War in 1914, the Morivaine government was forced to concede to Soufian demands in order to secure troops.

The Great Maredoratic War was unpopular in Soufia, with many thousands of soldiers being conscripted and sent overseas to fight as part of Morivaine's colonial forces. This wide resentment towards the war only served to increase nationalist sentiments in Soufia. In April 1914, the Istiqlal Party was founded by prominent educated Soufians which promoted independence and political representation for all Soufians. The party was lead by a Morivaine educated lawyer, Abderrahmane Bensaïd. Although considered moderate in his views, Bensaïd wanted to transform the way Soufia would be governed after independence. He wanted a representative parliament with democratic elections and universal suffrage for all males. However, he felt that the monarchy was an integral part of Soufian identity and the Soufian nation, something which separated him from his more republican counterparts. Bensaïd approached King Abdullah in late September 1914 to agree for changes and set a date for the end of the protectorate. Abdullah sympathized with Bensaïd's views and agreed that they would engage in dialogue as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Bensaïd became the new ambassador to Styria in December 1914, where he would receive intelligence updates from the king's aides and pass on the information to the Styrian authorities.

Independence

King Abdullah died on January 15, 1943 after a prolonged battle with a combination of pneumonia and lung cancer. His son, 20 year old Faisal I, assumed the throne on January 20, 1943 after five days of mourning. Fasial was much the same as his father was and was largely content with pursuing the same goals of the removal of protectorate status and the restoration of independence for Soufia. He continued the clandestine support of Berber nationalists within Morieux during the First Intifada and stepped up monetary contributions as well as the smuggling of arms. The continuation of the logic that weakening Morieux by the support of nationalist or ethnic conflict would secure independence. Soufian support for the Mouvement nationaliste berbères or MNB was kept top secret and shipments of firearms and ammunition from official weapons depots, as well as the provision of funds for the MNB to acquire weapons themselves was often assisted by prominent Soufian officials and received royal support also. Although Morivaine customs officials in Soufia intercepted several shipments of firearms hidden among cargo on various freighters, any investigations into where the arms were coming from was thwarted by the government.

Support for the MNB was not only beneficial to Soufia but also beneficial for the Berbers living in Morieux, many of whom found themselves identifying with both independence for Soufia and greater rights for themselves in Morieux. Soufians also found themselves with a "fraternal instinct" to help fellow Berbers in need. Many Berber nationalists in Morieux would end up moving to Soufia and establishing nationalistic political movements there. This influx of nationalists after 1945 proved beneficial for Soufia and King Faisal I, who opened up the first series of negotiations between Morieux and Soufia in September 1945 to discuss the ending of the protectorate. However, negotiations broke down after only a few days as neither side could agree on port access or the hand over of Moriviane naval facilities.

Negotiations began again in April 1946 but again, the naval issue was not resolved. Negotiations would not be engaged again until November 1949, when nationalist groups threatened to start a war if the king did not put pressure on the Morivaines to negotiate. Fearing a war, Faisal traveled to Saint-Lô in November 1949 to begin the third and final series of negotiations.

The resulting Saint-Lô Accords would see the withdrawl of all Morivaine military personnel and equipment save for a small cadre of officers to train Soufian military personnel in the country's military academies. The Morivaines would also leave a small number of outdated light tanks, armored cars and light aircraft which would form the nucleus of Soufia's new army and air force. In return, Soufia would still allow unlimited access for Morivaine naval vessels transiting the Straits of Bonaventure as well as allow the Morivaines to train their army in the Al Haouz Desert. The terms of the agreement also set a date for when the Morivaines would withdraw the majority of their troops as well as the official handing over of power.

King Faisal I presided over the independence celebrations on August 5, 1950 when the last governor of the protectorate, Émile Descartes, signed the Ordinance for the Transition of Sovereignty, formally handing over power to the Soufian crown. The King assumed control over the state until parliamentary elections were organized. By royal decree, Faisal introduced universal suffrage to Soufia to allow both women and poor peasant farmers to vote in elections.

July Revolution

Modern Era

Geography

Scenery in the Nador Mountains.

Soufia is located in North Alqosia and has the northernmost point on land in the entire continent. It is bordered by x to the south and Galkayo to the east. Soufia shares a land border to the northwest with the island nation of Mareon. It is bordered on three sides by the Maredoratic Sea, although the west is bordered by the Alqosian Gulf.

Soufia can generally be divided between two principal areas: the coast and the interior. The coast, particularly in the north, the northwest and the northeast, is where the majority of Soufia's population resides. It is also the area that has the most arable land and the most rainfall, as the Nador Mountains to the south catch rain-bearing weather systems coming ashore from the Maredoratic Sea. The northern coastal plains are the most expansive and the most fertile, with rich soils irrigated from springs or seasonal rainfall and snow melt from the mountains. Most of the coast is reasonably flat with rolling countryside, although the foothills from the northwestern Hejaz Range are closer to the coast. The coastal plains support a wide variety of crops, although mostly cereals are grown. However, various vegetables such as olives and tomatoes are grown, in addition to fruit, particularly citrus fruit.

The Nador Mountains form an important geographical as well as climate barrier between the north and the south. The mountains can be split into three ranges: the Hejaz Range in the west and northwest, the Khenifra Range in the south and the Arif Range in the north. Along the entire length of the mountains lies the Aurès Basin, a high mountain plateau within which can be found a number of towns and cities. The basin is fed through seasonal melt during spring and what little rainfall that occurs during other periods. It is reasonably fertile, despite the sem-arid nature of the climate. Most of the Nador Mountains lies at over 2,000 metres (6,561 feet). Jebel Alaoui is the highest point within the mountains, at 4,167 metres (13,761 feet).

