Ain Beida • Aïn Oussera • Algiers • Annaba • Bab Ezzouar • Baraki • Barika • Batna • Béchar • Béjaïa • Biskra • Blida • Bordj Bou Arreridj • Bordj el Kiffan • Bou Saada • Chlef • Constantine • Djelfa • El Eulma • El Khroub • El Oued • Ghardaia • Guelma • Jijel • Khenchela • Laghouat • Médéa • Messaad • Mostaganem • M'Sila • Oran • Ouargla • Relizane • Saïda • Sétif • Sidi Bel Abbes • Skikda • Souk Ahras • Tébessa • Tiaret • Tlemcen • Touggourt
|ALGERIA COAT OF ARMS |
Location of Algeria within the continent of Africa
Map of Algeria
Flag Description of Algeria: two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam (the state religion)
Official Name: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Official name Al-Jumhūriyyah al-Jazāʾiriyyah al-Dīmuqrāṭiyyah al-Shaʿbiyyah (Arabic) (People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria)
Form of government multiparty republic with two legislative bodies (Council of the Nation ; National People’s Assembly )
Head of state and government President: Abdelaziz Bouteflika, assisted by Prime Minister: Abdelmalek Sellal
Official language Arabic2
Official religion Islam
Monetary unit Algerian dinar (DA)
Population (2014 est.) 39,060,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 919,595
Total area (sq km) 2,381,741
- Urban: (2010) 66.5%
- Rural: (2010) 33.5%
Life expectancy at birth
- Male: (2012) 75 years
- Female: (2012) 77.5 years
Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate
- Male: (2006) 83.7%
- Female: (2006) 65.3%
GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2013) 5,290
1Includes 48 nonelected seats.
2The Berber language, Tamazight, became a national language in April 2002.
- 1 Background of Algeria
- 2 Geography of Algeria
- 3 Demography of Algeria
- 4 Economy of Algeria
- 5 Algerian Government
- 6 Algerian Culture
- 7 History of Algeria
- 8 Principal Government Officials of Algeria
- 9 Government and Political Contidions of Algeria
- 10 Foreign Relations of Algeria
- 11 Real Estate or Properties for Sale or lease in Algeria
- 12 Algeria Photo Gallery
- 13 World News
- 14 2015 UNHCR country operations profile - Algeria
- 15 Disclaimer
Background of Algeria
Algeria is Africa's second largest country, covering an area of nearly 2.5 million square miles. Algeria's indigenous Berber people has been under foreign rule for much of the last 3000 years. The Phoenicians (1000 BC) and the Romans (200 BC) were the most important of these. With the incursion of Muslim Arabs in the 7th-8th century into the region, Islamic influence came to the Berbers and almost a millenium of domination by Arab dynasties. In the beginning of the 16th century the region was placed under protection of the ottoman Sultan of Istanbul, followed by reigns of ottoman beys, pachas, and aghas, brought to an end with the beginning of the French colonization in 1830. The French occupation condemned Algeria's population to economic, social and political inferiority and caused an armed resistance lasting for decades. After a century of rule by France, Algeria became independent in 1962 and Arabic became official language - with a little help of Quran teachers from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Since then le pouvoir ("the power"), an elite of business leaders and generals behind a democratic façade has run Algeria.
- Algeria is a member state of the League of Arab States
- border countries: Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia
- related countries: France
Algeria, large, predominantly Muslim country of North Africa. From the Mediterranean coast, along which most of its people live, Algeria extends southward deep into the heart of the Sahara, a forbidding desert where the Earth’s hottest surface temperatures have been recorded and which constitutes more than four-fifths of the country’s area. The Sahara and its extreme climate dominate the country. The contemporary Algerian novelist Assia Djebar has highlighted the environs, calling her country “a dream of sand.”
History, language, customs, and an Islamic heritage make Algeria an integral part of the Maghrib and the larger Arab world, but the country also has a sizable Amazigh (Berber) population, with links to that cultural tradition. Once the breadbasket of the Roman Empire, the territory now comprising Algeria was ruled by various Arab-Amazigh dynasties from the 8th through the 16th century, when it became part of the Ottoman Empire. The decline of the Ottomans was followed by a brief period of independence that ended when France launched a war of conquest in 1830.
By 1847 the French had largely suppressed Algerian resistance to the invasion and the following year made Algeria a département of France. French colonists modernized Algeria’s agricultural and commercial economy but lived apart from the Algerian majority, enjoying social and economic privileges extended to few non-Europeans. Ethnic resentment, fueled by revolutionary politics introduced by Algerians who had lived and studied in France, led to a widespread nationalist movement in the mid-20th century. A war of independence ensued (1954–62) that was so fierce that the revolutionary Frantz Fanon noted,
- Terror, counter-terror, violence, counter-violence: that is
- what observers bitterly record when they describe the circle
- of hate, which is so tenacious and so evident in Algeria.
Negotiations ended the conflict and led to Algerian independence, and most Europeans left the country. Although the influence of the French language and culture in Algeria remained strong, since independence the country consistently has sought to regain its Arab and Islamic heritage. At the same time, the development of oil and natural gas and other mineral deposits in the Algerian interior brought new wealth to the country and prompted a modest rise in the standard of living. In the early 21st century Algeria’s economy was among the largest in Africa.
The capital is Algiers, a crowded, bustling seaside metropolis whose historic core, or medina, is ringed by tall skyscrapers and apartment blocks. Algeria’s second city is Oran, a port on the Mediterranean Sea near the border with Morocco; less hectic than Algiers, Oran has emerged as an important centre of music, art, and education.
Geography of Algeria
- Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia.
- Area: Total--2,381,740 sq. km. Land--2,381,740 sq. km.; water--0 sq. km. More than three times the size of Texas.
- Cities: Capital--Algiers; Oran, Constantine, Annaba.
- Terrain: Mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain. Mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes, mud slides.
- Climate: Arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; a hot, dust/sand-laden wind called sirocco is especially common in summer.
- Land use: Arable land--3%; permanent crops--0%, permanent pastures--13%; forests and woodland--2%.
