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The African continent is comprised of 54 nations, each with their own independent governments and sovereignty, GNP, culture, natural resources, language(s), military, and religion. The treasure trove of mineral and raw material wealth has scarcely been touched, and the continent's largely untapped fertile lands could feed the world. Herewith is Jewel of Africa, an interactive adventure in the cradle of mankind, an exploration of nations from A-Z in alphabetical order.
Algeria. Leading reserves of oil and natural gas
Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Magreb region of North Africa. It is the largest country by total area in Africa, and by extension, the Arab world, and is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia; to the east by Libya; to the southeast by Niger; to the southwest by Mali, Mauritania, and Western Sahara; to the west by Morocco; and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea.
The country has a semi-arid geography, with most of the population living in the fertile north and the Sahara dominating the geography of the south. Algeria covers an area of 919,595 square miles, making it the world's 10th largest nation by area. With a population of 44 million, Algeria is the ninth-most populous country in Africa. The capital and largest city is Algiers, located in the far north on the Mediterranean coast.
Algeria is a multi-faceted nation comprised of big cities, semi-arid deserts, snow-capped mountains, abundant wildlife, fauna and flora, and seaports on the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. With the majority of the population living in the fertile north and the Sahara desert dominating southern Algeria, the nation covers an area of 919,595 square miles, making it the world's 10th largest.
With a growing populace of 44 million, Algeria is the the ninth-most populous country in Africa. The capital and largest city is Algiers, located in the far north on the Mediterranean coast. In government, Algeria elected politicians have relatively little sway over the nation. Instead, politics of Algeria takes place in the framework of a constitu- tional semi-presidential repub- lic, whereby the president of Algeria is head of state while the prime minister of Algeria is the head of government. Despite the dominant Berber ethnicity in Algeria, the majority identify with an Arabic-based identity, Berbers and Berber-speaking Algerians with varying languages.
Rainfall is fairly plentiful along the coastal part of the Tell Atlas, ranging from 15.7 to 26.4 inches annually, the amount of precipitation increasing from west to east. Precipitation is heaviest in the northern part of eastern Algeria, where it reaches as much as 39.4 inches in some years. Farther inland, the rainfall is less plentiful. Algeria also has ergs or sand dunes, between a range of snow-capped mountains.
In the summer time when winds are heavy and gusty, temperatures can go up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
An abundance of wildlife roam Algeria, from the Fennec fox, the national animal; to the majestic Barbary sheep, to monkeys, cheetah, camel, a variety of burrowing mammals, and a variety of avians like eagles, hawks, falcons, and osprey
Larger predators like lion, hyena, wild dogs, crocodile, bear, as well as elephant, rhinoceros, and hippopota- mus, visible in most sub-Saharan African nations in 2021, disappeared decades ago and are considered extinct in Algeria today.
Rainfall is fairly plentiful along the coastal part of the Tell Atlas, ranging from 400 to 670 mm (15.7 to 26.4 in) annually, the amount of precipitation increasing from west to east. Precipitation is heaviest in the northern part of eastern Algeria, where it reaches as much as 1,000 mm (39.4 in) in some years. Farther inland, the rainfall is less plentiful. Algeria also has ergs or sand dunes, between mountains. Among these, in the summer time when winds are heavy and gusty, temperatures can go up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Climate change in Algeria has wide reaching effects on the country. Algeria was not a significant contributor to climate change, but like other countries in the Mena region, is expected to be on the front-lines of climate change impacts. Because a large part of the, including part of the Sahara, already strong heat and water resource access challenges are expected to worsen. As early as 2014, scientists were attributing extreme heat waves to climate change in Algeria. Algeria was ranked 46th of countries in the 2020 Climate Change Performance Index.
Fauna, flora and wildlife
Algeria varies from coastal areas to mountainous areas and deserts. The varied vegetation of Algeria includes coastal, mountainous and grassy desert-like regions which all support a wide range of wildlife. Many of the creatures comprising the Algerian wildlife live in close proximity to civilization.
The most commonly seen animals include the wild boars, jackals, and gazelles, although it is not uncommon to spot foxes, and jerboas. Algeria also has a small African leopard and Saharan cheetah population, but these are seldom seen. A species of deer, the Barbary stag, inhabits the dense humid forests in the north-eastern areas. Camels are indigenous to the nation and are used extensively. The desert also abounds with venomous and nonvenomous snakes, scorpions, and numerous insects.