The Safra Desert takes up a majority of Soufia's territory and is mostly flat, rocky desert interspersed with oases or vast areas of sand dunes, with the desert extending south into x and southeast into Galkayo. Despite the relative absence of any defining geographical features, the desert contains a number of important areas for natural resource extraction and is home to a number of mines and oil wells.

Climate

Snow in the city of Bougara.

Soufia experiences three primary climates: the South Maredoratic climate in the northern, northwestern and northeastern coastal areas, the alpine climate in the Nador Mountains and the hot desert climate in the Safra Desert.

Coastal areas in the north generally have a South Maredoratic climate generally characterized by warm to hot summers and mild winters. The overall climate varies, with central and northwestern areas receiving abundant rainfall. Coastal areas to the immediate east of the Hejaz Range generally do not receive as much rainfall as those on the west and therefore the climate begins to border on semi-arid. Much of the rainfall falls between October to April in most areas, with the heaviest falls occurring in November and December. Temperatures during winter can remain cool to warm, with single figure lows and high temperatures usually between 16-20°C. Frosts and snowfall can affect coastal cities which lie at higher altitudes or more sheltered interior areas. In summer, ghibli winds from the Safra Desert can increase temperatures substantially, reaching in excess of 45°C.

The Nador Mountains has an alpine climate which is split further between the northern and southern ranges. The northern ranges experience a climate similar to an oceanic climate, which is marked by a general increase in humidity and much more frequent, although erratic, rainfall. Temperatures are cooler that coastal areas and can drop below freezing during winter. Rainfall is usually marked by short but intense thunderstorms during autumn. Snow falls frequently between November and April but can fall at higher elevations until September. Southern parts of the range, particularly those lying on the southern side of the Khenifra Range, are subject to a semi-arid climate marked by greater variation in temperatures and significantly less rainfall. The Aurès Basin is subjected to a somewhat semi-arid climate, due to the sheltered nature of the basin between the two principal ranges of the Nador Mountains.

The Safra Desert has a hot desert climate, with very little rainfall and extremely hot temperatures. Southeastern parts of the coast and the desert interior are subject to a monsoon between July and August. Most of the time, very little rainfall occurs and temperatures remain hot, although seasonal variations see increases in temperatures that can exceed 50°C. Low temperatures can remain cool, dipping into single figures or below freezing in some higher altitude areas.

Soufia's highest recorded temperature is 51.3°C, observed on July 18, 2011 in the town of Kassim in the Safra Desert. The lowest recorded temperature is -23.9°C, observed on November 2, 1935 in the city of Ifran.

Biodiversity

Politics

Soufia is a unitary semi-presidential republic, officially established with the ratification of the Constitution of Soufia in 1956. The constitution outlines a separation of powers between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. In practice, there is virtually no separation of powers within the government, with the President and the military having most of the power and influence over government affairs as well as domestic and foreign policies.

This influence is reflected in the powers of the State Council, a separate political body which is composed of un-elected civilian and military officials. Although the State Council was the term for the transitional government between the overthrow of the monarchy and the foundation of the republic, it has since become an independent and extremely powerful political body that does not answer to any of courts in the judicial system or the President. It is composed of 40 unelected civil and military officials. It's main powers include the vetting of potential presidential candidates as well as those for other political and military offices, approving which political parties may stand for election as well as approval of manifestos from existing political parties. It also declares whether or not legislative or presidential elections are valid.

The founding ideology of the modern Soufian republic is Tanwirism, taken from the Arabic al-tanwir which means "enlightenment". It is an Arab nationalist ideology which seeks a revival of Arab culture and values as well as an enlightenment of Arab society. Some of the economic policies originally implemented during the first three decades of the republic could be described as socialist, although these have largely been abandoned in favour of more liberal economic reform. The core of Tanwirism is Arab socialism, which has a number of tenets that are similar to mainstream socialism, but also puts Arab societal values above those of socialism's. It also seeks to have Islam as an influential role in society as a method of enlightenment and guidance, but also maintains a secularist view with regards to Islam and the government and rejects Islamic fundamentalism.

Parliament

The Parliament of Soufia building in Médéa.

The Parliament of Soufia is a bicameral legislature with two houses: the People's Assembly and the National Council. It is the successor to the unicameral Majlis which was first established in 1893. Following the July Revolution, the Parliament was also unicameral until the establishment of a separate upper house in 1960.

The People's Assembly is the primary legislative body of Parliament. Proposed legislation is created, debated and voted upon within the People's Assembly, with all legislation passing a mandatory minimum of two votes within the house before it is passed to the National Council for further debate and voting. The People's Assembly is also involved in votes of national importance, including to impose martial law, conscription, to declare war on a sovereign state and to approve the annual budget. It is composed of 412 deputies elected to a five year term.

The National Council is the upper house of Parliament. It is less involved in the legislative process, as its primary function is the further deliberation of legislation which has been passed by the People's Assembly. The National Council is composed of 150 elected councilors who are elected to six year terms.

President

The President of Soufia is the executive branch of the government of Soufia, as well as its head of state. The President is also the commander in chief of the armed forces. The President has the power to appoint the Prime Minister as well as appoint senior judges to both the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court and the executives of Soufia's state-owned companies and enterprises. Powers to dismiss the Prime Minister, the Cabinet of Ministers and to dissolve both houses of Parliament are also vested in the President.

As the executive, all passed legislation must be signed into law by the President, who has the power of veto. The President also retains some of the powers the King once had, including acting as a court of last resort as well as the ability to issue legally binding decrees, or dahirs. These decrees have the same legal status as statutory laws and in cases where the decree clashes with established law, the decree has legal precedence. Votes of national importance passed by Parliament are also approved by the President.

