Dating traditions different cultures
Inland from the coast is the High Plateau region, with an elevation of 1,300 to 4,300 feet (396 to 1,311 meters).This is mostly rocky and dry, dotted with vegetation on which cattle, sheep, and goats graze.The vast expanse contains not only sand dunes and typical desert life such as snakes, lizards, and foxes, but also oases, which grow date and citrus trees. Ethnically it is fairly homogeneous, about 80 percent Arab and 20 percent Berber. The Chaouias live in the Aurès Mountains, the M'zabites in the northern Sahara, and the Tuaregs in the desert. The original language of Algeria was Berber, which has varied dialects throughout the country.There are also striking sandstone rock formations, red sand, and even a mountain, Mount Tahat, the highest point in Algeria, that is sometimes snow-topped. Arabic came to the country early in its history, along with Arab culture and the Muslim religion.When the French came, they attempted to get rid of native culture, and one of the ways they did this was to impose their language on the people.At independence, Arabic was declared the official language. The name Algeria is derived from the name of the country's oldest continuous settlement and modern capital, Algiers, a strategically located port city with access to both Europe and the Middle East.Most of the population of the country is in the north. It borders Tunisia and Libya to the east; Niger, Mali, and Mauritania to the south; Morocco and Western Sahara to the west; and the Mediterranean Sea to the north.
Almost nine-tenths of this area is composed of the six Saharan provinces in the south of the country; however, 90 percent of the population, and most of the cities, are located along the fertile coastal area known as the Tell, or hill.Beyond the plateau are the Saharan Atlas Mountains, which form the boundary of the Algerian Sahara desert.Despite efforts by the government to contain the desert by planting rows of pine trees, it continues to expand northward. The largest of these are the Kabyles, who live in the Kabylia Mountains east of Algiers.The climate is desert like, although the coast does receive rain in the winter.
Only 3 percent of the land is arable, this along the Mediterranean.Arabic and Berber are the languages most spoken in day-to-day life.