Coordinates: 28°N 2°E / 28°N 2°E / 28; 2
People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية
ⵜⴰⵖⴻⵔⴼⴰⵏⵜ ⵜⴰⵣⵣⴰⵢⵔⵉⵜ (Berber)
République Algérienne Démocratique et Populaire (French)
Motto: بالشّعب وللشّعب
By the people and for the people
(English: "We Pledge")
Location of Algeria (dark green)
and largest city
36°42′N 3°13′E / 36.700°N 3.217°E / 36.700; 3.217
French (business and education)
Darja (lingua franca)
Unitary semi-presidential people's republic
• Prime Minister
• Upper house
Council of the Nation
• Lower house
People's National Assembly
• Al Jazâ'ir
• French Algeria
5 July 1830
• Independence from France
3 July 1962
5 July 1962
• Current constitution
10 September 1963
2,381,741 km2 (919,595 sq mi) (10th)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
• 2013 census
15.9/km2 (41.2/sq mi) (208th)
• Per capita
• Per capita
high · 83rd
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
This article contains
Arabic text. Without proper rendering support,
you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.
Algeria (/ælˈdʒɪəriə/; Arabic: الجزائر al-Jazā'ir,
Arabic الدزاير al-dzāyīr; Berber languages:
ⴷⵣⴰⵢⴻⵔ; Dzayer; French: Algérie), officially the People's
Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa
on the Mediterranean coast. The capital and most populous city is
Algiers, located in the far north of the country. With an area of
2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi),
Algeria is the
tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in
South Sudan became independent from
Sudan in 2011.
bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the
west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory,
Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by
the Mediterranean Sea. The country is a semi-presidential republic
consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes (counties). Abdelaziz
Bouteflika has been President since 1999.
Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including
ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals,
Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Idrisid, Aghlabid, Rustamid, Fatimids,
Zirid, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Spaniards,
Ottomans and the
French colonial empire.
Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of
Algeria is a regional and middle power. The North African country
supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports
are the backbone of the economy. According to
Algeria has the
16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in
Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas.
Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa.
Algeria has one of the largest militaries in
Africa and the largest
defence budget on the continent; most of Algeria's weapons are
imported from Russia, with whom they are a close ally. Algeria
is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United
Nations and is a founding member of the Arab
2.1 Ancient history
2.2 Middle Ages
2.3 Ottoman era
2.4 French colonization (1830–1962)
2.5 The first three decades of independence (1962–1991)
2.6 Civil War (1991–2002) and aftermath
3.1 Climate and hydrology
3.2 Fauna and flora
4.1 Foreign relations
4.3 Human rights
5 Administrative divisions
6.2 Research and alternative energy sources
6.3 Labour market
7.1 Ethnic groups
11 See also
15 External links
The country's name derives from the city of Algiers. The city's name
in turn derives from the
Arabic al-Jazā'ir (الجزائر, "The
Islands"), a truncated form of the older Jazā'ir Banī Mazghanna
(جزائر بني مزغنة, "Islands of the Mazghanna
Tribe"),[page needed][page needed] employed by
medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi.
Main article: History of Algeria
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Main articles: Prehistoric
North Africa and
North Africa during
In the region of Ain Hanech (Saïda Province), early remnants (200,000
BC) of hominid occupation in
North Africa were found. Neanderthal tool
makers produced hand axes in the Levalloisian and
(43,000 BC) similar to those in the Levant.
Algeria was the
site of the highest state of development of
Middle Paleolithic Flake
tool techniques. Tools of this era, starting about 30,000 BC, are
Aterian (after the archeological site of Bir el Ater, south of
The earliest blade industries in
North Africa are called
Iberomaurusian (located mainly in the
Oran region). This industry
appears to have spread throughout the coastal regions of the Maghreb
between 15,000 and 10,000 BC. Neolithic civilization (animal
domestication and agriculture) developed in the Saharan and
Maghreb perhaps as early as 11,000 BC or as late as
between 6000 and 2000 BC. This life, richly depicted in the Tassili
n'Ajjer paintings, predominated in
Algeria until the classical period.
The mixture of peoples of
North Africa coalesced eventually into a
distinct native population that came to be called Berbers, who are the
indigenous peoples of northern Africa.
Roman ruins at Djémila
Ancient Roman ruins of Timgadon the street leading to the local Arch
From their principal center of power at Carthage, the Carthaginians
expanded and established small settlements along the North African
coast; by 600 BC, a Phoenician presence existed at Tipasa, east of
Hippo Regius (modern Annaba) and
Rusicade (modern Skikda).
These settlements served as market towns as well as anchorages.
As Carthaginian power grew, its impact on the indigenous population
increased dramatically. Berber civilization was already at a stage in
which agriculture, manufacturing, trade, and political organization
supported several states. Trade links between
Carthage and the Berbers
in the interior grew, but territorial expansion also resulted in the
enslavement or military recruitment of some
Berbers and in the
extraction of tribute from others.
Numidia along with Egypt, Rome, and
Carthage 200 BC
Ancient Roman theatre in Djémila
By the early 4th century BC,
Berbers formed the single largest element
of the Carthaginian army. In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber
soldiers rebelled from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the
Carthage in the First
Punic War. They succeeded in obtaining
control of much of Carthage's North African territory, and they minted
coins bearing the name Libyan, used in Greek to describe natives of
North Africa. The Carthaginian state declined because of successive
defeats by the Romans in the
Masinissa (c. 238–148 BC), first king of Numidia
Jugurtha (c. 160–104 BC), king of Numidia
In 146 BC the city of
Carthage was destroyed. As Carthaginian power
waned, the influence of Berber leaders in the hinterland grew. By the
2nd century BC, several large but loosely administered Berber kingdoms
had emerged. Two of them were established in Numidia, behind the
coastal areas controlled by Carthage. West of
Numidia lay Mauretania,
which extended across the
Moulouya River in modern-day
Morocco to the
Atlantic Ocean. The high point of Berber civilization, unequaled until
the coming of the
Almoravids more than a millennium
later, was reached during the reign of
Masinissa in the 2nd century
After Masinissa's death in 148 BC, the Berber kingdoms were divided
and reunited several times. Masinissa's line survived until 24 AD,
when the remaining Berber territory was annexed to the Roman Empire.
For several centuries
Algeria was ruled by the Romans, who founded
many colonies in the region. Like the rest of North Africa, Algeria
was one of the breadbaskets of the empire, exporting cereals and other
agricultural products. Saint Augustine was the bishop of Hippo Regius
(modern-day Algeria), located in the Roman province of Africa. The
Geiseric moved into
North Africa in 429, and by
435 controlled coastal Numidia. They did not make any significant
settlement on the land, as they were harassed by local tribes. In
fact, by the time the Byzantines arrived Lepcis Magna was abandoned
and the Msellata region was occupied by the indigenous Laguatan who
had been busy facilitating an
Amazigh political, military and cultural
Main article: Medieval Muslim Algeria
Mansourah mosque, Tlemcen
After negligible resistance from the locals, Muslim
Arabs of the
Umayyad Caliphate conquered
Algeria in the mid-7th century and a large
number of the indigenous people converted to the newly founded faith
of Islam. After the fall of the
Umayyad Caliphate, numerous local
dynasties emerged, including the Aghlabids, Almohads, Abdalwadid,
Zirids, Rustamids, Hammadids,
Almoravids and the Fatimids.
