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10.02.2003 andrej
Svet - World We have prepared some general information about Algeria, from general and GLBT perspective as well. There are also some links and resouces listed for additional research... Travelers and natives are invited to share their experiences!

Local name: Al Jaza'ir
Capital city: Agiers (Al Jazair)
Language: Arab (official), Berber dialects, French
International codes: DZ, DZA
Time zone: GMT+1 (CET)
Area: 2,450,500 sq km
Population: 23,277,942 (2002 estimates)
Government type: democratic republic
Independence: since 1962
National holiday: November 1 (1954)
Ethnic groups: Arabs 75%, Berber 24%
Currency: Algerian dinar (DZD)
GDP: USD 177 billion; USD 5,600 per capita (2001 estimates)
Religion: Sunit Muslem 98%, Catholic 0.5%
Border countries: Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia, Western Sahara

After enduring centuries of conquerers, military rulers and controlling empires (including the Ottoman Empire, the Turks and Napoléon III), Algeria finally gained its independence from France in 1962. Algiers, the exotic capital city, was founded in the 10th century by the Romans. Algeria is a large landmass dominated by the Atlas Mountains and Mediterranean coastal cities of the north, and the vast barren reaches of the Sahara Desert, central and south. In fact the country is over 80% desert, including (3) gigantic sand seas. Landforms: mostly high plateau and the Sahara Desert, including three large sand seas. The Atlas mountains are in the north, and the Ahaggar Massif (Mts.) southeast. There is a hilly and narrow coastal plain along the Mediterranean Sea with a few minor (small) rivers. Tourism is now somewhat rare in Algeria and many international travel sources warn of potential problems.

Homoseksual intercourse is illegal and persecuted by law - from two months to three years imprisonment plus a fine (up to 5 years imprisonment plus a high fine if a minor is involved). In the country's recent history, in the years 1997 and 1998 there was much violence from the Islam extremist, including harrasment, violence and killing of gay people. Today, gay people are not killed but Algeria remains a anti-gay country nevertheless.


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