Algeria

Algeria

Overview
Algeria officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Al Jumhuriyah al Jazairiyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Shabiyah), also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 region of Northwest Africa with Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 as its capital.

In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 (now that Sudan has been split up), and also of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

; it is also the tenth-largest country in the world.
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Timeline

1631   The sack of Baltimore: the Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates.

1830   French invasion of Algeria

1830   France invades Algeria.

1867   Maronite nationalist leader Youssef Karam leaves Lebanon on board a French ship for Algeria

1945   Hundreds of Algerian civilians are killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.

1955   In Morocco, a force of Berbers from the Atlas Mountains region of Algeria raid two rural settlements and kill 77 French nationals.

1961   In France a referendum supports Charles de Gaulle's policies in Algeria.

1961   Scores of Algerian protesters (some claim up to 400) are massacred by the Paris police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police.

1962   French President Charles De Gaulle calls for Algeria to be granted independence.

1962   Algeria becomes independent from France.

 
Encyclopedia
Algeria officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Al Jumhuriyah al Jazairiyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Shabiyah), also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 region of Northwest Africa with Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 as its capital.

In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 (now that Sudan has been split up), and also of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

; it is also the tenth-largest country in the world. The country is bordered in the northeast by Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, in the east by Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, in the west by Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, in the southwest by Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

, Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

, and Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, in the southeast by Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

, and in the north by the Mediterranean Sea. Its size is almost 2400000 square kilometres (926,645 sq mi) with an estimated population of 36.3 million as of 2011.

Algeria is a member of the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

, the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

, OPEC
OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

 and the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. The country is also a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union
Arab Maghreb Union
The Arab Maghreb Union is a trade agreement aiming for economic and some sort of future political unity in North Africa between the countries Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania...

.

Etymology


The country's name is derived from the city of Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

. The most common etymology links the city name to al-Jazā'ir (الجزائر, "The Islands"), a truncated form of the city's older name Jazā'ir Banī Mazghanna (جزائر بني مزغنة, "Islands of the Mazghanna Tribe"), employed by medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi. Others trace it to Ldzayer, the Maghrebi Arabic and Berber
Berber languages
The Berber languages are a family of languages indigenous to North Africa, spoken from Siwa Oasis in Egypt to Morocco , and south to the countries of the Sahara Desert...

 for "Algeria" possibly related to the Zirid Dynasty King Ziri ibn-Manad and founder of the city of Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 Ziri itself means "Moonlight" in Berber.

Ancient Numidia



In Antiquity, Algeria was known as the kingdom of Numidia
Numidia
Numidia was an ancient Berber kingdom in part of present-day Eastern Algeria and Western Tunisia in North Africa. It is known today as the Chawi-land, the land of the Chawi people , the direct descendants of the historical Numidians or the Massyles The kingdom began as a sovereign state and later...

 and its people were called the Numidians
Numidians
The Numidians were Berber tribes who lived in Numidia, in Algeria east of Constantine and in part of Tunisia. The Numidians were one of the earliest natives to trade with the settlers of Carthage. As Carthage grew, the relationship with the Numidians blossomed. Carthage's military used the Numidian...

. The kingdom of Numidia had early relations with the Carthaginians, Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and Ancient Greeks, the region was considered a fertile area, and the Numidians were known for their fine cavalry.

The indigenous peoples of northern Africa are a distinct native population, the Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

.

After 1000 BCE, the Carthaginians
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 began establishing settlements along the coast. The Berbers seized the opportunity offered by the Punic Wars
Punic Wars
The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 B.C.E. to 146 B.C.E. At the time, they were probably the largest wars that had ever taken place...

 to become independent of Carthage, and Berber kingdoms began to emerge, most notably Numidia.

In 200 BCE, they were once again taken over, this time by the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

. When the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

 collapsed in 476 CE, the Berbers became independent again in many regions, while the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

 took control over other areas, where they remained until expelled by the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 general Belisarius
Belisarius
Flavius Belisarius was a general of the Byzantine Empire. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, which had been lost less than a century previously....

 under the direction of Emperor Justinian I
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

. The Byzantine Empire then retained a precarious grip on the east of the country until the coming of the Arabs in the 8th century.

Middle Ages



The Berber people controlled much of the Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 region throughout the Middle Ages. The Berbers were made up of several tribes. The two main branches were the Botr and Barnès tribes, who were themselves divided into tribes, and again into sub-tribes. Each region of the Maghreb contained several tribes (for example, Sanhadja, Houaras, Zenata
Zenata
Zenata were an ethnic group of North Africa, who were technically an Eastern Berber group and who are found in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco....

, Masmouda, Kutama
Kutama
The Kutama were a powerful Berber tribe, in the region of Jijel , a member of the great Sanhaja confederation of the Maghrib and the armed body of the Fatimid Caliphate.-Origins of the Kutama:...

, Awarba, and Berghwata). All these tribes were independent and made territorial decisions.

Several Berber dynasties emerged during the Middle Ages in Maghreb, Sudan, Andalusia, Italy, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Egypt, and other nearby lands. Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

 provides a table summarizing the Zirid
Zirid
The Zirid dynasty were a Sanhadja Berber dynasty, originating in modern Algeria, initially on behalf of the Fatimids, for about two centuries, until weakened by the Banu Hilal and finally destroyed by the Almohads. Their capital was Kairouan...

, Banu Ifran
Banu Ifran
The Ifranids, also called Banu Ifran, Ifran, or the children of the Afri , were a Berber tribe prominent in the history of pre-Islamic and early Islamic North Africa....

, Maghrawa
Maghrawa
The Maghrawa or Meghrawa were a Berber tribe in Morocco and central and western Algeria.-History:The Meghrawa, a tribe of Zanata Berbers, were one of the first Berber tribes to submit to Islam in the 7th century. They supported Uqba ibn Nafi in his campaign to the Atlantic in 683...

, Almoravid, Hammadid
Hammadid
The Hammadids were a Berber dynasty who ruled an area roughly corresponding to north-eastern modern Algeria for about a century and a half , until they were destroyed by the Almohads...

, Almohad
Almohad
The Almohad Dynasty , was a Moroccan Berber-Muslim dynasty founded in the 12th century that established a Berber state in Tinmel in the Atlas Mountains in roughly 1120.The movement was started by Ibn Tumart in the Masmuda tribe, followed by Abd al-Mu'min al-Gumi between 1130 and his...

, Merinid, Abdalwadid
Abdalwadid
Zayyanids or Abd al-Wadids , or Banu Zayan, is the name of a Berber zenata dynasty in North Africa. The Zayyanids, whose capital was Tlemcen existed from 1235 to 1556...

, Wattasid
Wattasid
The Wattassids or Banû Watâs were a Berber dynasty of Morocco.Like the Marinids, they were of Berber Zenata descent. The two families were related, and the Marinids recruited many viziers from the Wattasids...

, Meknassa and Hafsid dynasties.

Arrival of Islam




When Muslim Arabs arrived in Algeria in the mid-7th century, a large number of locals converted to the new faith. After the fall of the Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 Arab Dynasty in 751, numerous local Berber dynasties emerged. Amongst those dynasties were the Aghlabids, Almohads, Abdalwadid
Abdalwadid
Zayyanids or Abd al-Wadids , or Banu Zayan, is the name of a Berber zenata dynasty in North Africa. The Zayyanids, whose capital was Tlemcen existed from 1235 to 1556...

, Zirids, Rustamids, Hammadids, Almoravids
Almoravids
The Almoravids were a Berber dynasty of Morocco, who formed an empire in the 11th-century that stretched over the western Maghreb and Al-Andalus. Their capital was Marrakesh, a city which they founded in 1062 C.E...

 and the Fatimids.

Having converted the Berber Kutama
Kutama
The Kutama were a powerful Berber tribe, in the region of Jijel , a member of the great Sanhaja confederation of the Maghrib and the armed body of the Fatimid Caliphate.-Origins of the Kutama:...

 of the Lesser Kabylia to its cause, the Shia Fatimid
Fatimid
The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

s overthrew the Rustamid
Rustamid
The Rustamid dynasty of Ibāḍī Kharijite imām that ruled the central Maghreb as a Muslim theocracy for a century and a half from their capital Tahert in present Algeria until the Ismailite Fatimid Caliphs destroyed it. The dynasty had a Persian origin...

s, and conquered Egypt, leaving Algeria and Tunisia to their Zirid vassals. When the latter rebelled, the Shia Fatimids sent in the Banu Hilal
Banu Hilal
The Banu Hilal were a confederation of Arabian Bedouin tribes that migrated from Upper Egypt into North Africa in the 11th century, having been sent by the Fatimids to punish the Zirids for abandoning Shiism. Other authors suggest that the tribes left the grasslands on the upper Nile because of...

 and Banu Sulaym Arabian tribes who unexpectedly defeated the Zirid
Zirid
The Zirid dynasty were a Sanhadja Berber dynasty, originating in modern Algeria, initially on behalf of the Fatimids, for about two centuries, until weakened by the Banu Hilal and finally destroyed by the Almohads. Their capital was Kairouan...

s.