During the Middle Ages,
North Africa was home to many great scholars,
saints and sovereigns including Judah Ibn Quraysh, the first
grammarian to suggest the Afroasiatic language family, the great Sufi
masters Sidi Boumediene (Abu Madyan) and Sidi El Houari, and the Emirs
Abd Al Mu'min and Yāghmūrasen. It was during this time that the
Fatimids or children of Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, came to the
Maghreb. These "Fatimids" went on to found a long lasting dynasty
stretching across the Maghreb,
Hejaz and the Levant, boasting a
secular inner government, as well as a powerful army and navy, made up
Arabs and Levantines extending from
Algeria to their
capital state of Cairo. The
Fatimid caliphate began to collapse when
its governors the
Zirids seceded. In order to punish them the Fatimids
sent the Arab
Banu Hilal and
Banu Sulaym against them. The resultant
war is recounted in the epic Tāghribāt. In Al-Tāghrībāt the
Zirid Hero Khālīfā Al-Zānatī asks daily, for duels, to
defeat the Hilalan hero Ābu Zayd al-Hilalī and many other Arab
knights in a string of victories. The Zirids, however, were ultimately
defeated ushering in an adoption of Arab customs and culture. The
Amazigh tribes, however, remained largely independent, and
depending on tribe, location and time controlled varying parts of the
Maghreb, at times unifying it (as under the Fatimids). The Fatimid
Islamic state, also known as
Fatimid Caliphate made an Islamic empire
that included North Africa, Sicily, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria,
Red Sea coast of Africa, Tihamah,
Yemen. Caliphates from Northern
Africa traded with the
other empires of their time, as well as forming part of a confederated
support and trade network with other Islamic states during the Islamic
Fatimid Caliphate, c. 960–1100
The Amazighs historically consisted of several tribes. The two main
branches were the Botr and Barnès tribes, who were divided into
tribes, and again into sub-tribes. Each region of the Maghreb
contained several tribes (for example, Sanhadja, Houara, Zenata,
Masmouda, Kutama, Awarba, and Berghwata). All these tribes made
independent territorial decisions.
Amazigh dynasties emerged during the
Middle Ages in the
Maghreb and other nearby lands.
Ibn Khaldun provides a table
Amazigh dynasties of the
Maghreb region, the Zirid,
Banu Ifran, Maghrawa, Almoravid, Hammadid, Almohad, Merinid,
In the early 16th century,
Spain constructed fortified outposts
(presidios) on or near the Algerian coast.
Spain took control of few
coastal towns like
Mers el Kebir
Mers el Kebir in 1505;
Oran in 1509; and Tlemcen,
Ténès in 1510. In the same year, a few merchants of
Algiers ceded one of the rocky islets in their harbour to Spain, which
built a fort on it. The presidios in
North Africa turned out to be a
costly and largely ineffective military endeavour that did not
guarantee access for Spain's merchant fleet.
Main article: Banu Hilal
Almohad Caliphate at its greatest extent, c. 1212
There reigned in Ifriqiya, current Tunisia, a Berber family, Zirid,
somehow recognising the suzerainty of the
Fatimid caliph of Cairo.
Probably in 1048, the
Zirid ruler or viceroy, el-Mu'izz, decided to
end this suzerainty. The
Fatimid state was too weak to attempt a
punitive expedition; The Viceroy, el-Mu'izz, also found another means
Nile and the
Red Sea were living
Bedouin tribes expelled
Arabia for their disruption and turbulent influence, both Banu
Banu Sulaym among others, whose presence disrupted farmers
Nile Valley since the nomads would often loot. The then Fatimid
vizier devised to relinquish control of the
Maghreb and obtained the
agreement of his sovereign. This not only prompted the Bedouins to
leave, but the
Fatimid treasury even gave them a light expatriation
Whole tribes set off with women, children, ancestors, animals and
camping equipment. Some stopped on the way, especially in Cyrenaica,
where they are still one of the essential elements of the settlement
but most arrived in
Ifriqiya by the Gabes region. The
tried to stop this rising tide, but each meeting, the last under the
walls of Kairouan, his troops were defeated and
Arabs remained masters
of the field.
The flood was still rising, and in 1057 the
Arabs spread on the high
plains of Constantine where they gradually choked Qalaa of Banu
Hammad, as they had done
Kairouan few decades ago. From there they
gradually gained the upper
Oran plains. Some were forcibly
taken by the
Almohads in the second half of the 12th century. We can
say that in the 13th century there were in all of North Africa, with
the exception of the main mountain ranges and certain coastal regions
remained entirely Berber.
Main article: Ottoman Algeria
The Zayyanid kingdom of
Tlemcen in the fifteenth century and its
The region of
Algeria was partially ruled by
Ottomans for three
centuries from 1516 to 1830. In 1516 the Turkish privateer brothers
Aruj and Hayreddin Barbarossa, who operated successfully under the
Hafsids, moved their base of operations to Algiers. They succeeded in
conquering Jijel and
Algiers from the
Spaniards but eventually assumed
control over the city and the surrounding region, forcing the previous
ruler, Abu Hamo Musa III of the Bani Ziyad dynasty, to flee. When
Aruj was killed in 1518 during his invasion of Tlemcen, Hayreddin
succeeded him as military commander of Algiers. The Ottoman sultan
gave him the title of beylerbey and a contingent of some 2,000
janissaries. With the aid of this force, Hayreddin conquered the whole
area between Constantine and
Oran (although the city of
in Spanish hands until 1791).
The next beylerbey was Hayreddin's son Hasan, who assumed the position
in 1544. Until 1587 the area was governed by officers who served terms
with no fixed limits. Subsequently, with the institution of a regular
Ottoman administration, governors with the title of pasha ruled for
three-year terms. The pasha was assisted by janissaries, known in
Algeria as the ojaq and led by an agha. Discontent among the ojaq rose
in the mid-1600s because they were not paid regularly, and they
repeatedly revolted against the pasha. As a result, the agha charged
the pasha with corruption and incompetence and seized power in
Plague had repeatedly struck the cities of North Africa.
from 30,000 to 50,000 inhabitants to the plague in 1620–21, and
suffered high fatalities in 1654–57, 1665, 1691 and 1740–42.
In 1671, the taifa rebelled, killed the agha, and placed one of its
own in power. The new leader received the title of dey. After 1689,
the right to select the dey passed to the divan, a council of some
sixty nobles. It was at first dominated by the ojaq; but by the 18th
century, it had become the dey's instrument. In 1710, the dey
persuaded the sultan to recognise him and his successors as regent,
replacing the pasha in that role, although
Algiers remained a part of
the Ottoman Empire.
The dey was in effect a constitutional autocrat. The dey was elected
for a life term, but in the 159 years (1671–1830) that the system
survived, fourteen of the twenty-nine deys were assassinated. Despite
usurpation, military coups and occasional mob rule, the day-to-day
operation of Ottoman government was remarkably orderly. Although the
regency patronised the tribal chieftains, it never had the unanimous
allegiance of the countryside, where heavy taxation frequently
provoked unrest. Autonomous tribal states were tolerated, and the
regency's authority was seldom applied in the Kabylie.
Christian slaves in Algiers, 1706
Barbary pirates preyed on
Christian and other non-Islamic shipping
in the western Mediterranean Sea. The pirates often took the
passengers and crew on the ships and sold them or used them as
slaves. They also did a brisk business in ransoming some of the
captives. According to Robert Davis, from the 16th to 19th century,
pirates captured 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans as slaves.
