Algeria Essay, Research Paper
Algeria Algeria is located in North Africa on the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated to the west of Libya and Tunisia and east of Morocco. The north is fertile and mountainous, in contrast to the south that includes parts of the Sahara desert. In all, more than four-fifths of Algeria is desert. Algeria is 919,590 square miles and is the tenth largest country in the world. The country?s population is 29.2 million and is growing annually at 2.2 percent. About 75 percent of all residents are under the age of 25 due to the short-lived lives. Most shortened by disease an lack of medical knowledge. The make-up of Algeria consists of 83 percent Arabic, while 16 percent are of Amazigh lineage. Lastly, the Imazighen and Arabs are well integrated to complete the make-up of Algeria. The earliest inhabitants of Algeria were cattle herders and hunters living in Al Hajjar between 8,000 and 2,000 BC. Also, Phoenicians settled in some of the coastal areas of Algeria from Carthage what is now known as Tunisia. The first Algerian kingdom was established by the Berber chief Massinissa, during the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage. Massinissa ruled his kingdom of Numidia from 202 ? 148 BC. His dynasty lasted until 106 BC, when his grandson Jurgatha became a Roman client. As part of the Roman Empire Numidia flourished, with successfully building a road system as well as a series of Roman garrisons which became small Roman cities. The coastal region was held by the Romans and the Vandals until the Arab invasion in the 7th century AD. The Arab people controlled the coastal area and introduced Islam to the Algiers, Oran, Constantine, and Annaba and then established their own Islamic nation. Several empires followed this Islamic rule until the 13th century, when the immigrating Bedouins introduced the nomadic lifestyle. Algeria was annexed to France despite intense resistance. Resettlement programs were used by the French government using land-owning gimmicks to draw French citizens to the new colony. The French introduced ways to modernize Algeria. They imposed European-style culture, economics, education, industries, and similar types of government to draw people over to the new formed colony, Algeria. This period of French influence saw a huge drop in Algeria?s native population; it fell from 4 million in 1830 to only 2.5 million in 1890. The French colonials looked upon the Algerian religion of Muslim as an ?inferior underclass that had to be tightly controlled?. Therefore, Muslims were not allowed to hold public meetings, bear arms, or even leave their districts or villages without government permission. Also, even though they were French subjects they could not become French citizens unless they converted to Christianity. The few schooled in French academies and infused with French values suffered racism of their French overlords. The bottom line was that when Algeria was annexed to France ?their lives became a living hell?. Algeria gained independence from the French rule when a number of nationalists called for an armed revolution. By the 1950?s revolutionaries were being hounded into hiding and the stage was set for the Algerian Revolution of Independence. In March 1954 a revolutionary committee was formed in Egypt by Ahmed Ben Balla and eight other Algerians became the foundation of the FLN. Consequently, on November 1st of the same year the FLN declared war on the French. They attacked government buildings, military installations, police stations, and communication facilities throughout the country. This went on for about 8 years until March of 1962 when a cease of fire was negotiated between the French government and the FLN, and De Gaulle?s referendum was held in July. The Algerian people spoke out with a single voice. they voted for independence. After the referendum the French started to depart from Algeria and by the end of the year most colonials had evacuated what was once, French Algeria. A current issue facing Algeria today is the intense spell of violence that continues to worsen. The population each day is drawn further into conflict, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives. The victims are men, women, and children have been slaughtered, decapitated, mutilated, and burned alive in their own homes. At the same time, the Algerian government continues to claim that every thing is under control and that the violence is residual. Most of these massacres have taken place around the capital, in the country?s most militarized region, however the armies and security forces haven?t intervened to stop these massacres. In the past 6 years executions, killings, torture, abductions, and death threats have become part of every day life. To date no investigations have been carried out into these human rights that are being violated. It seems like the Algerian government has no control over their country and they hope this problem just goes away. However, the fact of the matter is if something isn?t done about this problem it won?t go away. Algeria has a bright future ahead of them. They have taken many positive steps to building a better nation for the people. Algeria has also started to build a stable government, as well as forming committees that will help stop the violence and violation of human rights. However, Algeria?s future could also take a huge downfall if this violence and violation of human rights isn?t stopped soon. Although, many committees have been formed there hasn?t been much change in the way people have been treating one another. Consequently, if this continues to go on Algeria could become a state of poverty, and chaos.