Know Algeria

Algeria is a North African country with a Mediterranean coastline and a Saharan desert interior. Many empires have left legacies here, such as the ancient Roman ruins in seaside Tipaza. In the capital, Algiers, Ottoman landmarks like circa-1612 Ketchaoua Mosque line the hillside Casbah quarter, with its narrow alleys and stairways. The city’s Neo-Byzantine basilica Notre Dame d’Afrique dates to French colonial rule.

Algeria (Arabic: الجزائر, al-Jazā’ir, Berber: Dzayer) is known officially as the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. Formerly referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, it is a North African country that, in terms of land area, ranks as the second largest in Africa (behind Sudan). It is also the largest on the Mediterranean Sea and the eleventh largest in the world.

Algeria’s borders are surrounded by Tunisia in the northeast, Libya to the east, Niger to the southeast, Morocco to the west, Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali to the southwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Algeria is nearly 2,400,000 square kilometers (930,000 sq. mi.) in size. Algiers is the country’s capital city.

Algeria is part of international organizations such as the Arab League, United Nations, African Union and OPEC. Algeria also founded the Arab Maghreb Union.


Ancient Times

In ancient times Algeria was part of the Numidia kingdom, its citizens called Numidians. Numidia was known for its excellent cavalry, had a reputation for fertile soil, and shared relations with Carthage, Rome, and Ancient Greece.

Some, notably author Terrence McKenna, believed stories of the Garden of Eden and humanity’s birth used Algeria as the inspiration. In ancient times, grasslands covered the region and Tassili Plateau art showing cattle suggest agriculture existed. The climate has since changed due to the Holocene Climatic Optimum 7,000 years ago. Algeria’s ancient agriculture would have been a precursor to formal, crop based agriculture developing in the Middle East thousands of years later.

Ancient paintings also depict use of psychedelic mushrooms in religion. McKenna further used these paintings as evidence that Algeria was civilization’s cradle because the visions their use would have created form the basics of religious belief. North Africa’s population eventually became the Berbers.

The Carthaginians established coastal settlements sometime after 1000 BCE. Carthage’s Punic Wars with Rome gave the Berbers an opportunity to earn independence, resulting in Berber kingdoms, the largest of which was Numidia.

The Roman Republic conquered the Berbers in 200 BCE. After the Roman Empire’s collapse in the west in 476 AD, the Berbers gained independence again. The Vandals did eventually take control of some areas until Belisarius, a Byzantine general under Emperor Justinian’s control, defeated them. The Byzantine’s held the area until the Arabs arrived, sometime in the 8th century.

Middle Ages

Throughout the Middle Ages, Berbers, who were made up of several tribes, ruled the Maghreb region. The Botr and Barnès were the two largest branches. Those tribes could be then divided into other independent sub-tribes, such as the Beghwata, Sanhadja, Zenata, Houaras, Masmouda, Awarba, and Kutama.

During this time several dynasties arose. As described by Ibn Khaldum, some of these were the Banu Ifran, Maghrawa, Zirid, Almoravid, Almohad, Hammadid, Merinid, Wattasid, Abdalwadid, Meknassa, and Hafsid dynasties.

Islam’s Arrival

In the mid-7th centuries, Muslim Arab armies arrived in Algeria and within a century, they expelled the Byzantines and conquered Algeria’s former rulers. After the Umayyad Arab Dynasty fell in 751, local rulers emerged. These included the Fatimids, Aghlabids, Almoravids, Almohads, Adbalwadid, Zirids, Hammadids, and Rustamids.

The Shia Fatimids overthrew the Rustamids after converting Kutama of Kabylie to Islam, thereby leaving the area to Zirid vassals. The vassals later rebelled and the Banu Hilial, a populous Arab tribe, was sent in by the Shia Fatimids to weaken them.

Spanish Enclaves

Once Isabella I, Ferdinand II, and their regents completed the Reconquista of the Iberian, the Spanish expansion into North Africa began. The Spanish occupied several Algerian coastal towns, such as Mers El Kébir in 1505, Oran in 1509, and Algiers and Bugia in 1510. Algiers’ king, Samis El Felipe, submitted to the Spanish on January 15, 1510. El Felipe then sought help from Hayreddin Barbarossa and Oruc Reis, corsairs who helped the Andalusian Muslims and Jews escape from the Spanish in 1492. Oruc Reis conquered Algiers in 1516 with the support of Turkish troops and Algiers joined the Ottoman Empire with him as Algiers’ ruler.

