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Life Talk!

what do tou know about Algeria?




dear friends, 

What do you know about Algeria, or what do you want to know about her?

i'll be happy to answer and know your point s of view..

10:45 AM Sep 04 2008 |

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In northern Africa

i hope i would have a chance to there

10:51 AM Sep 04 2008 |


zeus2006Super Member!


Hi Kikam,

I know all these about your country.

Algeria (الجزائر, Al Jaza'ir IPA: [ælʤæˈzæːʔir], Amazigh: ⴷⵥⴰⵢⴻⵔ, Dzayer [ˈdzæjər]), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a nation in North Africa. It is the largest country of the Mediterranean sea, the second largest on the African continent[3] and the 11th largest country in the world in terms of total area.[4] It is bordered by Tunisia in the northeast, Libya in the east, Niger in the southeast, Mali and Mauritania in the southwest, a few kilometers of the Western Sahara in the west, Morocco in the northwest, and the Mediterranean Sea in the north.

Algeria is a member of the United Nations, African Union, Arab League, and OPEC. It also contributed towards the creation of the Arab Maghreb Union. Constitutionally, Algeria is defined as an Arab, and Amazigh (Berber) country.[2]


[edit] Etymology

Al-jazā’ir is itself a truncated form of the city's older name jazā’ir banī mazghannā, "the islands of (the tribe) Bani Mazghanna", used by early medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi and Yaqut al-Hamawi.

[edit] HistoryMain article: History of Algeria

[edit] Ancient history28Timgad%29%2C_Algeria_04966r.jpg/180px-Roman_Arch_of_Trajan_at_Thamugadi_%28Timgad%29%2C_Algeria_04966r.jpg” alt=”Roman arch of Trajan at Thamugadi (Timgad), Algeria” /> 10,000 BC. After 1000 BC, the Carthaginians began establishing settlements along the coast. The Berbers seized the opportunity offered by the Punic Wars to become independent of Carthage, and Berber kingdoms began to emerge, most notably Numidia. In 200 BC, however, they were once again taken over, this time by the Roman Republic. When the Western Roman Empire collapsed, Berbers became independent again in many areas, while the Vandals took control over other parts, where they remained until expelled by the generals of the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian I. The Byzantine Empire then retained a precarious grip on the east of the country until the coming of the Arabs in the eighth century.

[edit] Middle Ages

According to historians of the Middle Ages, the Berbers were divided into two branches, from their ancestor Mazigh. The two branches, Botr and Barnès, were also divided into tribes, with each Maghreb region made up of several tribes.[5][6] Several Berber dynasties emerged during the Middle Ages.[7] [8]

The Almohads were able to unify the Maghreb. The Berbers of the Middle Ages also contributed to the Arabization of the Maghreb.[9]

[edit] Islamization and Berber (Amaari) dynasties

Having converted the Kutama of Kabylie to its cause, the Shia Fatimids overthrew the Rustamids, and conquered Egypt, leaving Algeria and Tunisia to their Zirid vassals. When the latter rebelled and adopted Sunnism, the Shia Fatimids sent in the Banu Hilal, a populous Arab tribe, to weaken them. This initiated the Arabization of the region. The Almoravids and Almohads, Berber dynasties from the west founded by religious reformers, brought a period of relative peace and development; however, with the Almohads' collapse, Algeria became a battleground for their three successor states, the Algerian Zayyanids, Tunisian Hafsids, and Moroccan Marinids. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Spanish Empire started attacking and subsuming a few Algerian coastal settlements.

[edit] Ottoman rule

Ottoman Empire by Khayreddin Barbarossa and his brother Aruj in 1517, and they established Algeria's modern boundaries in the north and made its coast a base for the Ottoman corsairs; their privateering peaked in Algiers in the 1600s. Piracy on American vessels in the Mediterranean resulted in the First (1801–1805) and Second Barbary War (1815) with the United States. The piracy acts forced people captured on the boats into slavery; alternatively when the pirates attacked coastal villages in southern and western Europe the inhabitants were forced into slavery.Barbary Pirates — Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911 Raids by Barbary pirates on Western Europe did not cease until 1816, when a Royal Navy raid, assisted by six Dutch vessels, destroyed the port of Algiers and its fleet of Barbary ships. Spanish occupation by the king and the Benabbas family of Sevilla of Algerian ports at this time was a source of concern for the local inhabitants.