Spanish enclaves


The Spanish expansionist policy in North Africa began with the rule of the Catholic monarchs Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 and Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 and their regent Cisneros, once the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

of the Iberian Peninsula was completed, several towns and outposts on the Algerian coast were conquered and occupied by the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

: Mers El Kébir (1505), Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

 (1509), Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 (1510) and Bugia
Béjaïa
Béjaïa, Vgaiet or Bejaya is a Mediterranean port city on the Gulf of Béjaïa in Algeria; it is the capital of Béjaïa Province, Kabylia. Under French rule, it was formerly known under various European names, such as Budschaja in German, Bugia in Italian, and Bougie...

 (1510). On 15 January 1510 the King of Algiers, Samis El Felipe, was forced into submission by the king of Spain. King El Felipe called for help from the corsairs Hayreddin Barbarossa and Oruç Reis who previously helped Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

n Muslims and Jews escape from Spanish oppression in 1492. In 1516, Oruç Reis conquered Algiers with the support of 1,300 Turkish soldiers on board 16 galliots and became its ruler, with Algiers joining the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

.

The Spaniards left Algiers in 1529, Bugia in 1554, Mers El Kébir and Oran in 1708. The Spanish returned in 1732 when the armada of the Duke of Montemar was victorious in the Battle of Aïn-el-Turk; Spain recaptured Oran and Mers El Kébir. Both cities were held until 1792, when they were sold by King Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788 until his abdication on 19 March 1808.-Early life:...

 to the Bey of Algiers
History of Ottoman Algeria
Ottoman Algeria was an Ottoman territory centered on Algiers, in modern Algeria. It was established around 1525 when Hayreddin Barbarossa recaptured the city. The Regency of Algiers was the principal center of Ottoman Empire power in the Maghreb. It was also a base from which attacks were made on...

.

Barbary Pirates



Algeria was made part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 by Hayreddin Barbarossa and his brother Aruj
Aruj
Aruj or Arouj was the elder brother of Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha and Ottoman Bey of Algiers and Beylerbey of the West Mediterranean...

 in 1517. After the death of Oruç Reis
Aruj
Aruj or Arouj was the elder brother of Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha and Ottoman Bey of Algiers and Beylerbey of the West Mediterranean...

 in 1518, his brother succeeded him. The Sultan Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 sent him 6,000 soldiers and 2,000 janissaries
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

 with which he conquered most of the Algerian territory taken by the Spanish, from Annaba
Annaba
Annaba is a city in the northeastern corner of Algeria near the river Seybouse. It is located in Annaba Province. With a population of 257,359 , it is the fourth largest city in Algeria. It is a leading industrial centre in eastern Algeria....

 to Mostaganem
Mostaganem
Mostaganem is a port city in and capital of Mostaganem province, in the northwest of Algeria. The city, founded in the 11th century lies on the Gulf of Arzew, Mediterranean Sea and is 72 km ENE of Oran...

. Further Spanish attacks led by Hugo of Moncada
Hugo of Moncada
Hugo de Moncada a.k.a. Ugo de Moncada, , was a Spanish political and military leader of the late 15th and early 16th century. Originally he seems to have been some sort of Abbot of Santa Eufemia in Calabria, Italy,in the quality of Prior of the military Order of Saint John in Messina, Italy...

 in 1519 were also pushed back. In 1541, Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, attacked Algiers with a convoy of 65 warships, 451 large ships and 23,000 men, 2000 of whom were mounted. The attack resulted in failure however, and the Algerian leader Hassan Agha became a national hero as Algiers grew into a center of military power in the Mediterranean.

The Ottomans established Algeria's modern boundaries in the north and made its coast a base for the Ottoman corsairs; their privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

ing peaked in Algiers in the 17th century. Piracy on American vessels in the Mediterranean resulted in the First
First Barbary War
The First Barbary War , also known as the Barbary Coast War or the Tripolitan War, was the first of two wars fought between the United States and the North African Berber Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States...

 (1801–1805) and Second Barbary War
Second Barbary War
The Second Barbary War , also known as the Algerine or Algerian War, was the second of two wars fought between the United States and the Ottoman Empire's North African regencies of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algeria known collectively as the Barbary states. The war between the Barbary States and the U.S...

s (1815) with the United States. The pirates forced the people on the ships they captured into slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

; when the pirates attacked coastal villages in southern and Western Europe the inhabitants were forced into the Arab slave trade
Arab slave trade
The Arab slave trade was the practice of slavery in the Arab World, mainly Western Asia, North Africa, East Africa and certain parts of Europe during their period of domination by Arab leaders. The trade was focused on the slave markets of the Middle East and North Africa...

.

The Barbary pirates, also sometimes called Ottoman corsairs or the Marine Jihad (الجهاد البحري), were Muslim pirates and privateers that operated from North Africa, from the time of the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 until the early 19th century. Based in North African ports such as Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

 in Tunisia, Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

 in Libya and Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 in Algeria, they preyed on Christian and other non-Islamic shipping in the western Mediterranean Sea.

Their stronghold was along the stretch of northern Africa known as the Barbary Coast
Barbary Coast
The Barbary Coast, or Barbary, was the term used by Europeans from the 16th until the 19th century to refer to much of the collective land of the Berber people. Today, the terms Maghreb and "Tamazgha" correspond roughly to "Barbary"...

 (a medieval term for the Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 after its Berber
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 inhabitants), but their predation was said to extend throughout the Mediterranean, south along West Africa's Atlantic seaboard, and into the North Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 as far north as Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 and the United States. They often made raids, called Razzias, on European coastal towns to capture Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in places such as Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Egypt, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Algeria and Morocco. According to Robert Davis, from the 16th to 19th century, pirates captured 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans as slaves. These slaves were captured mainly from seaside villages in Italy, Spain and Portugal, and from farther places like France, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Russia, Scandinavia and even Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, India, Southeast Asia and North America.

The impact of these attacks was devastating – France, England, and Spain each lost thousands of ships, and long stretches of coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants. Pirate raids discouraged settlement along the coast until the 19th century.

The most famous corsairs were the Ottoman Barbarossa ("Redbeard") brothers –Hayreddin (Hızır) and his older brother Oruç Reis – who took control of Algiers in the early 16th century and turned it into the center of Mediterranean piracy and privateering for three centuries, as well as establishing the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

's presence in North Africa which lasted four centuries.

Other famous Ottoman privateer-admirals included Turgut Reis
Turgut Reis
Turgut Reis was an Ottoman Admiral and privateer who also served as Bey of Algiers; Beylerbey of the Mediterranean; and first Bey, later Pasha, of Tripoli. Under his naval command the Ottoman Empire maritime was extended across North Africa...

 (known as Dragut in the West), Kurtoğlu
Kurtoglu Muslihiddin Reis
Kurtoğlu Muslihiddin Reis was a privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the Sanjak Bey of Rhodes. He played an important role in the Ottoman conquests of Egypt and Rhodes during which he commanded the Ottoman naval forces...

 (known as Curtogoli
Kurtoglu Muslihiddin Reis
Kurtoğlu Muslihiddin Reis was a privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the Sanjak Bey of Rhodes. He played an important role in the Ottoman conquests of Egypt and Rhodes during which he commanded the Ottoman naval forces...

 in the West), Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis was a Turkish privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire. He was also the paternal uncle of the famous Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis who accompanied him in most of his important naval expeditions....

, Salih Reis
Salih Reis
Salih Reis was a Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral. He is alternatively referred to as Salah Rais, Sala Reis, Salih Rais, Salek Rais and Cale Arraez in several European resources, particularly in Spain, France and Italy.In 1529, together with Aydın Reis, he took part in the Turkish-Spanish...

, Nemdil Reis and Murat Reis the Elder. Some Barbary corsairs, such as Jan Janszoon
Jan Janszoon
Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, commonly known as Murat Reis the younger was the first President and Grand Admiral of the Corsair Republic of Salé, Governor of Oualidia, and a Dutch pirate, one of the most notorious of the Barbary pirates from the 17th century; the most famous of the "Salé...

 and Jack Ward, were renegade Christians who had converted to Islam.

In 1544, Hayreddin captured the island of Ischia
Ischia
Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It lies at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, about 30 km from the city of Naples. It is the largest of the Phlegrean Islands. Roughly trapezoidal in shape, it measures around 10 km east to west and 7 km north to south and has...

, taking 4,000 prisoners, and enslaved some 9,000 inhabitants of Lipari
Lipari
Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the north coast of Sicily, and the name of the island's main town. It has a permanent population of 11,231; during the May–September tourist season, its population may reach up to 20,000....

, almost the entire population. In 1551, Turgut Reis
Turgut Reis
Turgut Reis was an Ottoman Admiral and privateer who also served as Bey of Algiers; Beylerbey of the Mediterranean; and first Bey, later Pasha, of Tripoli. Under his naval command the Ottoman Empire maritime was extended across North Africa...

 enslaved the entire population of the Maltese island of Gozo
Gozo
Gozo is a small island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. The island is part of the Southern European country of Malta; after the island of Malta itself, it is the second-largest island in the archipelago...

, between 5,000 and 6,000, sending them to Libya. In 1554, pirates sacked Vieste
Vieste
Vieste is a town and comune in the province of Foggia, in the Apulia region of southeast Italy.thumb|Cathedral of ViesteA marine resort in Gargano, Vieste has received Blue Flags for the purity of its waters from the Foundation for Environmental Education...

 in southern Italy and took an estimated 7,000 slaves. In 1555, Turgut Reis sacked Bastia
Bastia
Bastia is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France located in the northeast of the island of Corsica at the base of Cap Corse. It is also the second-largest city in Corsica after Ajaccio and the capital of the department....

