1. The Land of Many Cultures
Spanning an impressive 2,381,741 square kilometers, Algeria is the 11th largest country in the world and the 2nd largest in Africa. It is larger than countries such as Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and even the United States, and is only surpassed in size by Sudan in the African continent. Algeria is a diverse country, with a population of over 40 million people, and is home to a variety of cultures, languages, and religions.
2. Bilingual A Land of Contrasts
In Algeria, Arabic is the official language, spoken by 80% of the population. Additionally, French is also widely spoken, making it a bilingual country. This is due to the French colonization of Algeria in the 19th century, which left a lasting impact on the country's language and culture.
Also → Morocco: A Western Kingdom
3. Algeria's Unique Blend of French and Islamic Law
The legal system in Algeria is a unique blend of French and Islamic law, providing a comprehensive framework for the country's legal system. This combination of two distinct legal systems is reflective of Algeria's history, which has been heavily influenced by both French and Islamic cultures. The French legal system provides the basis for civil law, while Islamic law is used to govern family law, inheritance, and other personal matters. This combination of two legal systems ensures that the rights of all citizens are respected and protected.
4. The Wild and Scenic Sahara: A Land of Endless Adventure
Algeria is a vast country, with an estimated 80-90% of its landmass covered by the Sahara Desert. It is home to some of the world's largest sand dunes, some reaching heights of over 300 feet. The desert is a harsh environment, with temperatures often reaching over 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and dropping to near freezing at night. Despite this, Algeria is home to a variety of wildlife, including gazelles, jackals, and even the endangered addax antelope.
5. The High Cost of Living in Algeria
Algeria is renowned for having the most expensive cost of living in all of North Africa. This is due to the country's high inflation rate, which has been steadily increasing since the early 2000s. The cost of basic necessities such as food, housing, and transportation are all significantly higher than in other North African countries. This has caused a great deal of financial strain on the Algerian people, making it difficult for them to make ends meet.
6. The First President of Ahmed Ben Bella
Ahmed Ben Bella was elected as the first president of Algeria in 1963, serving for two years before being overthrown in a coup d'état. During his brief tenure, Ben Bella was a strong advocate for Algerian independence and sought to improve the country's economy and infrastructure. He also worked to strengthen ties with other African nations and to promote the Algerian culture. Despite his short time in office, Ben Bella's legacy remains an important part of Algerian history.
7. Couscous: A Taste of Algeria
Algeria is renowned for its national dish, couscous. This traditional dish is made from semolina wheat, which is steamed and served with vegetables, meat, and a variety of spices. It is a staple of Algerian cuisine, and is often served with a side of harissa, a spicy chili pepper paste. Couscous is a popular dish throughout the Middle East, but it is especially beloved in Algeria, where it is served at almost every meal.
8. Extreme Heat in Algeria
In Algeria, the highest temperature ever recorded was an astonishingly hot 60.5 degrees Celsius. This temperature was so high that it was close to the boiling point of water, which is 100 degrees Celsius. The scorching heat was recorded in the Algerian desert, where temperatures can reach extreme levels due to the lack of moisture in the air.
9. Algerian Revolution: A Day of Remembrance and Pride
November 1st is a special day in Algeria, known as Revolution Day or National Day. This day marks the start of the Algerian Revolution in 1954, which was a struggle for independence from French colonial rule. The revolution lasted for eight years and resulted in Algeria gaining its independence in 1962. Revolution Day is celebrated with parades, fireworks, and other festivities throughout the country. It is a day of national pride and remembrance of the sacrifices made by those who fought for freedom.
10. Algerian Dinar: A Stable Currency with a Wide Acceptance
The North African nation of Algeria is home to the Algerian Dinar, the country's official currency. The Dinar is divided into 100 centimes and is issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. The Dinar is a relatively stable currency, with an exchange rate of around 1 Dinar to 0.0085 US Dollars. It is widely accepted in Algeria and is also used in some neighbouring countries.
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