They often made raids, called Razzias, on European coastal towns to
Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in
North Africa and
the Ottoman Empire.
In 1544, Hayreddin captured the island of Ischia, taking 4,000
prisoners, and enslaved some 9,000 inhabitants of Lipari, almost the
entire population. In 1551,
Turgut Reis enslaved the entire
population of the Maltese island of Gozo, between 5,000 and 6,000,
sending the captives to Libya. In 1554, pirates sacked
Italy and took an estimated 7,000 captives as slaves.
In 1558, Barbary corsairs captured the town of
destroyed it, slaughtered the inhabitants and took 3,000 survivors as
slaves to Istanbul.
Barbary pirates often attacked the Balearic
Islands, and in response, the residents built many coastal watchtowers
and fortified churches. The threat was so severe that residents
abandoned the island of Formentera. Between 1609 and 1616, England
lost 466 merchant ships to Barbary pirates.
Algiers by the Anglo-Dutch fleet, to support the
ultimatum to release European slaves, August 1816
In July 1627 two pirate ships from
Algiers sailed as far as
Iceland, raiding and capturing slaves. Two weeks
earlier another pirate ship from Salé in
Morocco had also raided in
Iceland. Some of the slaves brought to
Algiers were later ransomed
back to Iceland, but some chose to stay in Algeria. In 1629 pirate
Algeria raided the Faroe Islands.
In the 19th century, the pirates forged affiliations with Caribbean
powers, paying a "licence tax" in exchange for safe harbour of their
vessels. One American slave reported that the Algerians had
enslaved 130 American seamen in the Mediterranean and Atlantic from
1785 to 1793.
Piracy on American vessels in the Mediterranean resulted in the United
States initiating the First (1801–1805) and Second Barbary Wars
(1815). Following those wars,
Algeria was weaker and Europeans, with
an Anglo-Dutch fleet commanded by the British Lord Exmouth, attacked
Algiers. After a nine-hour bombardment, they obtained a treaty from
Dey that reaffirmed the conditions imposed by Captain (later
Stephen Decatur (U.S. Navy) concerning the demands of
tributes. In addition, the
Dey agreed to end the practice of enslaving
French colonization (1830–1962)
French Algeria and Algerian War
Battle of Somah in 1836
Under the pretext of a slight to their consul, the French invaded and
Algiers in 1830. Algerian slave trade and piracy
ceased when the French conquered Algiers. The conquest of Algeria
by the French took some time and resulted in considerable bloodshed. A
combination of violence and disease epidemics caused the indigenous
Algerian population to decline by nearly one-third from 1830 to
1872.[unreliable source?] Historian
Ben Kiernan wrote on the
French conquest of Algeria: "By 1875, the French conquest was
complete. The war had killed approximately 825,000 indigenous
Algerians since 1830." The population of Algeria, which stood at
about 1.5 million in 1830, reached nearly 11 million in 1960.
French policy was predicated on "civilising" the country. During
this period, a small but influential French-speaking indigenous elite
was formed, made up of Berbers, mostly Kabyles. As a consequence,
French government favored the Kabyles. About 80% of Indigenous
schools were constructed for Kabyles.
Emir Abdelkader, Algerian leader insurgent against French colonial
From 1848 until independence,
France administered the whole
Mediterranean region of
Algeria as an integral part and département
of the nation. One of France's longest-held overseas territories,
Algeria became a destination for hundreds of thousands of European
immigrants, who became known as colons and later, as Pied-Noirs.
Between 1825 and 1847, 50,000
French people emigrated to
Algeria.[page needed] These settlers benefited from the
French government's confiscation of communal land from tribal peoples,
and the application of modern agricultural techniques that increased
the amount of arable land. Many Europeans settled in
Algiers, and by the early 20th century they formed a majority of the
population in both cities.
The six historical Leaders of the FLN: Rabah Bitat, Mostefa Ben
Boulaïd, Didouche Mourad, Mohammed Boudiaf,
Krim Belkacem and Larbi
During the late 19th and early 20th century; the European share was
almost a fifth of the population. The French government aimed at
Algeria an assimilated part of France, and this included
substantial educational investments especially after 1900. The
indigenous cultural and religious resistance heavily opposed this
tendency, but in contrast to the other colonised countries' path in
central Asia and Caucasus,
Algeria kept its individual skills and a
relatively human-capital intensive agriculture.
Gradually, dissatisfaction among the Muslim population, which lacked
political and economic status in the colonial system, gave rise to
demands for greater political autonomy and eventually independence
from France. In May 1945, the uprising against the occupying French
forces was suppressed through what is now known as the
Guelma massacre. Tensions between the two population groups came to a
head in 1954, when the first violent events of what was later called
Algerian War began. Historians have estimated that between 30,000
and 150,000 Harkis and their dependents were killed by the Front de
Libération Nationale (FLN) or by lynch mobs in Algeria. The FLN
used hit and run attacks in
France as part of its war, and
the French conducted severe reprisals.
The war led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Algerians and
hundreds of thousands of injuries. Historians, like
Alistair Horne and
Raymond Aron, state that the actual number of Algerian Muslim war dead
was far greater than the original FLN and official French estimates
but was less than the 1 million deaths claimed by the Algerian
government after independence. Horne estimated Algerian casualties
during the span of eight years to be around 700,000. The war
uprooted more than 2 million Algerians.
The war against French rule concluded in 1962, when
complete independence following the March 1962
Evian agreements and
the July 1962 self-determination referendum.
The first three decades of independence (1962–1991)
History of Algeria
History of Algeria (1962–99)
The number of European Pied-Noirs who fled
Algeria totaled more than
900,000 between 1962 and 1964. The exodus to mainland France
accelerated after the
Oran massacre of 1962, in which hundreds of
militants entered European sections of the city, and began attacking
Algeria's first president was the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN)
leader Ahmed Ben Bella. Morocco's claim to portions of western Algeria
led to the
Sand War in 1963. Ben Bella was overthrown in 1965 by
Houari Boumédiène, his former ally and defence minister. Under Ben
Bella, the government had become increasingly socialist and
authoritarian; Boumédienne continued this trend. But, he relied much
more on the army for his support, and reduced the sole legal party to
a symbolic role. He collectivised agriculture and launched a massive
industrialization drive. Oil extraction facilities were nationalised.
This was especially beneficial to the leadership after the
international 1973 oil crisis.
In the 1960s and 1970s under President Houari Boumediene, Algeria
pursued a program of industrialization within a state-controlled
socialist economy. Boumediene's successor, Chadli Bendjedid,
introduced some liberal economic reforms. He promoted a policy of
Arabisation in Algerian society and public life. Teachers of Arabic,
brought in from other Muslim countries, spread conventional Islamic
thought in schools and sowed the seeds of a return to Orthodox
The Algerian economy became increasingly dependent on oil, leading to
hardship when the price collapsed during the 1980s oil glut.
Economic recession caused by the crash in world oil prices resulted in
Algerian social unrest during the 1980s; by the end of the decade,
Bendjedid introduced a multi-party system. Political parties
developed, such as the
Islamic Salvation Front
Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), a broad
coalition of Muslim groups.
Civil War (1991–2002) and aftermath
Main article: Algerian Civil War
Massacres of over 50 people in 1997–1998. The Armed Islamic Group
(GIA) claimed responsibility for many of them.