The President is elected to a renewable term of six years. Previously, the President was limited to two fixed terms of five years. However, this was reformed in a series of constitutional amendments between 2005 and 2007.

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of Soufia is the head of government. As head of government, the Prime Minister is also the head of the Cabinet of Ministers and directs domestic policy. The Prime Minister has the power to create, abolish or merge government ministries, public institutions and administrative departments, issue government decrees, create and direct government domestic policy and limited aspects of foreign policy and sign regulatory orders issued by government ministries and departments.

Prime Ministers are not directly elected to their position. The President officially appoints the leader of the party who wins the most seats within the People's Assembly during legislative elections. There are no official term limits both in terms of how long a Prime Minister may serve and how many non-consecutive terms they may serve. The Prime Minister must maintain the confidence of both Parliament and the President in order to remain in office. In addition, the Prime Minister must win the approval of the government's policy plan through a vote in Parliament in order to be able to be sworn into office. Failing a confidence vote or a vote to approve the government's proposed policy plan leads to the dissolution of both houses of Parliament, as well as the dismissal of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers.

Judiciary

Soufia has an independent judiciary composed of four courts. These are criminal, civil, constitutional and appellate. Both criminal and civil courts are usually combined in what are known as "provincial courts", with said courts also holding a single appellate court. Civil and criminal courts are held at provincial and municipal levels, with provincial courts handling all major criminal trials and civil cases not able to be held at municipal courts. Municipal courts handle cases of minor crimes such as traffic violations as well as cases where juries are not present. The courts also handle smaller civil cases.

Soufia's appellate courts are based at a provincial level as well as at a national level. Each provincial court has one appellate court in addition to criminal and civil courts, with unresolved cases referred to the Supreme Court of Soufia.

The Constitutional Court of Soufia provides legal oversight of Soufia's laws and legislature and reviews proposed laws and existing laws as well as offering advice for amendments to existing laws and the constitution itself. The Constitutional Court also provides advice to the President before he issues dahirs, legally binding decrees. It can also be called upon to review the legality of actions and policies of the government.

Law in Soufia is a combination of civil law and Sharia law. Soufia maintains a civil code in which all laws passed by the government are contained. It also uses legal jurisprudence for criminal trials and conducts them in accordance with various laws and procedures outlined in the Civil Code. Sharia is used for personal disputes or other court matters not involving criminal acts. These include divorces, legal disputes, and other social matters requiring legal arbitration.

Soufia retains the death penalty. Currently this can be applied as a criminal sentence for terrorism, murder, treason, espionage, and attempting to change the regime. It was abolished for all other crimes by dahir in September 1956. The current method for execution is firing squad.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement in Soufia is composed of three primary agencies: the National Police, the National Gendarmerie and the National Auxiliary Corps.

The National Police is the main law enforcement agency in Soufia. It is composed of 46,530 personnel who maintain public security and enforce Soufian law. The force falls under the administration of the Ministry of the Interior. The National Police is composed of eight different bureaus tasked with different areas of law enforcement and is structured similarly to police in Morieux, with a separation of judicial police and other officers working for other bureaus. It is also tasked with border security and cooperates with other agencies and the military to interdict illegal trafficking as well as apprehend and deport undocumented migrants.

The National Gendarmerie is the primary security force within Soufia. It's primary function is public security with the force taking an active role in maintaining a security presence in important public places as well as protection of government buildings and important civil installations. In addition, the Gendarmerie National has law enforcement duties in rural areas as well as smaller towns and villages and provides public security to these areas too. One of the larger branches in the military, the Gendarmerie Nationale has approximately 130,000 personnel as of 2016.

The National Auxiliary Corps is another branch of the military tasked with public security and occasionally engages in law enforcement duties. It has a role of providing assistance to the National Gendarmerie and Police when requested as well as providing security for the military. The National Auxiliary Corps is under the administration of the Ministry of National Defence but command can be assumed by the Ministry of the Interior. It has been used in the past to respond to natural disasters as well as engage in counter terrorism and counterinsurgency operations.

Foreign Relations

Soufia maintains a non-aligned foreign policy that centers around a pledge to protect the independence of all Alqosian nations and to fight neo-imperialism. Since the late 1950's, Soufia's foreign policy has been influenced by Tanwirism and as a result, the government has been publicly supporting global socialist movements, in addition to supporting Alqosian independence movements throughout the latter half of the 20th century.

Currently Soufia maintains bilateral relations with every country in Alqosia and has especially good relations with Hervenbosch and Maachwabia, both of which are where Soufia has significant business investments and trade. Soufia also has improved relations with Galkayo, despite decades of tensions over disagreements regarding the border between the two nations, which caused two wars. Today Soufia and Galkayo cooperate closely on economic and social affairs and are working to improve transport links between them.

Soufia maintains bilateral relations with five Alisnan nations: Jumeiges, Morieux, Questers, Van Luxemburg and Styria. As fellow socialist nations, Soufia engaged in bilateral diplomatic relations with Jumeiges, Questers and Styria after each of their countries respective socialist revolutions and was one of the first countries to recognise their new regimes. Soufia has also had a longer history of covert cooperation with Styria, dating back to the early days after the July Revolution. As a former protectorate, Soufia has maintained close relations with Morieux, despite differences in views on a number of regional and wider policies. Morieux is Soufia's largest export market and the primary source for tourists.

Soufia maintains few diplomatic relations with other nations elsewhere. The most notable diplomatic relationship is with that of Prekonate, with whom Soufia has substantial economic and military ties to. Prekonate is a significant importer of Soufian goods, with Soufia being a significant customer for the Prekovi arms industry. Both countries share a history of non-aligned foreign policies. In recent years, significant economic investments from Guurdalai have also seen an increase in relations between Soufia and Guurdalai.

