North Africa, Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara toSub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery
Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and often Mauritania are the Maghreb or Maghrib, while Egypt and Sudan are referred to asNile Valley. Egypt is a transcontinental country by virtue of the Sinai Peninsula, which is in Asia. North Africa also includes a number of Spanish possessions, Ceuta and Melilla (tiny Spanish exclaves or islets off the coast of Morocco). Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery
The Canary Islands and the Portuguese Madeira Islands, in the North Atlantic Oceannorthwest of the African mainland, are sometimes included in considerations of the region.
The distinction between North Africa and much of Sub-Saharan Africa is historically and ecologically significant because of the effective barrier created by the Sahara. Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery
Throughout history this barrier has culturally separated the North from large parts of the rest of the continent. As the seafaring civilizations of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and others facilitated communication and migration across theMediterranean, the cultures of North Africa became much more closely tied to Southwestern Asia and Europe than Sub-Saharan Africa. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery
The Islamic influence in the area is significant, and North Africa, along with Somalia,Djibouti and the Middle East, is also a part of the Arab World.
Some researchers have postulated that North Africa, and not East or South Africa, was the original home of the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery
The Atlas Mountains, which extend across much of Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia, are part of the fold mountain system that also runs through much of Southern Europe. They recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before meeting the Sahara desert, which covers more than 75% of the region. Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery
The sediments of the Sahara overlie an ancient plateau ofcrystalline rock, some of which is more than four billion years old.
Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile valley and delta, and the Mediterranean coast are the main sources of good farming land. A wide variety of valuable crops including cereals, rice and cotton, and woods such as cedar and cork, are grown.Sony VAIO PCG-7143M Battery
Typical Mediterranean crops, such as olives, figs, dates and citrus fruits, also thrive in these areas. The Nile Valley is particularly fertile, and most of the population in Egypt and Sudan lives close to the river. Elsewhere, irrigation is essential to improve crop yields on the desert margins. Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery
The inhabitants of North Africa are generally divided in a manner roughly corresponding to the principal geographic regions of North Africa: the Maghreb, the Nile Valley, and the Sahara. Northwest Africa on the whole is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers since before the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians and Nubians. Sony VAIO PCG-7154M Battery
Ancient Egyptians record extensive contact in their Western desert with people that appear to have been Berber or proto-Berber.
The official language or one of the official languages in all of the countries in North Africa is Arabic. The largest ethnic groups in North Africa are the Arabs and Berbers. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery
North Africa is predominantly Muslim, with Christian and Jewish minorities.
The people of the Maghreb and the Sahara speak various dialects of Berber and Arabic, and almost exclusively follow Islam. The Arabic and Berber groups of languages are distantly related, both being members of the Afro-Asiatic family. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery
The Sahara dialects are notably more conservative than those of coastal cities (see Tuareg languages). Over the years, Berber peoples have been influenced by contact with other cultures. Nubians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Romans,Vandals, Arabs, and lately Europeans. The cultures of the Maghreb and the Sahara therefore combine indigenous Berber, Arab and elements from neighboring parts of Africa and beyond. Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery
In the Sahara, the distinction between sedentary oasis inhabitants and nomadic Bedouin and Tuareg is particularly marked.
The diverse peoples of the Sahara are usually categorized along ethno-linguistic lines. In the Maghreb, where Arab and Berber identities are often integrated, these lines can be blurred. Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery
Some Berber-speaking North Africans may identify as "Arab" depending on the social and political circumstances, although substantial numbers of Berbers (or Imazighen) have retained a distinct cultural identity which in the 20th century has been expressed as a clear ethnic identification with Berber history and language. Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery
Arabic-speaking Northwest Africans, regardless of ethnic background, often identify with Arab history and culture and may share a common vision with other Arabs. This, however, may or may not exclude pride in and identification with Berber and/or other parts of their heritage. Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery
Berber political and cultural activists for their part, often referred to as Berberists, may view all Northwest Africans as principally Berber, whether they are primarily Berber- or Arabic-speaking (see also Arabized Berber).
The Nile Valley through northern Sudan traces its origins to the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Kush. Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery
The Egyptians over the centuries have shifted their language from Egyptian to modern Egyptian Arabic, while retaining a sense of national identity that has historically set them apart from other people in the region. Most Egyptians are Sunni Muslim and a significant minority adheres to Coptic Christianity. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery
In Nubia, straddling Egypt and Sudan, a significant population retains the ancient Nubian language but has adopted Islam. The Republic of the Sudan is home to a largely Arab Muslim population, although there remains significant non-Arab (through Muslim) populations in the north (Nubians), west (Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa) and south (Nuba) of Sudan and largely non-Muslim populations in South Sudan. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery
North Africa formerly had a large Jewish population, almost all of whom emigrated to France or Israel when the North African nations gained independence. A smaller number went to Canada. Prior to the modern establishment of Israel, there were about 600,000-700,000 Jews in Northern Africa, including both Sfardīm(refugees from France, Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery
Spain and Portugal from the Renaissance era) as well as indigenous Mizrāḥîm. Today, less than fifteen thousand remain in the region, almost all in Morocco and Tunisia, and are mostly part of a French-speaking urban elite. (See Jewish exodus from Arab lands.)
