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Study in Algeria - About Algeria




General Information
Area: 919,590 sq mi (2,381,740 sq km)

Population: 32.3 million

Capital: Algiers

Independence:July 5, 1962 (from France)

Ethnicity/Race: Arab (84%), Berber (16%), European (less than 1%).

Language: Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects

Currency: Algerian Dinar (AD)

Map of Algeria
Courtesy of Google Maps

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Religion: Sunni Islam (state religion) 99%, Christianity and Judaism 1%



Geography: Nearly four times the size of Texas, Algeria is bordered on the west by Morocco and Western Sahara and on the east by Tunisia and Libya. To the south are Mauritania, Mali, and Niger. The Saharan region, which is 85% of the country, is almost completely uninhabited. The highest point is Mount Tahat in the Sahara, which rises 9,850 ft (3,000 m).

Climate: arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer



Government Structure: After a century of rule by France, Algeria became independent in 1962. The surprising first round success of the fundamentalist FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) party in December 1991 balloting caused the army to intervene, crack down on the FIS, and postpone the subsequent elections. The FIS response has resulted in a continuous a civil conflict with the secular state apparatus, which nonetheless has allowed a multi-party political system and the formation of political parties. FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, dissolved itself in January 2000 and many armed insurgents surrendered under an amnesty program designed to promote national reconciliation. Nevertheless, the state of unrest and violence continued in some areas. Abdul Aziz Boutafliqa was elected president of the republic in November 1999.

Head of State:

Head of Government:


Heritage and Culture

Heritage and Traditions

Algeria holds a singular place for Arab culture as a region in which the musical traditions of Islamic Spain, the Ottoman Empire, the eastern Arab countries (the Mashriq), Saharan and West Africa, Berbers, Bedouin and Europe have all interacted to various degrees. Morocco to the west was never as directly exposed to Ottoman and eastern Arab musical traditions; Tunisia and Libya to the east have had far less contact with sub-Saharan and West African musics and far more direct contact with the musics of their eastern neighbors.

Algeria - Introduction to World Cultures and Customs

An Educational Video on Algeria (Video has English Explanations)

Algeria - Introduction to World Cultures and Customs
Produced by: Ashan Pushpakumara Perera, American National College


To simplify this complex musical landscape to some degree, the many distinct musical traditions of Algeria can be roughly divided into five groups:

  • Andalusian traditions
  • Urban popular traditions
  • Arabic-language folk traditions
  • Berber and Saharan traditions
  • the modern rai, or "pop-rai," phenomenon
Gasba Chaqui - Dance Chaoui - Musique Chaqui

A Wonderful Video showing Traditional Musical Folklore

Tiré d'un film du début des années 80, l'histoire est celle d'un homme qui est devenu fou parce que la femme qu'il aimait est morte en voulant s'enfuir d'un mariage forcé. Ce film fait une synthèse de beaucoup d'éléments folklorique de la culture auressienne, chaoui ( tradition, danse, musique, chant).

From a film of the early '80s, the story is about a man who is mad because the woman he loved died while trying to escape a forced marriage. This film is a synthesis of many elements of folk culture of Chaoui (tradition, dance, music, singing).

Maghrebin (Algerian) Traditional Dressesv - Video

A Delightful Video Showing Beautiful Traditional Maghrebin (Algerian) Dresses

Maghrebin (Algerian) Traditional dresses (old and modern styles)



Telephone: general assessment: telephone density in Algeria is very low, not exceeding five telephones per 100 persons; the number of fixed main lines increased in the last few years to a little more than 2,000,000, but only about two-thirds of these have subscribers; much of the infrastructure is outdated and inefficien

Mobile telephone:

Fax: International fax numbers are dialled in precisely the same way as telephone numbers.
More and more Algerian companies have fax machines (much communication is still done by telex).

Internet: Cybercafes and internet facilities are now available in Algiers and other main towns.

Post: There is a letter delivery service from Saturday to Thursday. Parcels sent by the surface route may take up to two months to reach Algeria. For this reason exporters are advised to despatch all mail by air. All parcels, including those containing literature and samples, whether sent by air or by the surface route, are subject to long delays in customs.

Radio Stations: AM 25, FM 1, shortwave 8 (1999)

Television: 46 (plus 216 repeaters) (1995)




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