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Useful Notes: Algeria

Algeria (Literary Arabic: الجزائر al-Jazāʼir, Algerian Arabic and Berber: Dzayer, ⴷⵣⴰⵢⴻⵔ, French: Algérie), officially known as The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Arabic: الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية''), is a state in northwest Africa. Even though most of Algeria speaks Arabic, is a member of the Arab League, and is a largely Muslim nation, it is frequently not considered Arab. This is Serious Business, so we'll say no more.

Prior to its invasion by France in 1830, Algeria (then known as the Deylicate of Algiers) was known mainly as a centre for piracy in the Mediterranean. It was technically part of the Ottoman Empire, but often the ruler, the Dey, acted so autonomously that it might as well have been independent.

For 132 years, from 1830 to 1962, the area was under French occupation. Unlike other parts of Africa, the French saw Algeria as an integral part of France, and many French people, later known as the pieds-noirs, settled the country. As the rest of the colonial empires gained independence, Algeria experienced a bloody war between France, the Algerian independence movement and the pieds-noirs: the start of the war is fictionalized in the film The Battle of Algiers. Eventually the French granted Algeria its' independence, leading to many pieds-noirs to flee back to metropolitan France. The nation also experienced a long-lasting civil war started by the Islamic fundamentalist GIA (military wing of the FIS) during the 1990s. It ended (kind of) at the turn of the century, with the military putting in Abdelaziz Bouteflika as President, where he remains as of today.

While the nation is mostly ignored in Anglophone media, it maintains a reasonable place in French media, partly because of the Algerian diaspora in France. One rare Anglophone exception is The Day of the Jackal, where Charles de Gaulle allowing Algeria to gain its independence is the impetus for the plot to assassinate him that takes up the story (which happened in real life).

Albert Camus was born here, and is setting of his first novel The Stranger. It's also the former home of the French Foreign Legion.
The Algerian flag
The green left half symbolizes nature, the white right half peace, and the crescent and star stand for Islam, colored red to symbolize the blood of the fallen during the Algerian War.

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