[edit] French colonizationConstantine, Algeria 1840 Constantine, Algeria 1840Main article: French rule in Algeria

On the pretext of a slight to their consul, the French invaded Algiers in 1830.[10] The conquest of Algeria by the French was long and particularly violent, and it resulted in the disappearance of about a third of the Algerian population.[11] France was responsible for the extermination of 1 million Algerians. According to Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison, the French pursued a policy of extermination against the Algerians.

The French conquest of Algeria was slow due to intense resistance from such people as Emir Abdelkader, Ahmed Bey and Fatma N'Soumer. Indeed, the conquest was not technically complete until the early 1900s when the last Tuareg were conquered.


Oran, Algeria Oran, Algeria

Meanwhile, however, the French made Algeria an integral part of France, a status that would end only with the collapse of the Fourth Republic in 1958. Tens of thousands of settlers from France, Spain, Italy, and Malta moved in to farm the Algerian coastal plain and occupied significant parts of Algeria's cities. These settlers benefited from the French government's confiscation of communal land, and the application of modern agricultural techniques that increased the amount of arable land.[12] Algeria's social fabric suffered during the occupation: literacy plummeted,[13] while land confiscation uprooted much of the population.

Starting from the end of the nineteenth century, people of European descent in Algeria (or natives like Spanish people in Oran), as well as the native Algerian Jews (typically Sephardic in origin), became full French citizens. After Algeria's 1962 independence, they were called Pieds-Noirs; ("Pieds Noirs" meaning "black feet", referring to the black shoes the Europeans wore on their feet). In contrast, the vast majority of Muslim Algerians (even veterans of the French army) received neither French citizenship nor the right to vote.

[edit] Post-independenceImage:Tank-26mars-1962-alger.png French army in Algiers

In 1954, the Algerian War of Independence which was a guerrilla campaign. By the end of the war, newly elected President Charles de Gaulle, understanding that the age of empire was ending, held a plebiscite, offering Algerians three options. In a famous speech (4th June 1958 in Algiers) de Gaulle proclaimed in front of a vast crowd of Pieds-Noirs "Je vous ai compris" (I understood you). Most Pieds-noirs then believed that de Gaulle meant that Algeria would remain French. The poll resulted in a landslide vote for complete independence from France. Over one million people, 10 of the population, then fled the country for France and Italy in just a few months in mid-1962. These included most of the 1,025,000 Pieds-Noirs, as well as 81,000 Harkis (pro-French Algerians serving in the French Army). In the days proceeding the bloody conflict, a group of Algerian Rebels opened fire on a marketplace in Oran killing numerous innocent civilians, mostly women. This event is known as the Saint Bartholomew Massacre.

Cosmopolitan Algiers Cosmopolitan Algiers

Algeria's first president was the FLN leader Ahmed Ben Bella. He was overthrown by his former ally and defence minister, Houari Boumédienne in 1965. Under Ben Bella the government had already become increasingly socialist and authoritarian, and this trend continued throughout Boumédienne's government. However, Boumédienne relied much more heavily on the army, and reduced the sole legal party to a merely symbolic role. Agriculture was collectivised, and a massive industrialization drive launched. Oil extraction facilities were nationalized. This was especially beneficial to the leadership after the 1973 oil crisis. However, the Algerian economy became increasingly dependent on oil which led to hardship when the price collapsed during the 1980s oil glut.

In foreign policy, while Algeria shares much of its history and cultural heritage with neighbouring Morocco, the two countries have had somewhat hostile relations with each other ever since Algeria's independence. Reasons for this include Morocco's disputed claim to portions of western Algeria (which led to the Sand War in 1963), Algeria's support for the Polisario Front for its right to self-determination, and Algeria's hosting of Sahrawi refugees within its borders in the city of Tindouf.

Within Algeria, dissent was rarely tolerated, and the state's control over the media and the outlawing of political parties other than the FLN was cemented in the repressive constitution of 1976.

Boumédienne died in 1978, but the rule of his successor, Chadli Bendjedid, was little more open. The state took on a strongly bureaucratic character and corruption was widespread.

The modernization drive brought considerable demographic changes to Algeria. Village traditions underwent significant change as urbanization increased. New industries emerged, agricultural employment was substantially reduced. Education was extended nationwide, raising the literacy rate from less than 10% to over 60%. There was a dramatic increase in the fertility rate to 7-8 children per mother.