Soufia is currently a non-member of the Maredoratic League and maintains a policy of non-involvement with any of the Maredoratic League's diplomatic initiatives. Since the July Revolution, the Soufian government has only ever signed and ratified two supranational treaties: the Treaty Against Proliferation of Nuclear Armaments and the Nioro Accord.

Military

The Armed Forces of Soufia are the military forces of the Republic of Soufia. They consist of the Soufian National Army, the Soufian Air Force, the Soufian Navy and the National Gendarmerie. In addition, the military also has a National Auxiliary Corps which is a legal paramilitary attached to the armed forces but under the command of the Ministry of the Interior. The National Gendarmerie is also under the command of the Ministry of the Interior. Approximately 1,095,000 personnel serve within the armed forces. This includes active, reserve and paramilitary personnel.

Soufia currently has compulsory military service in place and has done since 1958. The current length of military service is 12 months on active duty and three years in the reserves. In addition, conscripts remain on call for service until age 45.

Military service was compulsory for all men until 1995 when a selective service system was introduced. The selective service system in theory allows any conscript to chose to perform their service in a paramilitary or civilian service. In practice, this is largely reserved for educated individuals who are going into tertiary studies. According to a study in 2008, less than half of those in mandatory military service had a high school or equivalent education and a quarter were illiterate. This has created problems for the armed forces in recent years in having to give basic education to some of its recruits. In addition, the armed forces has issues with military bureaucracy, supply and maintenance problems, institutional corruption and abuses by soldiers against civilians. Periodical radicalization of its soldiers has recently become a significant problem.

In 2005, women were given mandatory national service and could serve in the National Civil Defence Corps as well as serve in the armed forces and paramilitary forces.

Administrative divisions

Soufia has three levels of subnational government: Wilayah (provinces), Qadaa (districts) and Amanah (municipalities). Each of these administrative divisions has a set amount of powers specific to them, although the country is not as devolved as a federation.

Wilayah (Arabic: ولاية), or provinces, are the top administrative divisions in Soufia. There are 15 provinces. Each province is headed by Governor, who is elected to a renewable term of six years. Provinces also have an elected legislature called a Provincial Council (مجلس المحافظة). The main function of the Provincial Council is the implementation of national government policy at a local level and the allocation and approval of central government funding to projects within the province. Provincial Councils may also pass laws that apply only to the province itself. These laws may not undermine or circumvent laws passed by the Parliament or decrees issued by the King.

Qadaa (Arabic: قضاء), or districts, are the second level of local government in Soufia. There are 237 districts in Soufia, or roughly 15 districts per province. These districts are overseen by a district council which acts as an administrative body governing all of the municipalities located within the district. The district does not have the same powers as a province, but administers and provides services and utilities such as water, sewage and public transport to residents in the district. The council is composed of the elected mayors of each city, town and village in the district, who appoint a prefect in order to manage the district's day to day affairs. Districts are classified as either urban or rural. Urban districts are composed of the urban or metropolitan area of a city over 100,000 inhabitants, with rural districts having an administrative capital.

Amanah (Arabic: أمانة), or municipalities, are the third level of local government. There are 891 municipalities in Soufia. Each municipality is governed by the mayor and a town or city council. Smaller villages may hold open air meetings with villagers to determine important decisions for the village. The Mayor is elected to a fixed term of four years and administers the city, town or village directly, setting property taxes as well as representing the municipality at district council meetings. Municipalities may enact their own by-laws, but these cannot undermine provincial or national laws and decrees issued by the king. Municipalities are often centered around a single city, town or village. There are no municipalities in large cities. Instead, cities are divided into neighborhoods.

Economy

With a GDP of $302.4 billion, Soufia is the second largest economy in Alqosia after Traxa. Soufia is officially a developing nation with an upper middle income economy. Since independence, its economy has seen a large transformation from a principally agrarian economy in the early 20th century to a developing economy dependent largely on natural resources. In recent years, the government has transitioned away from oil and other natural resources towards industry, especially manufacturing. Between 2000 and 2013, the manufacturing industry grew 82.3% on the back of exports to other Alqosian states. The largest sectors of the economy are mining, petrochemicals, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture.

Soufia maintains a mixed-market economy where the state maintains a large number of companies under full or partial ownership, primarily in the transport and public works sectors. The country is ranked fifth in Alqosia in terms of ease of doing business, with joint ventures and employment of Soufians mandatory by foreign companies investing or establishing themselves in Soufia.

Tourism

Tourism in Soufia is the third biggest sector of the economy, contributing $45.3 billion, or 15%, to the national GDP. Tourism employs a similar percentage of the workforce.

The tourism sector has benefited from stable growth since it began development in the late 1960's. In 2014, 3.2 million tourists visited Soufia. Most tourists travel to the main cities of Médéa and Saïda, where famous monuments such as the Mausoleum of King Faisal II and the Grand Mosque of Médéa can be found. The large souks of Médéa and Saïda are also major draws for tourists visiting Soufia.

Since the 1980's, there has also been growth in beach resorts along the coast of Soufia, as well as adventure tourism in the interior. One of the most popular resorts in Soufia is the city of Béja, on the northeast coast. Cities like Béja are popular for their climate and safety.

Agriculture

Agriculture in Soufia is the smallest contributor to the economy, contributing 9% ($27.5 billion) of the national GDP. It also employs 22% of the workforce, owing to older, more antiquated methods of harvesting crops and other agricultural products present in many areas of the country.

Most of what Soufia produces agriculturally is made for domestic consumption and many poorer areas of the country are dependent on subsistence agriculture for survival. However, Soufia is one of the leading suppliers in crops such as olives as well as a leading producer of grain and cereals in Alqosia. Soufia also exports a small amount of beef and lamb to other northern Alsqosian states, mostly to Galkayo.

