Portal:Algeria

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The Algeria Portal - بوابة الجزائر

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Algeria (Formal Arabic: الجزائر, al-Jazā’ir; in Tamazight: Dzayer; French: Algérie), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country located in North Africa. In terms of land area, it is the largest country on the Mediterranean Sea, the largest on the African continent, and the tenth-largest in the world.

Algeria is bordered by Tunisia in the northeast, Libya in the east, Niger in the southeast, Mali and Mauritania in the southwest, a few kilometers of the Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara in the southwest, Morocco in the west and northwest, and the Mediterranean Sea in the north. Its size is almost 2,400,000 km2, and it has an estimated population of about 35,700,000 as of January 2010. The capital of Algeria is Algiers.

Algeria is a member of the United Nations, African Union, and OPEC. It also contributed towards the creation of the Maghreb Union.

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A Berber woman

Berbers, also called Imazighen (in antiquity known as Libyans by the Greek), are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are discontinuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke various Berber languages, which together form a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Today many of them speak Arabic and also French in the Maghreb, due to the French colonization of the Maghreb, and especially Spanish in Morocco. Today most Berber-speaking people live in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Many Berbers call themselves some variant of the word Imazighen (singular: Amazigh), possibly meaning "free people" or "free and noble men" (the word has probably an ancient parallel in the Roman name for some of the Berbers, "Mazices").

The best known of the ancient Berbers were the Roman author Apuleius, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and the Roman general Lusius Quietus, who was instrumental in defeating the major Jewish revolt of 115–117. Famous Berbers of the Middle Ages included Tariq ibn Ziyad, a general who conquered Hispania; Abd ar-Rahman I, the founder of the Caliphate of Córdoba and Abbas Ibn Firnas, a prolific inventor and early pioneer in aviation.

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Alger architecture.jpg
Credit: PhR61

A building in Algiers, Algeria.

Did you know ...

edit ...that the Rustamid dynasty was the first Muslim state to have its capital in Algeria?

... That Algerian soldiers fought for the French freedom, against Nazi-Germany and thousands of them died during the fights?

...that Chakib Khelil went to the same university as Gene Wolfe?

...that the Saharan oasis of Tabelbala, in Bechar, has its own unique language, called Korandje?

...that Jacques Gaillot's Partenia is a former Algerian city consumed by the Sahara?

...that Zinedine Zidane is actually Algerian?

...that Algeria became the first African team to defeat an European team at the 1982 FIFA World Cup (2-1 against West Germany in the first round)?

...that the Algerian athlete Hassiba Boulmerka, became the first African woman to win an athletics world title, and the first Algerian to win an Olympic title?

...that in 1861, the impressionism painter Claude Monet joined the First Regiment of African Light Cavalry in Algeria where he stayed for two years?

Oran Santa Cruz.JPG

... that in defying Spanish dominance, locals built a chapel at a higher elevation next to Fort Santa Cruz (pictured) in Oran, Algeria?

Algiers cathedral 1899.jpg

... that Ketchaoua Mosque (pictured) in Algiers is a "mosque-turned-cathedral-turned-mosque"?

... that the name of Ghardaïa in northern-central Algeria has its origins in a female saint named Daïa who lived in a cave (ghār) in the M'zab valley?

Grande mosquée Alger.jpg

... that the Great Mosque of Algiers (pictured) is the oldest mosque in Algiers and is said to be the second oldest mosque in Algeria?

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Adel Abdessemed in 2009.jpg

Adel Abdessemed', (born 1971 in Constantine, Algeria) is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Paris, France. He is represented by David Zwirner, New York, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv and Christine König Galerie, Vienna. Abdessemed attended the École des Beaux-Arts de Batna, and Algiers, Algeria from 1987 to 1994. Due to political unrest in Algeria, he moved to Lyon, France in 1994. He continued his fine arts education at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, before completing his studies in Paris, France in 2000. The following year, he enrolled at the International Studio Program at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York.


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