Therefore by 1980, there was a very youthful population and a housing crisis. The new generation struggled to relate to the cultural obsession with the war years and two conflicting protest movements developed: communists, including Berber identity movements; and Islamic 'intégristes'. Both groups protested against one-party rule but also clashed with each other in universities and on the streets during the 1980s. Mass protests from both camps in Autumn 1988 forced Bendjedid to concede the end of one-party rule. Elections were planned to happen in 1991. In December 1991, the Islamic Salvation Front won the Algerian Civil War.

Massacres near Algiers, Algeria in the years of 1997 and 98 during the Algerian Civil War

More than 160,000 people were killed between 17 January 1992 and June 2002. Most of the deaths were between militants and government troops, but a great number of civilians were also killed. The question of who was responsible for these deaths was controversial at the time amongst academic observers; many were claimed by the Armed Islamic Group. Though many of these massacres were carried out by Islamic extremists, the Algerian regime also used the army and foreign mercenaries to conduct attacks on men, women and children and then proceeded to blame the attacks upon various Islamic groups within the country.[14]

Algiers Algiers

Elections resumed in 1995, and after 1998, the war waned. On 27 April 1999, after a series of short-term leaders representing the military, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the current president, was elected.[15]

By 2002, the main guerrilla groups had either been destroyed or surrendered, taking advantage of an amnesty program, though sporadic fighting continued in some areas (See Amazigh language and identity increased in significance, particularly after the extensive Kabyle protests of 2001 and the near-total boycott of local elections in Kabylie.The government responded with concessions including naming of Tamazight (Berber) as a national language and teaching it in schools.

Much of Algeria is now recovering and developing into an emerging economy. The high prices of oil and gas are being used by the new government to improve the country's infrastructure and especially improve industry and agricultural land. Recently, overseas investment in Algeria has increased[citation needed].

Topographic map of Algeria

[edit] GeographyMain article: Geography of Algeria

Most of the coastal area is hilly, sometimes even mountainous, and there are a few natural harbours. The area from the coast to the Tell Atlas is fertile. South of the Tell Atlas is a steppe landscape, which ends with the Saharan Atlas; further south, there is the Sahara desert. The Ahaggar Mountains (Arabic: جبال هقار‎), also known as the Hoggar, are a highland region in central Sahara, southern Algeria. They are located about 1,500 km (932 miles) south of the capital, Algiers and just west of Tamanghasset.

Algiers, Constantine, and Annaba are Algeria's main cities.

[edit] Climate and hydrology

Northern Algeria is in the temperate zone and has a mild, Mediterranean climate. Its broken topography, however, provides sharp local contrasts in both prevailing temperatures and incidence of rainfall.

The waterfront in Algiers near the Kasbah The waterfront in Algiers near the Kasbah

Year-to-year variations in climatic conditions are also common.

In the Tell Atlas, temperatures in summer average between 21 and 24 °C and in winter drop to 10 to 12 °C. Winters are not particularly cold, but the humidity level is high. In eastern Algeria, the average temperatures are somewhat lower, and on the steppes of the High Atlas plateaux, winter temperatures are only a few degrees above freezing. A prominent feature of the climate in this region is the sirocco, a dusty, choking south wind blowing off the desert, sometimes at gale force. This wind also occasionally reaches into the coastal Tell.[3]

The Ahaggar Mountains The Ahaggar Mountains

In Algeria, only a relatively small corner of the torrid Sahara lies across the Tropic of Cancer in the torrid zone. In this region even in winter, midday desert temperatures can be very hot. After sunset, however, the clear, dry air permits rapid loss of heat, and the nights are cool to chilly. Enormous daily ranges in temperature are recorded.

The highest temperature recorded in Tindouf is 136.4°F (57.4°C) and is probably the highest reliable temperature ever recorded in Algeria under standard conditions.

Rainfall is fairly abundant along the coastal part of the Tell Atlas, ranging from 400 to 670 mm annually, the amount of precipitation increasing from west to east. Prevailing winds that are easterly and north-easterly in summer change to westerly and northerly in winter and carry with them a general increase in precipitation from September through December, a decrease in the late winter and spring months, and a near absence of rainfall during the summer months. Algeria also has ergs, or sand dunes between mountains, which in the summer time when winds are heavy and gusty, temperatures can get up to 110 °F (43 °C).