, Corsica, taking 6,000 prisoners.

In 1558, Barbary corsairs captured the town of Ciutadella
Ciutadella
Ciutadella de Menorca or simply Ciutadella is a town and a municipality in the western end of Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands . The name means "citadel". It is one of the two main cities in the island, along with Maó.-History:...

 (Minorca), destroyed it, slaughtered the inhabitants and took 3,000 survivors to Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 as slaves. In 1563, Turgut Reis landed on the shores of the province of Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

, Spain, and captured coastal settlements in the area, such as Almuñécar
Almuñécar
Almuñécar is a municipality in the Spanish Autonomous Region of Andalusia on the Costa Tropical between Nerja and Motril . It has a subtropical climate...

, along with 4,000 prisoners. Barbary pirates often attacked the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

, and in response many coastal watchtowers and fortified churches were erected. The threat was so severe that the island of Formentera
Formentera
Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pine Islands group , which belongs to the Balearic Islands autonomous community .-Geography:...

 became uninhabited.

Between 1609 to 1616, England lost 466 merchant ships to Barbary pirates. In the 19th century, Barbary pirates would capture ships and enslave the crew. Later American ships were attacked. During this period, the pirates forged affiliations with Caribbean powers, paying a "license tax" in exchange for safe harbor of their vessels. One American slave reported that the Algerians had enslaved 130 American seamen in the Mediterranean and Atlantic from 1785 to 1793.

Plague had repeatedly struck the cities of North Africa. Algiers lost from 30,000 to 50,000 inhabitants to the plague in 1620–21, and again in 1654–57, 1665, 1691, and 1740–42.

French rule


On the pretext of a slight to their consul, the French invaded and captured Algiers in 1830. The conquest of Algeria by the French was long 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.


Between 1825 and 1847, 50,000 French people emigrated to Algeria,

These settlers benefited from the French government's confiscation of communal land and the application of modern agricultural techniques that increased the amount of arable land. Algeria's social fabric suffered during the occupation: literacy plummeted, while land development uprooted much of the population.

Starting from the end of the 19th century, people of European descent in Algeria (or natives like Spanish people
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 in Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

), as well as the native Algerian Jews (classified as Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

), became full French citizens.

After Algeria's 1962 independence, the Europeans were called Pieds-Noirs
Pied-noir
Pied-Noir , plural Pieds-Noirs, pronounced , is a term referring to French citizens of various origins who lived in French Algeria before independence....

("black feet"). Some apocryphal sources suggest the title comes from the black boots settlers wore, but the term seems not to have been widely used until the time of the Algerian War of Independence and it is more likely it started as an insult towards settlers returning from Africa.

Post-independence


In 1954, the National Liberation Front
National Liberation Front (Algeria)
The National Liberation Front is a socialist political party in Algeria. It was set up on November 1, 1954 as a merger of other smaller groups, to obtain independence for Algeria from France.- Anticolonial struggle :...

 (Front de Libération Nationale or FLN) launched the Algerian War of Independence
Algerian War of Independence
The Algerian War was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria's gaining its independence from France...

 which was a guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 campaign. By the end of the war, newly elected French President Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 held a plebiscite
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

, offering Algerians three options. In a famous speech (4 June 1958 in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

), de Gaulle proclaimed in front of a vast crowd of Pieds-Noirs "Je vous ai compris" ("I have understood you"). Most Pieds-Noirs then believed that de Gaulle meant that Algeria would remain French. The poll resulted in a landslide vote for complete independence from France. Over one million people, ten percent of the population, then fled the country for France in just a few months in mid-1962. These included most of the 1,025,000 Pieds-Noirs, as well as 81,000 Harki
Harki
Harki is the generic term for Muslim Algerians who served as auxiliaries in the French Army during the Algerian War from 1954 to 1962...

s
(pro-French Algerians serving in the French Army). In the days preceding the bloody conflict, a group of Algerian Rebels opened fire on a marketplace in Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

 killing numerous innocent civilians, mostly women. It is estimated that somewhere between 50,000 and 150,000 Harkis and their dependents were killed by the FLN or by lynch mobs in Algeria.


Algeria's first president was the FLN leader Ahmed Ben Bella
Ahmed Ben Bella
Mohamed Ahmed Ben Bella was a soldier and Algerian revolutionary, who became the first President of Algeria.-Youth:...

. He was overthrown by his former ally and defense minister, Houari Boumédienne in 1965. Under Ben Bella, the government had already become increasingly socialist and authoritarian
Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

, and this trend continued throughout Boumédienne's government. However, Boumédienne relied much more heavily on the army, and reduced the sole legal party to a merely symbolic role. Agriculture was collectivised
Collective farming
Collective farming and communal farming are types of agricultural production in which the holdings of several farmers are run as a joint enterprise...

, and a massive industrialization drive launched. Oil extraction
Extraction of petroleum
The extraction of petroleum is the process by which usable petroleum is extracted and removed from the earth.-Locating the oil field:Geologists use seismic surveys to search for geological structures that may form oil reservoirs...

 facilities were nationalized. This was especially beneficial to the leadership after the 1973 oil crisis
1973 oil crisis
The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. With the...

. However, the Algerian economy became increasingly dependent on oil which led to hardship when the price collapsed during the 1980s oil glut
1980s oil glut
The 1980s oil glut was a serious surplus of crude oil caused by falling demand following the 1970s Energy Crisis. The world price of oil, which had peaked in 1980 at over US$35 per barrel , fell in 1986 from $27 to below $10...

.

In foreign policy, Algeria has strained relations with Morocco, its western neighbor. Reasons for this include Morocco's disputed claim to portions of western Algeria
Greater Morocco
Greater Morocco is a label historically used by some Moroccan anti-colonial political leaders protesting against Spanish and French rule, to refer to wider territories historically associated with the Moroccan Sultan...

 (which led to the Sand War
Sand War
The Sand War or Sands War occurred along the Algerian-Moroccan border in October 1963, and was a Moroccan attempt to claim the Tindouf and the Béchar areas that France had annexed to French Algeria a few decades earlier.- Background :...

 in 1963), Algeria's support for the Polisario Front
Polisario Front
The POLISARIO, Polisario Front, or Frente Polisario, from the Spanish abbreviation of Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco...

 for its right to self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, and Algeria's hosting of Sahrawi refugees within its borders in the city of Tindouf
Tindouf
Tindouf is the main town in Tindouf Province, Algeria, close to the Mauritanian and Moroccan borders. The region is considered of strategic significance, and it houses Algerian military bases. Since 1975, it also contains several Sahrawi refugee camps operated by the Polisario Front a guerrilla...

.

Within Algeria, dissent was rarely tolerated, and the state's control over the media and the outlawing of political parties other than the FLN was cemented in the repressive constitution of 1976
Constitution of Algeria
An Algerian Constitution was first adopted by a referendum in 1963, following the Algerian War of Independence ; originally, it was to be drafted by a constitutional assembly led by Ferhat Abbas, but this body was sidelined by Algeria's first President, Ahmed Ben Bella...

.

Boumédienne died in 1978, but the rule of his successor, Chadli Bendjedid
Chadli Bendjedid
Chadli Bendjedid was the sixth President of Algeria from February 9, 1979 to January 11, 1992.-Early career:...

, was little more open. The state took on a strongly bureaucratic character and corruption was widespread.

The modernization drive brought considerable demographic
Demography
Demography is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space...

 changes to Algeria. Village traditions underwent significant change as urbanization increased. New industries emerged and agricultural employment was substantially reduced. Education was extended nationwide, raising the literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate from less than ten percent to over sixty percent. There was a dramatic increase in the fertility rate to seven to eight children per mother.

Therefore by 1980, there was a very youthful population and a housing crisis. The new generation struggled to relate to the cultural obsession with the war years and two conflicting protest movements developed: communists, including Berber
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 identity movements; and Islamic intégristes. Both groups protested against one-party rule but also clashed with each other in universities and on the streets during the 1980s. Mass protests from both camps in autumn 1988 forced Bendjedid to concede the end of one-party rule.

Political events (1991–2002)


The first round of elections were held in 1991. In December 1991, the Islamic Salvation Front
Islamic Salvation Front
The Islamic Salvation Front is an outlawed Islamist political party in Algeria.-Goals:...

 won the first round
Algerian National Assembly elections, 1991
Parliamentary elections were held in Algeria on 26 December 1991. The first multi-party elections since independence, they were cancelled by a military coup after the first round, triggering the Algerian Civil War, after the military expressed concerns that the Islamic Salvation Front, which was...

 of the country's first multi-party elections. The military then intervened, declared a state of emergency that limited freedom of speech and assembly, and canceled the second round of elections. It forced then-president Bendjedid to resign and banned all political parties based on religion (including the Islamic Salvation Front). The military junta, the High Council of State (HCE), invited Mohamed Boudiaf to return from exile to become its chairman, but he was assassinated on 29 June 1992. The political conflict continued, leading Algeria into the violent Algerian Civil War
Algerian Civil War
The Algerian Civil War was an armed conflict between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups which began in 1991. It is estimated to have cost between 150,000 and 200,000 lives, in a population of about 25,010,000 in 1990 and 31,193,917 in 2000.More than 70 journalists were...

.

