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The Algerian Nuthatch

The Algerian nuthatch (Sitta ledanti) was discovered at Djebel Babor in the magnificent Petite Kabylie mountain range in Algeria in October 1975. The small passerine bird is Algeria's only endemic bird species and is also the only nuthatch found in the country. The bird was discovered by Belgian botanist Jean-Pierre Ledant and his team who were in the area studying the fir tree species of Algeria. It has since been established that the Algerian Nuthatch is restricted to only four areas of mountain forest in northeast Algeria, where the habitat suits its needs. These are on the Guerrouch massif within the Taza National Park, Djebel Babor, Tamentout and Djimla.

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Features

Taoufik Makhloufi – Olympic Champion

Algerian track and field athlete, Taoufik Makhloufi recently made history by winning the gold medal for the 1500m race at the 2012 London Olympics, being the first Olympic gold medal win for Algeria since the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Specializing in middle distance running, Makhloufi also earned gold for the 800m races at the 2011 All-Africa Games and the 2012 African Championships where he represented his home country. His victory at the 2012 London Olympics is all the more notable in light of the fact that he had dropped out of the 800m race with a knee injury and it appeared unlikely that he would compete in the 1500m at all. Makhloufi publicly dedicated his victory to the Algerian people and the whole of the Arabic world.

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History, Culture and Tradition in the Museums of Algiers

When traveling through Algeria, be sure to include some of the country's many museums on your itinerary. Museums are a great way to learn more about the history and culture of the town or city you are visiting. In Algiers there are a number of museums worth visiting, including the Bardo National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography, the Museum of Antiquities, the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and the National Museum of Fine Arts of Algiers.

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The Barbary Macaques of Algeria

Dwelling in forests of pine, cedar and oak in the Atlas Mountains, Barbary macaques are a relatively common sight in the protected areas of Algeria. Often erroneously referred to as Barbary apes, these gregarious primates are not actually apes, but are true Old World monkeys. Yellowish brown to grey in color, they are known to grow to a maximum size of 75 cm and weigh up to 16 kgs, with females typically being smaller than males. Other distinguishing features are its dark pink face, front limbs that are longer than its hind legs and, unlike most monkeys, they have no tail, or have what is known as a vestigial tail.

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The Chaouis of Algeria

Located primarily in the region of the Aurès Mountains in eastern Algeria, the Chaoui are an indigenous group of Berber people whose name is derived from the Berber word referring to the national god of the Numidians – the Berber tribes who lived in the historical region of Numidia, an area encompassing a large part of north-eastern Algeria and into modern-day Tunisia between 202 BC and 46 BC. The name Chaoui is taken from the Berber word 'Ich', meaning 'horn' and is a reference to the Numidian god Amon, who is portrayed at having a human head with the horns of a ram.

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Football – Algeria's Most Popular Sport

With the first Algerian football club - Club des Joyeusetés d'Oran - established by European settlers in the El-Derb suburb of Oran in 1894, football has long been the country's most popular sport. By 1897, a second football club - Club Athlétique d'Oran - had been established in Oran, and it wasn't long before other football clubs came into being in a number of Algeria's cities and towns. The recent official opening of the Algerian Football Association's (FAF) new headquarters, by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, is an indication of just how far the sport has come in this North African country.

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Warda Al-Jazairia – The Rose of Algeria

Most often referred to simply as Warda, Algerian singer Warda Al-Jazairia (Rose of Algeria) had a voice that has been described as powerful, yet sweet and sultry. Certainly, her soulful songs and vibrant personality earned her many fans over the years of her successful career and the news of her death on May 17 in Cairo has resulted in an outpouring of grief and tributes. Warda sang in various Arab dialects and was well known for her love songs and her patriotic songs for the Arab world at large, and particularly for Algeria.

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Actor, Writer and Comedian Mohamed Fellag

Featuring an Algerian immigrant teacher at a school in Montreal, dealing with difficult and heartbreaking circumstances, the film Monsieur Lazhar was written and directed by Canadian Philippe Falardeau and stars Algerian comedian and writer Mohamed Saïd Fellag. It premiered at the 2011 Locarno Film Festival before being screened in the 'Spotlight' category at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. As the entry for Canada, it was one of five Oscar nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards – the other nominations coming from Belgium, Germany, Israel and Poland.

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