Welcome to Algeria

Welcome to Algeria

Hello. My name is Manal. Welcome to Algeria.

Harbourside in AlgiersMy friends and I would like to show you around Algiers, the capital of Algeria.

Algiers is a beautiful city, built around a large crescent-shaped harbour. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, where most Algerians live. Much of Algeria is made up of the Sahara desert.

From out to sea, the capital of Algeria looks peaceful and the white buildings along its harbour are very distinctive. As Manal says in the video, because of these buildings, Algiers is sometimes known as ‘the white city’.

Come and learn about some of the places, people and music of Algiers and some of the issues facing the people of Algeria, particularly the young.

Discover Algeria

Though Algeria is famous for its dry Sahara desert, which takes up most of the country, the northern region along the coast enjoys a Mediterranean-style climate.

Algerians are of mixed ancestry, mainly of Berber or Arab origins, but also with descendents of Europeans (such as the French or Spanish) and Sub-Saharan Africans.

Teaching in schools is mainly in Arabic, though local Berber languages have been used since 1999. French or English are chosen as foreign languages from around the eighth grade.

In 1830, the French attacked Algiers and took control of the prime agricultural lands. French occupation of the region lasted until 1962, when Algeria won its independence after eight years of warfare.

With its rich history, Algeria’s cuisine reflects a variety of cultural influences. Semolina/durum wheat was a staple of the Berbers. The Arabs introduced spices such as saffron, nutmeg and cinnamon and the Ottoman Turks brought their love of sweet pastries to the region. The French left their loaves and sidewalk cafés.

In 2011, an underground opened in the capital Algiers. The 10-station metro is only the second underground rail system in Africa (with the other in Cairo).

Algeria has some of the largest deposits of oil and natural gas across the globe. With such an abundance of hydrocarbons, the country is among the top producers worldwide.

Barbary macaques live in the Atlas mountains of Algeria, a monkey best known for its presence in Gibraltar across the Mediterranean.

Algeria has one of the best healthcare systems in Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were nearly 41,000 doctors and 66,000 nurses and midwives working in the health sector between 2000-2010. But the health sector needs modernisation.