- In Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia
- Geographic coordinates: 28 00 N, 3 00 E
Algeria, the second-largest state in Africa, has a Mediterranean coastline of about 998 kilometers (620 mi.). The Tellian and Saharan Atlas mountain ranges cross the country from east to west, dividing it into three zones. Between the northern zone, Tellian Atlas, and the Mediterranean is a narrow, fertile coastal plain--the Tel (hill)--with a moderate climate year round and rainfall adequate for agriculture. A high plateau region, averaging 914 meters (3,000 ft.) above sea level, with limited rainfall, great rocky plains, and desert, lies between the two mountain ranges. It is generally barren except for scattered clumps of trees and intermittent bush and pastureland. The third and largest zone, south of the Saharan Atlas mountain range, is mostly desert. About 80% of the country is desert, steppes, wasteland, and mountains. Algeria's weather varies considerably from season to season and from one geographical location to another. In the north, the summers are usually hot with little rainfall. Winter rains begin in the north in October. Frost and snow are rare, except on the highest slopes of the Tellian Atlas Mountains. Dust and sandstorms occur most frequently between February and May.
Soil erosion--from overgrazing, other poor farming practices, and desertification--and the dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents are leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters. The Mediterranean Sea, in particular, is becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff. There are inadequate supplies of potable water.
Algeria is bounded to the east by Tunisia and Libya; to the south by Niger, Mali, and Mauritania; to the west by Morocco and Western Sahara (which has been virtually incorporated by the former); and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. It is a vast country—the largest in Africa and the 10th largest in the world—that may be divided into two distinct geographic regions. The northernmost, generally known as the Tell, is subject to the moderating influences of the Mediterranean and consists largely of the Atlas Mountains, which separate the coastal plains from the second region in the south. This southern region, almost entirely desert, forms the majority of the country’s territory and is situated in the western portion of the Sahara, which stretches across North Africa...>>>read more<<<
Demography of Algeria
- Nationality: Noun--Algerian(s); adjective--Algerian.
- Population (July 2009 official government est.): 34,178,188.
- Annual growth rate (2009 est.): 1.196%. Birth rate (2009 est.)--16.9 births/1,000 population; death rate (2009 est.)--4.64 deaths/1,000 population.
- Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%.
- Religions: Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%.
- Languages: Arabic (official), Berber (national language), French.
- Education: Literacy (age 15 and over can read and write)--total population 69.9% (2004 est.); female 60.1% (2004 est.); male 79.6%.
- Health (2009 est.): Infant mortality rate--27.73 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth--total population 74.02 years; male 72.35 years; female 75.77 years.
- Work force (2008): 9.464 million.
- Unemployment rate (2009 est.): 27%; Algerian Government estimate 11.8% in February 2009.
Ninety-one percent of the Algerian population lives along the Mediterranean coast on 12% of the country's total land mass. Forty-five percent of the population is urban, and urbanization continues, despite government efforts to discourage migration to the cities. About 1.5 million nomads and semi-settled Bedouin still live in the Saharan area.
Nearly all Algerians are Muslim, of Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber stock. Official data on the number of non-Muslim residents is not available; however, practitioners report it to be less than 5,000. Most of the non-Muslim community is comprised of Methodist, Roman Catholic and Evangelical faiths; the Jewish community is virtually non-existent. There are about 1,100 American citizens in the country, the majority of whom live and work in the oil/gas fields in the south.
Algeria's educational system has grown dramatically since the country gained its independence. In the last 12 years, attendance has doubled to more than 5 million students. Education is free and compulsory to age 16. Despite government allocation of substantial educational resources, population pressures and a serious shortage of teachers have severely strained the system. Modest numbers of Algerian students study abroad, primarily in Europe and Canada. In 2000, the government launched a major review of the country's educational system and in 2004 efforts to reform the educational system began.
Housing and medicine continue to be pressing problems in Algeria. Failing infrastructure and the continued influx of people from rural to urban areas have overtaxed both systems. According to the United Nations Development Program, Algeria has one of the world's highest per housing unit occupancy rates, and government officials have publicly stated that the country has an immediate shortfall of 1.5 million housing units.
- Ethnic groups
More than four-fifths of the country is ethnically Arab, though most Algerians are descendents of ancient Amazigh groups who mixed with various invading peoples from the Arab Middle East, southern Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. Arab invasions in the 8th and 11th centuries brought only limited numbers of new people to the region but resulted in the extensive Arabization and Islamization of the indigenous Amazigh population...>>>read more<<<
Economy of Algeria
- GDP (2008): $159.7 billion.
- GDP growth rate (2009 est.): 3.5%.
- Per capita GDP (2008 est.): $6,900.
- Agriculture: Products--wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle.
- Industry: Types--petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing, pharmaceuticals, cement, seawater desalination.
Sector information as % GDP (2008 est.): Agriculture 8.1%, services 29.4%, industry 62.5%.
- Monetary unit: Algerian dinar.
- Inflation (2008 est.): 4.4%.
- Trade: Exports (2008)--$78.23 billion: petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97.58%. *Partners (2008 est.)--U.S. 23.9%, Italy 15.5%, Spain 11.4%, France 8%, Netherlands 7.8%, Canada 6.8%. Imports (2008)--$39.16 billion: capital goods, food and beverages, consumer goods. Partners (2008)--France 16.5%, Italy 11%, China 10.3%, Spain 7.4%, Germany 6.1%, U.S. 5.5%.
- Budget (2008): Revenues--$70.06 billion, expenditures--$56.04 billion. (2008 est.)
- Debt (external, December 31, 2008): $3.753 billion.
- U.S. economic assistance (2005 est.): $1.70 million (Development Assistance (DA); International Military Education and Training (IMET); Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR)).
Algeria was dominated for the first three decades following independence by the National Liberation Front (Front de Libération Nationale; FLN), until 1989 the sole legal political party. New electoral laws passed in that year made the country a multiparty state. The constitution adopted in 1996 provides for a strong executive branch headed by a president, who was to be elected by universal suffrage for a maximum of two five-year terms; in late 2008, however, the legislature approved a constitutional amendment that abolished the two-term limit. The president, who is head of state and head of government, appoints numerous state officials, including a wide range of civilian and military leaders, provincial governors, and the prime minister. The president appoints the members of the government after consultation with the prime minister, who then presents a program to the lower house of the nation’s bicameral legislature for ratification.
Once the government is in place, the head of government presents draft legislation, which is debated first in the country’s lower house, the National People’s Assembly (Majlis al-Shaʿbī al-Waṭanī), deputies of which are elected for five-year terms by universal adult suffrage. Debate then passes to the upper house, the Council of the Nation (Majlis al-Ummah), members of which serve six-year terms. One-third of council members are appointed by the president, and the remaining two-thirds are elected indirectly by a secret ballot of local and district legislatures. In addition, the constitution requires that one-half of the council’s members be replaced every three years. Both houses are able to debate any draft law put before them, but only the lower house may alter draft documents. The upper house is required to vote on material presented to its members by the lower house and must achieve a three-fourths majority to pass any legislation. The legislature meets twice per year, each session lasting no less than four months. It is empowered to draft and ratify legislation on a wide variety of issues, including matters of civil and criminal law, personal status, state finance, and the exploitation of natural resources.
