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Annaba, Algeria: 3,000 Years of History

It was no accident that seafaring explorers from far off Phoenicia (today’s Lebanon) hoisted their flag at the site of Annaba more than 3,000 years ago. Then as now, Annaba is a natural port that backs onto a fertile hinterland. If you sailed the Mediterranean and needed a secure home base with a good supply of food, Annaba was the place to be. Of course, it wasn’t always called Annaba. The Phoenicians called it Hipponensis Sinus, and when the Romans took the city after defeating Carthage in the Second Punic war, they changed its name to Hippo Regius.

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Features

The Sheraton Club Des Pins Resort in Algiers

You might think that Algeria wasn’t the type of place to support a large, luxurious hotel... and if you do, you’d be wrong. The Sheraton Club des Pins Resort and Towers is located just west of Algiers, about 25 miles from the airport. It is the only beachfront hotel in Algiers and the pristine Club des Pins Beach is one of the finest beaches anywhere. This exclusive private beach is washed by the blue and green waves of the warm Mediterranean Sea. The hotel itself is massive, futuristically styled and surrounded by gardens and greenery.

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Features

Snow in Summer: Algeria’s Hoggar Mountains

The Hoggar Mountains, also known as the Ahaggar Mountains, rear up out of their sweltering sandy base in Algeria’s forbidding southeast Sahara desert region. Volcanic in origin but severely eroded by wind and water over the long millennia, the Hoggar Mountains are not easy to get to but those who do make the arduous journey say that it’s well worth the time and trouble. The nearest town to the Hoggar Mountains is Tamanrasset (or Tamanghasset), a dusty oasis mainly populated by Algeria’s Tuareg people. This nomadic tribe has lived in the Sahara for millennia and they know the trackless desert wastes like the backs of their hands. A Tuareg guide hired in Tamanrasset can show you the most interesting areas of the Hoggar Mountains, and get you back to town after you’ve seen the sights.

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Features

From the Sahara to the Somme: The Zouaves

Zouaves were soldiers of the French Army who were recruited from Algerian Berber tribesmen and the large European emigrant population that lived in Algeria from the 1830s up until the independence of Algeria in 1962. Known mainly for their bright and flamboyant dress, Zouave regiments had a reputation for being fierce warriors who would charge into battle with wild cries and sabers at the ready. Typical Zouave uniform dress included a red fez or turban with a contrasting silk tassel, a short blue jacket, a wide sash and bright red baggy pants, or pantaloons. Naturally, these uniforms were quite visible and within a year after the start of the First World War the uniforms were standardized to monochromatic khaki. Zouave regiments also fought in World War II, although much of their organized participation was limited to the opening and closing stages of the war.

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Features

Zinedine Zidane, a Kabyle from La Castellane

Zinedine Zidane may be the best soccer player ever to play for the French national team, and his record in professional league play over 18 years is virtually unmatched. A soccer superstar for many years in Europe, where his image is well-known due to his many endorsement and sponsorship deals, Zidane achieved a different sort of notoriety globally when his startling head butt of Italian team player Marco Materazzi in the 2006 FIFA World Cup final game was broadcast and re-broadcast around the world.

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Features

Tiaret Algeria: Ancient Station, Modern Town

Tiaret is a town of about 150,000 people located about 100 miles inland from the Mediterranean seacoast. Known variously as Tiaret, Tahert or Tihert, it is the main city in the province of Tiaret, an upland agricultural region in the Tell Atlas area of Algeria. The word "Tihert" means "station" in the local Berber dialect, and from ancient times Tiaret has been a station, or stopping place, for travelers, traders and armies. Situated in a strategic mountain pass, Tiaret was essential to any power that sought to control the surrounding land and the lucrative trade routes that passed through it. Slaves from sub-Saharan Africa were funneled through Tiaret on their way to markets on the coast. Caravans wound their way through the pass in either direction, allowing the local rulers to charge a tax on each visit. When the Romans controlled the area before the coming of Islam in the 7th century, they called the place "Tingurtia", meaning - you guessed it - "station".

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Features

The Game that Changed the World Cup - Algeria

Football, known more popularly as Soccer in the United States, has a long history in Algeria. The nation’s former long-time colonial masters, the French, introduced the so-called “beautiful game” to Algeria nearly a century ago. Football was quickly embraced as a game most anyone could play, no matter what their level of income or social status. With the goal of national independence achieved in 1962, Algeria set its sights on another goal: bringing their hardscrabble style of football to the world stage. The Fédération Algérienne de Football was established and an infrastructure created to nurture promising players and provide support to the sport of football in Algeria as a whole.

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Features

Algeria - Sands of the Sahara

Algeria is a land of contrasts, and that is reflected in the geography of the country itself. Most of Algeria's population lives on the Mediterranean coast or within a few miles of it. This fertile, temperate region is actually at more northerly latitude than the southernmost point of Spain. To the south, across the dry plateaus and low mountains of the Saharan Atlas, is the great expanse of the Sahara desert.

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