When it comes to prehistoric cultures and dynasties, the land area of Algeria had witnessed numerous of them, including the Byzantines, Phoenicians, Ottomans and Romans. The country had problems with identity recognition because of the cultural differences that were passed down by the long- gone communities. However, Algeria has stood proudly for centuries and built a cultural identity that is of its own. The thriving flora and fauna of Algeria creates a stunning contrast to the crumbling ruins of the old civilizations –a part of the country’s old- world charm. Despite the troubling reputation, Algeria remains to be one of the places that can offer interesting perspectives within its fascinating borders.
Important and Interesting Facts about Algeria
- Algeria is the 11th largest country in the world and the 2nd largest in Africa.
- Only the main rivers of the Tell have water all year round, and even then the summer flow is small. None of the rivers are navigable.
- Algeria lies on the African Tectonic Plate. Northwestern Algeria is a seismically active area. Earthquakes on 10 October 1980 in a rural area southwest of Algiers left over 2,500 persons dead and almost 100,000 homeless.
- Northern Algeria lies within the temperate zone, and its climate is similar to that of other Mediterranean countries, although the diversity of the relief provides sharp contrasts in temperature.
- Characteristic trees of northern Algeria are the olive and the cork oak. The mountain regions contain large forests of evergreens (Aleppo pine, juniper, and evergreen oak) and some deciduous trees; the forests are inhabited by boars and jackals, about all that remain of the many wild animals once common.
- Algeria’s principal environmental problem is encroachment of the desert onto the fertile northern section of the country. Soil erosion from overgrazing adds to the effect.
- Other significant environmental problems include water shortages and pollution. The small amount of water available in Algeria is threatened by regular droughts.
- A quarter of the country’s population live on less than £1 a day.
- Algeria has the biggest oat market in Africa.
- 98% of Algeria’s exports are petroleum or natural gas.
- Algeria is considered the country with the highest cost of living in North Africa.
- Saudi Arabia is 2 million km², and Algeria is 2.4 million km². So Algeria is bigger than Saudi Arabia.
Cool Funny and Fun Facts about Algeria
- The National holiday, called Revolution Day, is on November 1.
- Algerian singer Cheb Mami sang with Sting on 1999 hit Desert Rose.
- The Sahara Desert covers 80 percent of the country. As Sahara is the Arabic for desert, it is technically called the Desert Desert. And they have the biggest sand dunes.
- In 2007, a court in Algeria had to rule on the ownership of a donkey which had eaten the money brought by a purchaser for its sale.
- Although Algeria grows grapes and produces its own wine, they usually do not drink alcohol.
- The law considers women permanent minors, needing the consent of their husbands or fathers for most activities.
- A fun custom in a west City (Capital of Raï music) ORAN is to push the car horns while crossing the tunnel leading to the beach, it’s said that it brings good luck
- ‘A sensible enemy is better than a narrow minded friend’ is one of Algeria’s proverbs.
- The nicknames for the Algerian players are Les Fennecs (Desert Foxes), Moharibou Essahra (Desert Warriors) & Les Verts (The Greens). Desert Foxes – great name.
- Rafik Saïfi is Algeria’s oldest player (b. 1975) while Rafik Halliche is the youngest (b. 1986). Both share the hometown of Algiers.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Algeria
- Before the period of recorded history, the North African coastal area now known as Algeria was inhabited by Berber tribal groups, from whom many present-day Algerians are descended.
- The national dish is couscous. Its Arabic name “ta’am” translates as “food.”
- Algeria has competed at every summer Olympics since 1964, winning five gold medals.
- The only people born in Algeria to have won Nobel Prizes were Albert Camus (Literature 1957) and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (Physics, 1997)
- St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was the most famous Algerian of all. Hippo is now Annaba.
- The first Algerian president is Ahmed Ben Bella who was elected in 1963 and served for only 2 years.
- Marriages in Algeria are traditionally arranged either by parents of the couple or by a professional matchmaker.
- Laban is a popular drink in Algeria, made of yogurt and water with mint leaves for flavoring.
- Algeria is called the country of cherry and dates (because it has various types of weather, a mild one in the north and a Saharan one in the south, Algerian dates by the way are the best on earth the quality “Deglet Nour” is well known to dates amateurs.
- “La Touiza” is a big celebration in agricultural areas where people gather to volunteer support and help one of them in need for harvesting, at the end of the day a big feast is prepared with huge amounts of couscous to reward the hard working of the day
- Algeria has many superstitions, just like any other society. For instance, a black cat is unlucky, breaking a mirror is unlucky, spilling water after the departure of someone assures his return…etc