A variety of bird species makes the country an attraction for bird watchers. The forests are inhabited by boars and jackals. Barbary macaques are the sole native monkey. Snakes, monitor lizards, and numerous other reptiles can be found living among an array of rodents throughout the semi arid regions of Algeria. Many animals are now extinct, including the Barbary lions, Atlas bears, and crocodiles.
In the north, some of the native flora includes Macchia scrub, olive trees, oaks, cedars and other conifers. The mountain regions contain large forests of evergreens Aleppo pine, juniper, and evergreen oak and some deciduous trees. Fig, eucalyptus, agave, and various palm trees grow in the warmer areas. The grape vine is indigenous to the coast. In the Sahara region, some oases have palm trees. Acacias with wild olives are the predominant flora in the remainder of the Sahara. Algeria had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 5.22/10, ranking it 106th globally out of 172 countries.
Camels are used extensively; the desert also abounds with venomous and nonvenomous snakes, scorpions, and numerous insects.
Government and politics
Elected politicians have relatively little sway over Algeria. Instead, a group of unelected civilian and military "décideurs" ("deciders"), known as "le pouvoir" ("the power"), actually rule the country, even deciding who should be president.
The most powerful man might have been Mohamed Mediène, the head of military intelligence, before he was brought down during the 2019 protests. In recent years, many of these generals have died, retired, or been imprisoned. After the death of Gen. Larbi Belkheir, the previous president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika put loyalists in key posts, notably at Sonatrach, and secured constitutional amendments that made him re-electable indefinitely, until he was brought down in 2019 during protests.
The head of state is the president of Algeria, who is elected for a five-year term. The president was formerly limited to two five-year terms, but a constitutional amendment passed by the Parliament on Nov. 11, 2008 removed this limitation. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, an independent candidate, was elected president after the election eventually took place on Dec. 12, 2019. Protestors refused to recognise Tebboune as president, citing demands for comprehensive reform of the political system. Algeria has universal suffrage at 18 years of age. The President is the head of the army, the Council of Ministers and the High Security Council. He appoints the Prime Minister who is also the head of government.
The Algerian parliament is bicameral; the lower house, the People's National Assembly, has 462 members who are directly elected for five-year terms, while the upper house, the Council of the Nation, has 144 members serving six-year terms, of which 96 members are chosen by local assemblies and 48 are appointed by the president. According to the constitution, no political association may be formed if it is "based on differences in religion, language, race, gender, profession, or region." In addition, political campaigns must be exempt from the aforementioned subjects.
Parliamentary elections were last held in May 2017. In the elections, the FLN lost 44 of its seats, but remained the largest party with 164 seats, the military-backed National Rally for Democracy won 100 seats, and the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Movement of the Society for Peace won 33 seats.
Algeria is included in the European Union's European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbors closer. Giving incentives and rewarding best performers, as well as offering funds in a faster and more flexible manner, are the two main principles underlying the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI) that came into force in 2014. It has a budget of 15.4 billion and provides the bulk of funding through a number of programs.
In 2009, the French government agreed to compensate victims of nuclear tests in Algeria. Defence Minister Herve Morin stated that "It's time for our country to be at peace with itself, at peace thanks to a system of compensation and reparations," when presenting the draft law on the payouts. Algerian officials and activists believe that this is a good first step and hope that this move would encourage broader reparation.
Tensions between Algeria and Morocco in relation to the Western Sahara have been an obstacle to tightening the Arab Maghreb Union, nominally established in 1989, but which has carried little practical weight.
The military of Algeria consists of the People's National Army (ANP), the Algerian National Navy (MRA), and the Algerian Air Force (QJJ), plus the Territorial Air Defence Forces. It is the direct successor of the National Liberation Army (Armée de Libération Nationale or ALN), the armed wing of the nationalist National Liberation Front which fought French colonial occupation
during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62).
Total military personnel include 147,000 active, 150,000 reserve, and 187,000 paramilitary staff (2008 estimate). Service in the military is compulsory for men aged 19–30, for a total of 12 months. The military expenditure was 4.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012. Algeria has the second largest military in North Africa with the largest defense budget in Africa ($10 billion). Most of Algeria's weapons are imported from Russia, with whom they are a close ally.
