1. Over 90% of Algeria is covered by the Sahara desert.

2. Albert Camus, the Nobel Prize winner and world-renowned French writer, was born in Algeria in 1913. His family was called pied-noir, a term used to describe French people living in Algeria during the colonial years.

3. Alcoholic drinks are seldom found in Algeria, largely because of the country’s Islamic orientation. In fact, alcoholic drinks are not sold at all in many of the food establishments – and even if they are available, they are often not listed on the menu.

4. Petroleum and gas make up 98% of Algeria’s exports.

5. Algeria became the largest country in Africa and the tenth largest in the world in 2011, after South Sudan separated from Sudan, which was at that time the largest country in Africa. (Sudan, also known as North Sudan, is now the third largest, next to Democratic Republic of the Congo.)

6. Of the total land area of Algeria, only 12% is inhabited.

7. In 2007, Algiers, the country’s capital, had the highest cost of living in North Africa. Worldwide, it ranked 50th.

8. It can be really, really hot in Algeria. The official hottest temperature ever recorded in the country was 50.6 °C (123.1 °F), in the oasis town of In Salah.

9. Unlike in other Islamic nations, women in Algeria have gained more prominent status in the society. Women make up 60% of Algeria’s judges, 70% of the lawyers, and 60% of the student population. What’s more, they have a bigger household income contribution than men.

10. Algeria is the largest oat market in Africa.

Photo by: garth_30 @flickr

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