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Algeria Hosts Women’s Olympic Volleyball Qualifying Tournament

With competing in the 2012 London Olympic Games as their ultimate goal, the Algerian women's volleyball team is sure to be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming African Olympic Qualification Tournament set to take place from 27 January through to 5 February in the Algerian city of Blida. The winners of the African Olympic Qualification Tournament will compete against teams from the United States, Italy and China that qualified during the 2011 FIVB Women’s World Cup held in Japan late last year. Qualifying tournaments will also take place in Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

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Features

Visit the Ancient City of Mascara

As the capital of the Mascara Province in the north of Algeria, the city of Mascara (also spelled Maskara) is home to around 150,000 people according to a 2008 estimate. It is the administrative center of the province, as well as being a busy trading hub. As is the case with many ancient Algerian cities, Mascara has two distinctly different parts – the older Muslim quarters and the newer French quarters. The ruins of the city's ancient ramparts are still evident, with most of the town falling within the borders of these structures that once served as a protection against invading enemies.

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Features

Miliana – Picturesque Setting and Ancient History

The town of Miliana, located in the Ain Defla Province of northwestern Algeria, overlooks the Zaccar plateau from its position on the wooded southern flank of Mount Zaccar Rherbi. The seven hundred kilometer long Chelif River passes just five kilometers to the south of Miliana as it winds its way from the Saharan Atlas and travels through the Tell Atlas, before emptying into the azure Mediterranean Sea just north of the port city of Mustaghanam. The magnificent Dahra Massif is located to the north of Miliana.

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Features

Kahina – Legendary Leader

A statue of a woman standing upright, with her right arm raised in an arc above her head is one of the attractions in the city of Khenchela, the capital city of the province of the same name located in the Aurès Mountains of northeast Algeria. The statue depicts Daya Ult Yenfaq Tajrawt Dihyā, more commonly referred to simply as Dihya or Kahina. While scholars may dispute some of the facts of her life, her considerable influence was evident during the 7th century as Kahina, in her role as a Berber military and religious leader, led the indigenous peoples of Numidia to resist Arab expansion in the region.

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Features

Algeria's Historic Hammadid Dynasty

In a period of North African history during which dynasties rose and fell, overlapped one another, or the strong displaced those less strong, the Hammadids ruled an area now known as north-eastern Algeria for around one and a half centuries, from 1008 to 1152. This Berber dynasty rose to power under Hammad ibn Buluggin, who had been given authority over central Maghreb. Soon after becoming the leader of this portion of the Maghreb – a historical region covering Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Mauritania and Western Sahara - Hammad ibn Buluggin declared himself independent of the Zirid dynasty, which at the time ruled the portion of the Maghreb stretching from Morocco to Tunisia.

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Features

The Aurès Mountains of Algeria

As an extension of the Atlas Mountains, the Aurès Mountains are located to the east of the Saharan Atlas, stretching from eastern Algeria into northwestern Tunisia. The highest peak of the Aurès Mountains, Djebel Chélia, measures 2,328 meters and is found in Algeria's Kenchela Province. The Aurès has rugged cliffs to the north, and fertile valleys to the south, with the highest peaks dusted with snow in the winter months. While not being as tall as Morocco's Grand Atlas Mountains, the Aurès Mountains are more prominent than the Tell Atlas Mountains which run parallel to the coastline.

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Features

Cheikha Rimitti: Musician for the People

Born in the village of Tessala in Western Algeria on 8 May 1923, Saadia El Ghizania later came to be known as Cheikha Rimitti and was referred to as the mother and grandmother of Algerian wahrani and raï music. With a career that started as a teenager, Cheika Rimitti performed to an audience of thousands in Paris just two days before her death at the age of 83 on 15 May 2006. During her career she had built an international reputation for her style of singing and controversial lyrics addressing social problems, and had recorded hundreds of cassettes, singles, vinyl albums and CDs.

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Features

Algeria's Andalusian Classical Music

The music genre most readily associated with modern-day Algeria is that of raï, derived from the folk music of Bedouin shepherds in Oran, and blended with aspects of French, Spanish, African and Arabic music. But other genres of music are also popular in this fascinating North African country, including that of ancient Andalusian classical music, enjoyed mainly in Algeria and southern Spain, with similar musical traditions found in Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, where it is also referred to as al-Maaluf. Algerian chaabi music, which was formalized by renowned musician El Hajj Muhammad El Anka (1907-1978) from the city of Algiers, incorporates distinctive characteristics of Andalusian classical music.

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