When you imagine Africa, what do you picture? Grasslands where lions and giraffes roam? Perhaps dense jungles or deserts? Native people raising crops and animals? Algeria has more in common with Arab countries than it does with most countries in Africa. Most people who live here are either Arab or Berber and Islam is the official religion.
Algeria is the largest country in Africa and the 10th largest in the world. It is located in North Africa and has a population of over 43 million people. The official language is Arabic and the currency is the Algerian dinar.
Algeria is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and natural resources such as oil and gas. The country gained independence from France in 1962 and has since undergone significant political and economic changes.
Algeria Facts for Kids
- Algeria is located in North Africa.
- The capital city is Algiers.
- The official language is Arabic.
- Algeria’s currency is the Algerian Dinar.
- It’s the largest country in Africa.
- The Sahara Desert covers 80% of Algeria.
- Algeria gained independence from France in 1962.
- The national animal is the Fennec Fox.
- It’s famous for its beautiful carpets and rugs.
- Couscous is a popular dish in Algeria.
Algeria, in North Africa, is the largest African country and the 10th largest worldwide. Its geography includes coastal plains in the north, the Sahara Desert in the south, and the Atlas Mountains that create two regions: the fertile Tell along the coast and the arid Saharan Atlas. Algeria shares borders with several countries and has a diverse landscape, offering an interesting setting for children to explore.
Algeria has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The ancient Romans established some of their first settlements in the region. Roman ruins, like Timgad, can still be visited today. The native Berbers fought against foreign invaders like the Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs to protect their land and culture. Algeria gained independence from France in 1962 after a long struggle. Today, the country is a mix of traditions and cultures, influenced by its historical past. If you visit Algeria, explore its historical sites and learn about the people who shaped the nation.
Algerian Independence Simplified: Algeria, a North African country, became independent from French colonial rule on July 5, 1962. This followed the Algerian War of Independence, which lasted from 1954 to 1962. Many Algerians fought against the French to regain their freedom and rights to their homeland. The war ended when French President Charles de Gaulle granted Algeria independence. Algerians celebrate National Day on July 5th annually to remember their struggle for freedom and honor their ancestors’ sacrifices. Now, Algeria is an independent nation with a rich history and diverse culture that continues to grow.
Algiers, the capital of Algeria, is an engaging destination for children to learn about. Located on the Mediterranean coast, it is known as the ‘Paris of North Africa’ due to its French colonial architecture and vibrant culture. The city has various historical monuments and museums, such as Notre-Dame d’Afrique Basilica and the Bardo National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography.
Algiers also has a beautiful casbah (old walled city) that is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with winding streets and traditional houses. Children can explore the city’s gardens, including the Botanical Garden of Hamma, which has exotic plants and trees. Additionally, Algiers offers a blend of Berber, Arabic, and French influences, allowing children to experience diverse cultures and sample local cuisines.
Berber Culture and the Amazigh language
In Algeria, a significant part of the population belongs to the indigenous Berber community, known as the Amazigh people. With a rich and vibrant culture dating back thousands of years, their language, Tamazight, is among the world’s oldest.
Though Arabic is Algeria’s official language, the Amazigh language is widely spoken and officially recognized since 2016. It is written in a unique script called Tifinagh, featuring geometric shapes and symbols. Berber culture includes distinctive music, dance, clothing, and handicrafts like pottery and jewelry. Recently, efforts to preserve and promote the Amazigh language and culture have grown, ensuring their continuation for future generations.
Algerian cuisine offers a diverse and delicious experience, combining Mediterranean, Arabic, and Berber flavors, with a touch of French influence. Kids can explore traditional dishes such as couscous, shakshouka, and msemen. Desserts like makroud and kalb el louz are sure to delight sweet-toothed children. The national dish, chorba, is a flavorful soup made with vegetables, chickpeas, and meat. This cuisine not only satisfies taste buds but also provides an opportunity for kids to learn about Algeria’s rich history and diverse cultural influences.
Islam in Algeria
Islam is significant in Algeria’s culture and history, making it important for kids to learn about. Algeria is a predominantly Muslim country, with most of its population practicing Islam. The majority of Algerian Muslims are Sunni, with a small percentage being Shia. Islam was introduced to Algeria in the 7th century, becoming the dominant religion and influencing society, art, architecture, literature, and daily life.
The Great Mosque of Algiers is a famous Islamic landmark in the country. Most Algerians observe the holy month of Ramadan, fasting from sunrise to sunset and engaging in increased prayer and reflection. Understanding Islam’s role in Algeria is essential for kids to appreciate the country’s rich cultural heritage.
Algeria has a diverse range of wildlife, making it an exciting destination for young animal lovers. The Saharan desert is home to unique animals such as the fennec fox and addax antelope. Coastal areas offer a different wildlife experience, with flamingos, herons, and Mediterranean monk seals.
The Tell Atlas mountains provide a habitat for creatures like the Barbary macaque, wild boar, and Atlas deer. National parks, like Tassili n’Ajjer and Ahaggar, are great places for kids to appreciate Algeria’s incredible wildlife.
Algerian Art and Music
Algeria’s rich history and culture are evident in its art and music, which are influenced by ancient Berber roots and Islamic traditions. This is visible in the geometric patterns and intricate designs in architecture, pottery, and textiles. Local artists use natural materials to create unique handicrafts.
Sport is an important aspect of Algerian culture, with children enjoying participation and spectating various activities. Soccer, or football, is the most popular, and the national team, ‘Les Fennecs,’ has a strong following. They have competed in FIFA World Cup tournaments and won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1990 and 2019.
Other sports enjoyed include athletics, boxing, judo, and handball. Algerian athletes have excelled in international competitions like the Olympic Games, winning medals in middle-distance running and boxing. Sports provide Algerian kids with entertainment, exercise, and instill a sense of pride and unity.
Algeria is in northern Africa on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Its neighbors include Morocco and Tunisia to the north and Libya, Niger and Mali to the east and south. The Sahara Desert covers much of Algeria and most of the people live in the coastal plains near the Mediterranean Sea. Across the Mediterranean Sea lie Italy and Spain.
France ruled Algeria for many years until an uprising that lasted from 1954 to 1962. During this time over 1 million people died. The country has rich oil and natural gas reserves, but it remains poor today. Muslims are unhappy with the government and often have conflicts. Electricity and clean water is not always available.
Fun Facts about Algeria for Kids
- 32,814,000 people live in Algeria.
- The country has 919,595 square miles.
- People here speak Arabic, Berber or French.
- Islam is the official religion. It is illegal to teach people (proselyte) about other religions.
- People in Nigeria can expect to live 70 years.
- 70 percent of adults can read. More men than women can read because women have traditionally been encouraged to stay home, rather than attend school.
- Dense: thick
- Coastal: near the sea
- Uprising: rebellion, war
- Proselyte: teach about religion
All About Algeria Video for Kids
Watch this awesome Algeria video for kids:
This is a video presentation of the basic facts and history of Algeria.
Question: What is the food like in Algeria?
Answer: The national food of Algeria is couscous, tiny pasta balls made from semolina wheat flour. Couscous can be served with onions, peppers, raisins and spicy seasonings or it can be served as a sweet dish with honey and cinnamon.
Map of Algeria
Here’s a map of the country of Algeria and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Algeria! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Algeria, as though you are actually there!