The constitution of 1996 also established a Constitutional Council (Majlis Dustūrī) to oversee elections and referenda, rule on issues of the constitutionality of treaties, negotiations, and amendments, and, when called on by the president, issue opinions on the constitutionality of laws. The Council is appointed jointly by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
Below the national level, the country is divided into wilāyāt (provinces), each with its own elected assembly (Assemblée Populaire de Wilaya; APW), executive council, and governor. The provinces are in turn divided into dawāʾir (administrative districts) and then into baladīyāt (communes), each one having its own assembly (Assemblée Populaire Communale) to run local affairs.
The executive council of the province is the chief regional authority. It is composed of the regional directors of the state agencies that are located in the province. The council is thus responsive to both regional and national concerns. Through the provincial governor, the province exercises trusteeship and administrative control of local collectives, public establishments, independent enterprises, and national societies. As an organ of the national government, the provincial leadership participates in the planning and application of the national development plan and helps coordinate matters related to the province.
The governor is solely responsible for interaction between the national government and the province. Appointed by the president for an indeterminate term, the governor assumes any necessary function in order to coordinate relations between the national government and its local constituency. As the representative of the province, the governor presides over the implementation of the decisions of the APW, and, as a senior state functionary, the governor is the direct representative in the province of each national ministry.
At independence Algeria inherited colonial judicial institutions that were widely held by Muslim Algerians to have been established to maintain colonial authority. Judicial organization was based on two separate foundations: Muslim jurisdiction—practicing Sharīʿah (Islamic law)—and French civil courts; the latter were primarily located in the larger towns where the Europeans were concentrated. Sharīʿah courts were the first—and all too frequently the final—recourse for Muslims seeking judicial redress.
Postindependence governments were quick to take steps to eliminate the French colonial judicial legacy. In 1965 the entire system was reformed by a decree that instituted a new judicial organization. This decree was followed a year later by the promulgation of new legal codes—the penal code, the code of penal procedure, and the code of civil procedure. A provincial court in each province and nearly 200 widely distributed tribunals were eventually created.
The judiciary now consists of three levels. At the first level is the tribunal, to which civil and commercial litigation is submitted and which takes action in penal cases of the first instance. At the second level is the provincial court, which consists of a three-judge panel that hears all cases and that functions as a court of appeal for the tribunals and for the administrative jurisdictions of the first instance. At the third and highest level is the Supreme Court, which is the final court of appeal and of appeals against the decisions of the lower courts. In 1975 the Court of State Security, composed of magistrates and high-ranking army officers, was created to handle cases involving state security. The constitution of 1996 instituted two new high courts to complement the Supreme Court. The Council of State acts as an administrative equivalent to the Supreme Court, hearing cases not ordinarily reviewed by that body; and the Tribunal of Conflicts was instituted to regulate any jurisdictional disputes that might arise between the other two high courts.
Until 1989 all candidates for the National People’s Assembly were chosen by the FLN. Following reforms, the scope of political participation widened with the birth of new independent political parties. In local and national elections in 1990 and 1991, the Islamist parties, especially the Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du Salut; FIS), made the largest gains of any new parties, while in Kabylia local Amazigh parties gained control of local assemblies. With this democratization hundreds of new cultural, environmental, charitable, and athletic associations were formed, independent of the stringent control formerly exercised by the FLN in those areas. A coup in 1992 slowed democratization but did not totally suppress the process. Corruption among government officials and violent outbreaks by Islamic extremists against democratic reforms continued in the late 1990s. Conditions had improved sufficiently by 2003 to permit the release from detention of two main FIS leaders.
Although its yearly military expenditures are well above the world average, Algeria maintains a relatively small active military. More than half of its troop strength consists of conscripts who serve for six months (with an additional year of civic service). Most conscripts serve in the army. Algeria has only a small air force and navy. The former has relatively few high-performance aircraft, and the navy consists largely of coastal patrol craft.
Paramilitary and police forces outnumber the active-duty military by a substantial margin, and years of civil unrest have forced the government to rely on such forces—divided among several ministries and directorates—both for internal security and, often, for quelling internal dissent.
Health and welfare
Because of the country’s relatively young population and pressing medical needs, the health care system is oriented toward preventive medicine rather than treatment. Instead of building expensive hospitals, Algeria emphasizes smaller clinics and health centres and maintains a comprehensive vaccination program. Medical care, including medication, is provided by the state without charge, although those earning middle and higher incomes pay a part of their medical fees on a proportional scale. There is an increasing trend toward private health care. In an effort to extend health care to everyone, the government requires all newly qualified physicians, dentists, and pharmacists to work in public health for at least five years. Most medical personnel and facilities, however, remain concentrated in the north, especially in the large cities. Remote mountain locations and much of the Sahara are nearly devoid of modern facilities. Tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles, typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery are the principal health problems, often brought about by inadequate sanitation facilities and a lack of safe drinking water.
Algeria’s chronic housing shortage contributed to health problems throughout much of the latter half of the 20th century. Continuous rural-urban migration and unchecked population growth allowed urban shantytowns to proliferate. The government, whose spending priorities had been focused largely on heavy industry since independence, did little to relieve the housing shortage until the mid-1980s. At that time, however, development plans began emphasizing investment in social infrastructure and services. More construction of affordable government-subsidized housing units has since taken place, including a large prefabricated housing construction program to tackle the most urgent housing needs.
The growth of more than 100,000 new households each year placed a considerable strain on existing housing conditions. A sharp drop in oil prices in 1986 and the inability to meet the mounting needs for new housing led the Algerian government to withdraw from some of its commitments and encourage local and private housing initiatives. Foreign companies—including some from the now defunct Yugoslavia—were increasingly granted large construction contracts. Algeria also benefited from soft loans throughout the 1990s from the World Bank, the European Union, and other Arab countries to promote its construction sector. State companies were privatized, and joint ventures with European and American companies finally began to address some of the country’s housing needs.
