Algeria

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 32.4
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 59%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.7%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km˛) : 2,381,740


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Arab83
Berber17



Main Cities Population
Algiers 1 519 570
Oran 692 516
Constantine 462 187
Annaba 348 554
Batna 242 514
Blida 226 512



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Algiers (GMT+1 ).



Languages
Official language: Arabic
The 17th of December 1996 the law specified the generalisation of Arabic for all activities. It is spoken by the Berbers or Amazigh (25% ; 51% in 1860; 30% in 1952) [kabyle, chaouia, mozabite (the zenatyia dialect), chenoui, targui (Touareg or Tamahaqt in Tamacheq, have kept their berber writting, the Tifinagh)
Other language spoken: French (administrative language taught from the 4th year of primary school to the end of high school studies; French speaking daily newspapers published to 700,000 copies).

Free translation tools

Arjeeb
Free English-Arabic-English translation of texts and web pages

Ectaco
Free Arabic-English-Arabic dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Sunni Muslims : 99.6%
Catholics 0.2%
Others 0.2%.


Political context

Algeria is a Republic based on the parliamentary democracy where army has traditionally been playing a crucial role in country's politics though situation has somewhat changed after parliamentary elections of 2004. Algeria (official name: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria) gained independence in 1962 following 132 years of French colonial rule.
The chief of the state is the President who is elected through a popular vote for a five-year term and holds the executive powers. President appoints the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Prime Minister is the head of the government.
The legislature in Algeria is bicameral. The parliament consists of two chambers: National People's Assembly (the lower house) and Council of Nations (the upper house). The members of National People's Assembly are elected through popular vote to serve for a five-year term. One-third of the members of the Council of Nationals are appointed by the President and two-thirds are elected through indirect voting to serve six-year terms. The people of Algeria enjoy very limited political rights.
Judiciary is not independent in Algeria. Judges are often subjected to disciplinary or other repressive measures by the government. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1963 (revised several times) which is based on various French and Islamic laws. Laws also originate from judicial reviews of various legislative acts. The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal in the country . Algeria has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. The judicial language in the country is Arabic, but having an interpreter is always possible.
Algeria is not ruled by law. Foreigners should not expect a fair trail from the judiciary when compared to the natives. Though the law and order situation has improved after elections of 2004 but country's record of civil liberties is still poor. A higher degree of corruption exists in the country.


Major political parties

The main political parties in Algeria are: FLN (National Liberation Front) which was previously the only legal party in the country, RND ( National Democratic Rally), FFS (Socialist Forces Front), RCD (Rally for Culture and Democracy), FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) which was banned in April 1992, MRN (National Reform Movement) which is an Islamic party and PT (Workers Party). A law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997.


Major political leaders

President: Abdelaziz Bouteflika ( since April 1999, re-elected in April 2004) – RND
Prime Minister: Abdelaziz Belkhadem (May 2006) – FLN


Next political election dates

Presidential: April 2009
National People's Assembly: May 2007
Council of Nations : Year 2006




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Algeria 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 1,234 1,443 ..
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
-Algiers: National Museum of Antiques (Park of freedom), Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions (Off street Hadj Omar), Museum of History and Museum of Natural History (Park of Freedom), Bardo museum (3 avenue Franklin Roosevelt), Jihad museum and Museum of War, the Martyrs' Monument
-Oran: Demaeght museum (boulevard Zabana).
-Constantine: Constantine museum (Place of the martyrs), the Mosque
-Annaba: Hippo Regius museum
-Little Kabylie: East
-Great Kabylie: the mountainous massifs are edged in the North by the sea; in the West by the Isser oued, of the Palestro mouth; in the South by the Palestro road , Bouira, Maillot, Akbou; in the East by the Soummam valley.
-Saharan Algeria: plains and mountains.

For more information about tourism in Algeria , check out the following web site(s) :
Information portal on tourism in Algeria



Food


Traditional dishes
Lamb with prunes and almonds - Lahm Lhalou: it is a rich and sweet dish.
The Couscous which can be prepared with a wide variety of vegetables.


Food-related taboos
Eating pork is prohibited in Algeria.

Last modified on December 2006

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