[edit] PoliticsMain article: Politics of AlgeriaAbdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria.

The head of state is the President of Algeria, who is elected to a five year term and is constitutionally limited to two terms. Algeria has universal suffrage at 18 years of age.[3] The President is the head of the Council of Ministers and of the High Security Council. He appoints the Prime Minister who is also the head of government. The Prime Minister appoints the Council of Ministers.

The Algerian parliament is bicameral, consisting of a lower chamber, the National People's Assembly (APN), with 380 members; and an upper chamber, the Council Of Nation, with 144 members. The APN is elected every five years.

Under the 1976 constitution (as modified 1979, and amended in 1988, 1989, and 1996) Algeria is a multi-party state. All parties must be approved by the Ministry of the Interior. To date, Algeria has had more than 40 legal political parties. According to the constitution, no political association may be formed if it is "based on differences in religion, language, race, gender or region."

Djebel Chenoua class corvette El Kirch (353) built by ECRN in Mers-el-Kebir and operated by the Algerian National Navy Djebel Chenoua class corvette El Kirch (353) built by ECRN in Mers-el-Kebir and operated by the Algerian National Navy

[edit] Foreign relations and militaryMain articles: Foreign relations of Algeria and Military of Algeria

The military of Algeria consists of the National Popular Army (ANP), the Algerian National Navy (MRA), and the Algerian Air Force (QJJ), plus the Territorial Air Defense Force.[3] It is the direct successor of the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN), the armed wing of the nationalist National Liberation Front, which fought French colonial occupation during the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62). The commander-in-chief of the military is the president, who is also Minister of National Defense. Total personnel includes 147,000 active, 150,000 reserve, and 187,000 paramilitary staff (2008 estimate).[16] Service in the military is compulsory for men aged 19-30, for a total of eighteen months (six training and twelve in civil projects).[3] The total military expenditure in 2006 was estimated variously at 2.7% of GDP (3,096 million),[16] or 3.3% of GDP.[3]

Algeria is a leading military power in North Africa and has its force oriented toward its western (Morocco) and eastern (Libya) borders. Its primary military supplier has been the former Soviet Union, which has sold various types of sophisticated equipment under military trade agreements, and the People's Republic of China. Algeria has attempted, in recent years, to diversify its sources of military material. Military forces are supplemented by a 45,000-member gendarmerie or rural police force under the control of the president and 30,000-member Sûreté nationale or Metropolitan police force under the Ministry of the Interior.

In 2007, the Algerian Air Force signed a deal with Russia to purchase 49 MiG-29SMT and 6 MiG-29UBT at an estimated $1.5 Billion. They also agreed to return old airplanes purchased from the Former USSR. Russia is also building 2 636-type diesel submarines for Algeria.[17]

[edit] Maghreb Arab Union

Tensions between Algeria and Morocco in relation to the Western Sahara have put great obstacles in the way of tightening the Maghreb Arab Union and the yearned Great Magreb Sultanate, which was nominally established in 1989 but carried little practical weight with its coastal neighbors.[18]

[edit] Provinces and districtsMain articles: Provinces of Algeria and Districts of AlgeriaFurther information: Municipalities of Algeria Map of the provinces of Algeria numbered according to the official order

Algeria is divided into 48 provinces (wilayas), 553 districts (daïras) and 1,541 municipalities (communes, baladiyahs). Each province, district, and municipality is named after its seat, which is mostly also the largest city.

Downtown Algiers Downtown Algiers

According to the Algerian constitution, a province is a territorial collectivity enjoying some economic freedom. The People's Provincial Assembly is the political entity governing a province, which has a "president", who is elected by the members of the assembly. They are in turn elected on universal suffrage every five years. The "Wali" (Prefect or governor) directs each province. This person is chosen by the Algerian President to handle the PPA's decisions.