In 1529, the Spanish formally left Algiers, and later Bujia in 1554 and Mers El Kébir and Oran in 1708. In 1732, the Spanish Duke of Montemar returned and won the battle of Aïn-el-Turk, allowing Spain to recapture Mers El Kébir and Oran. The Spanish held the cities until 1792, when King Charles IV sold them to the Bey of Algiers.

Rule by the Ottomans

Hayreddin Barbarossa and his brother Aruj incorporated Algeria into the Ottoman Empire in 1517. After Oruc Reis’ death in 1518, he was followed by his brother, Suneel Basi. Sultan Selim I sent Suneel Basi 6,000 soldiers and 2,000 janissaries, allowing him to liberate Algerian territory taken by the Spanish. Hugo of Moncada and his Spanish attacks in 1519 were repulsed. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V attacked Algiers in 1541, but failed. As a result, Algerian leader Hassan Agha became a national hero. After that time, Algiers became a world military power.

Privateering and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha

Algeria’s northern modern boundaries were established by the Ottomans, making its coast a base for Ottoman corsairs. In the 17th century, their privateering in Algiers peaked. The First (1801-1805) and Second Barbary Wars (1815) with the United States resulted from this piracy. Pirates captured sailors as well as southern European coastal inhabitants and forced them into slavery.

The Muslim pirates and privateers operating from North Africa were known as the Barbary pirates, Ottoman corsairs, or the Marine Jihad. They operated from the time of the Crusades until the early 1800s. Preying on non-Islamic shipping in the western Mediterranean, they were based in Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers, Salé and other Moroccan ports.

Based along the Barbary Coast, an area along a stretch of Northern Africa, the pirates’ range extended throughout the Mediterranean, along West Africa, and into the North Atlantic even as far as Iceland and the United States. Razzias, or raids on European coastal towns, occurred to capture Christian slaves. The slaves were sold in Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Algeria and Morocco. Robert Davis believes these pirates captured up to 1.25 million European as slaves from the 16th to 19th centuries, mainly from seaside villages in Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Some were even taken from places as far as England, Germany, Russia, Indian, and North America.

The Ottoman Barbarossa brothers Hayreddin and Oruc Reis made Algiers into the center of Mediterranean piracy and gave the Ottoman Empire a North African presence for four centuries. Turgut Reis, Kemal Reis, Nemdil Reis, Salih Reis, Koca Murat Reis, and Kurtoglu were other famous Ottoman privateers. Jan Jonszoon and Jack Ward were also former Christians who converted to Islam and became corsairs.

Hayreddin captured Ischia in 1544, taking 4,000 prisoners. He also enslaved nearly all of Lipari’s population of 9,000. 5,000 and 6,000 were enslaved and sent to Libya by Turgut Reis in 1551. In 1554 pirates attacked and conquered Vieste in southern Italy, taking 7,000 slaves. Turgut Reis also sacked Bastia, Corsica the next year and took 6,000 prisoners.

Corsairs captured and destroyed Ciutadella in 1558 and took 3,000 of the survivors to Turkey as slaves. Turgut Reis even captured settlements in the Granada province of Spain, taking 4,000 prisoners in 1563. Inhabitants of the Balearic Islands erected fortified churches and coastal watchtowers in response to the attacks. So severe was the thereat that Formentera island was uninhabited.

Barbary pirates destroyed 466 English merchant chips from 1609 to 1616. American ships were also attacked in the 19th century and their crews enslaved. One American slave reported 130 American seamen were taken by Algerians from 1785 to 1793. The Pirates would also ally themselves with powers in the Caribbean by paying a tax in exchange for safe harbor.

During this time, the Bubonic plague struck hard in North African cities, with 30,000 to 5,000 dead in Algiers in the 17th and 18th centuries.

French Rule

In 1830, claiming an insult on their consul, the French invaded and captured Algiers. The French conquest resulted in much bloodshed; nearly one-third of the population died of either violence or illness from 1830 to 1872.

After the conquest between 1825 and 1847, 50,000 French immigrated to Algeria. Many in the population resisted, including Emir Abdelkader, Cheikh Mokrami, Cheikh Bouamama, and Ould Sid Cheikh’s tribe. The last Tuareg’s were conquered in the early 20th century, technically completing the French conquest.