Agricultural practices in Soufia have largely remained unchanged in most areas for centuries, especially remoter communities where even basic modern amenities are few or non-existent. Although modern agricultural practices in Soufia do exist, there is often conflict between farmers and the government over agricultural development and a large resentment towards new or foreign practices.

Energy and Mining

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A phosphate mine in southwestern Soufia.

The energy and mining sectors are the largest sectors of the economy in Soufia, collectively contributing 40% to the national GDP. Among the biggest exports are iron and zinc, as well as petrochemicals and fertilizers.

Minerals have been mined in Soufia for centuries although it is within the last two centuries that mineral extraction has taken a leading role in the economic development of Soufia. Currently, Soufia produces and exports significant amounts of iron, lead, zinc, phosphates, copper, calamine, antimony and mercury. It also extracts and produces smaller amounts of lignite, gold, gypsum, salt and silver. Soufia exports significant amounts of iron, lead and zinc to industrial nations in Septimania, mostly to Morieux where it is processed.

Petrochemicals is one of the more significant industries in the energy sector, with Soufia holding some of the largest proven oil reserves in Alqosia. Oil was discovered in the late 1950's with the first barrels of oil being extracted in 1961. Soufia has been slow in developing the oil industry, primarily because of substantial competition from other significant fossil fuel exporters like Prekonate. Most of Soufia's oil exports are to states in Alqosia, Septimania and southern Wilassia, especially Rochehaut.

Electricity in Soufia is primarily generated through thermal fuel sources, primarily gas and coal. Soufia currently has 10 gas and two coal fuel power stations currently in operation, all operated by state owned power company SNES. Coal used to be the principal source of electricity in Soufia, but decreases in production and the availability of cheap gas saw a transition to gas power stations in the 1970's and 1980's. Since 2005, the government has been looking at alternative means of electricity generation, primarily solar energy. In 2011, the El Hassi Combined Cycle Power Station was inaugurated. The following year, the government announced plans to shutdown the remaining coal fired power plants and have renewable energy sources generate 30% of electricity by 2025.

Manufacturing

Line workers assemble an engine in a Kader factory.

Soufia has one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Alqosia, with manufacturing in Soufia responsible for 34% of the total GDP. Most of the manufacturing sector is devoted to heavy industry, although Soufia possesses a fast growing consumer goods and high tech manufacturing industry.

Automotive manufacturing is the largest manufacturing industry in Soufia. Soufia produced 167,000 vehicles in 2013, an increase of 2.5%. Of these, 118,000 units were cars and 49,000 units were trucks and buses. An additional 32,000 vehicles were produced in the same period. These included motorcycles and construction equipment. The largest manufacturer of vehicles in Soufia is Kader Automotive which manufactures passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

Information technology is one of the country's fastest growing sectors, including the manufacturing of electronic devices. The Khalid Group is the largest manufacturer of electronic devices and white goods in Soufia. It's main electronics division is Antar Electronics which manufactures and sells mobile phones, computer monitors and television screens throughout Soufia as well as Alqosia and Septimania. Among the products sold include the A3 and A4 series of smartphones, which have sold over 2.5 million units domestically and across Alqosia. Azure is the main white goods brand, selling its products exclusively in Alqosia.

Other manufacturing companies in Soufia include Hussein Technologies, which manufactures smart card and smart card systems as well as medical equipment, Novotek, which specializes in semiconductors and Saïda Heavy Industries which manufactures heavy duty construction equipment, diesel powered generators and diesel engines.

Transport

Road

There are 71,656 kilometers of roads in Soufia. Of this, 32,344 kilometers of the road network is unpaved. An additional 39,312 kilometers of roads are paved, 1,640 kilometers of which are motorways.

The road network in Soufia can be divided between four categories: motorways, national roads, provincial roads and municipal roads. The majority of the national road network consists of single carriageways, although a number of dual carriageways exist in sections of roads with high traffic numbers. Most large towns and cities that are not connected by motorways are connected by national roads. The quality of roads drops the less significant they become, with a large number of municipal roads either badly maintained or unpaved. Most of these unpaved municipal roads are in the underdeveloped interior, especially in the sparsely populated Al Haouz Desert.

All roads in Soufia have alphanumeric codes. Motorways begin with "A", national roads "RN", provincial roads "RP" and municipal roads "M". In line with international standards, distance and directional signs on motorways are blue, with all national, provincial and municipal distance and directional signs being white. Motorway speed limits are 120 km/h, with other roads between 60-100km/h.

Rail

A CFS passenger train in Ménara.

There are a total of 4,059 kilometres of railways in Soufia, 1,003 kilometres of which are electrified. All inter-city passenger and rail freight is operated by the state owned railways company, CFS. All of the lines are standard gauge (1,435mm). In 2014, CFS carried 38 million passengers and 36 million tons of freight. It is one of the most extensive and well maintained networks in Alqosia.

Most of the railway network is concentrated in the northwest of the country where there is a greater population density, with coastal lines linking the main cities in the west. In addition, there are a number of smaller lines linking inland cities as well as economically significant areas, such as major phosphate mines. In the east, the network is mainly concentrated on the coast also, linking the major port cities of Marsa, El Ain and Enfidha.

Beginning in 2010, the Soufian government through CFS is investing $10 billion in new high speed rail, with a total of 1,251 kilometres of tract to be built. The first line will run 246 kilometres between Massira in the south and Marshan in the north, linking both Saïda and Médéa. The second line 969 kilometres between Saïda and Marsa. The new line is shorter than the current existing 1,219 kilometre line between the two largest cities and with an operating speed of 320 km/h, it will cover the journey in three hours, with the distance between Massira and Marshan completed in 46 minutes. It will be the fastest operating train in Alqosia, as well as the first and only high speed rail system.