Since independence Algerian authorities have worked on redesigning the national educational system. Particular attention has been given to replacing French with Arabic as the language of instruction and to emphasizing scientific and technical studies. Education in Arabic is officially compulsory for all children between 6 and 15 years of age, and roughly nine-tenths of boys of that age are in school; enrollment for girls is slightly lower. Children residing in rural areas have remained underrepresented in the classroom, although much progress for both groups has been made since independence. The literacy rate is about three-fourths for men but less than half for women. The educational system has experienced extreme difficulty in trying to accommodate the increasing number of school-age children. The scarcity of qualified Arabic teachers has been ameliorated by the recruitment of teachers from other Arab countries. Arabic replaced French as the language of instruction at all institutes of higher learning in 2000. Amazigh discontent over the policy of Arabization, however, has prompted the government to restore Amazigh language and literature studies at a number of universities. The major institutions include Islamic universities in Algiers and Constantine, several regional university centres, and a number of technical colleges. Each year a few thousand Algerian students go abroad to study, mainly in France, other European countries, or the United States.
Any fashion that is lucky enough to fall under the influence of three civilizations are certain to be an extraordinary blend of style and chic. Algeria sits at the crossroads of three worlds, Arab, Mediterranean and African, and Algerian fashion has long been influenced by the fact that its unique location has been a place of historic meetings and exchanges. Not surprisingly, Algerian designers have succeeded in combining the culture traditions with the influence of the environment of the country. These influences have found their way into the fashion industry and have foreshadowed several changes in the choice of color, design and pattern. Women's costume in particular, successfully combines flamboyance, utility and elegance. There is a strong emphasis on intricate decoration and colors. The use of colorful fabrics for clothing stands out against the predominant surrounding earth tones and the Algerian woman has kept her love for color and brightly colored patterns. Reds, yellows, greens and blues as well as many other color combinations are combined and finely embroidered with gold and silver threads. The Karakou is a typical traditional dress and incorporates a velvet jacket embroidered in gold and silver worn with the traditional saroual (Arab pants) and comes from Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The Blousa from Tlemcen, West Algeria is a full-length, straight-cut dress made entirely from lace and sequined chest. The Djeba Fergani is the traditional dress from Constantine in the eastern side of the country. This dress is always made with velvet and embroidered by gold and silver thread. The sleeves can be made of lace. In the central region of Tizi-ouzou, the dress is mainly made from cotton and is completely embroidered at the neck and bodice as well as at the wrists. However, it is at wedding and other special occasions that these traditional dresses do justice to the affair. Distinctive jewelry is also worn. The fact that these forms of traditional dresses are still used is a tribute to its comfort and suitability for the climate. It also points to the pride that Algerians take in the tradition of their ancestors and their identity in the modern world.
The emergence of copperware in Algeria dates back to the Middle Ages. It reflects a variety of successive styles and a major Turkish influence. The copperware trade which relies on copper sheets to produce or decorate art objects, has been perpetuated around casbahs and communities devoted to that art. Vases and containers of unrivaled beauty from Kirouana to Mahbess and Tassa to Taftal demonstrate an incredible range of ornamentation. Algiers, Tlemcen, Constantine, and to a lesser degree Ghardaïa and Tindouf are the main sources of this art form. For example, in spite of the passing of time and the disappearance of the famous Zenkat Ennahassia, Algiers is considered the birthplace of this art form, inherited from the Ottoman Empire. Among its specialties are Mahbess, Berreds (teapots), tebssi laâchouets (couscous steamers with a conical lid), l'brik and tassa (used to perform one's ablutions), El Mordjen, El Mahrez (pestle and mortar) and S'nioua (copper or silver tray).
The Ottomans, who lived in the city for many centuries, have influenced the art of Constantine known for its huge oriental-like decorative trays. Mahbess, Soukkhna, Cafatira, Kirouana, M'rach, and El Kettara are icons of this art form. They are produced by the skilled hands of brilliant artisans. They are, in fact, toiletry items used according to urban traditions.
Like Constantine and Algiers, Tlemcen has seen age-old Andalusian art, once under oriental influences, develop according to Almohade traditions, which clearly confirms the considerable artistic talent of this multicultural region able to combine authenticity and originality in specialized applications such as bookends, chandeliers, large trays, or the now famous door knockers, vestiges of a rich art form.
Ghardaïa and Tindouf are lesser-known centers of production of this art but they are deserving of a visit. As a matter of fact, the M'Zab valley, a highly dynamic cultural center, has found its niche. The production of coppersmiths is nonetheless limited to everyday utensils such as kettles and trays.
Inspired by a variety of sources, jewelry is the living testimony of an age-old creative force. From prehistory and antiquity to the Middle Ages, from the Roman-Byzantine era to the emergence of Islam, traditional jewelry has always expressed the very essence of those eras through harmonious symbolism Not so long ago Algiers, Tlemcen and Constantine were vibrant jewelry centers, if only because of the sheer number of stands and shops. Other regions are also known for the quality of their jewelry.
Kabyle jewelry (Béni Yenni)
Ath Yennis are famous for their silver jewelry. The forms and colors used are specific to the region. The glazing technique was introduced around the 15th Century. One could proudly show off a renewed Ameslukh, Ikhelkhalen (anklet), Taharabt, Tbessaht, Letraks, Tigwedmatin, Adwir, Tbzimin, or Tabzimt.
- Chaoui jewelry
While of a different shape than Kabyle jewelry, "full" or "hollow" Chaoui jewelry has stood the test of time yet it has managed to preserve its authenticity. It is defined by the "Alaq Tchoutchara" (earring) that is sadly not made anymore, the Timcherreft (also an earring), the Korsa Bel Quota, a more recent creation, "Amquyas," the Abzim, whose close resemblance to the Kabyle fibula can surely be rooted in an obvious ethnic analogy, the Lamessak, a recent creation true to the Chaoui style, the Tinahissin, the Cherketh or Semsem, the khelkhal (ancient ankle bracelet that women from the region never take off), the Guerrar, the Skhab, or necklace, to be found throughout the Mahgreb region.
- M'sila jewelry
This tradition that very closely resembles Chaoui jewelry of a hybrid style, with Roman and Byzantine external influences, and is based on traditions pertaining to daily life and the environment. Besides the Akhelkhal, one can find Abzims and necklaces whose main characteristic is a close resemblance to Chaoui jewelry, although of a less refined style.
- Tuareg jewelry
This jewelry reflects a well-preserved and wisely maintained tradition, thanks mainly to the legendary Inadens. It attained mythical social status. The Tuareg society is truly devoted to artisans and noble trades, such as jewelry. Its symbolism echoes the perpetual quest of the Tuareg to control natural elements. Pendants, rings, pectorals, earrings, anklets, brass rings, and shell necklaces are all loyal representations of a bygone era. One should also mention the Tareout, Tasralt, Tineralt, Khomessa, Tareout N'azeref, Tiseguin, Ihebsans, and Asarou ouam Afer that combine utility and pleasure reminiscent of nearby Black Africa by their mystical aspects. Tuareg jewelry reflects a constant concern for pure aesthetics.