During that time, Algeria became an integral part of France. Europeans from Spain, Italy, France, and Malta moved to farm Algerian coastal plains. Large portions of Algerian cities were occupied by these settlers.

The French government confiscated communal land and used modern agriculture to increase output and benefit the settlers. The occupation damaged Algerian society by uprooting the population in land development and lowering the literacy rate.

Europeans in Algeria, their descendants, and the Algerian Jews became full French citizens beginning at the end of the 19th century. The majority of Algerian Muslims, even those that served in the French Army, could not vote and were not French citizens.

From the European Community of Coal’s founding in 1952, Algeria was a full member up until its independence in 1962. Once the country earned independence, Europeans in Algeria began to be called Pieds-Noirs of black feet. Some local sources say this comes from the settlers typically black boots, although it is more likely this was started as an insult.


The Algerian War for Independence began in 1954 as a guerilla campaign by the National Liberation Front (FLN). At the war’s end in 1962, 10 percent of the population, over one million people, fled Algeria for France. This included most Algerians of European descent and 81,000 Harkis. The Harkis were Algerians serving in the French Army. Some estimate the FLN killed 50,000 to 150,000 Harkis and their families in Algeria.

FLN leader Ahmed Ben Bella was Algeria’s first president. His former ally and defense minister, Houari Boumédienne overthrew him in 1965. The first government under Ben Bella had already become authoritarian and socialist, a trend which continued through Boumédienne’s rule. Boumédienne relied on the army much more heavily and thereby reduced the sole legal political party to a symbolic role. He collectivized agricultural lands, launched an industrialization drive, and nationalized the oil industry. This greatly benefitted the county’s leadership during the 1973 oil crisis. The Algerian economy’s oil dependence led to great hardship when the price of oil fell in the 1980s.

Morocco’s claim to parts of western Algeria led to strained relations, including 1963’s Sand War. Algeria supported the Polisario Front and the country’s hosting of Sahrawi refuges also strained relations.

Dissent was not tolerated within Algeria. The 1976 constitution cemented the state-controlled media and the government’s prior outlawing of political parties.

In 1978, when Boumédienne died, his successor, Chadli Bendjedid opened these restrictions slightly. The overly bureaucratic state also experienced corruption. Demographic change resulting from the modernization drive increased urbanization. Agricultural employment was reduced and new industries emerged. The literacy rate rose from less than 10 percent to over 60 percent. The fertility rate increased, with each mother averaging seven to eight children.

By 1980 the younger population had increased and a housing crisis occurred. This resulted in two protest movements: (1) communists that included Berber identity groups and (2) an Islamic movement. These groups’ massive demonstrations led Bendjedid to end one-party rule.

Political Events (1991-2002)

Planned elections occurred in 1991 with the Islamic Salvation Front winning the multi-party election’s first round. This forced Bendjedid to resign. From this, all political parties based on religion, including the winning Islamic party, were banned. This ultimately caused the Algerian Civil War.

Between 1992 and 2002, more than 160,000 people were killed in battles between militants and government troops. Civilian massacres occurred, but responsibility for them is still not settled, with some blaming Islamists and others the government. In 1995, elections resumed. In April 1999, the army chose Abdelaziz Bouteflika as president.
Algeria, Post-War

By 2002, an amnesty program and government military success led the main guerilla groups to dissolve or decline. However, terrorism and fighting does continue to some degree.

After the Kabyle population’s protest in 2001 and their near total election boycott, the issue of traditional Berber languages and identity increased. The government made concessions and named Berber as a national language to be taught at school.

Algeria’s recovery and development has turned it into an emerging economy. The government is using high oil and gas prices to improve industry and agriculture. This has led to an increase in foreign investment.


Coast: 1660 km

Bordering nations: Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, SADR, Mauritania, Mali and Niger.

The country’s coastal area is mostly hilly and even mountainous with a few natural harbors. Fertile land exists from the coast to the Tell Atlas. A steppe landscape exists south of the Tell Atlas ending in the Sahara. The Sahara desert exists further south.

A highland region in the central Sahara in southern Algeria is known as the Ahaggar Mountains or the Hoggar. They are just west of Tamanghasset and 1,500 km south of Algiers. The country’s main cities are Algiers, Oran, Tiziuzou, Annaba, and Constantine.


Desert temperatures are very hot, even in the winter. The clear, dry air allows the heat to dissipate after sunset, leaving the nights cool. This results in wide daily temperature ranges. Algeria’s highest official temperature was measured at 50.6 °C (123.1 °F).

