The first documented Moroccan to come to the United States is Azemmouri, who led 300 Spaniards on his pilot boat to Florida, then continuing with the only three who survived the 11-year journey, westward to Texas.
From Azemmouri’s expedition in 1527, large waves of Moroccan immigration to the United States continued, particularly after the Second World War, during the 70’s and 80’s, mostly settling in New York City, New England, Washington D.C., California, and Texas.
Most Moroccans settling in New York City during the later half of the 20th Century were university students or recent college graduates, and with them, they brought a distinct drive for small business and expertise in many higher level fields.
In New York alone, there is a community of about 9000 Moroccan-Americans. The dozens of Moroccan organizations in the United States, speaks to the poignant presence of the heritage in the country. These include: The American Moroccan Forum,the Association of Moroccans in America,Friends of Morocco, The Moroccan American Business Council, and the Moroccan American National Association.
Moroccan Pianist Performs in Carnegie Hall
New York also celebrates its Moroccan population, with numerous exhibitions and cultural recognitions, such as the 2011 exposé in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which focused on the North African tile art, and the 2011 World Nomads Morocco Festival by the French Institute Alliance Française, recognizing the music and art of the country.
From Azemmouri in 1527, to the most recent Moroccan immigrants to the United States, the history of these two countries continues to have a colorful presence in the metropolitan mosaic.