January 28, 2011

Our Alkebulan Journey: Algeria

Originally Posted: 1/23/2008
Villagers, we continue our journey to learn more about Alkebulan. I promised to share some basic information on all 49 African countries. If you have insights or experiences or knowledge to share on this journey ... please do so!




Algeria is the second country in our online journey.

Algeria is situated along the North African coast, bordered to the east by Tunisia and Libya, to the southeast by Niger, to the southwest by Mali, and to the west by Mauritania and Morocco. It is Africa’s second-largest country, with 750 miles of coastline.

Along the coastal strip are the main towns, fertile land, good food, beach resorts and 90% of the population. Further south lies the area of the Hauts Plateaux, mountains of up to 6,600 feet covered in cedar, pine and cypress forests with broad arable plains dividing the plateau. The remaining 85% of the country is the Sahara Desert in its various forms, sustaining only 500,000 people, many of whom are nomadic tribes with goat and camel herds.

There are folks from Singapore, America and the 'moor next door' living and working in Algeria. A large country, Algeria was originally inhabited by the Berbers until the Arabs conquered North Africa in the seventh century. Staying mainly in the mountainous regions, the Berbers resisted the spreading Arab influence, managing to preserve much of their language and culture until the present day. Today, Berbers make up some 20 per cent of the total population.

The history of Algeria is remarkable. Part of the Turkish Ottoman empire from the 16th century, Algeria was conquered by the French in 1830. The struggle for independence began in 1954 headed by the National Liberation Front, which came to power on independence in 1962. In the 1990s, Algerian politics was dominated by the struggle involving the military and Islamic militants.

In 1992, a general election won by an Islamic party (Islamic Salvation Front) was annulled, marking the beginning of a bloody campaign which saw the slaughter of more than 150,000 people. An amnesty in 1999 led many rebels to lay down their arms. Violence has largely abated, although a state of emergency remains in place. In 2001, the Government agreed to a series of demands by the minority Berber community, after months of unrest involving Berber youths pressing for greater cultural and political recognition.

Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem has been the head of government since 2006. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been the head of state since 1999.

Algeria Fact Sheet contains some good information such as:
  • Language: Arabic & Berber, however French is used quite often as well.
  • Capital City: Algiers (El Djezaïr)
  • Population: 34 million
  • Area: 919,595 square miles
  • Currency: 1 US Dollar = 67.19560 Algerian Dinar (as of 1/22/08)
  • Entry Requirements: Passports and visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Algeria.
Well, Villagers, I still hope to receive some feedback. I tried to include more photos with people this time based on feedback from the last Alkebulan Journey. We have 47 more countries in Alkebulan to go. What can I add, delete or change in future posts to make this more useful for you? In the meantime, what say u about Algeria?

14 comments:

Kat said...

Good Morning, Villager...The pictures of the people add to the post, in my opinion.

I didn't follow all the links (yet), but the one I did was yummy! The pictures of the Algerian dishes have me seriously wanting to try them out.

Thanks for another informative post.

Peace, Kat

Exquisitely Black said...

I think providing this information on all the African countries is an excellent idea! There's some much negativity and misinformation out there. This is something I've tried to do a little of myself. The photos also really do make a difference. Keep up the good work.

Veronica

Villager said...

Kat - Thanx for the feedback. Often the MSM paints Africa as if it is gigantic monolithic place. Rarely do we think of the continent as individual countries. I realized as I began this journey that I knew very little about North Africa with it's strong Arabian and Islamic influences. Anyhow, the journey has been eye-opening for me after the first two countries. I look forward to continuing for 47 more countries.

Villager said...

Exquisitely Black (Veronica) - Thank you for the kind words. I hope that you and others will share links to this information with your blog readers as we come to countries u think relevant to your readers.

Had you ever thought much about Algeria before?

Kat said...

Ehemmm, Villager....MSM may paint the African continent as a gigantic monolithic place, but until recently, didn't you also think of Africa so? ;-)

Best wishes for your continuing explorations of Africa! I look forward to reading more.

Peace, Kat

Villager said...

Kat - Absolutely ... I bought into the MSM portrayal of Africa. That is one of the beauties of the blogosphere. We are able to communicate in a different manner than before. It opens our eyes to truths that we simply didn't know before.

Dazjae said...

Fantastic move. Thankyou. This can make a tremendous difference in the perception of the Motherland. So much has been buried about Kemet (renamed Africa by invaders... so can we really embrace that name?).

Villager said...

Dazjae - Thank you for the encouragement. Have you ever thought about traveling to the motherland before?

Regina said...

Thanks for another journey into knowledge!
Come by my blog and claim an award!

Villager said...

Regina - Asante sana!

msladydeborah said...

Villager,

This was a great post. I learned quite a bit and all knowledge is useful. I came to your blog in search of mental nourishment and you served up a fulfilling dish with this post.
Thanks for your efforts. I will be looking forward to the next post.

Villager said...

Lady D - Thank you very much for the kind words. I'm glad that I decided to make the Alkebulan Journey. I figure it will last for most of the year. Let me know if there are other aspects of a country that you would like us to discuss.

Did you see that Bush recently announced that he is going to travel to Africa for the first time since 2003?

Gerri said...

Hey there,
I haven't been around for a while and I like the idea of putting up info on all the countries in Africa. Your readers will learn a thing or two. I recently started a blog on anything and everything to do with Zimbabwe. Stop by if you haven't already done so and let me know what you think - Living Zimbabwe

Villager said...

Gerri - I look forward to visiting your Zimbabwe blog. I hope you find reasons to share your village voice more often with us in the future...