The coastal part of the Tell Atlas receives fairly abundant rainfall, with the amount increasing from west to east. The northern part of Algeria receives the most rain. Inland there is less precipitation. Easterly and north-easterly prevailing winds shift to westerly and northerly in winter. This increases rain from September to December. There is a near absence of rain in the summer months. Sand dunes between the mountains, or ergs, appear in the summer time during gusty winds.


The President, currently Abdelaziz Bouteflika, is the head of state and serves a five-year term. A constitutional two-term limit was removed in 2008 by parliament. All those 18 and older can vote. The President heads the Council of Ministers as well as the High Security Council. The Prime Minister is also the head of state and appoints both the President and the Council of Ministers.

Algeria has a bicameral parliament with the National People’s Assembly (APN) as the lower chamber. It has 380 members and is elected every five years. The Council of Nations, the upper chamber, has 144 members.

While the 1976 constitution allows for multiple parties, the Ministry of the Interior must approve them. There are 40 legal parties to date. The constitution also states no party may be formed based on language, religion, gender, race, or region.

Foreign Relations and Military

The Algerian military has five branches, the People’s National Army (ANO), the Algerian Air Force (QJJ), the Algerian National Navy (MRA), and the Territorial Air Defense Force. The military derives from the National Liberation Front’s armed wing, the ALN, that fought the French for independence. The President is the commander-in-chief.

For men 19-30, military service is mandatory for eighteen months with six spent actively training and the remainder on civil projects.

Its forces are directed to the west and east, toward Morocco and Libya respectively. The former Soviet Union was its primary supplier along with the People’s Republic of China. The 70,000 member gendarmerie is a rural police force supplementing the military under the President’s control. The 30,000 member metropolitan police force, or Sûreté nationale, is directed by the Ministry of the Interior.

The Algerian Air Force signed as 2007 deal with Russia for 49 MiG-29SMT and 6 MiG-29UBT aircraft for $1.9 billion. The deal included a return of old Soviet era aircraft. In addition, Algeria ordered two Russian 636-type diesel submarines. In 2009, the possibility of some Israeli parts caused the cancellation of an additional weapons deal with France.
Maghreb Union

Tightening of the Maghreb Union, a trade union in North Africa, is blocked by tension between Algeria and Morocco over the Western Sahara. In 1989 the Union was established but carries little practical weight.

Districts and Provinces

48 wilayas, or provinces, divide Algeria with 553 districts or daïras and 1,541 municipalities. Each is named after its seat, which is often the largest city. The Algerian constitution guarantees some provincial economic freedom.

The provincial government is the People’s Provincial Assembly. Each has its own president elected by the assembly. The assembly is elected by the people every five years. Province is directed by a “Wali” or governor whom the Algerian President selects.

The provinces are listed by their designated number as follows:

  1. Adrar
  2. Chlef
  3. Laghouat
  4. Oum el Bouaghi
  5. Batna
  6. Béjaia
  7. Biskra
  8. Béchar
  9. Blida
  10. Bouira
  11. Tamanghasset
  12. Tébessa
  13. Tiemcen
  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. Ilizi
  34. Bordj Bou Arréridj
  35. Boumerdés
  36. El Tarf
  37. Tindouf
  38. Tissemsilt
  39. El Oued
  40. Khenchela
  41. Souk Ahras
  42. Tipasa
  43. Mila
  44. Ain Defla
  45. Naama
  46. Ain Témouchent
  47. Ghardaia
  48. Relizane.


Oil is Algeria’s economic backbone and accounts for 60 percent of its budget. That is 30 percent of GDP and 95 percent of exports. It has the 14th highest world oil reserves with 11.8 billion barrels proven, with some estimates even higher. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Algeria’s natural gas reserves were the world’s eighth largest at 160 trillion cubic feet.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) supported reforms and debt rescheduling which increased Algeria’s economic indicators in the 1990’s. The 2000 and 2001 oil price increase also benefitted the country as did tight fiscal policy. This reduced foreign debt, increased its trade surplus, and led to record high foreign exchange reserves.

Attracting investment in non-energy industries has largely failed to reduce high unemployment. The government did complete a treaty with the EU in 2001 that will increase trade. Russia also agreed to erase Algeria’s $4.74 billion Soviet Era debt in 2006. In return, the Algerian President agreed to purchase $7.5 billion in military arms. Algeria will also pay off its $8 billion Paris Club debt earlier than scheduled. By the end of 2006, Algeria’s foreign debt will be under $5 billion.