In December 1991 the
Islamic Salvation Front
Islamic Salvation Front dominated the first of
two rounds of legislative elections. Fearing the election of an
Islamist government, the authorities intervened on 11 January 1992,
cancelling the elections. Bendjedid resigned and a High Council of
State was installed to act as Presidency. It banned the FIS,
triggering a civil insurgency between the Front's armed wing, the
Armed Islamic Group, and the national armed forces, in which more than
100,000 people are thought to have died. The
conducted a violent campaign of civilian massacres. At several
points in the conflict, the situation in
Algeria became a point of
international concern, most notably during the crisis surrounding Air
France Flight 8969, a hijacking perpetrated by the Armed Islamic
Armed Islamic Group
Armed Islamic Group declared a ceasefire in October
Algeria held elections in 1999, considered biased by international
observers and most opposition groups which were won by President
Abdelaziz Bouteflika. He worked to restore political stability to the
country and announced a "Civil Concord" initiative, approved in a
referendum, under which many political prisoners were pardoned, and
several thousand members of armed groups were granted exemption from
prosecution under a limited amnesty, in force until 13 January 2000.
The AIS disbanded and levels of insurgent violence fell rapidly. The
Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat
Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC), a splinter
group of the Group Islamic Army, continued a terrorist campaign
against the Government.
Bouteflika was re-elected in the April 2004 presidential election
after campaigning on a programme of national reconciliation. The
programme comprised economic, institutional, political and social
reform to modernise the country, raise living standards, and tackle
the causes of alienation. It also included a second amnesty
initiative, the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation, which
was approved in a referendum in September 2005. It offered amnesty to
most guerrillas and Government security forces.
In November 2008, the
Algerian Constitution was amended following a
vote in Parliament, removing the two-term limit on Presidential
incumbents. This change enabled Bouteflika to stand for re-election in
the 2009 presidential elections, and he was re-elected in April 2009.
During his election campaign and following his re-election, Bouteflika
promised to extend the programme of national reconciliation and a
$150-billion spending programme to create three million new jobs, the
construction of one million new housing units, and to continue public
sector and infrastructure modernisation programmes.
A continuing series of protests throughout the country started on 28
December 2010, inspired by similar protests across the
Middle East and
North Africa. On 24 February 2011, the government lifted Algeria's
19-year-old state of emergency. The government enacted legislation
dealing with political parties, the electoral code, and the
representation of women in elected bodies. In April 2011,
Bouteflika promised further constitutional and political reform.
However, elections are routinely criticized by opposition groups as
unfair and international human rights groups say that media censorship
and harassment of political opponents continue.
Main article: Geography of Algeria
Djurdjura Range in snow
Tadrart Rouge near Djanet.
Ouarsenis, range of mountains in North-Western (1985m)
Maritime front of Bejaïa
The Tassili n'Ajjer.
Bakhdache valley laghouat.
Algeria is the largest country in Africa, and the Mediterranean Basin.
Its southern part includes a significant portion of the Sahara. To the
Tell Atlas form with the Saharan Atlas, further south, two
parallel sets of reliefs in approaching eastbound, and between which
are inserted vast plains and highlands. Both Atlas tend to merge in
eastern Algeria. The vast mountain ranges of
Aures and Nememcha occupy
the entire northeastern
Algeria and are delineated by the Tunisian
border. The highest point is
Mount Tahat (3,003 m).
The Sahara, the Ahaggar and the Atlas mountains compose the Algerian
Algeria lies mostly between latitudes 19° and 37°N (a small area is
north of 37°N and south of 19°N), and longitudes 9°W and 12°E.
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 ending
with the Saharan Atlas; farther south, there is 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 mi) south of the
capital, Algiers, and just west of Tamanghasset. Algiers, Oran,
Annaba are Algeria's main cities.
Climate and hydrology
Main article: Climate of Algeria
Algeria map of Köppen climate classification.
Saharan oasis town of Taghit
Lake Agoulmime, Tikjda.
In this region, midday desert temperatures can be hot year round.
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.
Rainfall is fairly plentiful along the coastal part of the Tell Atlas,
ranging from 400 to 670 mm (15.7 to 26.4 in) annually, the
amount of precipitation increasing from west to east. Precipitation is
heaviest in the northern part of eastern Algeria, where it reaches as
much as 1,000 mm (39.4 in) in some years.
Farther inland, the rainfall is less plentiful.
Algeria also has ergs,
or sand dunes, between mountains. Among these, in the summer time when
winds are heavy and gusty, temperatures can get up to 43.3 °C
Fauna and flora
Main article: Wildlife of Algeria
Cedrus of Chélia in the Aures
The varied vegetation of
Algeria includes coastal, mountainous and
grassy desert-like regions which all support a wide range of wildlife.
Many of the creatures comprising the Algerian wildlife live in close
proximity to civilization. The most commonly seen animals include the
wild boars, jackals, and gazelles, although it is not uncommon to spot
fennecs (foxes), and jerboas.
Algeria also has a small African leopard
Saharan cheetah population, but these are seldom seen. A species
of deer, the Barbary stag, inhabits the dense humid forests in the
A variety of bird species makes the country an attraction for bird
watchers. The forests are inhabited by boars and jackals. Barbary
macaques are the sole native monkey. Snakes, monitor lizards, and
numerous other reptiles can be found living among an array of rodents
throughout the semi arid regions of Algeria. Many animals are now
extinct, including the Barbary lions, Atlas bears and crocodiles.
In the north, some of the native flora includes
Macchia scrub, olive
trees, oaks, cedars and other conifers. The mountain regions contain
large forests of evergreens (Aleppo pine, juniper, and evergreen oak)
and some deciduous trees. Fig, eucalyptus, agave, and various palm
trees grow in the warmer areas. The grape vine is indigenous to the
coast. In the
Sahara region, some oases have palm trees. Acacias with
wild olives are the predominant flora in the remainder of the Sahara.
Camels are used extensively; the desert also abounds with venomous and
nonvenomous snakes, scorpions, and numerous insects.
Main article: Politics of Algeria
The People's National Assembly
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Elected politicians are considered to have relatively little sway over
Algeria. Instead, a group of unelected civilian and military
"décideurs", known as "le pouvoir" ("the power"), actually rule the
country, even deciding who should be president. The most powerful man
may be Mohamed Mediène, head of the military intelligence. In
recent years, many of these generals have died or retired. After the
death of General Larbi Belkheir, Bouteflika put loyalists in key
posts, notably at Sonatrach, and secured constitutional amendments
that make him re-electable indefinitely.
The head of state is the president of Algeria, who is elected for a
five-year term. The president was formerly limited to two five-year
terms, but a constitutional amendment passed by the Parliament on 11
November 2008 removed this limitation.
Algeria has universal
suffrage at 18 years of age. The President is the head of the army,
the Council of Ministers and the High Security Council. He appoints
the Prime Minister who is also the head of government.
The Algerian parliament is bicameral; the lower house, the People's
National Assembly, has 462 members who are directly elected for
five-year terms, while the upper house, the Council of the Nation, has
144 members serving six-year terms, of which 96 members are chosen by
local assemblies and 48 are appointed by the president. According
to the constitution, no political association may be formed if it is
"based on differences in religion, language, race, gender, profession,
or region". In addition, political campaigns must be exempt from the
Parliamentary elections were last held in May 2012, and were judged to
be largely free by international monitors, though local groups alleged
fraud and irregularities. In the elections, the FLN won 221 seats,
the military-backed National Rally for Democracy won 70, and the
Green Algeria Alliance
Green Algeria Alliance won 47.