The administrative divisions have changed several times since independence. When introducing new provinces, the numbers of old provinces are kept, hence the non-alphabetical order. With their official numbers, currently (since 1983) they are:[3]

1 Adrar
2 Chlef
3 Laghouat
4 Oum el-Bouaghi
5 Batna
6 Béjaïa
7 Biskra
8 Béchar
9 Blida
10 Bouira
11 Tamanghasset
12 Tébessa

13 Tlemcen
14 Tiaret
15 Tizi Ouzou
16 Algiers
17 Djelfa
18 Jijel
19 Sétif
20 Saida
21 Skikda
22 Sidi Bel Abbes
23 Annaba
24 Guelma

25 Constantine
26 Médéa
27 Mostaganem
28 M'Sila
29 Mascara
30 Ouargla
31 Oran
32 El Bayadh
33 Illizi
34 Bordj Bou Arréridj
35 Boumerdès
36 El Tarf

37 Tindouf
38 Tissemsilt
39 El Oued
40 Khenchela
41 Souk Ahras
42 Tipasa
43 Mila
44 Aïn Defla
45 Naama
46 Aïn Témouchent
47 Ghardaïa
48 Relizane

[edit] EconomyMain article: Economy of Algeria

The fossil fuels energy sector is the backbone of Algeria's economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. The country ranks fourteenth in petroleum reserves, containing 11.8 billion barrels (1.88×109 m3) of proven oil reserves with estimates suggesting that the actual amount is even more. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that in 2005, Algeria had 160 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven natural gas reserves, the eighth largest in the world.[19]

Ministry of Finances of Algeria Ministry of Finances of Algeria

Algeria’s financial and economic indicators improved during the mid-1990s, in part because of policy reforms supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and debt rescheduling from the Paris Club. Algeria’s finances in 2000 and 2001 benefited from an increase in oil prices and the government’s tight fiscal policy, leading to a large increase in the trade surplus, record highs in foreign exchange reserves, and reduction in foreign debt. The government's continued efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector have had little success in reducing high unemployment and improving living standards, however. In 2001, the government signed an Association Treaty with the European Union that will eventually lower tariffs and increase trade. In March 2006, Russia agreed to erase $4.74 billion of Algeria's Soviet-era debt[20] during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to the country, the first by a Russian leader in half a century. In return, president Bouteflika agreed to buy $7.5 billion worth of combat planes, air-defense systems and other arms from Russia, according to the head of Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.[21][22]

Algeria also decided in 2006 to pay off its full $8bn (£4.3bn) debt to the Paris Club group of rich creditor nations before schedule. This will reduce the Algerian foreign debt to less than $5bn in the end of 2006. The Paris Club said the move reflected Algeria's economic recovery in recent years.

[edit] Agriculture

Since Roman times Algeria has been noted for the fertility of its soil. 25% of Algerians are employed in the agricultural sector.[23]

A considerable amount of cotton was grown at the time of the United States' Civil War, but the industry declined afterwards. In the early years of the twentieth century efforts to extend the cultivation of the plant were renewed. A small amount of cotton is also grown in the southern oases. Large quantities of a vegetable that resembles horsehair, an excellent fibre, are made from the leaves of the dwarf palm. The olive (both for its fruit and oil) and tobacco are cultivated with great success.

More than 7,500,000 acres (30,000 km²) are devoted to the cultivation of cereal grains. The Tell is the grain-growing land. During the time of French rule its productivity was increased substantially by the sinking of artesian wells in districts which only required water to make them fertile. Of the crops raised, wheat, barley and oats are the principal cereals. A great variety of vegetables and fruits, especially citrus products, are exported. Algeria also exports figs, dates, esparto grass, and cork. It is the largest oat market in Africa.

Algeria is known for Bertolli's olive oil spread, although the spread has an Italian background.

[edit] DemographicsDemographics of Algeria, Data of FAO, year 2005; number of inhabitants in thousands.Main article: Demographics of Algeria

The population of Algeria is 33,333,216 (July 2007 est.).[3] About 70% of Algerians live in the northern, coastal area; the minority who inhabit the Sahara are mainly concentrated in oases, although some 1.5 million remain nomadic or partly nomadic. Almost 30% of Algerians are under 15. Algeria has the fourth lowest fertility rate in the Greater Middle East after Cyprus, Tunisia, and Turkey.

97% of the population is classified ethnically as Berber/Arab and religiously as Sunni Muslim, the few non-Sunni Muslims are mainly Ibadis, representing 1.3%, from the M'Zab valley. (See also Islam in Algeria.) A mostly foreign Roman Catholic community of about 45,000 people exists, along with about 350,000 Protestant Christians, and some 500 Jewish. The Jewish community of Algeria, which once constituted 2% of the total population, has substantially decreased due to emigration, mostly to France and Israel.