More than 160,000 people were killed between 17 January 1992 and June 2002 in various terrorist attacks which were claimed by the Armed Islamic Group
Armed Islamic Group
The Armed Islamic Group is an Islamist organisation that wants to overthrow the Algerian government and replace it with an Islamic state...

 and Islamic Salvation Army. However, elections resumed in 1995, and after 1998, the war waned. On 27 April 1999, after a series of short-term leaders representing the military, Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika is the ninth President of Algeria. He has been in office since 1999. He continued emergency rule until 24 February 2011, and presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002...

, the current president, was chosen by the army.

Post war


By 2002, the main guerrilla groups had either been destroyed or surrendered, taking advantage of an amnesty
Amnesty
Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

 program, though fighting and terrorism continues in some areas (See Islamic insurgency in Algeria (2002–present)).

The issue of Amazigh languages and identity increased in significance, particularly after the extensive Kabyle
Kabyle people
The Kabyle people are the largest homogeneous Algerian ethno-cultural and linguistical community and the largest nation in North Africa to be considered exclusively Berber. Their traditional homeland is Kabylie in the north of Algeria, one hundred miles east of Algiers...

 protests of 2001 and the near-total boycott of local elections in Kabylie
Kabylie
Kabylie or Kabylia , is a region in the north of Algeria.It is part of the Tell Atlas and is located at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Kabylia covers several provinces of Algeria: the whole of Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia , most of Bouira and parts of the wilayas of Bordj Bou Arreridj, Jijel,...

. The government responded with concessions including naming of Tamazight (Berber) as a national language and teaching it in schools.

Much of Algeria is now recovering and developing into an emerging economy. The high prices of oil and natural gas are being used by the new government to improve the country's infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

 and especially improve industry and agricultural land.

Popular protests – since 2010



Following a wave of protests in the wake of popular uprisings in Tunisia
Tunisian revolution
The Tunisian Revolution is an intensive campaign of civil resistance, including a series of street demonstrations taking place in Tunisia. The events began in December 2010 and led to the ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011...

, Egypt
2011 Egyptian revolution
The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

, and Libya
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

, Algeria officially lifted its 19-year-old state of emergency on 24 February 2011. The country's Council of Ministers approved the repeal two days prior.

Geography


Algeria is the largest country in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, and the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

. Its southern part includes a significant part of the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

. To the north, the Tell Atlas
Tell Atlas
The Tell Atlas is a mountain chain over 1,500 kilometers in length, belonging to the Atlas mountain ranges in North Africa, stretching from Morocco, through Algeria to Tunisia. It parallels the Mediterranean coast...

 form with the Saharan Atlas
Saharan Atlas
The Saharan Atlas of Algeria is the eastern portion of the Atlas Mountains. Not as tall as the Grand Atlas of Morocco they are far more imposing than the Tell Atlas range that runs closer to the coast. The tallest peak in the range is the high Djebel Aissa....

, 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 north eastern Algeria and are delineated by the Tunisian border. The highest point is Mount Chélia ( m).

Algeria lies mostly between latitudes 19°
19th parallel north
The 19th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 19 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, North America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 37°N
37th parallel north
The 37th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 37 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 (a small area is north of 37°), and longitudes 9°W
9th meridian west
The meridian 9° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 12°E
12th meridian east
The meridian 12° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

. 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
Tell Atlas
The Tell Atlas is a mountain chain over 1,500 kilometers in length, belonging to the Atlas mountain ranges in North Africa, stretching from Morocco, through Algeria to Tunisia. It parallels the Mediterranean coast...

 is fertile. South of the Tell Atlas is a steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

 landscape, which ends with the Saharan Atlas
Saharan Atlas
The Saharan Atlas of Algeria is the eastern portion of the Atlas Mountains. Not as tall as the Grand Atlas of Morocco they are far more imposing than the Tell Atlas range that runs closer to the coast. The tallest peak in the range is the high Djebel Aissa....

; further south, there is the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

 desert.

The Ahaggar Mountains
Ahaggar Mountains
The Ahaggar Mountains , also known as the Hoggar, are a highland region in central Sahara, or southern Algeria, along the Tropic of Cancer. They are located about 1,500 km  south of the capital, Algiers and just west of Tamanghasset. The region is largely rocky desert with an average...

 , also known as the Hoggar, are a highland region in central Sahara, southern Algeria. They are located about 1500 km (932 mi) south of the capital, Algiers and just west of Tamanghasset
Tamanghasset
Tamanrasset is an oasis city and capital of Tamanrasset Province in southern Algeria, in the Ahaggar Mountains. It is the chief city of the Algerian Tuareg...

. Algiers, Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

, Constantine
Constantine, Algeria
Constantine is the capital of Constantine Province in north-eastern Algeria. It was the capital of the same-named French département until 1962. Slightly inland, it is about 80 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast, on the banks of Rhumel river...

, Tizi Ouzou
Tizi Ouzou
Tizi Ouzou is a city in Kabylia, Algeria, where it ranks second in population after Béjaïa. It is the capital and largest city of Tizi Ouzou Province and of Great Kabylia .-Etymology:The name comes from the Kabylian Berber Tizi n Uzezzu and is pronounced Tizuzzu, commonly...

 and Annaba
Annaba
Annaba is a city in the northeastern corner of Algeria near the river Seybouse. It is located in Annaba Province. With a population of 257,359 , it is the fourth largest city in Algeria. It is a leading industrial centre in eastern Algeria....

 are Algeria's main cities.

Algeria is the biggest country in Africa, followed by Democratic Republic of Congo, thus more than ninety percent of its suface is covered by the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

 desert.

Climate and hydrology


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.

The highest official temperature was 50.6 °C (123.1 °F) at In Salah.

Rainfall is fairly abundant along the coastal part of the Tell Atlas, ranging from 400 to 670 mm (15.7 to 26.4 ) annually, the amount of precipitation increasing from west to east. Precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 is heaviest in the northern part of eastern Algeria, where it reaches as much as 1000 mm (39.4 in) in some years.

Farther inland, the rainfall is less plentiful. Prevailing winds
Prevailing winds
Prevailing winds are winds that blow predominantly from a single general direction over a particular point on Earth's surface. The dominant winds are the trends in direction of wind with the highest speed over a particular point on the Earth's surface. A region's prevailing and dominant winds...

 that are easterly and north-easterly in summer change to westerly and northerly in winter and carry with them a general increase in precipitation from September through December, a decrease in the late winter and spring months, and a near absence of rainfall during the summer months. Algeria also has ergs
Erg (landform)
An erg is a broad, flat area of desert covered with wind-swept sand with little or no vegetative cover. The term takes its name from the Arabic word ʿarq , meaning "dune field"...

, or sand dunes between mountains. Among these, in the summer time when winds are heavy and gusty, temperatures can get up to 110 °F (43.3 °C).

Politics


Algeria is an authoritarian regime, according to the Democracy Index 2010
Democracy Index
The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit that claims to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 165 are UN member states...

. The Freedom of the Press 2009
Freedom of the Press (report)
Freedom of the Press is a yearly report by US-based non-governmental organization Freedom House, measuring the level of freedom and editorial independence enjoyed by the press in every nation and significant disputed territories around the world. Levels of freedom are scored on a scale from 1 to 100...

 report gives it rating "Not Free".

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
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 at 18 years of age. The President is the head of the army, the Council of Ministers the High Security Council. He appoints the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Algeria
The Prime Minister is the head of government of Algeria.The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of Algeria, along with other ministers and members of the government that the new Prime Minister recommends. The People's National Assembly must approve the legislative program of the new...

 who is also the head of government.

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

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

Foreign relations and military




The military of Algeria consists of the People's National Army
People's National Army
The People's National Army is the land force of the Military of Algeria,the 2nd largest army in North Africa after Egypt.The People's National Army's equipment is provided by Russia, China,and other various countries....

 (ANP), the Algerian National Navy
Algerian National Navy
The Algerian National Navy is the naval branch of the Military of Algeria. The navy operates from 3 bases at Algiers, Annaba and Mers-el-Kébir on the Mediterranean coast....

 (MRA), and the Algerian Air Force
Algerian Air Force
The Algerian Air Force is the aerial arm of the Algerian People's Military.- Inventory :- External links : http://www.algaf.bravehost.com/index.htm http://www.avions-militaires.net/dossiers/armee-air/dza.php...

 (QJJ), plus the Territorial Air Defense Force. It is the direct successor of the Armée de Libération Nationale
Armée de Libération Nationale
The Armée de Libération Nationale or ALN was the armed wing of the nationalist Front de Libération National during the Algerian War of Independence...

 (ALN), the armed wing of the nationalist National Liberation Front, which fought French colonial occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62). The commander-in-chief of the military is the president, who is also Minister of National Defense.

Total 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 18 months (six training and 12 in civil projects). The total military expenditure in 2006 was estimated variously at 2.7% of GDP (3,096 million), or 3.3% of GDP.

Algeria has its force oriented toward its western (Morocco) and eastern (Libyan) neighbors borders. Its primary military supplier has been the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, which has sold various types of sophisticated equipment under military trade agreements, and the People's Republic of China. Algeria has attempted, in recent years, to diversify its sources of military material. Military forces are supplemented by a 70,000-member gendarmerie
Gendarmerie
A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

 or rural police force under the control of the president and 30,000-member Sûreté nationale or metropolitan police force under the Ministry of the Interior.