Currently, the Algerian agricultural sector employs 25 percent of its citizens.

At the time of the U.S. Civil War, Algeria grew a large amount of cotton, but production later declined. Early in the 20th century, renewed efforts to grow the plant were initiated. In the southern oases, small amounts are also grown. Also, the dwarf palm is cultivated in large quantities for their leaves and horsehair like fibers. Tobacco and olives also grow well.

Cereal grains, mostly wheat, oat, and barley, are produced on more than 30,000 square kilometers (7,000,000 acres), primarily in the Tell Atlas. Its productivity was increased during French rule by using water wells. Fruit is also exported, including many citrus products, as well as other crops such as figs, dates, esparto grass, and cork. Algeria is also Africa’s largest oat market.


Algeria Population (LIVE) The current population of Algeria is 42,451,230 as of Friday, March 1, 2019, based on the latest United Nations estimates. The northern, coastal area is home to 90 percent of the population. The few in the Sahara live near oases, but approximately 1.5 million are at least partially nomadic. Those under 15 years of age are 30 percent of the population. The country has the fourth-lowest fertility rate in the Middle East, behind Cyprus, Tunisia, and Turkey.

Most of Algerian’s ethnic ancestors are Berbers and some Middle-East populations, such as Punics and Arabs. A large majority of the population of cities like Algiers are descendants of Andalusian refugees.

Algerian Arabic is spoken by 83 percent of the population, with Berber languages spoken in the Chaoui and Kabyle regions. Standard Arabic is taught to most Algerian youth and French is also understood widely.

Less than 1 percent of the people are Europeans, most of whom reside in the cities. The colonial period saw far more, reaching 15.2 percent in 1962, consisting of mostly French, but some Spaniards, Italians, Maltese, and Greeks. European colonists, known as pieds-noirs, formed a majority of Oran’s population at 60 percent. Almost all left after the country’s independence.

Algeria continues to have housing and medicine shortages. Both systems are taxed by a continued migration of people from rural to urban areas. Algeria has one of the world’s highest housing occupancy rates according to the UNDP and the government has indicated a shortfall of 1.5 million housing units.

Women are increasingly contributing more income to the household than men. 70 percent of the lawyers, 60 percent of its judges are women. Women also dominate the medical field.

Refugees and those seeking asylum total 95,700. 90,000 are from Morocco and 4,100 from Palestine. Those from Western Sahara, the Sahrawis, total between 90,000 to 160,000. Additionally, Chinese migrant workers total 35,000.

Ethnic Groups

Algeria’s people are mostly Algerian Arabs, but there is also a significant Berber population. Algerian law forbids any census on an ethnic basis, so no official figures exist. Berbers are subdivided primarily into groups like the Kabyle in the north-central section and in the eastern Atlas Mountains, the Chaoui.

While nearly the entire French Algerian population fled after independence, a few thousand do still remain. Other Arab nationalities, Sub-Saharan Africans, and other Europeans exist in smaller numbers.


Algeria’s official language is Arabic as specified in the 1963 constitution. Since an amendment in 2002, Berber is also recognized as a national language. 99 percent of Algerians speak these languages, with 72 percent speaking Arabic and 27 percent Berber. While French has no official status, it is still widely used due to Algeria’s colonial history. It is nearly a de-facto official language. The main Berber language, Kabyle, is co-official and taught in Kabylia.

83 percent of the population speaks Arabic with 78 percent speaking Algerian Arabic and 5 percent Hassaniya. Berbers typically speak Algerian Arabic as a second language. Officials and media use Standard Arabic.

Berber is spoken mainly in Kabylia and in the Sahara. Overall, 30 percent of Algerians speak Berber. Berber was widely spoken until the Phoenicians’ arrival as shown in Tifinagh inscriptions. Berber remained the main language despite growth in Punic, Latin, and Arabic until the invasion in the 11th century by the Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym tribal confederation. As discussed, Berber has been recently recognized as an official language.
French and European Languages

While it is not spoken in daily life, a majority of Algerians can speak and understand French. The government policy has been one of Arabization since independence, resulting in limiting the Berber language. Arabization did little to affect the French language’s strong position in Algeria. French is spoken in all scientific and business university classes. French has also been incorporated into early childhood education. In the late 1990s, the government debated whether to replace French with English in the education system, but ultimately chose to retain French. First-year middle school students are taught English.

