Algeria Information - Page 1
The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is in Northern Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Western Sahara and Morocco.
Algiers is the capital. Other cities include Annaba and Oran.
The terrain is mostly high plateau and desert - the Sahara Desert covers over eighty-five percent of the country; there are some mountains and a coastal plain. The longest river is the Cheliff.
The climate varies from arid to semi-arid; summers are hot.
Tassili N'Ajjer National Park, famous for prehistoric rock art, is a World Heritage site. Tassili, in the south eastern part of the Algerian Sahara, is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve - the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme.
Other Algerian parks forming part of the world network of Biosphere Reserves are Gouraya National Park and Taza National Park. A number of sites in Algeria are also designated Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance.
Animals found in Algeria are antelopes, gazelles, hyenas, lizards and snakes. Marine life includes dolphins, porpoises and whales.
A number of Algeria's historic sites are on the World Heritage List. Tipasa, on the Mediterranean coast, consists of Phoenician, Roman, and Byzantine ruins. Djemila is an example of a Roman mountain town with temples, basilicas and triumphal arches. Timgad, a military town, was built in the time of the Roman Emperor Trajan (100 AD).
Other World Heritage sites include the tenth century cities of the M'Zab Valley, a fortified Muslim city (Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad), and the Kasbah of Algiers.
The population of Algeria was estimated at 34,994,937 in 2011.
Arabic is the official language. Tamazight, the Berber language, is recognized as a national language.
Ninety-nine percent of the people of Algeria are Sunni Muslim.
Couscous, with meat and vegetables, is the national dish. Rice is also a staple food.
Chickpeas, onions, tomatoes and peppers are eaten. Seasonings include coriander, cumin, fennel, mint and paprika.
Soups and stews are favourite dishes. Kebabs are also popular.
Couscous is served sweet, with honey, nuts and cinnamon. Fruits grown are cherries, dates, figs, grapes, melons, peaches, and clementines (Algerian tangerines).
Algerians drink Turkish coffee, mint tea and fruit juices.
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