In 2007, the Algerian Air Force signed a deal with Russia to purchase 49 MiG-29SMT and 6 MiG-29UBT at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion.
Algeria's currency is the dinar (DZD). The economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. In recent years, the Algerian government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy. These restrictions are just starting to be lifted off recently although questions about Algeria's slowly-diversifying economy remain.
Algeria has struggled to develop industries outside hydrocarbons in part because of high costs and an inert state bureaucracy. The government's efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector have done little to reduce high youth unemployment rates or to address housing shortages. The country is facing a number of short-term and medium-term problems, including the need to diversify the economy, strengthen political, economic and financial reforms, improve the business climate. and reduce inequalities amongst regions.
A wave of economic protests in February and March 2011 prompted the Algerian government to offer more than $23 billion in public grants and retroactive salary and benefit increases. Public spending has increased by 27 percent annually. The 2010–14 public-investment program will cost $286 billion USD, 40 percent of which will go to human development.
lgeria has a cushion of $173 billion in foreign currency reserves and a large hydrocarbon stabilization fund, credited to strong hydrocarbon revenues. Additionally, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about 2 percent of GDP. The economy remains very dependent on hydrocarbon wealth, and, despite high foreign exchange reserves (US $178 billion, equivalent to three years of imports), current expenditure growth makes Algeria's budget more vulnerable to the risk of prolonged lower hydrocarbon revenues.
The Algerian economy is reliant on petroleum. The nation has been a member of OPEC since 1969. Its crude oil production stands at around 1.1 million barrels/day, but it is also a major gas producer and exporter, with important links to Europe. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60 percent of budget revenues, 30 percent of GDP, and over 95 percent of export earnings.
Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the sixth-largest gas exporter. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that in 2005, Algeria had 4.5 trillion cubic meters (160×1012 cu ft) of proven natural-gas reserves. It also ranks 16th in oil reserves.
Non-hydrocarbon growth for 2011 was projected at 5 percent. To cope with social demands, the authorities raised expenditure, especially on basic food support, employment creation, support for SMEs, and higher salaries. High hydrocarbon prices have improved the current account and the already large international reserves position.
Income from oil and gas rose in 2011 as a result of continuing high oil prices, though the trend in production volume is downwards. Production from the oil and gas sector in terms of volume, continues to decline, dropping from 43.2 million tons to 32 million tons between 2007 and 2011. Nevertheless, the sector accounted for 98 percent of the total volume of exports in 2011, against 48 percent in 1962, and 70 percent of budgetary receipts, or $71.4 billion USD.
Sonatrach, The Algerian national oil company, plays a key role in all aspects of the oil and natural gas sectors in the nation. All foreign operators must work in partnership with Sonatrach, which usually has majority ownership in production-sharing agreements.
Access to biocapacity in Algeria is lower than world average. In 2016, Algeria had 0.53 global hectares of biocapacity per person within its territory, much less than the world average of 1.6 global hectares per person. In 2016 Algeria used 2.4 global hectares of biocapacity per person – their ecological footprint of consumption. In other words, they use just under 4.5 times as much biocapacity as Algeria contains. As a result, Algeria is running a biocapacity deficit.
Research and alternative energy sources
Algeria has invested an estimated 100 billion dinars towards developing research facilities and paying researchers. This development program is meant to advance alternative energy production, especially solar and wind power. Algeria is estimated to have the largest solar energy potential in the Mediterranean, so the government has funded the creation of a solar science park in Hassi R'Mel. Currently, Algeria has 20,000 research professors at various universities and over 780 research labs, with state-set goals to expand to 1,000. Besides solar energy, areas of research in Algeria include space and satellite telecommunications, nuclear power, and medical research.
Labor market, tourism and transport
Despite a decline in total unemployment, youth and women unemployment is high. Unemployment particularly affects the young, with a jobless rate of 21.5 percent among the 15–24 age group. The overall rate of unemployment was 10 percent in 2011. In 2011, the government strengthened the job programs introduced in 1988, particularly in the framework of the program to aid those seeking work.
The development of the tourism sector in Algeria had previously been hampered by a lack of facilities, but since 2004 a broad tourism development strategy has been implemented resulting in many hotels of a high modern standard being built.