The most notable nations of antiquity in western North Africa are Carthage and Numidia. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery
The Phoenicians colonized much of North Africa including Carthage and parts of present day Morocco (including Chellah, Mogador and Volubilis). The Carthaginians were ofPhoenician origin, with the Roman myth of their origin being that Queen Dido, a Phoenician princess was granted land by a local ruler based on how much land she could cover with a piece of cowhide. Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery
She ingeniously devised a method to extend the cowhide to a high proportion, thus gaining a large territory. She was also rejected by the Trojan prince Aeneas according to Virgil, thus creating a historical enmity between Carthage and Rome, as Aeneas would eventually lay the foundations for Rome. Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery
The Carthaginians were a commercial power and had a strong navy, but relied on mercenaries for land soldiers. The Carthaginians developed an empire in theIberian Peninsula and Sicily, the latter being the cause of First Punic War with the Romans. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery
Over a hundred years and more, all Carthaginian territory was eventually conquered by the Romans, resulting in the Carthaginian North African territories becoming the Roman province of Africa in 146 B.C. This led to tension and eventually conflict between Numidiaand Rome. Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery
The Numidian wars are notable for launching the careers of both Gaius Marius, and Sulla, and stretching the constitutional burden of the Roman republic, as Marius required a professional army, something previously contrary to Roman values to overcome the talented military leader Jugurtha. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery
North Africa remained a part of the Roman Empire, which produced many notable citizens such as Augustine of Hippo, until incompetent leadership from Roman commanders in the early fifth century allowed the Germanic barbarian tribe, the Vandals, to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, whereupon they overcame the fickle Roman defense. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery
The loss of North Africa is considered a pinnacle point in the fall of the Western Roman Empire as Africa had previously been an important grain province that maintained Roman prosperity despite the barbarian incursions, and the wealth required to create new armies. The issue of regaining North Africa became paramount to the Western Empire, Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery
but was frustrated by Vandal victories. The focus of Roman energy had to be on the emerging threat of the Huns. In 468 AD the Romans made one last serious attempt to invade North Africa but were repelled. This perhaps marks the point of terminal decline for the Western Roman Empire. The last Roman emperor was deposed in 476 by the Heruli general Odoacer. Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery
Trade routes between Europe and North Africa remained intact until the coming of Islam. Some Berbers were Christians (but evolved their own Donatist doctrine), some were Jewish, and some adhered to their traditional polytheist religion. African pope Victor I served during the reign of Roman emperor Septimius Severus, of Roman/Berber ancestry. The Byzantine reSony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery
The Arab Islamic conquest reached North Africa in 640 AD. By 670, most of North Africa had fallen to Muslim rule. Indigenous Berbers subsequently started to form their own polities in response in places such as Fez, Morocco, andSijilimasa. In the eleventh century, a reformist movement made up of members that called themselves Almoravids, expanded south into Sub-Saharan Africa. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery
The North Africa's populous and flourishing civilization collapsed after exhausting its resources in internal fighting and suffering devastation from the invasion of the Bedouin tribes of Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal. Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery
After the Middle Ages the area was loosely under the control of the Ottoman Empire, except Morocco. After the 19th century, the imperial and colonial presence of France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy left the entirety of the region under one form of European occupation. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery
In World War II from 1940 to 1943 the area was the setting for the North African Campaign. During the 1950s and 1960s all of the North African states gained independence. There remains a dispute over Western Sahara between Morocco and theAlgerian-backed Polisario Front. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery
In 2010 - 2011 massive protests swept the region leading to the overthrow of the governments in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as civil war in Libya. Large protests also occurred in Algeria and Morocco to a lesser extent. Many hundreds died in the uprisings.Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery
The economies of Algeria and Libya were transformed by the discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the deserts.Morocco's major exports are phosphates and agricultural produce, and as in Egypt and Tunisia, the tourist industry is essential to the economy. Egypt has the most varied industrial base, importing technology to develop electronics and engineering industries, and maintaining the reputation of its high-quality cotton textiles. Sony VAIO PCG-51112M Battery
Oil rigs are scattered throughout the deserts of Libya and Algeria. Libyan oil is especially prized because of its lowsulphur content, which means it produces much less pollution than other fuel oils.
In 2010, Chad, Niger and Sudan all recorded their hottest all-time temperatures on record. Sony VAIO PCG-51211M Battery
In Chad, the temperature reached 47.6°C (117.7°F) on June 22 in Faya-Largeau, breaking a record set in 1961 at the same location. Niger tied its highest temperature record set in 1998, on also June 22, at 47.1°C (116.78°F) in Bilma. That record was broken the next day, on June 23 when Bilma hit 48.2°C (118.8°F). Sony VAIO PCG-51212M Battery
The hottest temperature recorded in Sudan was reached on June 25, at 49.6°C (121.3°F) in Dongola, breaking a record set in 1987.
