Ouargla

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Ouargla
وَرڤلة
ورجلان
City
Ouargla.jpg
Location of Ouargla commune within Ouargla Province
Location of Ouargla commune within Ouargla Province
Ouargla is located in Algeria
Ouargla
Ouargla
Location of Ouargla within Algeria
Coordinates: 31°57′N 5°19′E / 31.950°N 5.317°E / 31.950; 5.317Coordinates: 31°57′N 5°19′E / 31.950°N 5.317°E / 31.950; 5.317
Country  Algeria
Province Ouargla Province
District Ouargla District
Elevation 141 m (463 ft)
Population (2008)[1]
 • City 133,024
 • Urban 191,136
Time zone CET (UTC+1)

Ouargla (Berber: Wargren or Wargla, Arabic: ورجلان،وَرڤلة‎) is the capital city of Ouargla Province in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria. It has a flourishing petroleum industry and hosts one of Algeria's universities, the University of Ouargla.[2] The commune of Ouargla had a population of 133,024 in the 2008 census,[1] up from 112,339 in 1998,[3] and an annual population growth rate of 1.7%.[1] However, including the commune of Rouissat, found in Ouargla's urban area, gives a total population of 191,136.[1]

Historical Ouargla[edit]

Further information: Medieval Muslim Algeria

According to Ibn Khaldun the town was founded by Banu Wargla who, accompanied by sections of the Maghrawa and Banu Ifran, left the Tlemcen region and founded Ouargla. These Berbers of Ouarghla then embraced Ibadi doctrines, which later made the town an attractive refuge for the citizens of Tahert.

Modern Ouargla[edit]

The city was a significant tourist attraction until recently, due to troubled times during the 1990s. Many tourists chose to shop for sand roses at souk l'ehjar, the old rock market. The souq, or market, had many traditional shops filled with antiquities, traditional crafts, and local items - from dresses to stuffed lizards. The area across from these shops was used to display sand roses, mineral specimens, of all sizes and shapes. The market has gone through a renovation process. However many[who?] criticized this renovation, feeling it destroyed the historical character of souk l'ehjar and the area.

Not far from souk l'ehjar[citation needed] is the old groceries market, or the Sunday market as the called by the locals. It is also located in the centre of the old city, La Lasbah. At its centre lies the original old market, shaped as a circle split into small arcs. The central circular structure is presently used as a meat market, and around this are rows of grocers and farmers with stalls displaying their produce, with all sorts of fruits and vegetables.

Next to the old groceries market lie the two oldest mosques of the city, "al-Masjid al-Atiq" which literally means "the old mosque," and the old Ibadhi mosque. The old Ibadhi mosque was "home" to one of the most renowned Islamic scholars of the city, Taleb et-Tayeb.

Some of Ouargla's population speak the Wargli language, which is part of the Zenati languages subgrouping of the Northern Berber languages.[4] There are Wargli speakers in N'Goussa as well.

Climate[edit]

Ouargla, like other towns and cities in the Algerian Sahara, has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), with very hot, dry summers, mild winters, and very little precipitation throughout the year. While a maximum of 53.5 °C (128.3 °F) was recorded in the city on August 13, 1984,[5] the generally accepted extremes are 49.7 °C (121.5 °F) and −6.7 °C (19.9 °F).[6] Snow was reported in Ouargla in 1907, but this is exceedingly rare, although not unknown in the Sahara.[7]

Climate data for Ouargla
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 18
(64)
20
(68)
24
(75)
28
(82)
33
(91)
39
(102)
41
(106)
41
(106)
36
(97)
30
(86)
23
(73)
19
(66)
29.3
(84.7)
Average low °C (°F) 4
(39)
6
(43)
10
(50)
14
(57)
19
(66)
24
(75)
26
(79)
26
(79)
22
(72)
16
(61)
10
(50)
5
(41)
15.2
(59.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 7
(0.28)
4
(0.16)
6
(0.24)
4
(0.16)
1
(0.04)
1
(0.04)
0
(0)
0
(0)
3
(0.12)
5
(0.2)
7
(0.28)
9
(0.35)
47
(1.87)
Avg. precipitation days 3 3 3 2 2 1 0 0 1 3 3 4 25
Source: World Climate Guide[8]

Music[edit]

Peter Chatman, known as Memphis Slim, a great piano blues musician and boogie woogie all star, composed and performed a boogie-woogie instrumental tune named 'Ouargla' in 1971. On the track, he was accompanied by Michel Denis on drums. The piece pays tribute to the Ouargla oasis, which was a famous and popular 'hang out' in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Localities[edit]

The commune is composed of 15 localities:[9]

  • Beni Thour
  • Ville de Ouargla
  • Saïd Otba Est
  • Saïd Otba Ouest
  • Ba Mendil
  • Bouameur
  • Bour El Haïcha
  • Mekhadma
  • Sidi Amrane
  • Gharbouz
  • Sidi Boughoufala
  • Melala Ksar
  • Hassi Miloud
  • Zone d'Activité
  • Delalha(Sidi Amrane)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Population: Ouargla Wilaya" (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  2. ^ University of Ouargla, Algeria
  3. ^ "Algeria Communes". Statoids. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Tagargrent". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Ouargla daily summary". Ogimet. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ Herrera, Maxiliano. "Extreme Temperatures Around the World". Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Snow Falls In The Sahara". The Spokesman-Review (Eastern Washington ed.) (Spokane, Washington: Cowles Publishing Company). 19 February 1979. p. 1. 
  8. ^ "Ouargla Climate Guide, Algeria". World Climate Guide. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Décret n° 84-365, fixant la composition, la consistance et les limites territoriale des communes. Wilaya d'El Oued" (in French). Journal officiel de la République Algérienne,. 19 December 1984. p. 1550. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013 or before. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 

External links[edit]