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torstai 25. kesäkuuta 2015

Algeria, Cool Facts #39

<= 38. South Sudan                                                                                                      40. Morocco =>

1. Biggest African and Arab country

Algeria is the largest Arab country and after the partition of Sudan it became also the largest African country. In the world rankings it's the 10th largest country, but about 90% of the land area is dead desert. Although the desert is a big source of oil. The profits for Algeria from oil cover 60% of the budget and 95% of the export revenues. Arabic and French are widely spoken in the country but 20% of the population speaks also Berber as their native language. 

North Africa map

2. Ottoman Algeria 1517-1830

In the beginning of the 1500s Spain had expelled the Moslem Moors from the Iberian Peninsula and  started conquering North Africa in return. This made the Algerians turn towards the aid of the Ottoman Empire. In 1516 the Ottoman admirals, brother Oruc and Hayreddin Barbarossa captured Algiers under the Ottoman rule. In 1556 Algiers was made the center place of Ottoman ruled North Africa. The sultanates kept their sovereignty under the Ottoman power. The Ottomans ruled the area until the 1800s when the Europeans started fighting against piracy in North Africa and when the French occupied Algeria.

Barbarossa brothers

3. Pirates of Algeria

Piracy flourished in the Mediterranean between the 16th to 19th century and it's estimated that the pirates captured from 1 million to 1,25 million Europeans as slaves. The expulsion of the Moors from Spain had started piracy and it happened under the protection of the Ottoman Empire. It was seen as a holy war against the Christians, since the Barbary pirates targeted only Christian and non-Islamic ships. The captured Christian slaves were sold then at slave markets in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire. USA initiated the First 1801-1805 and Second Barbary Wars 1815, when their vessels had become victims of piracy. After the wars Algeria had weakened and European fleets attacked Algiers in 1816 making the local leader, Dey, agree to end enslaving Christians. 

Algerian piracy: 

466 lost British merchant ships between 1609 to 1616
1627 two pirate ships from Algiers sailed to Iceland, raiding and capturing slaves
1629 pirate ships from Algeria raided the Faroe Islands
1801-1805 First Barbary War
1815 Second Barbary War
1816 Bombardment of Algiers

Barbary Wars

4. French colony for 132 years

In 1830 French troops invaded into Algeria. The next decades the French fought against Abd Al-Qadir's Algerian troops. From 1848 until independence, Algeria was administered as a part of France's Mediterranean region. French immigrants started moving to Algeria who were given land taken from tribal peoples.
The French government favored the Berbers mostly from Kabyles and thus created an indigenous elite. The dissatisfied Muslim population started demanding for more political autonomy and eventually independence in the 1950s. The tensions started the Algerian War in 1954 and ended in 1962 with Algerian independence.

Algeria becoming independent in 1962

5. Zinedine Zidane

The former football superstar Zinedine Zidane is French Algerian. His parents are Algerian Kabyle Berbers and his father is a harki. Because of his origins, Zinedine was discriminated as a child.

Here is the background about French Algerian immigrants:

After the independence many of the Pieds-Noirs returned back to France and many of the Harki, who were seen as traitors in Algeria, tried to migrate to France because in Algeria they confronted a lot of cruelty by the FLN or by lynch mobs. In France Charles Gaulle had actually ordered officials and army officers to prevent the Harki following the Pieds-Noirs to France. At first for some years France didn't recognize the Harki the right to stay in France as residents and citizens and they were kept in internment camps.

Harki = Algerian who fought with French troops against Algerian freedom fighters in the Algerian War 1954-1962
Pieds-Noirs = Europeans born in Algeria



2000 BC Berber tribes inhabit the land
146 BC The Romans destroyed the Carthaginians and Algeria became their province
400s Vandal occupation ends the Roman rule
600s Arabs spread Islam around Northern Africa
909 Shi'ite Fatimids defeat the Ibadiyya dynasty
944 Algiers is established
1000s Arab caliphates start ruling Algeria
1230s Almohad rule ends, Tlemcen separates itself as an independent Berber state led by the Zayyanid dynasty
1500s  Spain starts invading North Africa
1556 The Ottomans take the area under their rule
1775 Unsuccessful attempt to capture Algiers by Spain
1830 France invades into Algeria and ends the Ottoman rule
1848 France turns Algeria into its own province
1902 Present borders of Algeria established
1920 Liberation movements start emerging
1954 Bloody freedom fight begins
1962 The war ends with Algerian independence
1989 After riots other parties than FLN are allowed to operate
1990 Islamic party Front Islamique de Salut won the local elections
1991 The parliamentary elections were interrupted when it was obvious that FIS would win the overwhelmingly, the activity of the party was prohibited and since then no religious parties haven't been allowed to operate. Algeria got into civil war
2000 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika managed to calm down the situation cause by the islamic warriors
2011 Arab Spring causes anti-government demonstrations 

"Maailman liput maat ja historia"by Kimmo Kiljunen

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