Europeans account for less than 1% of the population, inhabiting almost exclusively the largest metropolitan areas. However, during the colonial period there was a large (15.2% in 1962) European population, consisting primarily of French people, in addition to Spaniards in the west of the country, Italians and Maltese in the east, and other Europeans in smaller numbers. Known as pieds-noirs, European colonists were concentrated on the coast and formed a majority of the population of cities like Bône, Oran, Sidi Bel Abbès, and Algiers. Almost all of this population left during or immediately after the country's independence from France.

A Dancer in Biskra, published in March 1917 National Geographic. A Dancer in Biskra, published in March 1917 National Geographic.

Housing and medicine continue to be pressing problems in Algeria. Failing infrastructure and the continued influx of people from rural to urban areas has overtaxed both systems. According to the UNDP, Algeria has one of the world's highest per housing unit occupancy rates for housing, and government officials have publicly stated that the country has an immediate shortfall of 1.5 million housing units.[citation needed]

Women make up 70 percent of Algeria’s lawyers and 60 percent of its judges. Women dominate medicine. Increasingly, women are contributing more to household income than men. Sixty percent of university students are women, according to university researchers.[24]

It is estimated that 95,700 refugees and asylum seekers have sought refuge in Algeria. This includes roughly 90,000 from Morocco and 4,100 from Former Palestine. [25]

[edit] Ethnic groups

Most Algerians are Berber or Arab, by language or identity,.[3] Today, the Arab-Berber issue is often a case of self-identification or identification through language and culture, rather than a racial or ethnic distinction.

Berber music group Berber music group

The Berber people are divided into several ethnic groups, Kabyle in the mountainous north-central area, Chaoui in the eastern Atlas Mountains, Mozabites in the M'zab valley, and Tuareg in the far south. Small pockets of Black African populations also are in Algeria. Turkish Algerians represent 5% of the population and live mainly in the big cities.[citation needed]

However, in a recent genetic study by Standford University, Arabs and Berbers were found to have more genetic similarities than was once believed. [26] The Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups that characterize both Arabs and Berbers are E1b1b and J (found in 70% of Middle Eastern people and 90% in North Africa). This has led scientists to conclude that North Africa has a higher genetic affinity with Arab populations than was previously hypothesized. Southern Algerians are most genetically closely linked with Arabs from Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the UAE. Northern Algerians are most genetically linked with Arabs from Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Jordan and some Gulf countries.

A more recent and thorough study by Arredi et al. (2004) which analyzed populations from Algeria concludes that the North African pattern of Y-chromosomal variation (including both E1b1b and J haplogroups) is largely of Neolithic origin, which suggests that the Neolithic transition in this part of the world was accompanied by demic diffusion of Afro-Asiatic–speaking pastoralists from the Middle East. This Neolithic origin was later confirmed by Myles et al. (2005), which in turn suggests that "contemporary Berber populations possess the genetic signature of a past migration of pastoralists from the Middle East". [27]

[edit] LanguagesMain article: Languages of AlgeriaTrilingual welcome sign in the Isser Municipality (Boumerdès), written in Arabic, Amazigh (Tifinagh), and French. Trilingual welcome sign in the Isser Municipality (Boumerdès), written in Arabic, Amazigh (Tifinagh), and French.

Most Algerians speak Algerian Arabic. Arabic is spoken natively in dialectal form ("Darja") by some 83.2 % percent of the population.[28] However, in the media and on official occasions the spoken language is Standard Arabic.

The Berbers (or Imazighen), who form approximately 27.4 % percent of the population,[28] largely speak one of the various dialects of Tamazight as opposed to Arabic. But a majority can use both Berber and Algerian Arabic. Arabic remains Algeria's only official language, although Tamazight has recently been recognized as a national language alongside it.[29]

Ethnologue counts eighteen living languages within Algeria, splitting both Arabic and Tamazight into several different languages, as well as including Korandje, which is unrelated to Arabic or Tamazight.[30]

The language issue is politically sensitive, particularly for the Berber minority, which has been disadvantaged by state-sanctioned Arabization. Language politics and Arabization have partly been a reaction to the fact that 130 years of French colonization had left both the state bureaucracy and much of the educated upper class completely Francophone, as well as being motivated by the Arab nationalism promoted by successive Algerian governments.

