Home Geography General introduction to South of Algeria – History and Geography

General introduction to South of Algeria – History and Geography

Algeria is a democratic and popular republic .The country spreads across an area of 2,381,741 km2, with 1,200 km of Mediterranean coastline. Algeria is a member of the Arab Maghreb union (AMu) and has common borders with Tunisia, libya, Morocco, Mauritania, and with two (02) countries of the African Sahel, Mali and niger and the Western Sahara. It’s a land of sharp contrasts, where Mediterranean landscapes, vast plateaus, and lunar desert-like spaces meet. Its reputation as a Mediterranean country notwithstanding, Algeria is arid and semi-arid.

Photo by Issam Hammoudi on Unsplash

The areas of the Algerian territory receiving more than 400 mm of water a year fit within a band no more than 150-km deep from the coastline. being parallel to the coastline, the mountainous ridges exacerbate the dryness of the climate heading south. Three extremely contrasting zones share the Algerian territory: The Tell region, in the north (4% of Algeria’s total surface area), the high plateaus region (9% of Algeria’s total surface area) and the Saharan region (87% of Algeria’s total surface area). Algeria enjoys a Mediterranean climate, temperate in the north and Saharan (hot and dry) in the South. Summers in the north are mild with an average temperature of 25°C, the winters rainy and sometimes very cold. In the high plateaus, the climate is arid and dry.

Algeria is also the ideal junction where three worlds converge (Mediterranean, Arab and African) and a land occupied by a number of peoples (the Phoenicians, the romans, the Vandals, the byzantines, the Arabs, the Turks and the french) in spite of the ferocious resistance of the original inhabitants, led by a succession of illustrious figures: Massinissa and Jugurtha (roman period), Kahina and Koceïla (pre-Islamic period) and the Emir Abdelkader, lalla fatma n’Soumer, El-Mokrani, larbi ben M’hidi, Abane ramdane (french colonial period). As a testament to this, a number of archeological sites from the roman and Phoenician eras exist in Algeria. At least seven Algerian monuments and sites are now registered as part of the World Heritage by UNESCO: la Kalâa des béni Hammad, Djemila, le Tassili n’Ajjer, Timgad, Tipaza, Vallée du M’zab and the Casbah of Algiers.

Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

Culturally, Algerians, whose population belongs to the same socio-cultural group as that of Morocco and Tunisia, were also influenced by the various civilizations that flourished and prospered around the Mediterranean. The Arabs and the french left the deepest imprints. The former with the establishment of Islam and a strong linguistic legacy, the latter with the considerable contribution of the french culture and language, which today makes Algeria a quintessentially french-speaking country, as french is the most widely used language of communication, particularly in the business sector. However, other languages, in particular English are gaining ground; it is increasingly acquired and used by young people and especially in the business sector.

In addition to this cultural and human diversity, Algeria is also characterized by major, varied natural resources, its gas reserves being amongst the largest in the world, whilst the country’s underground contains huge oil deposits, in addition to considerable deposits of phosphate, zinc, iron, gold, uranium, tungsten and kaolin.