The Algerian Air Force signed a deal with Russia in 2007, to purchase 49 MiG-29SMT and 6 MiG-29UBT at an estimated $1.9 billion. They also agreed to return old aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

 purchased from the Former USSR. Russia is also building two 636-type
Kilo class submarine
The Kilo class is the NATO reporting name for a naval diesel-electric submarine that is made in Russia. The original version of the vessels were designated Project 877 Paltus in Russia. There is also a more advanced version, designated as Improved Kilo in the west, and Project 636 Varshavyanka in...

 diesel submarines for Algeria.

In October 2009, Algeria cancelled a weapons deal with France over the possibility of inclusion of Israeli parts in them.

Tensions between Algeria and Morocco in relation to the Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

 have been an obstacle to tightening the Arab Maghreb Union
Arab Maghreb Union
The Arab Maghreb Union is a trade agreement aiming for economic and some sort of future political unity in North Africa between the countries Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania...

, which was nominally established in 1989 but which has carried little practical weight.

Provinces and districts



Algeria is divided into 48 provinces (wilayas), 553 districts
Districts of Algeria
The provinces of Algeria are divided into 553 districts . The capital of a district is called a district seat...

 (daïra
Daïra
A daïra |circle]]; plural dawaïr) is an administrative division of a wilaya in Algeria and in Western Sahara. Another transliteration of the word is Daerah.*Daïra of Algeria*Daïra of Western Sahara-See also:* Provinces of Algeria...

s
) and 1,541 municipalities (baladiyah
Baladiyah
Baladiyah is a type of Arabic administrative division that can be translated as municipality or district. The plural is baladiyat . Grammatically, it is the feminine of بلدي "rural, country-, folk-"....

s
). Each province, district, and municipality is named after its seat, which is usually the largest city.
According to the Algerian constitution, a province is a territorial collectivity enjoying some economic freedom.

The People's Provincial Assembly
People's Provincial Assembly
The People's Municipal Assembly is the political body governing the provinces of Algeria. It is composed of an assembly elected on universal suffrage for five years. This assembly further elects a president, the president of the People's Provincial Assembly...

 is the political entity governing a province, which has a "president", who is elected by the members of the assembly. They are in turn elected on universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 every five years. The "Wali" (Prefect
Prefect
Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

 or governor) directs each province. This person is chosen by the Algerian President to handle the PPA's decisions.

The administrative divisions have changed several times since independence. When introducing new provinces, the numbers of old provinces are kept, hence the non-alphabetical order. With their official numbers, currently (since 1983) they are:
# Wilaya  Area (km²)Population map # Wilaya  Area (km²)Population
1 Adrar
Adrar Province
Adrar is a province in southwestern Algeria, named after its capital Adrar. It is the second-largest province, with an area of 427,368 km²...

 
402,197 439,700 25 Constantine
Constantine Province
Constantine is one of the 48 provinces of Algeria, whose capital is the city of the same name.- Adminsitrative divisions :The province is divided into 6 districts, which are subdivided into 12 communes or municipalities.-Districts:...

 
2,187 943,112
2 Chlef
Chlef Province
Chlef is a province in Algeria, and has about 1 million inhabitants. Its capital is Chlef. Another locality is Ténès, on the Mediterranean Sea.-Administrative divisions:...

 
4,975 1,013,718 26 Médéa
Médéa Province
Médéa is a province of Algeria. The capital is Médéa.-Administrative divisions:The province is divided into 19 districts , which are further divided into 64 communes or municipalities.-Districts:# Aïn Boucif# Aziz...

 
8,866 830,943
3 Laghouat
Laghouat Province
Laghouat is a province in central Algeria. The name means "the oases". The capital is Laghouat. Other localities include Aflou, Ain Madhi, Kourdane and Makhareg.-Administrative division:...

 
25,057 477,328 27 Mostaganem
Mostaganem Province
Mostaganem is a province of Algeria. The capital is Mostaganem. Other localities include Ain Nouissi, Ain Tadles, Tazgait and Stidia.-Administrative divisions:...

 
2,269 746,947
4 Oum El Bouaghi
Oum El Bouaghi Province
Oum El Bouaghi or Oum el-Bouaghi is a province of Algeria. The capital is Oum el-Bouaghi, which was named Can Robert , Sidi R'Ghis a few years later, and Oum El Bouaghi before independence....

 
6,768 644,364 28 M'Sila
M'Sila Province
M'Sila is a province of northern Algeria. It has a population of 1 million people and an area of 18,718 km², while its capital, also called M'sila, home to M'Sila University, has a population of about 100,000. Some localities in this wilaya are Bou Saada and Maadid. Chott El Hodna, a salt...

 
18,718 991,846
5 Batna
Batna Province
Batna is a wilaya of Algeria. Capital is Batna. Localities in this province include Barika, Merouana and Timgad. Belezma National Park is there.- Administrative divisions :It is made up of 22 districts and 61 municipalities.The districts are:...

 
12,192 1,128,030 29 Mascara
Mascara Province
Mascara is a province in Algeria. There was an earthquake in Mascara City on 18 August 1994 - 5.6 on the Richter scale - which killed 171 people. It was named after its capital, whose name means "military garrison" in Arabic, and which is unrelated to "Mascara", the cosmetic...

 
5,941 780,959
6 Béjaïa
Béjaïa Province
Béjaïa is a province of Algeria. The capital city is Béjaïa. Gouraya National Park is there. A population of the endangered primate, Barbary Macaque is found within this the province's Gouraya National Park; this canid has a severely restricted and disjunctive range.-Administrative divisions:The...

 
3,268 915,835 30 Ouargla
Ouargla Province
Ouargla or Warqla is a province in eastern Algeria. Its capital is Ouargla. Other localities include Temacine, Touggourt, and Hassi Messaoud. It contains the Issaouane Erg desert.-History:...

 
211,980 552,539
7 Biskra
Biskra Province
Biskra is a province of Algeria. The capital city is Biskra. Tolga is one of the famous daïras of this wilaya. Other localities include Lichoua, Sidi Okba, Sidi Khaled, El-Kantara and Ouled Djellal.- Administrative division :...

 
20,986 730,262 31 Oran
Oran Province
Oran is a province in Algeria whose seat is the city of the same name.-Geography:It is located in the northwestern part of the country. Its population is 1,584,607 and it covers a total area of 2,114 km²...

 
2,114 1,584,607
8 Béchar
Béchar Province
Béchar is a province in Algeria, named after its capital Béchar.The greater part of the province is uninhabitable sand dune fields , in particular the Great Western Erg and the Erg Er Raoui, or dry plains suitable for grazing but with insufficient surface water to support agriculture...

 
161,400 274,866 32 El Bayadh
El Bayadh Province
El Bayadh is a province in Algeria, named after its capital El Bayadh.-Administrative divisions:The province is divided into 8 districts, which are further divided into 22 communes or municipalities.-Districts:# Boualem# Bougtob...

 
78,870 262,187
9 Blida
Blida Province
Blida is a province in Algeria. Its capital is Blida. The Chréa National Park is situated here.-Administrative divisions:It is made up of 10 districts and 25 municipalities.The districts are:# Blida# Boufarik# Bougara# Bouïnian...

 
1,696 1,009,892 33 Illizi
Illizi Province
Illizi is a province in the south-eastern corner of Algeria named after its eponymous seat.It borders Libya to the east, Ouargla Province to the north and, Tamanghasset Province to the east and south.-Administrative divisions:...

 
285,000 54,490
10 Bouïra
Bouïra Province
-Administrative divisions:It is made up of 12 districts and 45 communes or municipalities.-Districts:# Aïn Bessem# Bechloul# Bir Ghbalou# Bordj Okhriss# Bouïra# El Hachimia# Haïzer# Kadiria# Lakhdaria# M'Chedellah# Souk El Khemis...

 
4,439 694,750 34 Bordj Bou Arréridj
Bordj Bou Arréridj Province
Bordj Bou Arréridj is a province and in the east Algeria around 200 km away from the capital Algiers. It is notable for its many electronic industries . Its capital is Bordj Bou Arreridj...

 
4,115 634,396
11 Tamanrasset
Tamanrasset Province
Tamanrasset or Tamanghasset is the largest province in Algeria. It was named after its province seat: Tamanrasset. The Province has two national parks, more than any other in Algeria. They are: Tassili n'Ajjer National Park and Ahaggar National Park...

 
556,200 198,691 35 Boumerdes
Boumerdès Province
Boumerdès is a province of northern Algeria, between Algiers and Tizi-Ouzou, with its capital at the coastal city of Boumerdès just east of Algiers.-Administrative divisions:...

 
1,591 795,019
12 Tébessa
Tébessa Province
Tébessa is a province of Algeria. Tébessa is also the name of the capital, which in ancient times it was known as Theveste. Another important city is El Ouenza.Tebessa is located only 20 kilometers west from Tunisia border....

 
14,227 657,227 36 El Taref
El Taref Province
El Taref is a province of Algeria. El Kala is a port town in this province. El Taref is the capital city. El Kala, a port town in this province, is home to El Kala National Park.-Administrative divisions:...

 
3,339 411,783
13 Tlemcen
Tlemcen Province
Tlemcen is a province in northwestern Algeria. The Tlemcen National Park is located there.-Administrative divisions:The province is divided into 20 districts , which are further divided into 53 communes or municipalities....

