Mascara (Arabic: معسكر) is the capital city of Mascara Province, Algeria, in northwestern Algeria. It has 150,000 inhabitants (2008 estimate). It was founded in the 10th century by the Banu Ifran, a Berber tribe and was the capital city of Emir Abd al-Qadir, a leader of the Algerian resistance to early French colonial rule.
Mascara is an administrative, commercial and a market centre. Its trade is mostly centered on leather goods, grains, and olive oil, but it is especially famous for its good wine. It has good road and rail connections with other urban centres of Algeria. Relizane is 65 kilometres (40 miles) northeast, Sidi Bel Abbes 90 km (56 mi) southwest, Oran 105 kkm northwest and Saïda 80 km (50 mi) south.
Mascara has two parts, a newer French area, and an older Muslim one. Large parts of the town lie inside the ruins of its ancient ramparts. The city is home of Lakhdar Belloumi, the former Algerian football (soccer) star.
1790: Famine and sickness had begun to aggravate the situation in Oran when the bey of Mascara appeared before the town with 30,000 men. The Spanish commander held out till August 1791, when the Spanish government, having made terms with the bey of Algiers, was allowed to set sail for Spain with their guns and ammunition. The bey Mohammed took possession of Oran in March 1792, and made it his residence instead of Mascara.