Algeria is right at the top of Africa and most Algerians live along the Northern Coast (4/5 of the land is covered by the Sahara desert). There is a population of about 39 million people and it is the second largest country in Africa. Cous cous is very popular.
Algeria was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire from the C16th until it was conquered by the French in 1830. The National Liberation Front began a fight for independence in 1954 and achieved it in 1962, after over a million Algerians had died for the cause.
30% of the population is made up of Berbers who have inhabited the country since the C7th when the Arabs conquered North Africa. The Berbers live mainly in the mountains and as such have managed to maintain their language and customs. In 2001, their language was officially recognised after months of unrest.
Boringly hydrocarbons make up 95% of the nation’s economy and Algeria has the world’s eigth largest natural gas reserves. There is only one state-owned TV station but satalite TV is quite popular.
Football is the most popular sport in Algeria and the country reached Round 16 of the World Cup for the first time in 2014. In the 2012 Olympics they took a contingent of 39, team GB had 541 but Poland has a closer population size and they took 217. And 12 of the 39 was the women’s volleyball team! Algeria won one medal; gold in the men’s 1500m, Poland won 10 (2 gold, 2 silver, 6 bronze).