Pottery is a continuously evolving art form. Thanks to the contribution of successive Algerian civilizations, one can detect the influence of the Berbers, of the Arabo- Muslim and oriental cultures, as well as easily noticeable Turkish nuances and "Hispano- Moorish" characteristics Guelma, M'sirda and Ait Khlili are some of the Algerian regions renowned for the quality of their clay deposits which are non-existent in other parts of the country. Situated in eastern Algeria, the first region is famous for its kaolin deposits of white clay that is reserved for the production of fine porcelain. The second region, closer to the Moroccan border, and the third region of the Great Kabylie share honors for excellence. While pottery production methods are similar from one region to another, some variations do occur giving this art form myriad facets. Pottery making is practiced in many Algerian regions, more often than not in mountainous areas.
- Pottery of the Sahara
The least known of all pottery types is based south of Adrar, in the old Ksar of Tamentit, and is commonly referred to as "black earthenware." Best known are ram head shaped ashtrays crowned by a solar disc. From Béchar to Béni Abbès, and Timimoun to Touggourt one can find ancient pottery reflecting the architecture of the regions mentioned.
- Pottery of the Great Kabylie
Of renown fame this pottery is defined by common traits and a certain likeness. Whether originating in Mâatkas, Bourouh or Ath-Kheir, Berber pottery uses the same symbolism. It combines simplicity, functionality, solidity, water-tightness, aesthetics and human values. Its forms and ornamentation draw from rural cultural symbols and feminine sensibility. The color red is prevalent.
- Pottery of the Small Kabylie
This pottery is characterized by a wealth of shapes and themes as well as a tremendous creative force. The color red is used sparingly and judiciously. True to its environment, alternately mountainous and coastal and open to all civilizations such as those of the Phoenicians, Romans, and Turks, it shares a likeness to the pottery of the Great Kabylie. It combines strength, functionality and charm.
- Pottery of Chenoua (Tipaza)
The influence of the sea is pervasive. Roman and Phoenician artistic heritage also prevails in the region. However, the traditions seem to be fading away. Pottery from Eastern Constantine This pottery is created from the major kaolin deposits in Guelma. In some locations, from Hammam Maskhoutine to Skikda, one can find very old pottery decorated with agrarian symbols and commonplace objects. Such pottery is marketed on a large scale.
- Pottery from the Aurès Mountains
This pottery is formed in austere shapes and colors reflecting the surrounding environment.
- Pottery of the Némemchas
This pottery is shaped from pinkish clay and is decorated with brownish drawings, and is left unvarnished. This art form was threatened by lyrical improvisation that distorted the original look of this aesthetic pottery.
- Pottery of M'sirda
This pottery is made of high quality clay with sober ornamentation and is given a smooth profile.
Rugs and Weavings
After surviving unscathed for centuries, traditional Algerian rug-making has now blossomed to its full vibrancy. For this trade, time has stood still. Authentic shapes and styles have been preserved even if some rugs show slight hints of modern influences. The range of rugs available clearly demonstrates the Algerian cultural melting pot. Rugs can be of Berber, Maghrebian, Arabo- Muslim, African, or even Oriental inspiration.
- Rugs of Eastern Algeria
The shapes of rugs of Haracta (Aurès) and Némemcha-Babar (Tébessa-Khenchela) are so similar that distinguishing them is no easy task. Even more so the latter, with its Berber-Oriental symbolic ornamentation, is reminiscent of the legendary Haracti rugs, rooted in everyday life, after the near disappearance of all Chaoui influence.
- Rugs of Small Kabylie
Maâdid (M'sila – Bordj Bou Arréridj) and Guergour (Sétif- Béjaïa) rugs, with their Berber symbols, show the same Oriental influences, however slight, reflecting the various civilizations that have blossomed in the region.
- Weavings of Great Kabylie
The most magnificent weavings are undeniably the rugs of Ain Hichem (Tizi-Ouzou), which combine delicateness and refinement, swathed in folk and rural imagery.
- Weavings of Oranie
Created with soft and varied tones and gorgeous nuances, these rugs show slight Berber and Hispano-Moorish influences. The rugs of Kalaâ des Béni Rached are the most famous of all Oranie. They are an authentic, high quality product, and probably the best product of its genre in the entire Maghreb region.
- Rugs of Djebel Amour
Made with stunning ingenuity in terms of the complexity of weaving, they are one of the most magnificent specimens in Algeria, famous for their originality and motifs of Berber inspiration. Extremely sober in style, they are defined by a harmonious balance seldom
- Southern weavings
Oued Souf (El Oued –Guemmar) rugs are characterized by Ottoman influences and borrow from Némemchi rugs. Those of Béni-Isguen (Ghardaïa) are world-renowned thanks in part to very effective marketing. Doukkali (Adrar) weavings and those of Timimoun, date back to 1270 of the Hijra and still use original designs.
With artists such as Abdelhalim HEMCHEB, Azouaou MAMMERI, and later Mohamed BOUZID, Bachir YELLES and Ali KHODJA, Algerian paintings of occidental inspiration were quite remarkable, well before Independence.
Moreover, thanks to the Racims, Algerian miniature and illuminated art forms developed at an accelerating rate. One must point out the role played by Mohamed Racim in preserving Algerian authentic values. His school suddenly expanded with artists such as Mohamed Temmam, Mohamed Ranem, and Hamminouna as well as new generations of artists who drew inspiration and techniques from this art form.
The figurative trend also owes a debt to older artists. Each in their own way, Racim and Dinet have greatly influenced this artistic movement that reflected Algerian traditions, social values and daily life.
Baya and Benaboura are representatives of this so-called "naive" painting, which mirrors the Algerian spirit. Zmirli, Samson, Abdoun and many others also adopted this expression of stunning freshness and simplicity. More refined, the creations of Issiakhem breathed new life into the art world and paved the way for the more abstract works of Khadda, Mesli, Benanteur and Guermaz.
Finally, many other artistic movements flourished throughout the various Algerian regions such as crude art, "El Aauchem" (sign painting), and "Essebaghines", all represented by artists such as Hakkar, Ammar Bouras, Zineb Sedra, Samta Benyahia and many others.
Dalila Orfali, curator of Algiers' Museum of Fine Arts, characterized the Algerian painting of recent years as follows: "The last decade was defined by the intensification of such trends"
A major revival of artistic activities within the country, dominated by individual techniques, defined the period between the 1990's and year 2000. As such, symbol-free figurative art forms have made a strong revival.
