Wednesday, July 31, 2013
90. Algeria- Introduction
Algeria , officially The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers. Algeria is a semi-presidential republic, it consists of 48 provinces and 1541 communes. With a population exceeding 37 million, it is the 34th most populated country on Earth. With an economy based on oil resources, manufacturing has suffered from what is called Dutch disease. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has the second largest army with the largest defense budget in Africa. Algeria had a peaceful Nuclear Program by the 1990s.
With a total area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in Africa and in the Mediterranean. The country is bordered in the northeast by Tunisia, in the east by Libya, in the west by Morocco, in the southwest by Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali, in the southeast by Niger, and in the north by the Mediterranean Sea. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC and the United Nations, and is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union.
Geographically, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria form one great natural area, with the same physical characyeristics and a climate common to all three countries, of which Algeria forms the centrepiecs. The Algerian coast line, 850 miles long, is highly fertile which is known as "Tell"Until the 1920s the main product was cotton and tobacco with olive oil as th third one.
The territory of today's Algeria was the home of many ancient prehistoric cultures, including Aterian and Capsian cultures. Its area has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Berber Numidians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arab Umayyads, Berber Fatimids, Berber Almoravids, Berber Almohads and later Turkish Ottomans.
The country's name derives from the city of Algiers. The most common etymology links the city name to
( "The Islands"), a truncated form of the city's older name Jazā'ir Banī Mazghanna employed by medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi. Others trace it to Ldzayer, the Maghrebi Arabic and Berber for "Algeria" possibly related to the Zirid Dynasty King Ziri ibn-Manad and founder of the city of Algiers.