Famous People, Celebrities

Algeria is the home country of many local and internationally recognized people. Famous people from Algeria include sports stars, literary figures, political leaders, activists, musicians and others. Some are well-known for the impact they have had on Algeria, both in the past and present. Other famous Algerians are renowned worldwide in their field.

Cheb Mami is a famous Algerian singer, probably best known in the Western world for his collaboration with Sting in the song “Desert Rose”. Singing both in Maghribi Arabic and French, Cheb Mami is renowned for his extensive vocal range, said to cover three octaves. Cheb Mami astounded people with his singing ability right from the young age of 16. When he was 16 (1982), he sang in a competition organized by the national radio and television company. The immense emotion he put into the performance so gripped people, that they couldn’t help but to give him a standing ovation. A producer of the Disco Maghreb label gave him his first real break. From 1982 through to 1985 Cheb Mami created ten albums. When the “Desert Rose” single was released it shot up to the top of the charts. This had been Cheb Mami’s ultimate dream, bringing Rai to the world.

Another famous musician who introduced Algerian music to the world is Idir. Idir or Hamid Cheriet, was born in 1949 in a Berber village. Since his rise to stardom, Idir has been a representative of Kabyle music and ultimately Kabyle culture. He released his first album in 1976, called “A Vava Inouva”. The title song off that album was translated into seven other languages. Since that time he has recorded several albums and entertained thousands of music lovers at various live performances and concerts.

Abdelkader Alloula, born in 1929 in Ghazaouet, was a famous Algerian playwright. He went to France to study drama and later joined the Algerian National Theater when it was established in 1963. His works are mostly written in Algerian Arabic and caused some upset amongst certain groups. He was assassinated in 1994 by two men from the Islamic Front for Armed Jihad. His widow and friends created the Abdelkader Alloula Foundation in honor of this influential literary figure. Alloula’s works include “El-Khobza” (“Bread”); “Hammam Rabbi” (“God’s Bath”), “El-Agoual” (“The Sayings”) and “El-Litham” (“The Veil”).

These are just some of the famous people from Algeria who you are likely to hear about. Many more renowned Algerians have, and continue to, exert their influence on the world.

back to Culture