Djemaï, Bourdine, Hafidh, Heinen-Ayech and Chegrane are some of the disciples of this movement. The emerging school of contemporary painting was now spreading to every corner of the globe, carrying a vision which inadvertently rallied historical and cultural heritage patterns such as avant-garde compositions, transient art and others.
Moreover, in the early 1990's, in times of extreme hardship, women did not hesitate to affirm themselves through their writings, even as others chose to remain silent:
_ Malika Modadem's "L'interdite," 1993 _ Mina Bouraoui's "La voyeuse interdite," 1991 _ Leïla Sebbar's "Le silence des rives," 1993 _ Assia Djebbar's "Loin de Médine," 1992
Nadia Ghalem was published in Canada, while other writers were published in Paris or Damascus. Visual arts provide a diversified landscape, accessible to all, in fields such as miniatures and illumination (Racim, Temmam, Bendebbag, Ghanem and Sahraoui), figurative art (Yellès, Baya, Ali Khodja and Houamel), abstract art (Issiakhem, Khadda, Mesli, Guermaz and Hakkar. As a matter of fact abstract art is quickly becoming the expression of choice for those wishing to illustrate the obscure.
Many painters decided to concentrate on landscapes, such as Abderrahman Sahouli, Nedjar Bencheikh, Zermane, Hamchaoui and Chaouane. In the quest for an authentic Algerian pictorial form of expression, some artists were self-taught, some were "naiverealists," and others chose the forms of "photographers."
In the eighties, a new generation of artists such as Sid Ahmed Chabane, Slimane Ould Mohamed, Amar Bourras, Yahia Abdel-malek, Myriam Aït Chehara, and Réda Tebib emerged to enhance artistic expression by using new media such as powders, refined tar, pelts, plants, plastics, wood, and cardboard, thus developing an art form permeated by modern technologies.
One could hardly find a direct reference to the city's landscape in Nadia Laggoune's "Alger dans la peinture."
Leatherwork is well established in Algerian regions where husbandry is done on a large scale. These arts and crafts are geared towards the production of footwear, belts, horse and camel saddles, containers, pillowcases, sword scabbards, and flywhisks.
- Leatherwork of Tlemcen
This craft owes a great deal to the local embroidery and sewing heritage. Greatly influenced by Andalusian culture it remains a stronghold of Hispano-Moorish art.
The leatherwork of Tlemcen is famous for its motifs and forms used in boots, saddles, satchels, wallets and other manual items used in everyday life.
- Leatherwork of the Deep South - Tamanrasset
In this region know-how is organic, mystical and a reflection of the vast surrounding spaces. Inspiration is always glimmering and the product is of very high quality. Whether an Arreg (travel bag), El-sedira (saddlebag) or Tarallabt (wallet) perfection prevails.
- Leatherwork of Médéa
Synonymous with expertise and refinement, Médéa was once famous for its leather moccasins, harnesses, saddles and belts. Wallets, cigarette holders, and bags embroidered with gold and silver thread were eventually added.
Artisans are desperately trying to uphold traditions but trade modernization based on foreign models prevents them from returning to earlier desi
Cultural milieu Algerian culture and society were profoundly affected by 130 years of colonial rule, by the bitter independence struggle, and by the subsequent broad mobilization policies of postindependence regimes. A transient, nearly rootless society has emerged, whose cultural continuity has been deeply undermined. Seemingly, only deep religious faith and belief in the nation’s populist ideology have prevented complete social disintegration....>>>Read On<<<
History of Algeria
Since the 5th century B.C., the native peoples of northern Africa (first identified by the Greeks as "Berbers") were pushed back from the coast by successive waves of Phoenician, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Arab, Turkish, and, finally, French invaders. The greatest cultural impact came from the Arab invasions of the 8th and 11th centuries A.D., which brought Islam and the Arabic language. The effects of the most recent (French) occupation--French language and European-inspired socialism--are still pervasive.
North African boundaries have shifted during various stages of the conquests. Algeria's modern borders were created by the French, whose colonization began in 1830. To benefit French colonists, most of whom were farmers and businessmen, northern Algeria was eventually organized into overseas departments of France, with representatives in the French National Assembly. France controlled the entire country, but the traditional Muslim population in the rural areas remained separated from the modern economic infrastructure of the European community.
Algerians began their uprising on November 1, 1954 to gain rights denied them under French rule. The revolution, launched by a small group of nationalists who called themselves the National Liberation Front (FLN), was a guerrilla war in which both sides targeted civilians and used other brutal tactics. Eventually, protracted negotiations led to a cease-fire signed by France and the FLN on March 18, 1962, at Evian, France. The Evian Accords also provided for continuing economic, financial, technical, and cultural relations, along with interim administrative arrangements until a referendum on self-determination could be held. Over 1 million French citizens living in Algeria at the time, called the pieds-noirs (black feet), left Algeria for France.
The referendum was held in Algeria on July 1, 1962, and France declared Algeria independent on July 3. In September 1962 Ahmed Ben Bella was formally elected president. On September 8, 1963, a Constitution was adopted by referendum. On June 19, 1965, President Ben Bella was replaced in a non-violent coup by the Council of the Revolution headed by Minister of Defense Col. Houari Boumediene. Ben Bella was first imprisoned and then exiled. Boumediene, as President of the Council of the Revolution, led the country as Head of State until he was formally elected on December 10, 1976. Boumediene is credited with building "modern Algeria." He died on December 27, 1978.
Following nomination by an FLN Party Congress, Col. Chadli Bendjedid was elected president in 1979 and re-elected in 1984 and 1988. A new constitution was adopted in 1989 that allowed the formation of political parties other than the FLN. It also removed the armed forces, which had run the government since the days of Boumediene, from a designated role in the operation of the government. Among the scores of parties that sprang up under the new constitution, the militant Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was the most successful, winning more than 50% of all votes cast in municipal elections in June 1990 as well as in the first stage of national legislative elections held in December 1991.
