By Daniel E Harmon
The North African nation of Algeria turned self reliant in 1962 after a brutal eight-year-long warfare opposed to France. In 1991 a emerging Islamist flow within the kingdom ended in a civil struggle that lasted for greater than a decade. this present day the battling is over and Algerians are trying to place the tragedies of the earlier in the back of them and rebuild their kingdom.
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Additional resources for Algeria (Africa: Continent in the Balance)
Almost 8,000 communities and villages were destroyed or abandoned. As many as 3 million rural people took refuge in larger towns and cities or were placed in “resettlement” communities. Some of the resettlement locations eventually became new towns. During the 1970s the Algerian government created several hundred new villages as part of a plan to redistribute the population. Additionally, as in other countries where agriculture is dwindling, rural people have been abandoning their farms, herds, and age-old way of living to seek better conditions in urban areas.
During the Guedra, the dancer veils herself in the same way that she would to protect from sun and sand, enveloping herself in darkness. During the dance, she will reach and scratch at the darkness, looking for a way to escape. The dance symbolizes the human search for enlightenment. When she is ready, the dancer will fling the veil aside and cast blessings on all the observers. The movements of Culture and People 55 her hands indicate whom her blessings are for and whether they are for the past, present, or future.
Ghardaïa Ghardaïa is located in the Mzab Valley, which is listed by the UN as a World Heritage Site. There are five cities in the valley inhabited by the Mozabites. The people are considered Islamic puritans and maintain stark houses and strict dress. Ghardaïa has hotels and restaurants to serve tourists, while the smaller towns do not allow outsiders to stay the night. Mozabite towns exhibit advanced urban planning. Each was split into a ksar (winter town), wahat (summer town), and cemetery in the desert.