The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is a country in northern Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea in the north, Tunisia in the northeast, Libya in the east, Niger in the southeast, Mali and Mauritania in the southwest, and Morocco in the west.
|National motto: None|
- % water
|Ranked 11th |
- Total (2002)
July 5, 1962
|Time zone||UTC +1|
The native Berber population of Algeria has been under the rule of foreign occupants for most of the last 3000 years. The Phoenicians (1000 BC) and the Roman Republic (200 BC) were the most important of these, until the coming of the Arabs in the 8th century.
Formally a part of the Ottoman Empire, Algeria's coast was used as a base for pirates. This was ended by a French invasion in 1830, followed by a complete conquest of Algeria several years later. In 1954, a guerilla war began to make Algeria independent, which succeeded in 1962.
The head of state is the political association may be formed if it is "based on differences in religion, language, race gender or region." The head of state is the President of the republic, who is elected to a 5-year term, renewable once. Algeria has universal suffrage. The President is the head of the Council of Ministers and of the High Security Council. He appoints the Prime Minister who also is the head of government. The Prime Minister appoints the Council of Ministers.
The Algerian parliament is bicameral, consisting of a lower chamber, the National People's Assembly (APN), with 380 members and an upper chamber, the Council of Nation, with 144 members. The APN is elected every 5 years.
Algeria is divided into 48 wilayas, or provinces:
Most of the coastal area is hilly, sometimes even mountainous, and there are few good harbours. The area just south of the coast, known as the Tell, is fertile. Further south is the Atlas mountain range[?] and the Sahara desert. Algiers, Oran and Constantine are the main cities.
Algeria's climate is arid and hot, although the coastal climate is mild, and the winters in the mountainous areas can be severe. Algeria is prone to sirocco[?], a hot dust- and sand-laden wind especially common in summer.
About 90% of the Algerians lives in the northern, coastal area, although there are about 1.5 million Bedouin living in the southern desert. The mixed Arab and Berber population is mostly Islamic; other religions are restricted to small groups of foreign citizens.
Rai, a local music form, has great popularity in Algeria, and enjoys some popularity abroad as well, notably in France, where a large number of Algerians lives.
See also: Music of Algeria