There are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria, including Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad, the first capital of the Hammadid empire; Tipasa, a Phoenician and later Roman town; and Djémila and Timgad, both Roman ruins; M'Zab Valley, a limestone valley containing a large urbanized oasis; and the Casbah of Algiers, an important citadel. The only natural World Heritage Site is the Tassili n'Ajjer, a mountain range.
The main highway connecting the Moroccan to the Tunisian border was a part of the Cairo–Dakar Highway project The Algerian road network is the densest in Africa; its length is estimated at 110,000 miles of highways, with more than 3,756 structures and a paving rate of 85 percent. This network will be complemented by the East-West Highway, a major infrastructure project currently under construction. It is a 3-way, 1,756-mile highway, linking Annaba in the extreme east to the Tlemcen in the far west. Algeria is also crossed by the Trans-Sahara Highway, which is now completely paved. This road is supported by the Algerian government to increase trade between the six countries it crosses: Algeria, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Tunisia.
Algeria has a population of an estimated 44 million, of which the vast majority are Arab-Berber ethnicity. At the outset of the 20th century, its population was approximately four million. About 90 percent of Algerians live in the northern, coastal area; the inhabitants of the Sahara desert are mainly concentrated in oases, although some 1.5 million remain nomadic or partly nomadic. 28.1 percent of Algerians are under the age of 15.
Between 90,000 and 165,000 Sahrawis from Western Sahara live in the Sahrawi refugee camps in the western Algerian Sahara desert. There are also more than 4,000 Palestinian refugees, who are well integrated and have not asked for assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 2009, 35,000 Chinese migrant workers lived in Algeria. The largest concentration of Algerian migrants outside Algeria is in France, which has reportedly over 1.7 million Algerians of up to the second generation.
Culture, language, entertainment, food, sports
Indigenous Berbers as well as Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantine Greeks, Arabs, Turks, various Sub-Saharan Africans, and French have contributed to the history of Algeria. Descendants of Andalusian refugees are also present in the population of Algiers and other cities. Moreover, Spanish was spoken by these Aragonese and Castillian Morisco descendants deep into the 18th century, and even Catalan was spoken at the same time by Catalan Morisco descendants in the small town of Grish El-Oued.
Despite the dominance of the Berber ethnicity in Algeria, the majority of Algerians identify with an Arabic-based identity, especially after the Arab nationalism rising in the 20th century. Berbers and Berber-speaking Algerians are divided into many groups with varying languages. The largest of these are the Kabyles, who live in the Kabylie region east of Algiers, the Chaoui of Northeast Algeria, the Tuaregs in the southern desert and the Shenwa people of North Algeria.
During the colonial period, there was a large European (10 percent in 1960) population who became known as Pied-Noirs. They were primarily of French, Spanish, and Italian origin. Almost
all of this population left during the war of independence or immediately after its end.
Signs in the University of Tizi Ouzou in three languages: Arabic, Berber, and French Modern Standard Arabic and Berber are the official languages. Algerian Arabic (Darja) is the language used by the majority of the population. Colloquial Algerian Arabic is heavily infused with borrowings from French and Berber. Berber has been recognized as a "national language" by the constitution- al amendment of May 8, 2002. Kabyle, the predominant Berber language, is taught and is partially co-official (with a few restrictions) in parts of Kabylie. In February 2016, the Algerian constitution passed a resolution that made Berber an official language alongside Arabic.
Although French has no official status in Algeria, it has one of the largest Francophone populations in the world, and French is widely used in government, media, and both the education system (from primary school forward) and academia due to Algeria's colonial history. It can be regarded as a lingua franca of Algeria. In 2008, 11.2 million Algerians could read and write in French. An Abassa Institute study in April 2000 found that 60 percent of households could speak and understand French or 18 million people out of 30 million at the time. Following a period during which the Algerian government tried to phase out French, in recent decades the government has changed course and reinforced the study of French, and some television programs are broadcast in the language. Algeria emerged as a bilingual state after 1962. Colloquial Algerian Arabic is spoken by about 72 percent of the population and Berber by 27–30 percent
Religion and faith
Islam is the predominant religion in Algeria, with its adherents, mostly Sunnis, accounting for 99 percent of the population according to a 2021 CIA World Factbook estimates, and 97.9 percent according to Pew Research in 2020. There are about 290,000 Ibadis in the M'zab Valley in the region of Ghardaia. Estimates of the Christian population range from 20,000-200,000. Algerian citizens who are Christians predominantly belong to Protestant groups, which have seen increased pressure from the government in recent years including many forced closures.