French is still the most widely studied foreign language in the country, and most Algerians speak it fluently, though it is usually not spoken in daily circumstances. Since independence, the government has pursued a policy of linguistic Arabization of education and bureaucracy, with some success, although many university courses continue to be taught in French. Recently, schools have started to incorporate French into the curriculum as early as children start to learn Arabic. French is also used in media and commerce.

[edit] EducationYoung inhabitants of Algiers in the streets of the Kasbah of Algiers. Young inhabitants of Algiers in the streets of the Kasbah of Algiers.

Education is officially compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 15. In the year 1997, there was an outstanding amount of teachers and students in primary schools.

In Algeria there are 10 universities, 7 colleges, and 5 institutes for higher learning. The University of Algiers (founded in 1909), which is located in the capital of Algeria, Algiers has about 267,142 students.[31] The Algerian school system is structured into Basic, General Secondary, and Technical Secondary levels:

Basic Ecole fondamentale (Fundamental School)
Length of program: 10 years
Age range: age 6 to 15 old
Certificate/diploma awarded: Brevet d'Enseignement Moyen B.E.M. Béjaïa University Béjaïa UniversityGeneral Secondary Lycée d'Enseignement général (School of General Teaching) , lycées polyvalents (General-Purpose School)
Length of program: 3 years
Age range: age 15 to 18
Certificate/diploma awarded: Baccalauréat de l'Enseignement secondaire
(Bachelor's Degree of Secondary School) Technical Secondary Lycées d'Enseignement technique (Technical School)
Length of program: 3 years
Certificate/diploma awarded: Baccalauréat technique (Technical Bachelor's Degree)

[edit] Culture and SportsMain article: Culture of AlgeriaThe Monument of the Martyrs (Maquam E’chahid) in Algiers The Monument of the Martyrs (Maquam E’chahid) in AlgiersThe El Jedid Mosque in Algiers The El Jedid Mosque in Algiers

Modern Algerian literature, split between Arabic and French, has been strongly influenced by the country's recent history. Famous novelists of the twentieth century include Mohammed Dib, Albert Camus, and Kateb Yacine, while Assia Djebar is widely translated. Among the important novelists of the 1980s were Rachid Mimouni, later vice-president of Amnesty International, and Tahar Djaout, murdered by an Islamist group in 1993 for his secularist views.[32] In philosophy and the humanities, Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, was born in El Biar in Algiers; Malek Bennabi and Frantz Fanon are noted for their thoughts on decolonization; Augustine of Hippo was born in Tagaste (modern-day Souk Ahras); and Ibn Khaldun, though born in Tunis, wrote the Muqaddima while staying in Algeria. Algerian culture has been strongly influenced by Islam, the main religion. The works of the Sanusi family in pre-colonial times, and of Emir Abdelkader and Sheikh Ben Badis in colonial times, are widely noted. The Latin author Apuleius was born in Madaurus (Mdaourouch), in what later became Algeria.

The Algerian musical genre best known abroad is raï, a pop-flavored, opinionated take on folk music, featuring international stars such as Khaled

Algerian singer Khaled Algerian singer Khaled

and Cheb Mami. In Algeria itself the style of raï remains the most popular, but the older generation still prefer Shaabi, while the tuneful melodies of Kabyle music, exemplified by Idir, Ait Menguellet, or Lounès Matoub, have a wide audience. For more classical tastes, Andalusi music, brought from Al-Andalus by Morisco refugees, is preserved in many older coastal towns. For a more modern style, the English-born and of Algerian descent, Potent C, is gradually becoming a success for younger generations. Encompassing a mixture of folk, raï, and British hip hop it is a highly collective and universal genre. Other artists bring a modern style of music to Algeria. Salma Ghazali and Souad Massi

Souad Massi in concert Souad Massi in concert

are two famous Algerian female singers. Faudel

-4.jpg/180px-Faudel_concert_June08-4.jpg” alt=”Faudel in concert” /> europop like sound to Algeria, though a lot of his song are sung in French. Other mucisians and singers come out of Algeria as well. Popular music and Rap are becoming more popular in the country and are being song in written less in French and more in Algerian Arabic.