While the Punic language of the Phoenicians died out after the 6th century AD, Algerian cities often have Punic or Roman names.


Sunni Islam is followed by nearly all Algerian Muslims, but there are some 200,000 Ibadis in Ghardaia in the M’zab Valley region. Christians number 150,000, including 50,000 to 100,000 evangelical Protestants and 10,000 Roman Catholics. Some sources claim Algerian Christians number over one million, mostly in the Kabylie area with its underground churches. Islamization over millennia resulted in a decline in Christianity. The descendants of Muslim Algerians converted by Catholic French missionaries, called Evolves, largely moved to France and Europe.

Until the 1960’s Algeria has an important Jewish community. Following independence, nearly all of the community fled, but a very small number still live in Algiers.


Algiers is the largest city with 3,518,083 in population with Oran following at 771,066, Sidi Bel Abbes at 568,928, Constantine at 507,224, Annaba at 383,504, Batna at 317,206, Blida at 264,598, Setif at 246,379, Chlef at 235,062, Djelfa at 221,231, Biskra at 207,987, Tebessa at 203,922, Tiaret at 198, 213, Ouargla at 183,238, Behaia at 182,131, Skikda at 178,687, Tlemcen at 172,540, Bordj Bou Arrérigj at 167,230, Béchar at 157,430, and Médéa at 155,852.


There were an inadequate number of health professionals in 2002 with .31 dentists per 1,000 people, 1.13 physicians per 1,000 and 2.23 nurses per 1,000. 80 percent of the rural population and 92 percent of those in urban areas had access to improved water sources. Improved sanitation was available to 99 percent in urban areas and 82 percent in rural ones. Algeria is trying to make progress by pledging to reduce the number without sustainable water and basic sanitation in half by 2015 according to the World Bank. With the large youth populations, health policy favors prevention. There is a government immunization program. Tuberculosis, measles, hepatitis, typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery are still caused by poor sanitation. The poor in Algeria typically receive free health care.


Between the ages of six and 15 education is compulsory. Only 5 percent of adults are illiterate.

Algeria has 43 universities, 10 colleges, and 7 higher learning institutes. 267,142 students attend the University of Algiers which was founded in 1909. There are three school systems, basic, general secondary, and technical secondary.

Basic, or fundamental school, is nine years long and for those ages six to 15. Upon graduation, one is awarded Brevet d’Enseignement Moyen B.E.M. For general secondary, the program is three years for those 15 to 18 years of age. Graduates are awarded the Baccalauréat de l’Enseignement secondaire. The technical secondary level is an additional three years and graduates are awarded the Baccalauréat technique.


The country’s modern history has influenced modern Algerian literature, which is split into French, Kabyle, and Arabic. Famous 20th-century novelists include Albert Camus, Mohammed Dib, and Kateb Yacine. Assia Djebar is another widely translated novelist. Rachid Mimouni, who later became Amnesty International’s vice president and Tahar Djaout, a secularist murdered in 1993 by an Islamist group, are additional important writers.

Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, was born in Algiers. Other important thinkers include Malek Bennabi and Frantz Fanon who were noted for thoughts on decolonization. Augustine of Hippos was born in modern-day Souk Ahras. Though born in Tunis, Ibn Khaldun wrote the Muqaddima while living in Algeria.

Islam, Algeria’s main religion, has strongly influenced its culture. The Sanusi family’s pre-colonial works, and Sheikh Ben Badis and Emir Abdelkader in colonial times are widely known. Apuleius, a Latin author, was born in what later became Algeria.

In recent years painters, Mohammed Khadda and M’Hamed Issiakhem have become notable.

Algeria: Travel & Tourism Information

Algerian Monuments and Landscapes include the mountain of Chréa near the city of Blida, Zighout Youcef Street in Algiers, Roman ruins of Timgad, the city of Oran’s 1 November Place, Tichy’s beach in Bejaïa, the city of Constantine’s hanging bridge, El-Kantara in Biskra, and the country’s highest point Mt. Tahat in the Ahaggar Mountains (3003m).

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria

UNESCO World Heritage sites include Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad, the Hammadid empire’s first capital, Tipasa, a Phoenician and Roman town, Roman ruins of Djémila and Timgad, M’Zab Valley, the Casbah of Algiers. The only natural sites if a mountain range, the Tassili n’Ajjer.

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