Main article: Foreign relations of Algeria
Abdelaziz Bouteflika and
George W. Bush
George W. Bush exchange handshakes
at the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort and Spa in Tōyako Town, Abuta
District, Hokkaidō in 2008. With them are Dmitriy Medvedev, left, and
Yasuo Fukuda, right.
Algeria is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood
Policy (ENP) which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer.
Giving incentives and rewarding best performers, as well as offering
funds in a faster and more flexible manner, are the two main
principles underlying the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) that
came into force in 2014. It has a budget of €15.4 billion and
provides the bulk of funding through a number of programmes.
In 2009, the French government agreed to compensate victims of nuclear
tests in Algeria. Defense Minister Herve Morin stated that "It’s
time for our country to be at peace with itself, at peace thanks to a
system of compensation and reparations," when presenting the draft law
on the payouts. Algerian officials and activists believe that this is
a good first step and hope that this move would encourage broader
Morocco in relation to the Western Sahara
have been an obstacle to tightening the Arab
Maghreb Union, nominally
established in 1989, but which has carried little practical
Main article: Military of Algeria
The military of
Algeria consists of the
People's National Army
People's National Army (ANP),
Algerian National Navy
Algerian National Navy (MRA), and the
Algerian Air Force
Algerian Air Force (QJJ),
plus the Territorial Air Defence Forces. It is the direct successor
of the National Liberation Army (Armée de Libération Nationale or
ALN), the armed wing of the nationalist National Liberation Front
which fought French colonial occupation during the
Algerian War of
Total military personnel include 147,000 active, 150,000 reserve, and
187,000 paramilitary staff (2008 estimate). Service in the
military is compulsory for men aged 19–30, for a total of 12
months. The military expenditure was 4.3% of the gross domestic
product (GDP) in 2012.
Algeria has the second largest military in
North Africa with the largest defence budget in
In 2007, the
Algerian Air Force
Algerian Air Force signed a deal with
Russia to purchase
49 MiG-29SMT and 6 MiG-29UBT at an estimated cost of
Russia is also building two 636-type diesel
submarines for Algeria.
Main article: Human rights in Algeria
Algeria has been categorized by
Freedom House as "not free" since it
began publishing such ratings in 1972, with the exception of 1989,
1990, and 1991, when the country was labeled "partly free." In
December 2016, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor issued a
report regarding violation of media freedom in Algeria. It clarified
that the Algerian government imposed restriction on freedom of the
press; expression; and right to peaceful demonstration, protest and
assembly as well as intensified censorship of the media and websites.
Due to the fact that the journalists and activists criticize the
ruling government, some media organizations' licenses are
Independent and autonomous trade unions face routine harassment from
the government, with many leaders imprisoned and protests suppressed.
In 2016 a number of unions, many of which were involved in the
2010–2012 Algerian Protests, have been deregistered by the
Homosexuality is illegal in Algeria. Public homosexual behavior is
punishable by up to two years in prison.
Main articles: Provinces of Algeria, Districts of Algeria, and
Municipalities of Algeria
Algeria is divided into 48 provinces (wilayas), 553 districts
(daïras) and 1,541 municipalities (baladiyahs). Each province,
district, and municipality is named after its seat, which is usually
the largest city.
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
Oum El Bouaghi
Bordj Bou Arréridj
Sidi Bel Abbès
Main article: Economy of Algeria
Graphical depiction of the country's exports in 28 colour-coded
Algeria is classified as an upper middle income country by the World
Bank. Algeria's currency is the dinar (DZD). The economy remains
dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist
post-independence development model. In recent years, the Algerian
government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and
imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its
economy. These restrictions are just started to be lifted off
recently although questions about Algeria's slow diversifying economy
Algeria has struggled to develop industries outside hydrocarbons in
part because of high costs and an inert state bureaucracy. The
government's efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign
and domestic investment outside the energy sector have done little to
reduce high youth unemployment rates or to address housing
shortages. The country is facing a number of short-term and
medium-term problems, including the need to diversify the economy,
strengthen political, economic and financial reforms, improve the
business climate and reduce inequalities amongst regions.
A wave of economic protests in February and March 2011 prompted the
Algerian government to offer more than $23 billion in public grants
and retroactive salary and benefit increases. Public spending has
increased by 27% annually during the past 5 years. The 2010–14
public-investment programme will cost US$286 billion, 40% of which
will go to human development.
The port city of Oran
The Algerian economy grew by 2.6% in 2011, driven by public spending,
in particular in the construction and public-works sector, and by
growing internal demand. If hydrocarbons are excluded, growth has been
estimated at 4.8%. Growth of 3% is expected in 2012, rising to 4.2% in
2013. The rate of inflation was 4% and the budget deficit 3% of GDP.
The current-account surplus is estimated at 9.3% of GDP and at the end
of December 2011, official reserves were put at US$182 billion.
Inflation, the lowest in the region, has remained stable at 4% on
average between 2003 and 2007.
Algeria, trends in the
Human Development Index
Human Development Index 1970–2010
Algeria announced a budgetary surplus of $26.9 billion, 62%
increase in comparison to 2010 surplus. In general, the country
exported $73 billion worth of commodities while it imported $46
Thanks to strong hydrocarbon revenues,
Algeria has a cushion of $173
billion in foreign currency reserves and a large hydrocarbon
stabilization fund. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely
low at about 2% of GDP. The economy remains very dependent on
hydrocarbon wealth, and, despite high foreign exchange reserves
(US$178 billion, equivalent to three years of imports), current
expenditure growth makes Algeria's budget more vulnerable to the risk
of prolonged lower hydrocarbon revenues.
In 2011, the agricultural sector and services recorded growth of 10%
and 5.3%, respectively. About 14% of the labor force are employed
in the agricultural sector. Fiscal policy in 2011 remained
expansionist and made it possible to maintain the pace of public
investment and to contain the strong demand for jobs and housing.
Algeria has not joined the WTO, despite several years of
In March 2006,
Russia agreed to erase $4.74 billion of Algeria's
Soviet-era debt during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin
to the country, the first by a Russian leader in half a century. In
Abdelaziz Bouteflika agreed to buy
$7.5 billion worth of combat planes, air-defence systems and
other arms from Russia, according to the head of Russia's state arms
Dubai-based conglomerate Emarat Dzayer Group said it had signed a
joint venture agreement to develop a $1.6 billion steel factory in
See also: Mining industry of Algeria
Pipelines across Algeria
Algeria, whose economy is reliant on petroleum, has been an OPEC
member since 1969. Its crude oil production stands at around 1.1
million barrels/day, but it is also a major gas producer and exporter,
with important links to Europe. Hydrocarbons have long been the
backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget
revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings.
Algeria has the
10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the
sixth-largest gas exporter. The U.S. Energy Information Administration
reported that in 2005,
Algeria had 160 trillion cubic feet
(4.5×10^12 m3) of proven natural-gas reserves. It also
ranks 16th in oil reserves.
Non-hydrocarbon growth for 2011 was projected at 5%. To cope with
social demands, the authorities raised expenditure, especially on
basic food support, employment creation, support for SMEs, and higher
salaries. High hydrocarbon prices have improved the current account
and the already large international reserves position.
