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The Berbers - Algeria

The bloodline of the Berbers goes back 10,000 years and they are believed to be the one of the oldest peoples on earth in history. In Algeria, the Berber influence dates back to this time and a great majority of the ethnic groups of northwest Africa are of Berber descent. Researchers believe that they emigrated from East Africa and the Middle East during the Upper Paleolithic period.

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Algeria: Day trip to Ancient Cirta

It is the oldest city of them all. Founded by the Carthaginians, who referred to it as Cirta, the sands of time carries on its back a history so long that it would be forgotten had it not been written down. The ancient city of Cirta, now called Constantine. The city is spectacularly set upon a stone mountain overlooking the Rhumel Gorges some 200 meters below. Call it what you will, but it is the oldest and continuously inhabited city in Algeria.

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Algeria: El-Oued, the City of a thousand Domes

Affectionately named the "City of a Thousand Domes", El-Oued is certainly the most picturesque town in a region more renowned as being an endless sea of sand. In this part of the world, any oasis or "souf" is worth its weight in gold. And the town of El-Oued was lucky to build itself around on of the most prosperous oases in the region. As a means of shielding itself from the unrelenting summer heat, most of the buildings have domes. One thousand years later, this unique form of desert architecture enables El-Oued to stand out from other towns in the region.

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Algeria - Land of Sun, Sea and Sand

The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is the second largest country in Africa, after Sudan. Located on the south coast of the Mediterranean Sea and looking out to the north in the direction of Italy, Algeria has a population of approximately 2.5 million and the majority of its citizens live within 100 miles of the seacoast. Algeria is divided administratively into 48 provinces, a dozen of which make up the southern 3/4 of the country in the vast Sahara desert.

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The M'zab Valley of Algeria

Many of the living areas of Algeria are examples of building that works within the structure of nature's natural space. One such area is the M'zab a limestone plateau that has been inhabited since the 10th century. The Berbers were the first to locate to the region where most live in the surrounding rock out cropping. In the 11th century, the Ibai Kharjite imams rule the area with a form Muslim theocracy that still has a very small influence today on the people of the area.

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Algeria: In Search of Mosques and Museums

Make no mistake, Algiers is a great place to visit. To visit a pirate stronghold in itself would be interesting and moreover, there were also many sights to see inside the city. The architecture, influenced by the Ottoman genius Sinan, was the best represented in the mosques of Algiers, like the Mosque of Djamaa Djedid.

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Barbary Coast Pirates - Algeria

When we think of pirates, the vision that comes to mind is those swashbuckling gents traveling through the Mediterranean Ocean searching for treasure and living the adventurous life upon the high seas. However, if one was to look at the history of the Barbary Coast, you will see a time and place that dates back hundreds of years and held little of the adventurous romanticism that Hollywood has created of the pirate lore.

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Algeria's Timgad Ruins

What do a city built in the second century A.D., archeological adventurers and city planners have in common; the ancient city of Timgad. This ancient city that was built by the Romans using the grid plan (the streets are set at a right angle to one another) that is now in use in almost every major city in the world. It also boasts some of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture that were built by the emperor Trajan.

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