Faced with the real possibility of a sweeping FIS victory, the National People's Assembly was dissolved by presidential decree on January 4, 1992. On January 11, under pressure from the military leadership, President Chadli Bendjedid resigned. On January 14, a five-member High Council of State was appointed by the High Council of Security to act as a collegiate presidency and immediately canceled the second round of elections. This action, coupled with political uncertainty and economic turmoil, led to a violent reaction by Islamists. On January 16, Mohamed Boudiaf, a hero of the Liberation War, returned after 28 years of exile to serve as Algeria's fourth president. Facing sporadic outbreaks of violence and terrorism, the security forces took control of the FIS offices in early February, and the High Council of State declared a state of emergency. In March, following a court decision, the FIS Party was formally dissolved, and a series of arrests and trials of FIS members occurred resulting in more than 50,000 members being jailed. Algeria became caught in a cycle of violence, which became increasingly random and indiscriminate. On June 29, 1992, President Boudiaf was assassinated in Annaba in front of TV cameras by Army Lt. Lembarek Boumarafi, who allegedly confessed to carrying out the killing on behalf of the Islamists.
Despite efforts to restore the political process, violence and terrorism dominated the Algerian landscape during the 1990s. In 1994, Liamine Zeroual, former Minister of Defense, was appointed Head of State by the High Council of State for a three-year term. During this period, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) launched terrorist campaigns against government figures and institutions to protest the banning of the Islamist parties. A breakaway GIA group--the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC)--also undertook terrorist activity in the country. Government officials estimate that more than 150,000 Algerians died during this period.
Zeroual called for presidential elections in 1995, though some parties objected to holding elections that excluded the FIS. Zeroual was elected president with 75% of the vote. By 1997, in an attempt to bring political stability to the nation, the National Democratic Rally (RND) party was formed by a progressive group of FLN members. In September 1998, President Liamine Zeroual announced that he would step down in February 1999, 21 months before the end of his term, and that presidential elections would be held.
Algerians went to the polls in April 1999, following a campaign in which seven candidates qualified for election. On the eve of the election, all candidates except Abdelaziz Bouteflika pulled out amid charges of widespread electoral fraud. Bouteflika, the candidate who appeared to enjoy the backing of the military, as well as the FLN and the RND party regulars, won with an official vote count of 70% of all votes cast. He was inaugurated on April 27, 1999 for a 5-year term.
President Bouteflika's agenda focused initially on restoring security and stability to the country. Following his inauguration, he proposed an official amnesty for those who fought against the government during the 1990s with the exception of those who had engaged in "blood crimes," such as rape or murder. This "Civil Concord" policy was widely approved in a nationwide referendum in September 2000. Government officials estimate that 80% of those fighting the regime during the 1990s have accepted the civil concord offer and have attempted to reintegrate into Algerian society. Bouteflika also launched national commissions to study education and judicial reform, as well as restructuring of the state bureaucracy.
In 2001, Berber activists in the Kabylie region of the country, reacting to the death of a youth in gendarme custody, unleashed a resistance campaign against what they saw as government repression. Strikes and demonstrations in the Kabylie region were commonplace as a result, and some spread to the capital. Chief among Berber demands was recognition of Tamazight (a general term for Berber languages) as an official language, official recognition and financial compensation for the deaths of Kabyles killed in demonstrations, an economic development plan for the area and greater control over their own regional affairs. In October 2001, the Tamazight language was recognized as a national language, but the issue remains contentious as Tamazight has not been elevated to an official language.
The April 8, 2004, presidential election was the first election since independence in which several candidates competed. Besides incumbent President Bouteflika, five other candidates, including one woman, competed in the election. Opposition candidates complained of some discrepancies in the voting list; irregularities on polling day, particularly in Kabylie; and of unfair media coverage during the campaign as Bouteflika, by virtue of his office, appeared on state-owned television daily. Bouteflika was re-elected in the first round of the election with 84.99% of the vote. Just over 58% of those Algerians eligible to vote participated in the election.
In November 2008, the parliament adopted a set of constitutional amendments that included a removal of presidential term limits. The parliament approved the proposed amendments by a wide margin with minimal debate. President Bouteflika won a third term in the April 9, 2009, elections with, officially, 90.2% of the vote. Opposition members again complained of unfair media coverage and irregularities during voting, and some parties boycotted the vote.
In the years since Bouteflika was first elected, the security situation in Algeria has improved markedly. Terrorism, however, has not been totally eliminated, and terrorist incidents still occur, particularly in the provinces of Boumerdes, Tizi-Ouzou, and in the remote southern areas of the country. Suicide attacks against a government building and a provincial police station on April 11, 2007 killed over 20 persons. A twin suicide attack on December 11, 2007 destroyed the UN headquarters in Algiers as well as the Constitutional Council, killing at least 60 people according to some accounts. Since that time, Algerian Government counterterrorism operations have greatly limited terrorists’ capacity to conduct high-profile attacks, particularly in major Algerian cities. Nevertheless, terrorists continue to carry out lethal operations in towns and rural areas sporadically, using ambushes and roadside bombs against government and civilian targets. Terrorists also occasionally kidnap civilians to obtain ransoms to finance their operations.
In September 2005, Algeria passed a referendum in favor of President Bouteflika's Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation, paving the way for implementing legislation that would pardon certain individuals convicted of armed terrorist violence. The Charter builds upon the Civil Concord and the Rahma (clemency) Law of the late 1990s and shields from prosecution anyone who laid down arms in response to those previous amnesty offers. The Charter specifically excludes from amnesty those involved in mass murders, rapes, or the use of explosives in public places. The window for combatants to receive amnesty expired in September 2006, though its terms may still be applied on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Algerian president. Approximately 2,500 Islamists were released under the Charter, many of whom may have returned to militant groups in Algeria.
Principal Government Officials of Algeria
- President and Minister of National Defense--Abdelaziz Bouteflika
- Prime Minister--Ahmed Ouyahia
- Minister of State, Minister of the Interior and Local Communities--Nourredine Yazid Zerhouni
- Minister of State--Abdelaziz Belkhadem
- Minister Delegate in Charge of National Defense--Abdelmalek Guenaizia
Agriculture and Rural Development--Rachid Benaissa Commerce--El Hachemi Djaaboub Secretary of Communication--Abderrachid Boukerzaza Culture--Khalida Toumi Energy and Mines--Chakib Khelil Town Planning, Environment and Tourism--Cherif Rahmani Finance--Karim Djoudi Fisheries and Sea Resources--Smail Mimoune Foreign Affairs--Mourad Medelci Health, Population and Hospital Reform--Said Barakat Higher Education and Scientific Research--Rachid Harraoubia Housing and Urban Planning--Noureddine Moussa Industry and Promotion of Investment--Abdelhamid Temmar National Solidarity, Family and Community Abroad--Djamal Ould-Abbes Justice--Tayeb Belaiz Labor, Employment and Social Security--Tayeb Louh Moudjahidine (Veterans)--Mohamed Cherif Abbas National Education--Boubekeur Benbouzid Posts, Information and Communications Technologies--Hamid Bessalah Public Works--Amar Ghoul Minister in Charge of Relations with Parliament--Mahmoud Khedri Religious Affairs and Waqf Assets--Bouabdellah Ghlamallah Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Craft Industries--Mustapha Benbada Transport--Amar Tou Vocational Training--El Hadi Khaldi Water Resources--Abdelmalek Sellal Youth and Sports--Hachemi Djiar
Government and Political Contidions of Algeria
- Type: Republic.