Sea

Soufia's largest port is in the city of Marshan, located in the northwest of the country. The Port of Marshan handles 60% of Soufia's exports and 73% of the country's imports. It houses the Nador Oil Refinery, which is the largest in Soufia and Alqosia. In addition, it also has one of the largest container ports on the continent.

On the east coast, the ports of Marsa, El Ain and Enfidha maintain important economic links with the Pearl Sea region and southeastern Wilassia. Collectively they handle 30% of Soufia's exports and 22% of imports.

Air

There are 17 commercial airports with regular services in Soufia. In addition, there are an additional 22 private and semi-commercial airfields as well as 12 military airfields. There are two main gateways for international flights: Médéa International Airport and Saïda International Airport which handle 8.5 million and 6.2 million passengers respectively. There are also an additional five airports with limited international services and ten airports with commercial passenger services.

Air Soufia is the flag carrier airline of Soufia. It is partially owned by a state holdings company and partially owned by a crown fund. It provides the majority of commercial passenger and cargo flights around Soufia as well as Maredoratica. In addition, several charter companies and airlines fly domestic routes around Soufia as well as fly-in fly-out services in support of Soufia's mining and oil industries.

Demographics

Ethnicity

Soufia has a multi-ethnic society. The majority of Soufians are Arab-Berber people, with around 70% of the population of mixed Arabic and Berber descent. Arab-Berbers have had a significant impact on the culture of Soufia, combining cultural practices and traditions as well as cuisine, music and religion from both Berbers and Arabs.

Soufia's largest ethnic minority are the Berbers at 15% of the population. Berbers are the native inhabitants of Soufia. It is believed that they had their ethnogenesis in the Kneitra Mountains in the southeast of Soufia when proto-Arabic peoples moved north into the region around 12,000 years ago. Subsequent migrations saw the Berber population spread into the area where the Al Haouz Desert is today as well as in the northern coastal regions. The Berbers from Soufia eventually made it as far west as Septimania.

Arabs constitute a smaller proportion of the population at seven percent. Like the Berbers, the Arabs originated in the southeast of Soufia, although their beginnings are traced back the x region in neighboring x. Arabs constituted the second wave of migration into Soufia which occurred around the 3rd century AD. Their subsequent clashes with the Turks in western Soufia limited their expansion westwards.

Nearly two percent of Soufians are black Alqosians from sub-Al Haouz Africa. Known as gnaoua, many of the 630,000 gnaoua that live in Soufia are descendants of black Alqosian slaves or natives of the extreme south of Soufia. Most live within isolated semi-nomadic communities in the south of the Al Haouz Desert.

Another two percent of Soufians are born overseas. The majority of these are Morivaines, the descendants of immigrants of those who moved to Soufia during the protectorate period between 1906 and 1950.

Religion

Islam is the largest and the official religion of Soufia. Sufism is the largest denomination of Islam in Soufia, with 48% of Muslims in Soufia identifying as Sufi. Sufism is also the religion of the reigning dynasty and has been the de facto state religion for centuries. However, violence against Sufis by Shia and Sunni Muslims as well as reciprocal violence against Shias and Sunnis has led to the creation of a "freedom of faith" amendment to the constitution which states that all Muslims have freedom to worship however they choose and that said worship is free from discrimination. By law, any denouncement of any Muslim denomination or incitement of hate speech against other Muslims because of their beliefs is illegal. Punishment is between five to ten years imprisonment. The discrimination law does not extend to non-Islamic religions or denominations.

Sunni Muslims compose the second largest denomination of Islam in Soufia, with 40% identifying as Sunni. Sunnis have been the most prominent in the Arab population of Soufia and constitute a majority of Muslims within the Arab community. Extremist movements, in particular Salafism, have grown in recent years in the Sunni community. Sunnis have also had the greatest cultural impact on Soufia, with the majority of the mosques and Islamic architecture crafted and designed by Sunnis.

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The Grand Mosque of Médéa is the largest mosque in Soufia.

Shia Muslims are the third largest denomination of Islam in Soufia, with 20% identifying as Shia. Shia Muslims are a minority in all ethnic communities in Soufia and are often considered to be Soufia's "forgotten Muslims", often being ignored when compared to Sufi, Sunni and even Ibadi Muslims. This has led to much resentment in the Shia community against the government and other denominations of Islam, with sectarian violence common.

Ibadi Muslims are the smallest denomination of Islam in Soufia, with 2% identifying as Ibadi. Originally from the southeast of Soufia, Ibadi Muslims once constituted as many as 20% of all Muslims in Soufia. However, sectarian violence has seen this number drop significantly, with the main population of Ibadi Muslims living in the northwest of Soufia, especially in Médéa.

Around 5% of Soufians are from minority religions or have no beliefs at all. Two percent of Soufians are Christians, predominantly Catholics. Another two percent are atheists or non-religious and the remaining one percent are Jews.

Soufia is described as being semi-secular. Although Islam is the official religion of the state, no official preference is given to any of the denominations inside Soufia in an attempt to reduce the amount of sectarian violence in the country. The country also maintains anti-discrimination laws which apply to Muslims but do not apply to atheists, Christians or Jews. However, the government also maintains freedom of religion clauses within the constitution and a royal decree passed in 1962 officially grants royal protection to Christians and Jews. Sharia law is also liberally interpreted, with Sharia law only being used in personal disputes in court. It is not used to determine laws at a national or provincial level.

