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Historically, Algeria has been through a lot of social and economic chaos, from French colonialism, the civil war of the1990s and terrorism. While Algeria’s neighbours are recovering from the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Algeria is enjoying a moment of peace.

Historical Architecture

Algeria’s geographical location makes it a crossroad for eastern and western influences. Since its foundation, Algeria has been a home for civilizations such as the Phoenician, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Arab, Turkish, Spanish and the French, each leaving their own architectural footprint. As a result, Algeria’s landscape is highly diverse. A visit to the amazing Casbah market and the 11th century mosques, along with the Northern Dame Cathedral are a must. In addition, the ancient hotels; El Aurassi Hotel, the Aldjazair Hotel, the Sofitel Alger Hotel and the Jardin d’ Essai should also be on your list.

Jardin d'Essai

Jardin d’Essai

Beautiful Cities

Algerian cities are known for not only their ancient sites and diversity, but also for their beauty. Algiers hosts lively streets which offer visitors the ultimate experience with its unique cafes and restaurants. The famous cities of Oran and Constantine, voted the Cultural Capital of the Maghreb 2015, by the coast are great places to visit.

Constantine

Constantine

Algerian Cuisine

One of the things I miss the most is Algerian cuisine, especially their baked goods. Whether you are at home or in the street, there is always a chance to enjoy amazing homemade dishes such as a good plate of handmade couscous or the tagine. I must also mention the mouthwatering ‘Algerian pizza’, oven cooked chicken and the bakeries filled with all kind of desserts and sweets.

Algerian sweet called Zalabia - also found in south Asia

Algerian sweet called Zalabia – also found in south Asia

Culture and Rai Music

Algeria is one of the most diverse countries in North Africa. Therefore, it is worth mentioning that upon visiting this beautiful country, visitors can enjoy not only the diversity of cultures, but also its music scene. Algeria is known to be the birth place of one of the biggest Rai singers such as Cheb Khaled, Faudel and Mami, to name just a few. If one visits the north, one can find predominantly Arab and Berber cultures, whereas the south is dominated by the Saharawi and Taureg. The diversity of cultures and the rich music make Algeria a must-visit destination.

Agaila Abba (@Agailita) is a writer and poet specializing in North African and Middle Eastern affairs and editor of Aloha Arabia. .

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