There has been an increase in the number of people identifying as non-religious. The June 2019 Arab Barometer-BBC News report found that the percentage of Algerians identifying as non-religious has grown from around 8 percent in 2013 to around 15 percent in 2018. The Arab Barometer December 2019, found that the growth in the percentage of Algerians identifying as non-religious is largely driven by young Algerians, with roughly 25 percent describing themselves as non-religious.
In 2018, Algeria had the highest numbers of physicians in the Maghreb region (1.72 per 1,000 people), nurses (2.23 per 1,000 people), and dentists (0.31 per 1,000 people). Access to "improved water sources" was around 97.4 percent of the population in urban areas and 98.7 percent of the population in the rural areas. Some 99 percent of Algerians living in urban areas, and around 93.4 percent of those living in rural areas, had access to “improved sanitation.”
According to the World Bank, Algeria is making progress toward its goal of "reducing by half the number of people without sustainable access to improved drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015." Given Algeria's young population, policy favors preventive health care and clinics over hospitals. In keeping with this policy, the government maintains an immunization program. But poor sanitation and unclean water still cause tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles, typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery. The poor generally receive health care free of charge. Health records have been maintained in Algeria since 1882 and began adding Muslims living in the south to their vital record database in 1905 during French rule.
Since the 1970s, in a centralized system that was designed to significantly reduce the rate of illiteracy, the Algerian government introduced a decree by which school attendance became compulsory for all children ages 6-15 years who have the ability to track their learning through the 20 facilities built since independence, now the literacy rate is around 92.6 percent. Since 1972, Arabic is used as the language of instruction during the first nine years of schooling. From the third year, French is taught and it is also the language of instruction for science classes. The students can also learn English, Italian, Spanish, and German.
In 2008, new programs at the elementary appeared, therefore the compulsory schooling does not start at the age of six anymore, but at the age of five. Apart from the 122 private schools, the Universities of the State are free of charge. After nine years of primary school, students can go to the high school or to an educational institution. The school offers two programs: general or technical. At the end of the third year of secondary school, students are eligible to take the baccalaureate exam. Successfully passing the exam qualifies students to pursue graduate studies in universities and institutes.
Education is compulsory for children 6-15. In 2008, the illiteracy rate for people over 10 was 22.3 percent, 15.6 percent for men, and 29.0 percent for women. The lowest rate of illiteracy was found in Algiers Province at 11.6 percent, while the highest was in Djelfa Province at 35.5 percent.
Algeria has 26 universities and 67 institutions of higher education, which must accommodate a million Algerians and 80,000 foreign students in 2008. The University of Algiers, founded in 1879, is the oldest, offering disciplines in law, medicine, science and letters. Twenty-five of these universities and almost all of the institutions of higher education were founded after Algeria gained independence.
Even if some of them offer instruction in Arabic like areas of law and the economy, most of the other sectors as science and medicine continue to be provided in French and English. Among the most important universities are the University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene, the University of Mentouri Constantine, and the University of Oran Es-Senia. The University of Abou Bekr Belkaïd in Tlemcen and the University of Batna Hadj Lakhdar occupy the 26th and 45th row in Africa. Algeria was ranked 121st in the Global Innovation Index in 2020, down from 113rd in 2019.
Music and cinema
El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka Chaâbi music is a typically Algerian musical genre characterized by specific rhythms and of Qacidate (popular poems) in Arabic dialect. The undisputed master of this music is El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka. The Constantinois Malouf style is saved by musician from whom Mohamed Tahar Fergani is a performer.
Folk music styles include Bedouin music, characterized by the poetic songs based on long kacida (poems); Kabyle music, based on a rich repertoire that is poetry and old tales passed through generations; Shawiya music, a folklore from diverse areas of the Aurès Mountains. Rahaba music style is unique to the Aures. Souad Massi is a rising Algerian folk singer. Other Algerian singers of the diaspora include Manel Filali in Germany and Kenza Farah in France. Tergui music is sung in Tuareg languages generally, Tinariwen had a worldwide success. Finally, the staïfi music is born in Sétif and remains a unique style of its kind.