Income from oil and gas rose in 2011 as a result of continuing high
oil prices, though the trend in production volume is downwards.
Production from the oil and gas sector in terms of volume, continues
to decline, dropping from 43.2 million tonnes to 32 million tonnes
between 2007 and 2011. Nevertheless, the sector accounted for 98% of
the total volume of exports in 2011, against 48% in 1962, and 70%
of budgetary receipts, or USD 71.4 billion.
The Algerian national oil company is Sonatrach, which plays a key role
in all aspects of the oil and natural gas sectors in Algeria. All
foreign operators must work in partnership with Sonatrach, which
usually has majority ownership in production-sharing agreements.
Research and alternative energy sources
Algeria has invested an estimated 100 billion dinars towards
developing research facilities and paying researchers. This
development program is meant to advance alternative energy production,
especially solar and wind power.
Algeria is estimated to have the
largest solar energy potential in the Mediterranean, so the government
has funded the creation of a solar science park in Hassi R’Mel.
Algeria has 20,000 research professors at various
universities and over 780 research labs, with state-set goals to
expand to 1,000. Besides solar energy, areas of research in Algeria
include space and satellite telecommunications, nuclear power and
Despite a decline in total unemployment, youth and women unemployment
Unemployment particularly affects the young, with a
jobless rate of 21.5% among the 15–24 age group.
The overall rate of unemployment was 10% in 2011, but remained higher
among young people, with a rate of 21.5% for those aged between 15 and
24. The government strengthened in 2011 the job programmes introduced
in 1988, in particular in the framework of the programme to aid those
seeking work (Dispositif d'Aide à l'Insertion Professionnelle).
Main article: Tourism in Algeria
The development of the tourism sector in
Algeria had previously been
hampered by a lack of facilities, but since 2004 a broad tourism
development strategy has been implemented resulting in many hotels of
a high modern standard being built.
There are several
World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites in Algeria
including Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad, the first capital of the Hammadid
empire; Tipasa, a Phoenician and later Roman town; and
Timgad, both Roman ruins; M'Zab Valley, a limestone valley containing
a large urbanized oasis; also the
Algiers is an important
citadel. The only natural
World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites is the Tassili n'Ajjer,
a mountain range.
Main article: Transport in Algeria
The main highway connecting the Moroccan to the Tunisian border was a
part of the
Cairo–Dakar Highway project
The Algerian road network is the densest in Africa; its length is
estimated at 180,000 km of highways, with more than 3,756
structures and a paving rate of 85%. This network will be complemented
by the East-West Highway, a major infrastructure project currently
under construction. It is a 3-way, 1,216-kilometre-long (756 mi)
Annaba in the extreme east to the
Tlemcen in the far
Algeria is also crossed by the Trans-
Sahara Highway, which is
now completely paved. This road is supported by the Algerian
government to increase trade between the six countries crossed:
Algeria, Mali, Niger, Nigeria,
Chad and Tunisia.
Main article: Demographics of Algeria
Historical populations (in thousands)
Source: (1856–1872) (1886–2008)
In January 2016 Algeria's population was an estimated
40.4 million, who are mainly
At the outset of the 20th century, its population was approximately
four million. About 90% of Algerians live in the northern,
coastal area; the inhabitants of the
Sahara desert are mainly
concentrated in oases, although some 1.5 million remain nomadic
or partly nomadic. 28.1% of Algerians are under the age of 15.
Women make up 70% of the country's lawyers and 60% of its judges and
also dominate the field of medicine. Increasingly, women are
contributing more to household income than men. 60% of university
students are women, according to university researchers.
Between 90,000 and 165,000 Sahrawis from
Western Sahara live in the
Sahrawi refugee camps, in the western Algerian Sahara
desert. There are also more than 4,000 Palestinian refugees, who
are well integrated and have not asked for assistance from the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 2009,
35,000 Chinese migrant workers lived in Algeria.
The largest concentration of Algerian migrants outside
Algeria is in
France, which has reportedly over 1.7 million Algerians of up to the
Ethnic groups in Algeria
Berbers as well as Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs,
Turks, various Sub-Saharan Africans, and French have contributed to
the history of Algeria. Descendants of Andalusian refugees are
also present in the population of
Algiers and other cities.
Moreover, Spanish was spoken by these Aragonese and Castillian Morisco
descendants deep into the 18th century, and even Catalan was spoken at
the same time by Catalan Morisco descendants in the small town of
Some of Algeria's traditional clothes
Despite the dominance of the Berber culture and ethnicity in Algeria,
the majority of Algerians identify with an Arabic-based identity,
especially after the Arab nationalism rising in the 20th
Berbers and Berber-speaking Algerians are divided
into many groups with varying languages. The largest of these are the
Kabyles, who live in the
Kabylie region east of Algiers, the Chaoui of
Northeast Algeria, the Tuaregs in the southern desert and the Shenwa
people of North Algeria.[page needed]
During the colonial period, there was a large (10% in 1960)
European population who became known as Pied-Noirs. They were
primarily of French, Spanish and Italian origin. Almost all of this
population left during the war of independence or immediately after
Main article: Languages of Algeria
French language in Algeria
Signs in the
University of Tizi Ouzou
University of Tizi Ouzou in three languages: Arabic,
Berber, and French
Berber and Modern Standard
Arabic are the official languages.
Arabic (Darja) is the language used by the majority of the
population. Colloquial Algerian
Arabic is heavily infused with
borrowings from French and Berber.
Berber has been recognized as a "national language" by the
constitutional amendment of 8 May 2002. Kabyle, the predominant
Berber language, is taught and is partially co-official (with a few
restrictions) in parts of Kabylie. In February 2016, the Algerian
constitution passed a resolution that would make Berber an official
language alongside Arabic.
Although French has no official status,
Algeria is the second-largest
Francophone country in the world in terms of speakers, and French
is widely used in government, media (newspapers, radio, local
television), and both the education system (from primary school
onwards) and academia due to Algeria's colonial history. It can be
regarded as a lingua franca of Algeria. In 2008, 11.2 million
Algerians could read and write in French. An Abassa Institute
study in April 2000 found that 60% of households could speak and
understand French or 18 million in a population of 30 million then.
After an earlier period during which the Algerian government tried to
phase out French (which is why it has no official status), in recent
decades the government has backtracked and reinforced the study of
French and TV programs have reinforced use of the language.
Algeria emerged as a bilingual state after 1962. Colloquial
Arabic is spoken by about 72% of the population and Berber by
Main article: Religion in Algeria
See also: Early African Church
See also: History of the Jews in Algeria
Religion in Algeria, 2010 (Pew Research)
Great Mosque of Algiers.
Islam is the predominant religion in Algeria, with its adherents,
mostly Sunnis, accounting for 99% of the population according to a
2012 CIA World Factbook estimate, and 97.9% according to Pew
Research in 2010. There are about 150,000 Ibadis in the M'zab
Valley in the region of Ghardaia.
The second-largest group in
Algeria are the religiously unaffiliated,
comprising about 1.8% according to Pew Research in 2010.
Estimates of the number of Christians in
Algeria vary. A Pew Research
Center study in 2010 estimated there were 60,000 Christians in
Algeria. In a 1993 study the
Federal Research Division estimated
there were 45,000 Catholics and 50,000–100,000[not in citation
Protestants in Algeria. A 2015 study estimated there were
Muslims who converted to Christianity in Algeria.
