By Daniel E Harmon

The North African nation of Algeria turned self reliant in 1962 after a brutal eight-year-long warfare opposed to France. In 1991 a emerging Islamist move within the state resulted in a civil warfare that lasted for greater than a decade. this day the struggling with is over and Algerians are trying to place the tragedies of the previous in the back of them and rebuild their kingdom.

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Extra resources for Algeria (Africa: Continent in the Balance)

Sample text

Since independence Algerian leaders have promoted a general Arabization of the country. They have made Arabic the official language and affirmed the values and teachings of Islam. To a great extent, this seems to be a reaction against 130 years of French domination. As in other Arab countries, firm family structures are important in Algeria. Family loyalty runs deep, and younger Algerians exhibit respect for their elders. Also as in other Arab countries, Algerian women gradually An Algerian woman wears a traditional veil and a white robe called a haik.

While Bouteflika’s first election was Government and Foreign Relations 35 under dubious circumstances, his reelection in 2004 was hailed as a model for the democratic process. Bouteflika’s economic policies in his first term were successful enough to earn him reelection against five other opponents. Although Algeria’s constitution limits the president to two five-year terms, in 2006 the country’s prime minister announced that he was looking to pass an amendment allowing unlimited terms. A national vote on this change is scheduled for 2007.

About two-thirds of the roads are paved; the rest are gravel or simply packed earth. The country has approximately 2,470 miles (3,973 km) of railroads, used mainly for transporting cargo. And it has more than 140 airports and airstrips, although fewer than half of them have paved tarmacs. International airports serve Algiers and several other large cities. Prosperity and Problems As a nation, Algeria has fared better than most African states that became independent during the mid-20th century. It earns almost twice as much The Economy A woman begs for handouts on a street in Algiers.

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