 
9,061 945,525 37 Tindouf
Tindouf Province
Tindouf, also written Tinduf, is the westernmost province of Algeria, having a population of 58,193 as of the 2008 census. Despite the barren landscape, Tindouf is a resource-rich province, with important quantities of iron ore located in the Gara Djebilet area close to the border with Mali...

 
58,193 159,000
14 Tiaret
Tiaret Province
Tiaret is a province of Algeria. The capital is Tiaret.-Administrative division:The province is divided into 14 districts , which are further divided into 42 communes or municipalities.-Districts:# Aïn Deheb# Aïn Kermes...

 
20,673 842,060 38 Tissemsilt
Tissemsilt Province
Tissemsilt is the province n° 38 of Algeria with the capital being Tissemsilt. Théniet El Haâd National Park is there.-Administrative divisions:...

 
3,152 296,366
15 Tizi Ouzou
Tizi Ouzou Province
Tizi Ouzou is a province in Algeria, named after its capital.-Administrative divisions:The province is divided into 21 districts , which are further divided into 67 communes or municipalities.-Districts:# Aïn El Hammam...

 
3,568 1,119,646 39 El Oued
El Oued Province
El Oued is a Saharan province of Algeria dominated by Oued Souf. It was named after its eponymous capital. Notable towns include El Oued itself and Guemar, Debila, and Robbah.-Administrative division:...

 
54,573 673,934
16 Algiers  273 2,947,461 40 Khenchela
Khenchela Province
-Administrative division:The province is divided into 8 districts, which are further divided into 21 communes or municipalities.-Districts:# Khenchela, as a district and capital# Aïn Touila, located northeastern of capital...

 
9,811 384,268
17 Djelfa
Djelfa Province
Djelfa is a province of Algeria. Its capital is Djelfa.It was first established by the administrative reorganization of 1974, and is home to over 1.2 million inhabitants...

 
66,415 1,223,223 41 Souk Ahras
Souk Ahras Province
Souk Ahras is a province in Algeria, named after its capital, Souk Ahras. It stands on the border between Algeria and Tunisia.- Geography :Souk Ahras is situated in the extreme north east of Algeria, it is 4360 km²....

 
4,541 440,299
18 Jijel
Jijel Province
Jijel is a province in Algeria in the eastern Mediterranean cost. The capital is Jijel . Taza National Park is there.-Administrative divisions:...

 
2,577 634,412 42 Tipaza
Tipaza Province
Tipaza or Tipasa is a province on the coast of Algeria, Its capital is Tipasa, 50 km west of the capital of Algeria.-Administrative divisions:...

 
2,166 617,661
19 Sétif
Sétif Province
Sétif Province is a province in north-eastern Algeria. Its capital and largest city is Sétif, the next largest city is El Eulma. There is also the World Heritage Site of Djémila there.-Administrative divisions:...

 
6,504 1,496,150 43 Mila
Mila Province
Mila is a province of Algeria, whose capital is Mila. Other localities include Telerghma, Grarem Gouga, Hamala and Rouached.-Administrative divisions:...

 
9,375 768,419
20 Saïda
Saïda Province
Saïda is a province of Algeria, named after its capital.-Administrative divisions:The province is divided into 6 districts , which are further divided into 16 communes or municipalities.-Districts:# Aïn El Hadjar...

 
6,764 328,685 44 Ain Defla
Aïn Defla Province
Aïn Defla is a wilaya in northern Algeria. It is located to the southwest of Algiers, the capital. Localities in Ain Delfa include Miliana, Hammam Righa, and Aïn Torki.-Administrative divisions:...

 
4,897 771,890
21 Skikda
Skikda Province
Skikda is a province of Algeria, on its eastern Mediterranean coastline.-Administrative divisions:The province is divided into 13 districts , which are further divided into 38 communes or municipalities.-Districts:...

 
4,026 904,195 45 Naâma
Naâma Province
Naâma is a province of Algeria named after its provincial seat, the town of Naâma. There is an airport in Mécheria; and a big sabkha.-Administrative divisions:...

 
29,950 209,470
22 Sidi Bel Abbès
Sidi Bel Abbès Province
Sidi Bel Abbès is one of the provinces of Algeria. Its name is derived from the name of its capital, the city of Sidi Bel Abbès. It is situated in the northwestern part of the country.-Administrative divisions:...

 
9,150 603,369 46 Ain Timouchent
Aïn Témouchent Province
Aïn Témouchent is a province in northwestern Algeria, named after its capital: Aïn Témouchent.-Administrative divisions:It is made up of 8 districts and 28 municipalities.The districts are:# Aïn Kihel# Aïn Larbaâ# Aïn Témouchent...

 
2,376 384,565
23 Annaba
Annaba Province
Annaba is a small province in the north-eastern corner of Algeria. Its capital, Annaba is Algeria's main port for mineral exports.-Administrative divisions:The province is divided into 6 districts and 12 municipalities.The districts are:...

 
1,439 640,050 47 Ghardaia
Ghardaïa Province
Ghardaïa is a province in eastern Algeria, named after its capital Ghardaïa. The M'Zab Valley, located there, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.-Administrative divisions:...

 
86,105 375,988
24 Guelma
Guelma Province
Guelma Province is a province in eastern Algeria. Its namesake is its seat and most populous municipality: Guelma.-History:Its civilians suffered heavy casualties during the 1945 Sétif massacre by the French Army. The province itself was established on 1974. Before that, it was part of Annaba...

 
4,101 482,261 48 Relizane
Relizane Province
Relizane is a province of Algeria. Relizane is the capital. Other localities include Bendaoud, Bouzegza, Hamri, Kalaa, Mazouna and Zemmoura.-Administrative divisions:...

 
4,870 733,060


Economy



The fossil fuel
Fossil fuel
Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years...

s energy sector is the backbone of Algeria's economy, accounting for roughly 60 percent of budget revenues, 30 percent of GDP, and over 95 percent of export earnings. The country ranks 14th in petroleum reserves, containing 11.8 Goilbbl of proven oil reserves
Oil reserves
The total estimated amount of oil in an oil reservoir, including both producible and non-producible oil, is called oil in place. However, because of reservoir characteristics and limitations in petroleum extraction technologies, only a fraction of this oil can be brought to the surface, and it is...

 with estimates suggesting that the actual amount is even more. The U.S. Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and...

 reported that in 2005, Algeria had 160 Tcuft of proven natural-gas reserves, the tenth largest in the world. Average annual non-hydrocarbon GDP growth averaged 6 percent between 2003 and 2007, with total GDP growing at an average of 4.5 percent during the same period due to less-buoyant oil production during 2006 and 2007. External debt has been virtually eliminated, and the government has accumulated large savings in the oil-stabilization fund (FRR). Inflation, the lowest in the region, has remained stable at four percent on average between 2003 and 2007.

Algeria's financial and economic indicators improved during the mid-1990s, in part because of policy reforms supported by the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 and debt
Debt
A debt is an obligation owed by one party to a second party, the creditor; usually this refers to assets granted by the creditor to the debtor, but the term can also be used metaphorically to cover moral obligations and other interactions not based on economic value.A debt is created when a...

 rescheduling from the Paris Club
Paris Club
The Paris Club is an informal group of financial officials from 19 of some of the world's biggest economies, which provides financial services such as war funding, debt restructuring, debt relief, and debt cancellation to indebted countries and their creditors...

. Algeria's finances in 2000 and 2001 benefited from an increase in oil prices
Price of petroleum
The price of petroleum as quoted in news generally refers to the spot price per barrel of either WTI/light crude as traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange for delivery at Cushing, Oklahoma, or of Brent as traded on the Intercontinental Exchange for delivery at Sullom Voe.The price...

 and the government's tight fiscal policy, leading to a large increase in the trade surplus, record highs in foreign exchange reserves, and reduction in foreign debt.

The government's continued efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector have had little success in reducing high unemployment and improving living standards, however. In 2001, the government signed an Association Treaty with the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 that will eventually lower tariffs and increase trade. In March 2006, Russia agreed to erase $4.74 billion of Algeria's Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

-era debt during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 to the country, the first by a Russian leader in half a century. In return, Algerian President
President of Algeria
The President of Algeria is the head of state and chief executive of Algeria, as well as the Commander-in-Chief of the Algerian armed forces.-History of the office:...

 Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika is the ninth President of Algeria. He has been in office since 1999. He continued emergency rule until 24 February 2011, and presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002...

 agreed to buy $7.5 billion worth of combat planes, air-defense systems and other arms from Russia, according to the head of Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

Algeria also decided in 2006 to pay off its full $8 billion (£4.3 billion) debt to the Paris Club
Paris Club
The Paris Club is an informal group of financial officials from 19 of some of the world's biggest economies, which provides financial services such as war funding, debt restructuring, debt relief, and debt cancellation to indebted countries and their creditors...

 group of rich creditor nations before schedule. This would reduce the Algerian foreign debt to less than $5 billion in the end of 2006. The Paris Club said the move reflected Algeria's economic recovery in recent years.

Agriculture



Algeria has always been noted for the fertility of its soil. 14 percent of its labor force are employed in the agricultural sector.