Following the Revolution and Algerian independence, all but 6,500 of
the country's 140,000 Jews left the country, of whom about 90% moved
France with the Pied-Noirs and 10% left for Israel.[citation
Algeria has given the Muslim world a number of prominent thinkers,
including Emir Abdelkader, Abdelhamid Ben Badis, Mouloud Kacem Naît
Malek Bennabi and Mohamed Arkoun.
Main article: List of cities in Algeria
Below is a list of the most important Algerian cities:
Largest cities or towns in Algeria
ONS estimates for 2008
Bordj Bou Arréridj
Bordj Bou Arréridj
Bordj Bou Arréridj Province
Oum El Bouaghi Province
Sidi Bel Abbès
Sidi Bel Abbès
Sidi Bel Abbès Province
Main article: Culture of Algeria
Algerian musicians in Tlemcen. Painting by Bachir Yellès
Modern Algerian literature, split between Arabic, Tamazight and
French, has been strongly influenced by the country's recent history.
Famous novelists of the 20th century include Mohammed Dib, Albert
Kateb Yacine and
Ahlam Mosteghanemi 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
Malek Bennabi and
Frantz Fanon are noted for their thoughts on
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo was born in
Souk Ahras); and Ibn Khaldun, though born in Tunis, wrote the
Muqaddima while staying in Algeria. 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
Madaurus (Mdaourouch), in what later became Algeria.
Algerian cinema is various in terms of genre, exploring a
wider range of themes and issues. There has been a transition from
cinema which focused on the war of independence to films more
concerned with the everyday lives of Algerians.
Main article: Media of Algeria
Mohammed Racim was a Painter and founder of the Algerian school of
Algerian painters, like Mohamed Racim or Baya, attempted to revive the
prestigious Algerian past prior to French colonization, at the same
time that they have contributed to the preservation of the authentic
values of Algeria. In this line, Mohamed Temam, Abdelkhader Houamel
have also returned through this art, scenes from the history of the
country, the habits and customs of the past and the country life.
Other new artistic currents including the one of M'hamed Issiakhem,
Mohammed Khadda and Bachir Yelles, appeared on the scene of Algerian
painting, abandoning figurative classical painting to find new
pictorial ways, in order to adapt Algerian paintings to the new
realities of the country through its struggle and its aspirations.
Mohammed Khadda and
M'hamed Issiakhem have been notable in recent
Algerian literature and List of Algerian writers
Ahlam Mosteghanemi, the most widely read woman writer in the Arab
The historic roots of
Algerian literature go back to the Numidian and
Roman African era, when
Apuleius wrote The Golden Ass, the only Latin
novel to survive in its entirety. This period had also known Augustine
Nonius Marcellus and Martianus Capella, among many others.
Middle Ages have known many
Arabic writers who revolutionized the
Arab world literature, with authors like Ahmad al-Buni,
Ibn Manzur and
Ibn Khaldoun, who wrote the
Muqaddimah while staying in Algeria, and
Albert Camus was an Algerian-born French
Pied-Noir author. In 1957 he
was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.
Algeria contains, in its literary landscape, big names having
not only marked the Algerian literature, but also the universal
literary heritage in
Arabic and French.
As a first step,
Algerian literature was marked by works whose main
concern was the assertion of the Algerian national entity, there is
the publication of novels as the Algerian trilogy of Mohammed Dib, or
even Nedjma of
Kateb Yacine novel which is often regarded as a
monumental and major work. Other known writers will contribute to the
Algerian literature whom include Mouloud Feraoun, Malek
Bennabi, Malek Haddad, Moufdi Zakaria, Abdelhamid Ben Badis, Mohamed
Laïd Al-Khalifa, Mouloud Mammeri, Frantz Fanon, and Assia Djebar.
In the aftermath of the independence, several new authors emerged on
the Algerian literary scene, they will attempt through their works to
expose a number of social problems, among them there are Rachid
Boudjedra, Rachid Mimouni, Leila Sebbar,
Tahar Djaout and Tahir
Currently, a part of Algerian writers tends to be defined in a
literature of shocking expression, due to the terrorism that occurred
during the 1990s, the other party is defined in a different style of
literature who staged an individualistic conception of the human
adventure. Among the most noted recent works, there is the writer, the
swallows of Kabul and the attack of Yasmina Khadra, the oath of
barbarians of Boualem Sansal, memory of the flesh of Ahlam
Mosteghanemi and the last novel by
Assia Djebar nowhere in my father's
Main article: Music of Algeria
Chaâbi music is a typically Algerian musical genre characterized by
specific rhythms and of Qacidate (Popular poems) in
The undisputed master of this music is El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka. The
Constantinois Malouf style is saved by musician from whom Mohamed
Tahar Fergani is a performer.
El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka
Cheb Khaled King raï
Folk music styles include
Bedouin music, characterized by the poetic
songs based on long kacida (poems); Kabyle music, based on a rich
repertoire that is poetry and old tales passed through generations;
Shawiya music, a folklore from diverse areas of the Aurès Mountains.
Rahaba music style is unique to the Aures.
Souad Massi is a rising
Algerian folk singer. Other Algerian singers of the diaspora include
Manel Filali in
Kenza Farah in France. Tergui music is
Tuareg languages generally,
Tinariwen had a worldwide success.
Finally, the staïfi music is born in
Sétif and remains a unique
style of its kind.
Modern music is available in several facets,
Raï music is a style
typical of Western Algeria. Rap, relatively recent style in Algeria,
is experiencing significant growth.
Main article: Cinema of Algeria
Chronicle of the Years of Fire, the film won the
Palme d'Or prize at
the 1975 Cannes Film Festival.
The Algerian state's interest in film-industry activities can be seen
in the annual budget of DZD 200 million (EUR 1.8) allocated to
production, specific measures and an ambitious programme plan
implemented by the Ministry of Culture in order to promote national
production, renovate the cinema stock and remedy the weak links in
distribution and exploitation.
The financial support provided by the state, through the Fund for the
Development of the Arts, Techniques and the Film Industry (FDATIC) and
the Algerian Agency for Cultural Influence (AARC), plays a key role in
the promotion of national production. Between 2007 and 2013, FDATIC
subsidised 98 films (feature films, documentaries and short films). In
mid-2013, AARC had already supported a total of 78 films, including 42
feature films, 6 short films and 30 documentaries.
According to the European Audiovisual Observatory's LUMIERE database,
41 Algerian films were distributed in Europe between 1996 and 2013; 21
films in this repertoire were Algerian-French co-productions. Days of
Glory (2006) and Outside the Law (2010) recorded the highest number of
admissions in the European Union, 3,172,612 and 474,722,
Algeria won the
Palme d'Or for
Chronicle of the Years of Fire
Chronicle of the Years of Fire (1975),
two Oscars for Z (1969), and other awards for The Battle of Algiers.
Main article: Sport in Algeria
Various games have existed in
Algeria since antiquity. In the Aures,
people played several games such as El Kherdba or El khergueba (chess
variant). Playing cards, checkers and chess games are part of Algerian
culture. Racing (fantasia) and rifle shooting are part of cultural
recreation of the Algerians.
The first Algerian and African gold medalist is
Boughera El Ouafi
Boughera El Ouafi in
1928 Olympics of Amsterdam in the Marathon. The second Algerian
Alain Mimoun in
1956 Summer Olympics
1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne.
