Algeria borders the Mediterranean Sea to the North. It shares land borders with Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya and Niger. It is the second largest country in Africa. The country primarily consists of desert but also contains many plateaus and a mountain chain called the Tell Atlas.
Algeria possesses a temperate Mediterranean climate. Rainfall is significant in the north along the coast. Inland portions of Algeria are more arid.
The primary religion of Algeria is Islam. There is a small minority of Christians and Jews.
The primary language of Algeria is Arabic and a common secondary language is French.
As a Mediterranean country, the ancient culture of Algeria was influenced by the Romans. Algerian culture has also been influenced by the French since it was once a colony of France. Algerian culture is also heavily influenced by the religion of Islam and Arabic cultures.
Algeria has contributed greatly to the music, art and literature. It was the homeland of French author and philosopher Albert Camus as well as the highly influential musician El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka.
The most popular sport in Algeria is football (soccer).
Algerian cuisine combines many aspects of French and Arabic cuisine. Meat, fish and flatbread are staples of the Algerian diet. Spices are very common in Algerian foods.
Algeria succeeded in achieving its independence from the French Empire on July 5, 1962 following political pressure and a guerilla resistance movement by its residents.
Algeria has a republican form of government. It consists of 48 provinces. Algerian law draws from both French and Islamic sources, creating a unique legal system. The country has three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial.
Algeria is involved in several international governing bodies or associations including the United Nations and OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries).
Algeria is a frequent trading partner with the United States, Canada and several European countries. It exports many petroleum products. Algeria has a diverse economy, with workers in agriculture, industry, trade, government and public works but unemployment is a problem. As of 2009, Algeria has been successful in decreasing its debts and building a large trade surplus.
Concerns and Conflicts
One of the greatest challenges for law enforcement officials today is human trafficking: slavery and sexual exploitation.
Another problem is sanitation. Lack of access to clean water and sanitary conditions has led to diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid fever.
Algeria currently has an international dispute with Morocco over Moroccan control of the Western Sahara region to its southwest.
A great source for more information about Algeria is the CIA World Factbook.