Although "raï"". is welcomed and praised as a glowing cultural emblem for Algeria, there was time when raï’s come across critical cultural and political conflictions with Islamic and government policies and practices, post-independency. Thus the distribution and expression of raï music became very difficult. However, “then the government abruptly reversed its position in mid-1985. In part this was due to the lobbying of a former liberation army officer turned pop music impresario, Colonel Snoussi, who hoped to profit from raï if it could be mainstreamed.”[33] In addition, given both nations’ relations, Algerian government was pleased with the music’s growing popularity in France. Although the music is ore widely accepted on the political level, it still faces severe conflictions with the populace of Islamic faith in Algeria.

In painting, Mohammed Khadda[34] and M'Hamed Issiakhem have been notable in recent years.

20 August 1955 Stadium in Algiers, used mostly for football games 20 August 1955 Stadium in Algiers, used mostly for football games

Sports, expecially football are very big in Algeria. Baseball is also rising as a major sport in the country, expecially the younger generation. Hockey is popular in Algeria too Yannick Hamri is a famous Algerian hockey player.

The most popular sport in the country is football. Since and before the upset in Gijon, Spain at El Molinon by Lakhdar Belloumi of the Algerian national football team defeating West German in 1982.

-Girondins_de_Bordeaux_2007_2008_Samir_Nasri.jpg/300px-Olympique_de_Marseille-Girondins_de_Bordeaux_2007_2008_Samir_Nasri.jpg” alt=”Samir Nasri” /> France.

A lot of the sports events in the Algerian capital of Algiers happen in the 20 August 1955 stadium, which holds only about 15,000 people. This stadium is used usually for soccer games.

See also: List of Algerian writers

[edit] Landscapes and monuments of Algeria

Mountain of Chrea near the city of Blida (north).

street of Zighout Youcef in Algiers (north)

Roman ruins of Timgad (north-eastern)

-Algeria.jpg/120px-Oran-_Algeria.jpg” />

Place of November 1st in the city of Oran(north-western)

Tichy's beach in Bejaïa (north).

Hanging bridge of the city of Constantine

12:22 PM Sep 04 2008 |

abdou 123

abdou 123


hi algeria is my country too and i will be glad to help u too to know any thing about it … 1 – 2 – 3 viva l'algerie

12:22 PM Sep 04 2008 |




oooh wow Mr Zeus,

you left nothing for me to sayLaughingyou siad everything.. thanks a lot for contributing this way to my post..

may be i can help you and the others  by answering questions concerning culture, habits…may be questions concerning the Algerians themselves..

Abdou: ( algérie mon amour, algérie feddem.Wink.)

09:03 AM Sep 06 2008 |




I know all what I should know about Algeria and AlgeriansLaughing

I know I know, ur question wasn't for me.

Ramadan Moubarak for all of u 

10:53 AM Sep 06 2008 |

Rahma MD

Rahma MD


i just know that i have a good friend there. Am i right samah? Wink

mmm but kikan maybe u can post some pics that showed a glorious ramadhan in Algeria.

03:28 AM Sep 08 2008 |




of course Rahma, a verry goooooood friendsLaughing

08:41 AM Sep 08 2008 |



Sri Lanka

Thanks for this information on Algeria.

Here's a quote from an article on Pondicherry and its French colonial rule. Pondicherry is not too far from where I live.

as Saroja Sundararajan wrote in “Pondicherry: A Profile,” the colony’s native population was once “one of the most exploited in the world.”



Not only in Africa and Asia were there disasters caused by French colonial rule, the French government's action of occupying Ruhr, Germany in 1923 helped in the rise of the far right in Germany.



02:34 PM Sep 08 2008 |


zeus2006Super Member!


Hi Tiffintime,

There is no any reason to take a bad memory from that info and to discuss it. Let's talk about Algeria's nice culture, nice places, nice people who create their future. Ofcourse we must not forget our history but also we must not keep it always fresh.That time we can do anything about our future. Be happy and Healthy. Zeus :)

04:19 PM Sep 08 2008 |



Sri Lanka

Hi zeus2006,

Thanks again in taking all this trouble of posting a comprehensive article on Algeria. Actually, a lot us in Asia (except for Turkey and the Arab countries) know very little about Algeria. I know that couscous (or kuskus) is made by a laborious process from wheat semolina, and is then steamed over a meat and vegetable stew. Well, that's about a favorite Algerian dish.

I agree with you that we should not always harp exlusively on the negative events of history. However, whether we like it or not, we often need to know history (the positive, as well as the negative events) in order to understand why we are what we are today.




07:25 AM Sep 09 2008 |