Flag of the Week: Algeria

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Danielle Ngo
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Algeria is a sovereign state in North Africa located on the Mediterranean coast. It is the tenth-largest country in the world, with an area of 2.38 million square kilometers, and is the largest country in Africa. Thumbnail Its population is ranked 33rd in the world with 40.4 million citizens recorded in a 2016 estimate. Algeria is a semi-presidential republic, comprised of 48 provinces and 1,541 counties, and is bordered by Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and the Mediterranean Sea. The country’s name derives from its capital city, Algiers, which in turn derives from an Arabic word shortened from a phrase meaning “Islands of the Mazghanna Tribe.”

The official languages in Algeria are Arabic and Berber, while English and French are other languages commonly used in business and educational settings. The majority of the population use Algerian Arabic (Darja) in daily communication and entertainment. Due to its colonial history, Algeria is the second-largest Francophone country, in terms of speakers, in the world. French is used in the education system as well as in the government and media.

As a regional and middle power, Algeria is an essential natural gas supplier to Europe. In fact, Algeria’s economy relies heavily on energy exports, such as natural gas and petroleum. It is the sixth-largest gas exporter and has the tenth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world. Algeria’s energy involvement doesn’t stop there; it has invested an estimated 100 billion dinars to develop research programs and facilities to advance alternative energy production like solar and wind power.

Various games and sports play an integral role in Algeria’s cultural recreation. Playing cards, checkers, and chess games have existed in Algeria since long ago and are still played to this day. Racing (fantasia), which is a traditional exhibition of horsemanship, and rifle shooting are also prevalent in Algeria’s culture. However, the most popular sport in Algeria is football (soccer). Several football clubs have won continental and international trophies and Algeria’s national football team has qualified for four World Cups.

Fun fact: Women in Algeria have a rather prominent status in society and make up 60% of Algeria’s judges, 70% of its lawyers, and 60% of its student population. They also dominate the field of medicine and contribute more to household income than do men.

Sources: Wikipedia, http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1605539

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