- Independence: July 5, 1962 (from France).
- Constitution: September 8, 1963; revised November 19, 1976, November 3, 1988, February 23, 1989, November 28, 1996, April 10, 2002, and November 12, 2008.
- Legal system: Based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials, including several Supreme Court justices; Algeria has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
- Administrative divisions: 48 provinces (wilayat; singular, wilaya).
- Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal.
- National holiday: Independence Day, July 5, 1962; Revolution Day, November 1, 1954.
- Major parties represented in parliament: National Liberation Front (FLN), National Democratic Rally (RND), Movement of Society for Peace (MSP), Workers' Party (PT), Algerian National Front (FNA), Movement for National Reform (MRN), Islamic Renaissance Movement (MNI), Party of Algerian Renewal (PRA), Movement of National Understanding (MEN).
Under the 1976 Constitution (as modified 1979 and amended in 1988, 1989, 1996, and 2008), Algeria is a multi-party state. The Ministry of the Interior must approve all political parties. According to the Constitution, no political association may be formed "based on differences in religion, language, race, gender or region." Algeria has universal suffrage at the age of 18.
The head of state and of government is the president of the republic. The president, elected to a five-year term, is the head of the Council of Ministers and of the High Security Council. He appoints the prime minister as well as one-third of the upper house of parliament (the Council of the Nation).
The Algerian parliament is bicameral, consisting of a lower chamber, the National People's Assembly (APN), with 389 members and an upper chamber, the Council of the Nation, with 144 members. The APN is elected every five years. Legislative elections for the APN were held in May 2007. Two-thirds of the Council of the Nation is elected by regional and municipal authorities; the rest are appointed by the president. The Council of the Nation serves a six-year term with one-half of the seats up for election or reappointment every three years. Either the president or one of the parliamentary chambers may initiate legislation. Legislation must be brought before both chambers before it becomes law, but this cannot happen without the support of the presidency. If the APN vetoes legislation, it must technically be dissolved. Sessions of the APN are televised.
Algeria is divided into 48 wilayat (states or provinces) headed by walis (governors) who report to the Minister of Interior. Each wilaya is further divided into communes. The wilayat and communes are each governed by an elected assembly.
Foreign Relations of Algeria
Algeria has traditionally practiced an activist foreign policy and, in the 1960s and 1970s, was noted for its support of Third World policies and independence movements. Algerian diplomacy was instrumental in obtaining the release of U.S. hostages from Iran in 1981. Since his first election in 1999, President Bouteflika worked to restore Algeria's international reputation, traveling extensively throughout the world. In July 2001, he became the first Algerian President to visit the White House in 16 years. He has made official visits to France, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Germany, China, Japan, Portugal, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Latin American countries, among others, since his inauguration.
Algeria has taken the lead in working on issues related to the African continent. Host of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Conference in 2000, Algeria also was key in bringing Ethiopia and Eritrea to the peace table in 2000. In 2001, the 37th summit of the OAU formally adopted the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to address the challenges facing the continent. In 2006, Algeria negotiated the Algiers Accords between the Malian Government and Tuareg rebel groups and has continued to play an active role in seeking resolution to that conflict. In August 2009, Algeria initiated a regional counterterrorism approach with Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, seeking to increase security cooperation and address the root causes of instability in the region. In recent months, Algerians also campaigned publicly for strengthening the international legal regime against ransom payment for terrorist kidnappings, including the call for a UN-sponsored resolution condemning such payments.
Since 1976, Algeria has supported the Polisario Front, which claims to represent the indigenous population of Western Sahara. A staunch defender of the Sahrawi right to self-determination under the UN Charter, Algeria has provided the Polisario with support and sanctuary in refugee camps in the southwestern Algerian province of Tindouf. UN involvement in the Western Sahara includes MINURSO, a peacekeeping force, UNHCR, which handles refugee assistance and resettlement, and the World Food Program (WFP). Active diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General are ongoing.
Algeria's support of self-determination for the Sahrawi is in opposition to Morocco's claim of sovereignty over Western Sahara. The dispute remains a major obstacle to bilateral and regional cooperation. Although the land border between Morocco and Algeria was closed in the wake of a 1994 terrorist attack in Marrakech, Morocco lifted visa requirements for Algerians in July 2004. Algeria reciprocated by lifting visa requirements for Moroccans on April 2, 2005. Algeria has friendly relations with its neighbors Tunisia and Libya, and with its sub-Saharan neighbors, Mali and Niger. It closely monitors developments in the Middle East and has been a strong proponent of the rights of the Palestinian people, as well as a supporter of Iraq's democratic transition.
Algeria has diplomatic relations with more than 100 foreign countries, and over 90 countries maintain diplomatic representation in Algiers. Algeria held a nonpermanent, rotating seat on the UN Security Council from January 2004 to December 2005. Algeria hosted 13 Arab leaders at the Arab League Summit, March 22-23, 2005.
Real Estate or Properties for Sale or lease in Algeria
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[[Category:Algeria Photo Gallery]]
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- April 5, 2012: SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices rose above $102 a barrel Thursday in Asia, rebounding from a two-day sell-off fueled by a jump in U.S. crude supplies and speculation the Federal Reserve won't implement another round of monetary stimulus to boost economic growth. Source of Story
- April 4, 2012: NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stocks fell and gold prices dropped 2 percent on Tuesday as minutes from the latest U.S. central bank meeting showed policymakers may be less willing to launch further economic stimulus. Source of Story
- April 3, 2012: LONDON (AFP) — World oil prices surged Monday after stronger-than-expected manufacturing data in the United States, the world's top crude oil consumer, offset weaker figures in Europe. Source of Story
- April 2, 2012: BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Monday after a Chinese survey showed that manufacturers in the world's No. 2 economy boosted production for a fourth straight month. Source of Story
Working environmentThe absence of a national asylum law and functioning body to adjudicate asylum requests in Algeria prompts UNHCR to carry out refugee status determination. Refugees and asylum-seekers do not have access to work, which limits their self-reliance.--->>>> Read More >>>
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