A considerable amount of cotton was grown at the time of the United States' Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, but the industry declined afterwards. In the early years of the 20th century efforts to extend the cultivation of the plant were renewed. A small amount of cotton is also grown in the southern oases. Large quantities of dwarf palm are cultivated for the leaves, the fibers of which resemble horsehair
Mane (horse)
The mane is the hair that grows from the top of the neck of a horse or other equine, reaching from the poll to the withers, and includes the forelock or foretop. It is thicker and coarser than the rest of the horse's coat, and naturally grows to roughly cover the neck...

. The olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 (both for its fruit and oil) and tobacco are cultivated with great success.

More than 30000 km² (7,413,154.9 acre) are devoted to the cultivation of cereal grains. The Tell Atlas
Tell Atlas
The Tell Atlas is a mountain chain over 1,500 kilometers in length, belonging to the Atlas mountain ranges in North Africa, stretching from Morocco, through Algeria to Tunisia. It parallels the Mediterranean coast...

 is the grain-growing land. During the time of French rule its productivity was increased substantially by the sinking of artesian wells
Artesian aquifer
An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level in a well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached. This type of well is called an artesian well...

 in districts which only required water to make them fertile. Of the crops raised, wheat, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 and oat
Oat
The common oat is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name . While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed...

s are the principal cereals. A great variety of vegetables and fruits, especially citrus
Citrus
Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

 products, are exported. Algeria also exports figs
Ficus
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphyte in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig Ficus is a genus of...

, dates, esparto grass
Esparto
Esparto, or esparto grass, also known as "halfah grass" or "needle grass", Macrochloa tenacissima and Stipa tenacissima, is a perennial grass grown in northwest Africa and the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula employed for crafts .-Esparto paper:It is also used for fiber production for paper...

, and cork
Cork (material)
Cork is an impermeable, buoyant material, a prime-subset of bark tissue that is harvested for commercial use primarily from Quercus suber , which is endemic to southwest Europe and northwest Africa...

.

Demographics




As of a January 2010 estimate, Algeria's population was 34.9 million, with 99 percent classified ethnically as Arab or Berber. At the outset of the 20th century, its population was approximately four million. About 90 percent of Algerians live in the northern, coastal area; the minority who inhabit the Sahara desert are mainly concentrated in oases
Oasis
In geography, an oasis or cienega is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source...

, although some 1.5 million remain nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic or partly nomadic. More than 25 percent of Algerians are under the age of 15.

Most Algerians have Arab, Berber, and to a lesser extent, southern European and sub-Saharan African ancestry. Furthermore, the country has a diverse population ranging from light-skinned, gray-eyed Chaoui and blue-eyed Kabyles in the Atlas Mountains to very dark-skinned populations in the Sahara (e.g., the Tuaregs and Gnawa). Descendants of Andalusian
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 refugees are also present in the population of Algiers and other cities.

Linguistically, approximately 83 percent of Algerians speak Algerian Arabic
Algerian Arabic
Algerian Arabic is the variety or varieties of Arabic spoken in Algeria. In Algeria, as elsewhere, spoken Arabic differs from written Arabic; Algerian Arabic has a vocabulary mostly Arabic, with significant Berber substrates, and many new words and loanwords borrowed from French, Turkish and...

, while approximately 27 percent speak one of the Berber languages  mainly found in the Kabyle
Kabyle people
The Kabyle people are the largest homogeneous Algerian ethno-cultural and linguistical community and the largest nation in North Africa to be considered exclusively Berber. Their traditional homeland is Kabylie in the north of Algeria, one hundred miles east of Algiers...

 and Chaoui regions. French is widely understood, and Standard Arabic (Foshaa) is taught to and understood by most Algerian-Arabic-speaking youth.

Europeans account for less than one percent of the population, inhabiting almost exclusively the largest metropolitan areas. However, during the colonial period there was a large (15.2 percent in 1962) European population, consisting primarily of French people
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

, in addition to Spaniards
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 in the west of the country, Italians
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 and Maltese
Maltese people
The Maltese are an ethnic group indigenous to the Southern European nation of Malta, and identified with the Maltese language. Malta is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in the east, and other Europeans such as Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 in smaller numbers. Known as Pieds-Noirs
Pied-noir
Pied-Noir , plural Pieds-Noirs, pronounced , is a term referring to French citizens of various origins who lived in French Algeria before independence....

, European colonists were concentrated on the coast and formed a majority of the population of Oran (60 percent) and important proportions in other large cities including Algiers and Annaba. Almost all of this population left during or immediately after the country's independence from France.

Housing and medicine shortages continue to be pressing problems in Algeria. Failing infrastructure and the continued influx of people from rural to urban areas has overtaxed both systems. According to the United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to...

, the country has one of the world's-highest per-housing-unit occupancy rates for housing, and government officials have publicly stated that the country has an immediate shortfall of 1.5 million housing units.

Women make up 70 percent of the country's lawyers and 60 percent of its judges, and also dominate the field of medicine. Increasingly, women are contributing more to household income than men. Sixty percent of university students are women, according to university researchers.

It is estimated that 95,700 refugees and asylum
Right of asylum
Right of asylum is an ancient juridical notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or church sanctuaries...

-seekers have sought refuge in Algeria. This includes roughly 90,000 from Morocco and 4,100 from Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

. An estimated 46,000 Sahrawis from Western Sahara live in refugee camps in the Algerian part of the Sahara desert. , 35,000 Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 migrant workers lived in Algeria.

Ethnic groups



Almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arabs), the Arab ethnic presence in the country is mainly due to the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns and Hilallian
Banu Hilal
The Banu Hilal were a confederation of Arabian Bedouin tribes that migrated from Upper Egypt into North Africa in the 11th century, having been sent by the Fatimids to punish the Zirids for abandoning Shiism. Other authors suggest that the tribes left the grasslands on the upper Nile because of...

s migratory movements (3rd century BC and 11th century, respectively). However, the majority of Arabized Berber
Arabized Berber
Arabized Berber is a term to denote an inhabitant of the North African Maghreb of Berber origin whose native language is a dialect of Arabic. According to these persons, the Arab identity in North Africa is a myth coming from the Arabization of the official institutions after French rule.They...

 claims an Arab heritage, which is a consequence of the Arab nationalism of the early 20th century. The Berbers are divided into many groups with varying languages. The largest of these are the Kabyles, who live in the Kabylia Mountains east of Algiers. The Chaoui of North-East Algeria, and the Tuaregs in the southern desert. Another historical migratory movements that made the actual Algerians was the Vandalic
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

 invasion of the 5th century, and the Mediterranean trade
Slavery on the Barbary Coast
Slavery on the Barbary Coast was a form of unfree labour which existed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the Barbary Coast area of North Africa....

 of the 16th-19th century.

Languages



The official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Algeria is Modern Standard Arabic, as specified in its constitution since 1963. In addition to this, Berber
Berber languages
The Berber languages are a family of languages indigenous to North Africa, spoken from Siwa Oasis in Egypt to Morocco , and south to the countries of the Sahara Desert...

 has been recognized as a "national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

" by constitutional amendment since 8 May 2002. Between them, these two languages are the native languages of over 99 percent of Algerians, with colloquial Algerian Arabic
Algerian Arabic
Algerian Arabic is the variety or varieties of Arabic spoken in Algeria. In Algeria, as elsewhere, spoken Arabic differs from written Arabic; Algerian Arabic has a vocabulary mostly Arabic, with significant Berber substrates, and many new words and loanwords borrowed from French, Turkish and...

 spoken by about 83 percent (including bilingual Berbers) and Berber by 45 percent (excluding Berber-Arabic bilinguals) . French, though it has no official status, is still widely used in government, culture, media (newspapers) and education (taught from primary school), due to Algeria's colonial history
French rule in Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

 and can be regarded as being the de facto co-official language of Algeria. The Kabyle language
Kabyle language
Kabyle or Kabylian is a Berber language spoken by the Kabyle people north and northeast of Algeria. Estimates about the number of speakers range from 5 million to about 7 million speakers worldwide, the majority in Algeria.-Classification:The classification of Kabyle is Afro-Asiatic, Berber and...

, the most-spoken Berber language in the country, is taught and partially co-official (with a few restrictions) in parts of Kabylia. Algerian cities have commonly been given Berber and ancient Roman
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 names.

Religion


Islam is the predominant religion with 99 percent of the population.
Almost all Algerian Muslims follow Sunni Islam, with the exception of some 200,000 Ibadi
Ibadi
The Ibāḍī movement, Ibadism or Ibāḍiyya is a form of Islam distinct from the Sunni and Shia denominations. It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman and Zanzibar...

s in the M'zab Valley in the region of Ghardaia
Ghardaïa
Ghardaïa is the capital city of Ghardaïa Province, Algeria. The commune of Ghardaïa has a population of 104,645, with 82,500 in the main city according to 2005 estimates. It is located in northern-central Algeria in the Sahara Desert and lies along the left bank of the Wadi Mzab...

.

There are also some 250,000 Christians in the country, including about 10,000 Roman Catholics and 150,000 to 200,000 evangelical Protestants (mainly Pentecostal), according to the Protestant Church of Algeria
Protestant Church of Algeria
The Protestant Church of Algeria is a small religious body formed in 1972 by the union of several smaller Protestant denominations in Algeria.The church has about 1,500 members, mainly in the northern coastal region of the country...

's leader Mustapha Krim. Most of them live in Kabylia area where there are more than seventy underground churches. The nation has experienced a decline in Christianity as a result of Islamization for over a millennium.