Languages

Arabic is the predominant language within Soufia and is spoken by 84% of the population as a first language. It was introduced into Soufia around the 3rd century AD when the mass migration of Arabs into Soufia occurred. Although initially a minority language, it soon grew into the dominant lingua franca within Soufia owing to the process of Arabization, when the language and culture became the dominant culture. Although considered to be the de facto official language of Soufia for centuries, Arabic was not officially recognized as an official language until 1950, when the new constitution was drafted. Arabic remains the sole official language of Soufia.

Berber is the second most widely spoken first language in Soufia, with 20% of the population speaking Berber as a first language. The language is spoken by the ethnic Berber peoples, who are Soufia's original inhabitants. It's believed the language evolved around sometime shortly before the 1st century BC, as the modern language borrows a lot of words from Arabic. Although not an official language, Berber is recognized as one of the national languages, gaining status as a national language in June 1980. Berber remains officially protected due to a royal decree issued in 1991 which recognizes the language as part of "Soufia's culture and heritage". It is mostly spoken in the northeast of the country as well as in the Al Haouz Desert by remote semi-nomadic communities.

Somali is spoken by one percent of the population as a first language and is primarily limited to the few ethnic Somalis remaining in the Kneitra Mountains and in the Harar River basin as well as a small number of immigrants living in Soufia. Previously, the number of Somali speakers numbered as high as 5% but numbers fell substantially during the x War which broke out between Soufia and Galkayo in the late 1970's. Subsequent ethnic tensions and resentment saw sporadic periods of ethnic cleansing which drove thousands of Somalis from their homes.

French is the largest secondary language spoken by Soufians, with an estimated 60% of Soufians proficient or fluent in French. The influence of the French language on Soufian daily life can be seen in the many Soufian television and radio stations broadcasting in French as well as French newspapers and bilingual road signs. French was introduced as a mandatory second language during the Protectorate period between 1906 and 1950 and has remained an important second language in Soufia since. French is the first and primary second language introduced at primary school and is taught to students throughout secondary school. The majority of tertiary education establishments, especially private universities, also have instruction conducted in the French language.

Health

Soufia's public health system is one of the oldest and best developed in Alqosia but still poor by international standards. It has 2.1 beds per 1,000 people and one physician per 1,000 people. Around 87% of Soufians have access to clean drinking water and 92% have access to proper sanitation. Polluted drinking water remains a problem in Soufia, especially in poor or remote rural areas where wells are predominant. Such areas lack water purification facilities as well as facing problems from polluted groundwater, especially in areas close to mines and oil wells. Soufia also has one of the lowest percentages of people living with HIV/AIDS at 0.10%.

Public health in Soufia is provided by the National Agency for Public Health, or ANSP. It is a government agency and draws is funding primarily from taxes and profits from state owned enterprises. Healthcare is free at the point of use and all emergency treatment is also covered by the government. Soufians largely rely on private insurance to cover health costs, as the government provides no health insurance plans. Emergency medical services are also a mixture national and provincial government services, with emergency response teams operated by the fire service and provincial health bodies. The ANSP was created out of the National Healthcare Act 1963. Soufia's first public hospital was opened in 1883.

Private healthcare is primarily based around private doctors and health specialists. A number of charities operate free doctor services for poor or remote communities that lack a permanently based physician. An increasing number of wealthy Soufians are seeking treatment for diseases such as cancer overseas, primarily to Morieux and Jungastia.

Education

Education in Soufia is free and is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. Primary and secondary school education is compulsory, whereas preschool and tertiary education are not. Approximately 7.9 million students were enrolled in primary and secondary schools as of 2014, with an additional 1.7 million students in university and half a million in preschool. The public education system is administered by the Ministry of Education.

Preschool in Soufia is optional and open to children between the ages of four and six. Preschools are privately run and can be primarily found in the larger cities in towns. Preschools are largely based on socialization for the first year and between the ages of five and six, children are prepared for school by helping them develop basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Primary school in Soufia is compulsory and open to children between the ages of six and twelve. Education is largely free for public schools, although a number of private schools charge fees for students. Children further develop literacy and numeracy skills as well as introduced to other subjects like basic science, sport and the French language, inherited from the time when Soufia was a protectorate of Morieux. All primary school students are required to pass a final exam known as the Certificate of Primary Studies (CEP) before being able to attend secondary school.

Secondary school in Soufia is also compulsory and is open to children between the ages of twelve and sixteen. It is also largely free and heavily influenced by the Morivaine educational system. It is split between three years of lower secondary school and three years of upper secondary school, with students advancing to different levels of more advanced education. As in Morieux, students who finish the full six years of secondary school sit exams to acquire the Baccalauréat, which enables them to enter university.

Tertiary education in Soufia is optional. There are 24 public universities and 14 private universities. In addition, there are 21 technical universities and polytechnics which offer less variety of courses but are cheaper than universities. All universities charge tuition fees, although public universities are subsidized so that up to 60% of tertiary fees are paid for by the government.

Soufia has a total literacy rate of 69.9%. 70% of all males and 61% of all females are literate.

Culture

Cuisine

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Mrouzia is a popular dish in Soufia.

Soufian cuisine is heavily borrowed from historical cultural influences and the crops and livestock available in the region. The main influences of Soufian cuisine are are Berber, Arab and Turkish, with smaller influences from Morieux and Galkayo. Pork consumption is forbidden in Soufia in accordance with Sharia law. Instead, other meats are consumed, particularly lamb. Dishes and types of food eaten also vary by region. Spices are also used extensively in Soufian cuisine, which add unique flavors to popular Soufian dishes.

Soufia produces a large range of fruits, vegetables and cereals which can be grown in the region's climate. These include olives, strawberries, lemons and oranges. Beef and lamb are also widely consumed, with most of the supply coming from local farms. Chicken and goat are also available but are less popular.