Several men and women were champions in athletics in the 1990s
including Noureddine Morceli, Hassiba Boulmerka, Nouria Merah-Benida,
and Taoufik Makhloufi, all specialized in middle-distance
Football is the most popular sport in Algeria. Several names are
engraved in the history of the sport, including Lakhdar Belloumi,
Rachid Mekhloufi, Hassen Lalmas, Rabah Madjer,
Salah Assad and Djamel
Algeria national football team
Algeria national football team qualified for the 1982 FIFA
World Cup, 1986 FIFA World Cup,
2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup and 2014 FIFA
World Cup. In addition, several football clubs have won continental
and international trophies as the club ES
Sétif or JS Kabylia. The
Algerian Football Federation
Algerian Football Federation is an association of
clubs organizing national competitions and international matches of
the selection of
Algeria national football team.
Main article: Algerian cuisine
A Couscous-based salad
Algerian cuisine is rich and diverse. The country was considered as
the "granary of Rome". It offers a component of dishes and varied
dishes, depending on the region and according to the seasons. The
cuisine uses cereals as the main products, since they are always
produced with abundance in the country. There is not a dish where
cereals are not present.
Algerian cuisine varies from one region to another, according to
seasonal vegetables. It can be prepared using meat, fish and
vegetables. Among the dishes known, couscous, chorba, Couscous,
Rechta, Chakhchoukha, Berkoukes, Shakshouka, Mthewem, Chtitha,
Mderbel, Dolma, Brik or Bourek, Garantita, Lham'hlou, etc. Merguez
sausage is widely used in Algeria, but it differs, depending on the
region and on the added spices.
Cakes are marketed and can be found in cities either in Algeria, in
Europe or North America. However, traditional cakes are also made at
home, following the habits and customs of each family. Among these
cakes, there are Tamina, Baklawa, Chrik, Garn logzelles, Griouech,
Kalb el-louz, Makroud, Mbardja, Mchewek, Samsa, Tcharak, Baghrir,
Khfaf, Zlabia, Aarayech, Ghroubiya and Mghergchette. Algerian pastry
also contains Tunisian or French cakes. Marketed and home-made bread
products include varieties such as Kessra or Khmira or Harchaya,
chopsticks and so-called washers Khoubz dar or Matloue. Other
traditional meals sold often as street food include Mhadjeb,
Karantika, Doubara.(Chakhchokha-Hassoua-T'chicha-Mahjouba and
Doubara)are famous in Biskra.
Main article: Health in Algeria
Algeria had inadequate numbers of physicians (1.13 per 1,000
people), nurses (2.23 per 1,000 people), and dentists (0.31 per 1,000
people). Access to "improved water sources" was limited to 92% of the
population in urban areas and 80% of the population in the rural
areas. Some 99% of Algerians living in urban areas, but only 82% of
those living in rural areas, had access to "improved sanitation".
According to the World Bank,
Algeria is making progress toward its
goal of "reducing by half the number of people without sustainable
access to improved drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015". Given
Algeria's young population, policy favors preventive health care and
clinics over hospitals. In keeping with this policy, the government
maintains an immunization program. However, poor sanitation and
unclean water still cause tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles, typhoid
fever, cholera and dysentery. The poor generally receive health care
free of charge.
Health records have been maintained in
Algeria since 1882 and began
Muslims living in the South to their Vital record database in
1905 during French rule.
Education in Algeria
Education in Algeria and List of universities in
Nouria Benghabrit-Remaoun, Minister of National education
Algerian school children
Since the 1970s, in a centralized system that was designed to
significantly reduce the rate of illiteracy, the Algerian government
introduced a decree by which school attendance became compulsory for
all children aged between 6 and 15 years who have the ability to track
their learning through the 20 facilities built since independence, now
the literacy rate is around 78.7%.
UIS literacy rate
Algeria population plus 15 1985–2015
Arabic is used as the language of instruction during the
first nine years of schooling. From the third year, French is taught
and it is also the language of instruction for science classes. The
students can also learn English, Italian, Spanish and German. In 2008,
new programs at the elementary appeared, therefore the compulsory
schooling does not start at the age of six anymore, but at the age of
five. Apart from the 122 private, learning at school, the
Universities of the State are free of charge. After nine years of
primary school, students can go to the high school or to an
educational institution. The school offers two programs: general or
technical. At the end of the third year of secondary school, students
pass the exam of the baccalaureate, which allows once it is successful
to pursue graduate studies in universities and institutes.
Education is officially compulsory for children between the ages of
six and 15. In 2008, the illiteracy rate for people over 10 was 22.3%,
15.6% for men and 29.0% for women. The province with the lowest rate
of illiteracy was
Algiers Province at 11.6%, while the province with
the highest rate was
Djelfa Province at 35.5%.
Algeria has 26 universities and 67 institutions of higher education,
which must accommodate a million Algerians and 80,000 foreign students
in 2008. The University of Algiers, founded in 1879, is the oldest, it
offers education in various disciplines (law, medicine, science and
letters). 25 of these universities and almost all of the institutions
of higher education were founded after the independence of the
Even if some of them offer instruction in
Arabic like areas of law and
the economy, most of the other sectors as science and medicine
continue to be provided in French and English. Among the most
important universities, there are the University of Sciences and
Technology Houari Boumediene, the
University of Mentouri Constantine,
and University of
Oran Es-Senia. The University of Abou Bekr Belkaïd
University of Batna Hadj Lakhdar occupy the 26th and
45th row in Africa.
You may need rendering support to display the
Tifinagh text in this
Index of Algeria-related articles
Outline of Algeria
Algeria – book
^ The CIA World Factbook states that about 15% of Algerians, a
minority, identify as Berber even though many Algerians have Berber
origins. The Factbook explains that of the approximately 15% who
identify as Berber, most live in the
Kabylie region, more closely
identify with Berber heritage instead of Arab heritage, and are
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Fanon, Frantz (1966; 2005 paperback). The Wretched of the Earth. Grove
Press. ASIN B0007FW4AW, ISBN 978-0-8021-4132-3.
Horne, Alistair (1977). A Savage War of Peace:
Viking Adult. ISBN 978-0-670-61964-1, ISBN 978-1-59017-218-6
Laouisset, Djamel (2009). A Retrospective Study of the Algerian Iron
and Steel Industry. New York City: Nova Publishers.
Roberts, Hugh (2003). The Battlefield – Algeria, 1988–2002.
Studies in a Broken Polity. London: Verso Books.
Ruedy, John (1992). Modern Algeria – The Origins and
Development of a Nation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Stora, Benjamin (2001). Algeria, 1830–2000 – A Short History.
Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Sidaoui, Riadh (2009). "Islamic Politics and the Military –
Algeria 1962–2008". Religion and Politics – Islam and Muslim
Civilisation. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 0-7546-7418-5.
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"Algeria". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
Algeria web resources provided by GovPubs at the University of
Algeria at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Algeria profile from the BBC News
Algeria Atlas Map (PDF) (Map).
United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR). April 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9
Wikimedia Atlas of Algeria
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EU Neighbourhood Info Centre: Algeria
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Vélez de la Gomera2
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1Entirely claimed by both
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claimed by Morocco. 3Portuguese archipelago claimed by Spain.
Sudan and Egypt. 5
Terra nullius located between
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1 As the "Turkish Cypriot State".
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