Algeria had an important Jewish community until the 1960s. Nearly all of this community emigrated following the country's independence, although a very small number of Algerian Jews continue to live in Algiers.

Cities



Below is a list of the most important Algerian cities:

Health


In 2002, 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 percent of the population in urban areas and 80 percent of the population in rural areas. Some 99 percent of Algerians living in urban areas, but only 82 percent 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
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, hepatitis
Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. The name is from the Greek hepar , the root being hepat- , meaning liver, and suffix -itis, meaning "inflammation"...

, measles
Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbilli, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses...

, typhoid fever
Typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

, cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 and dysentery
Dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

. The poor generally receive health care free of charge.- Algeria

Education




Education is officially compulsory for children between the ages of six and 15. Approximately 5% of the adult population of the country is illiterate.

In Algeria there are 46 universities, 10 colleges, and 7 institutes for higher learning. The University of Algiers was founded in 1909, and its students contributed to the total 267,142 students that were enrolled in Algerian universities in 1996. The Algerian school system is structured into Basic, General Secondary, and Technical Secondary levels:

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

Culture



Modern Algerian literature, split between Arabic, Kabyle and French, has been strongly influenced by the country's recent history. Famous novelists of the 20th century include Mohammed Dib
Mohammed Dib
Mohammed Dib was an Algerian author. He wrote over 30 novels, as well as numerous short stories, poems, and children's literature in the French language. He is probably Algeria's most prolific and well-known writer...

, Albert Camus
Albert Camus
Albert Camus was a French author, journalist, and key philosopher of the 20th century. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was opposed to some tendencies of the Surrealist movement of André Breton.Camus was awarded the 1957...

, Kateb Yacine
Kateb Yacine
Kateb Yacine was an Algerian writer notable for his novels and plays, both in French and Algerian Arabic dialect, and his advocacy of the Algerian Berber cause.-Biography:...

 and Ahlam Mosteghanemi
Ahlam Mosteghanemi
Ahlam Mosteghanemi is a notable Algerian writer born in Tunis, the daughter of revolutionary leader Mohammed Chérif. She is the first female Algerian author of Arabic-language works to be translated into English . Thus far, the first two of a trilogy have been translated...

 while Assia Djebar
Assia Djebar
Assia Djebar is the pen-name of Fatima-Zohra Imalayen , an Algerian novelist, translator and filmmaker. Most of her works deal with obstacles faced by women, and she is noted for her feminist stance. Djebar is considered to be one of North Africa's pre-eminent and most influential writers...

 is widely translated. Among the important novelists of the 1980s were Rachid Mimouni
Rachid Mimouni
Rachid Mimouni was an Algerian writer, teacher and human rights activist....

, later vice-president of Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

, and Tahar Djaout
Tahar Djaout
Tahar Djaout was an Algerian journalist, poet, and fiction writer. He was assassinated by the Armed Islamic Group because of his support of secularism and opposition to what he considered fanaticism. He was attacked on May 26, 1993, as he was leaving his home in Bainem, Algeria. He died on June 2,...

, murdered by an Islamist group in 1993 for his secularist views.

In philosophy and the humanities, Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

, the father of deconstruction
Deconstruction
Deconstruction is a term introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida in his 1967 book Of Grammatology. Although he carefully avoided defining the term directly, he sought to apply Martin Heidegger's concept of Destruktion or Abbau, to textual reading...

, was born in El Biar
El Biar
El Biar is a suburb of Algiers, Algeria. It is located in the administrative constituency of Bouzaréah in the Algiers Province. As of the 1998 census, it has a population of 52,582 inhabitants...

 in Algiers; Malek Bennabi
Malek Bennabi
Malek Bennabi is a great Algerian thinker . He wrote about human society, particularly Muslim society with a focus on the reasons behind the fall of muslim society....

 and Frantz Fanon
Frantz Fanon
Frantz Fanon was a Martiniquo-Algerian psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose work is influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory and Marxism...

 are noted for their thoughts on decolonization
Decolonization
Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the unequal relation of polities whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent Territory over another...

; Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 was born in Tagaste (modern-day Souk Ahras
Souk Ahras
Souk Ahras is a province in Algeria, named after its capital, Souk Ahras. It stands on the border between Algeria and Tunisia.- Geography :Souk Ahras is situated in the extreme north east of Algeria, it is 4360 km²....

); and Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

, though born in Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

, wrote the Muqaddima while staying in Algeria.
Algerian culture has been strongly influenced by Islam
Islam in Algeria
Islam, the religion of almost all of the Algerian people, pervades most aspects of life. The vast majority of citizens are Sunni Muslims. Islam provides the society with its central social and cultural identity and gives most individuals their basic ethical and attitudinal orientation. Orthodox...

, the main religion. The works of the Sanusi family in pre-colonial times, and of Emir Abdelkader and Sheikh Ben Badis in colonial times, are widely noted. The Latin author Apuleius
Apuleius
Apuleius was a Latin prose writer. He was a Berber, from Madaurus . He studied Platonist philosophy in Athens; travelled to Italy, Asia Minor and Egypt; and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when he was accused of using magic to gain the...

 was born in Madaurus
Madaurus
M'Daourouch is a municipality in Souk Ahras Province, Algeria, occupying the site of the former Roman town of Madauras, Madaure, or Madaura which is now a Roman Catholic titular see in the former Roman province of Numidia....

 (Mdaourouch), in what later became Algeria.

In painting, Mohammed Khadda
Mohammed Khadda
Mohammed Khadda was an Algerian painter and sculptor who is considered to be among the founders of contemporary Algerian painting. He debuted in 1960. His influences included Cubism and Arabic calligraphy. He tended toward the non-figurative or abstract...

 and M'hamed Issiakhem
M'hamed Issiakhem
M'hamed Issiakhem is one of the founders of the modern Algerian painting.- Biography:M'hamed Issiakhem born on in Tizi Ouzou . Since 1931 his family moved out to Relizane where he spent most of his childhood. In 1943 he handles a stolen, from a French military camp, grenade, which explodes...

 have been notable in recent years.

Cinema


It was in the midst of the war of liberation that Algerian cinema was born. Despite low echoes in the Western programs, it contains works yet worthy of fame, especially those of Rouiched, Athmane Ariouet or Hadj Abderrahman and Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina
Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina
Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina is an Algerian film director. He is best known for his 1975 film Chronicle of the Years of Embers. He is one of the most prominent figures in contemporary Arabic cinema.- Biography :...

's great movie Chronicle of the Years of Fire
Chronicle of the Years of Fire
Chronicle of the Years of Fire is a 1975 film directed by Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina. It depicts the Algerian War of Independence as seen through the eyes of a peasant.The film won the Palme d'Or prize at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival.-Cast:...

, which won the 1975 Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 at the Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

. The Algerian cinema led development through festivals and other cultural activities. Yet Algerian cinema holds the only Arabic Oscar
Oscar
Oscar, The Oscar, OSCAR or Oskar may refer to:* Academy Award or Oscar, presented by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for cinematic film achievements...

 for Best Foreign Language Film (Costa Gavras's Z, released in 1969
1969 in film
The year 1969 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* Last year for prize giving at the Venice Film Festival until it is revived in 1980...

).

Literature


Landscapes and monuments


UNESCO World Heritage Sites


There are several UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Sites in Algeria including Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad
Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad
Beni Hammad Fort, also called Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad is a ruined, fortified palatine city in Algeria. It served as the first capital of the Hammadid dynasty. It is located in the mountains northeast of M'Sila, at an elevation of 1,418 meters, and receives abundant water from the surrounding...

, the first capital of the Hammadid
Hammadid
The Hammadids were a Berber dynasty who ruled an area roughly corresponding to north-eastern modern Algeria for about a century and a half , until they were destroyed by the Almohads...

 empire; Tipasa
Tipasa
Tipaza is a Berber-speaking town on the coast of Algeria, capital of the Tipaza province. The modern town, founded in 1857, is remarkable chiefly for its sandy beach, and ancient ruins.-Ancient history:...

, a Phoenician and later Roman town; and Djémila
Djemila
Djémila is a mountain village in Algeria, near the northern coast east of Algiers, where some of the best preserved Berbero-Roman ruins in North Africa are found...

 and Timgad
Timgad
Timgad , called Thamugas or Tamugadi in old Berber) was a Roman colonial town in the Aures mountain- numidia Algeria founded by the Emperor Trajan around 100 AD. The full name of the town was Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi...

, both Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 ruins; M'Zab Valley, a limestone valley containing a large urbanized oasis
Oasis
In geography, an oasis or cienega is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source...

; also the Casbah
Casbah
The Casbah ) is specifically the citadel of Algiers in Algeria and the traditional quarter clustered around it. More generally, a kasbah is the walled citadel of many North African cities and towns...

 of Algiers is an important citadel. The only natural World Heritage Sites is the Tassili n'Ajjer
Tassili n'Ajjer
Tassili n'Ajjer is a mountain range in the Algerian section of the Sahara Desert. It is a vast plateau in south-east Algeria at the borders of Libya, Niger and Mali, covering an area of 72,000 sq...

, a mountain range.

Affiliations


Algeria is a member of the following organizations:
Organization Dates
United Nations
since 10 August 1962
Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

since 16 August 1962
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
since 1969
Organisation of African Unity since 25 May 1963


See also


External links