Well known Soufian dishes include couscous, which in Soufia is eaten with seven different vegetables, Tajine, a lamb stew cooked in traditional earthenware pots and Mrouzia, which is lamb cooked with raisins, almonds and honey. Merguez is also popular and is a spicy sausage made out of beef or lamb and served with a cold salad and beans.

Street food is a long standing tradition in Soufia, with a number of foods and snacks on offer by street vendors. Street foods include kebabs (both filled and skewered), baguettes filled with an assortment of ingredients, omelettes and msemen, sweet pancakes sold with a variety of toppings, including cream, bananas and chocolate sauce.

Tea is one of the most significant aspects of Soufian culture, with the most popular flavor being mint tea. Tea making is considered an art form in Soufia, with tea drinking common among friends and family. Tea is usually poured into glasses from a height to achieve maximum flavors and tea houses can be found in virtually every city, town and village in Soufia.

Alcohol in Soufia is legal but strictly regulated, with all alcohol forbidden from sale on religious holidays and throughout Ramadan. Despite this, the production of beer and wine has flourished within the last century, with beer production introduced by Morivaine immigrants during the early part of the 20th century. Wine is more established in Soufia, with hundreds of vineyards located in the north of the country on the coastal side of the Nador Mountains. Soufia wine exports were worth $42.7 million in 2014 and the industry is benefiting from increased interest and growth from Septimania and Alisna.

Music

Music in Soufia is divided between traditional, religious and contemporary. The music played in the region dates back to the pre-Islamic times when the Berber peoples first migrated into Soufia proper from the southwest, bringing with them their traditional dances, music and singing. Over the centuries, various cultural influences has seen the emergence of distinct musical features commonly found in Soufian music today.

Traditional Berber and Arab music is still popular in Soufia, especially in rural areas where the inhabitants continue to pass down their traditions. Berber music is divided between village music, usually played at large gatherings, ritual music and professional music composed by professional musicians and artists. This music has its own set of instruments, including the mizwid and the ginbri. Berber influences can be found in modern pop music, with many professionals such as Cheb Hattabi and Zara Mansour achieving success. Other traditional music includes the popular folk music known as chaabi, classical music such as malhun as well as the mystical music used at religious ceremonies in Sufi Islam.

Popular music includes a form of rock music called raï, which started out in the 1950's and has become one of the most popular and prolific genres in Soufia. Popular bands include Prozak and Wadi. Rap and reggae have also gained in popularity over the years, the former especially among the youth in many of Soufia's poor urban slums.

Sport

Association football is the most popular sport in Soufia. It was introduced by Morivaines in the early 20th century and has grown immensely. Soufia is a member of the Alqosian Football Association and the Maredoratic Football Association. It is ranked among the top five football teams in Alqosia and among the top twenty teams in Maredoratica. The Soufian Premier League serves as the top level of domestic football within Soufia, with a total of seventeen teams competing. The league attracts players from all over Maredoratica.

Traditional Soufian sports focused on horsemanship. Horse racing was one of the most popular sports, with Soufia becoming prominent in the early 20th century as a source for prize-winning horses. Horse racing remains a popular sport within Soufia. Polo has also become a popular sport in Soufia among the wealthy as well as the royal family, with several princes becoming world class polo players.

Golf and tennis have grown in popularity among Soufians also, with the former among the wealthy as a means to socialize and the latter among the middle classes. Soufia is home two a small number of well known and world class golf courses, the course at the Côté Rouge Club among them. However, Soufia has seen more success in tennis, with players such as Zarah Rashidi and Mohammed Benani garnering success internationally. The Médéa Open is also the only major tennis open held in Alqosia.

Cinema

Cinema was introduced by the Morivaines in the late 19th century, with the first official recorded film in the country an amateur video taken at a souk in Mascara in September 1897. It was progressively introduced in the early 20th century, with the most prolific films coming from Morivaine reporting of the Nador Rebellion. Many films were shot in Soufia up until the 1940's, when the predominantly Morivaine filmmakers suspended filming in Soufia owing to the First Intifada. The Morivaines also built the first cinemas in Soufia, with the earliest dating from 1925.

The first film studios were opened in Médéa in January 1952 and the country's regulatory body, the Cinematography Society of Soufia (SCS) was founded three months later. In 1955, La Chanson du Desert, the first Soufian film, was released. It was directed by Younès Khatib and allowed the film industry in Soufia to grow.

Since 1955, over 200 films have been made in Soufia, with the most prolific directors being Younès Khatib, Abdulmalek Bouchane and Aziz Merhaba. Among the most well known Soufian films include Le Sec and Au fin, Camarade.

Literature

Soufian literature has had a rich history. The earliest texts date back to just before the 3rd century B.C and were written in Tamazight, a Berber language. The Royal Archives contains over 5,000 ancient texts, scrolls and manuscripts from the earliest days of Berber and Arab settlement, including some of the earliest written Qu'rans in Alqosia. Islamic literature in Soufia is believed to have had a golden period during the Abdulsahid dynasty in the late 12th century, where the kingdom experienced a period of expanded learning and prosperity. The Ménara Mosque, consecrated in 1184, contained one of the largest collections of books, texts and manuscripts at the time.

Modern literature began in the 1930's, although foreign authors had been writing books set in or around Soufia for several decades. The Morivaine Protectorate introduced modern methods of literature which until then was largely ignored in favor of maintaining religious scripture or administrative purposes. Authors such as Mohammed Bouab (1912-1957) and Fouad Meniari (1919-1961) are considered pioneers of modern Soufian literature. After independence, literature flourished in Soufia, with new authors rising, such as Mohammed Kati and Tarik al-Fassi.

The 1990's saw the rise of female authors, including Fatima Laroui and Leila Slaoui, both of whom have seen success domestically and internationally.

Architecture