University of Algiers
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جامعة الجزائر – بن يوسف بن خـدة
Seal of the University of Algiers
The University of Algiers Benyoucef Benkhedda (Arabic:جامعة الجزائر – بن يوسف بن خـدة ) is a university located in Algiers, Algeria. It was founded in 1909 and is organized into seven faculties.
The University of Algiers stemmed out of various higher-education institutions created in the 19th century under the French colonial rule : medersas founded in 1850 to train the Muslim cadres of religion, justice and administration under Islamic law (the Algiers medersa eventually became the Institut d’Études Supérieures Islamiques in 1946), then the four superior schools or faculties established in 1879 by the university reform of the French IIIrd Republic for medicine-pharmacy, sciences, literature, and law. These four superior schools became the University of Algiers under the Law of 30 December 1909, as one of the 16 French regional universities. It allowed students to pursue in Algiers a complete curriculum up to the doctorate. Most students came from European families installed in North Africa (Pied-Noirs).
There were some 30 "indigenous Algerian" students in 1914 (out of a total of about 500), and a hundred a year in the 1930s. A higher number of North African students chose to study in France. The University of Algiers was attractive, hosted high-level teachers and researchers, as it created over the years scientific laboratories, libraries and specialized institutes.
The installation of the Free French government in Algiers in 1943, with French citizenship awarded by general De Gaulle to 65,000 Muslims gave a new importance to the University of Algiers, which became for the next two years the university of the de-facto capital of France. In 1945–1946, Muslim students were 360 in Algiers, compared to 350 in Paris, and as many in other French faculties. In 1961, just before Algerian independence, Muslim Algerian students represented 18% of the total of the University.
On 7 June 1962 – just a month ahead of the Algerian independence referendum – the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS), the movement of colonists opposing Algerian independence, set fire to the library building, destroying 500,000 books. The destruction of these books was seen as a scorched earth tactic across the Arab world. The effect on other countries in the region can be seen through commemorative stamps. Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Algeria itself introduced stamps depicting either the burning of a book, or of the library itself. It showed the savagery of the anti-independence movement would extend to removing and indeed destroying culture so long as Algeria intended to create its own national culture.
The library holds 800,000 volumes.
The university has three faculties:
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Medicine
- Faculty of Islamic Sciences
- Faculty of Sciences
- Albert Camus (1913–1960), philosopher.
- Lakhdar Brahimi (1934), UN diplomat and Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Elias Zerhouni, Algerian-born American physician scientist radiologist and biomedical engineer.
- "University of Algiers/Benyoucef Benkhedda". enstructive.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "University of Algiers – Benyoucef Benkhedda". africanseer.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "University of Algiers". mediahex.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- n incendie criminel ravage l’universite, plusieurs autres batiments publics sont de ́truit’, LeMonde(9 June 1962)
- Fleury, Georges. The Secret History of the Organisation De l'Armée Secrète Grasset, 2002.
- "Libraries and museums – Algeria". Encyclopedia of the Nations. 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- University of Algiers Website (in Arabic) (in English) (in French)
- Faculty of Islamic Sciences (in Arabic)
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