COUNTRY PROFILE: ALGERIA
Formal Name: People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
(Al Jumhuriyah al Jazairiyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Shabiyah).
Short Form: Algeria (Al Jazair).
Term for Citizen(s): Algerian(s).
Capital: Algiers, with a population of about 1.7 million, or 3 million including suburbs.
Major Cities: After Algiers, the most populous cities are Oran, Constantine, and Annaba. According to 2004 estimates, Oran has a population of 700,000; Constantine, 350,000; and Annaba, 235,000.
Independence: Algeria celebrates independence from France on July 5, 1962.
Public Holidays: Official holidays include New Year’s (January 1); Feast of the Sacrifice (January 11, 2006*); Islamic New Year (January 31, 2006*); Ashoura (February 9, 2006*); Birth of Muhammad (April 11, 2006*); Labor Day (May 1); Ben Bella’s Overthrow (June 19); Independence Day (July 5); Ascension of Muhammad (August 22, 2006*); Beginning of Ramadan (September 24, 2006*); End of Ramadan (October 24, 2006*); and Anniversary of the Revolution (November 1). Dates marked with an asterisk vary from year to year according to the Islamic calendar.
Flag: Algeria’s flag features a red crescent and a red five-pointed star
against two equal vertical bands of green and white in the background.
The crescent, the star, and the color green symbolize Islam, the state