Modern music is available in several facets; Raï music is a style typical of western Algeria. Rap/ Hip Hop,a relatively recent style in Algeria, is experiencing significant growth.
The Algerian state's interest in film-industry activities can be seen in the annual budget of DZD 200 million (EUR 1.3 million) allocated to production, specific measures and an ambitious program plan implemented by the Ministry of Culture in order to promote national production, renovate the cinema stock and remedy the weak links in distribution and exploitation. The financial support provided by the state, through the Fund for the Development of the Arts, Techniques and the Film Industry (FDATIC) and the Algerian Agency for Cultural Influence (AARC), plays a key role in the promotion of national production.
Between 2007 and 2013, FDATIC subsidized 98 films (feature films, documentaries, and short films). In mid-2013, AARC had already supported a total of 78 films, including 42 feature films, 6 short films, and 30 documentaries. According to the European Audiovisual Observatory's LUMIERE database, 41 Algerian films were distributed in Europe between 1996 and 2013; 21 films in this repertoire were Algerian-French co-productions. Days of Glory (2006) and Outside the Law (2010) recorded the highest number of admissions in the European Union, 3,172,612 and 474,722, respectively.
Algeria won the Palme d'Or for Chronicle of the Years of Fire (1975), two Oscars for Z (1969), and other awards for the Italian-Algerian movie The Battle of Algiers.
Food and sports
Switching focus to culinary arts, Algerian cuisine is rich and diverse. The country was considered as the "granary of Rome." It offers a component of dishes and varied dishes, depending on the region and according to the seasons. The cuisine uses cereals as the main products, since they are always produced with abundance in the country. There exists no dish where cereal is not present. Algerian cuisine varies from one region to another, according to seasonal vegetables. It can be prepared using meat, fish, and vegetables. Among the dishes known, couscous, chorba, rechta, chakhchoukha, berkoukes, shakshouka, mthewem, chtitha, mderbel, dolma, brik or bourek, garantita, lham'hlou. Merguez sausage is widely used in Algeria, but it differs, depending on the region and on the added spices.
Cakes are marketed and can be found in cities either in Algeria, in Europe or North America. However, traditional cakes are also made at home, following the habits and customs of each family. Among these cakes, there are Tamina, Baklawa, Chrik, Garn logzelles, Griouech, Kalb el-louz, Makroud, Mbardja, Mchewek, Samsa, Tcharak, Baghrir, Khfaf, Zlabia, Aarayech, Ghroubiya and Mghergchette. Algerian pastry also contains Tunisian or French cakes. Marketed and home-made bread products include varieties such as Kessra or Khmira or Harchaya, chopsticks and so-called washers Khoubz dar or Matloue. Other traditional meals sold often as street food include mhadjeb or mahjouba, karantika, doubara, chakhchoukha, hassouna, and t'chicha.
Turning to sports, various games have existed in Algeria since antiquity. In the Aures, people played several games such as El Kherba or El khergueba (chess variant). Playing cards, checkers, and chess are part of Algerian culture, as are racing (fantasia) and rifle shooting are part of Algerian recreation.
The first Algerian and African Olympic Games gold medalist was Boughera El Ouafi in 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam in the marathon. The second Algerian medalist was Alain Mimoun in the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia. Several men and women were champions in athletics in the 1990s including Noureddine Morceli, Hassiba Boulmerka, Nouria Merah-Benida, and Taoufik Makhloufi, all in middle-distance running.
Football is the most popular sport in Algeria. Several names are engraved in the history of the sport, including Lakhdar Belloumi, Rachid Mekhloufi, Hassen Lalmas, Rabah Madjer, Riyad Mahrez, Salah Assad, and Djamel Zidane. The Algeria national football team qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1982,1986, 2010, and 2014. In addition, several football clubs have won continental and international trophies as the club ES Sétif or JS Kabylia. The Algerian Football Federation is an association of Algeria football clubs organizing national competitions and international matches of the selection of Algeria national football team.
"Les Fennecs" is the nickname for the Algeria national football team. The fennec fox is also the national animal of Algeria.
Wikipedia contributed to this feature