The people of the Maghreb and the Sahara speak various dialects of Berber and Arabic, and almost exclusively follow Islam. The Arabic and Berber groups of languages are distantly related, both being members of the Afro-Asiatic family. Sony VAIO PCG-41111M Battery
The Sahara dialects are notably more conservative than those of coastal cities (see Tuareg languages). Over the years, Berber peoples have been influenced by other cultures with which they came in contact: Nubians, Greeks, Phoenicians,Egyptians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, and lately Europeans. Sony VAIO PCG-41111V Battery
The cultures of the Maghreb and the Sahara therefore combine indigenous Berber, Arab and elements from neighboring parts of Africa and beyond. In the Sahara, the distinction between sedentary oasis inhabitants and nomadic Bedouin and Tuareg is particularly marked.
The diverse peoples of the Sahara are usually categorized along ethno-linguistic lines. Sony VAIO PCG-61412V Battery
In the Maghreb, where Arab and Berber identities are often integrated, these lines can be blurred. Some Berber-speaking North Africans may identify as "Arab" depending on the social and political circumstances, although substantial numbers of Berbers (or Imazighen) have retained a distinct cultural identity which in the 20th century has been expressed as a clear ethnic identification with Berber history and language. Sony VAIO PCG-71112M Battery
Arabic-speaking Northwest Africans, regardless of ethnic background, often identify with Arab history and culture and may share a common vision with other Arabs. This, however, may or may not exclude pride in and identification with Berber and/or other parts of their heritage. Berber political and cultural activists for their part, Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
often referred to as Berberists, may view all Northwest Africans as principally Berber, whether they are primarily Berber- or Arabic-speaking (see also Arabized Berber).
The Nile Valley through northern Sudan traces its origins to the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Kush. Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
The Egyptians over the centuries have shifted their language from Egyptian to modern Egyptian Arabic, while retaining a sense of national identity that has historically set them apart from other people in the region. Most Egyptians are Sunni Muslim and a significant minority adheres to Coptic Christianity. Sony VAIO PCG-81212M Battery
In Nubia, straddling Egypt and Sudan, a significant population retains the ancient Nubian language but has adopted Islam. The northern part of the Sudan is home to the, largely, Arab Muslim population, but further down the Nile Valley, the largely non-Muslim Nilotic and Nuba peoples begins. Sony VAIO PCG-81212V Battery
North Africa formerly had a large Jewish population, almost all of whom emigrated to France or Israel when the North African nations gained independence. A smaller number went to Canada. Prior to the modern establishment of Israel, there were about 600,000-700,000 Jews in Northern Africa, Sony VAIO PCG-51111M Battery
including both Sfardīm(refugees from France, Spain and Portugal from the Renaissance era) as well as indigenous Mizrāḥîm. Today, less than fifteen thousand remain in the region, almost all in Morocco and Tunisia, and are mostly part of a French-speaking urban elite. (See Jewish exodus from Arab lands.) Sony VAIO VPCS13X9E/B battery
Modern Algerian literature, split between Arabic and French, has been strongly influenced by the country's recent history.Famous novelists of the 20th century include Mohammed Dib, Albert Camus, and Kateb Yacine, while Assia Djebar is widely translated. Important novelists of the 1980s included Rachid Mimouni, Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
later vice-president of Amnesty International, andTahar Djaout, murdered by an Islamist group in 1993 for his secularist views. As early as Roman times, Apuleius, born inM'Daourouch, was native to what would become Algeria. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
In philosophy and the humanities, Malek Bennabi and Frantz Fanon are noted for their thoughts on decolonization, whileAugustine of Hippo was born in Tagaste (about 60 miles from the present day city of Annaba), and Ibn Khaldun, though born inTunis, wrote the Muqaddima while staying in Algeria. Sony VAIO VPCF13M8E/B battery
Algerian culture has been strongly influenced by Islam, the main religion. The works of the Sanusi family in pre-colonial times, and of Emir Abdelkader and Sheikh Ben Badis in colonial times, are widely noted.
The Algerian musical genre best known abroad is raï, a pop-flavored, opinionated take on folk music, featuring international stars such as Khaled and Cheb Mami. Sony VAIO VPCF13Z0E/B battery
However, in Algeria itself the older, highly verbal chaabi style remains more popular, with such stars as El Hadj El Anka or Dahmane El Harrachi, while the tuneful melodies of Kabyle music, exemplified by Idir,Ait Menguellet, or Lounès Matoub, have a wide audience. For more classical tastes, Andalusi music, brought from Al-Andalus byMorisco refugees, is preserved in many older coastal towns. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/L battery
Egyptian culture has six thousand years of recorded history. Ancient Egypt was among the earliest civilizations. For millennia, Egypt maintained a strikingly complex and stable culture that influenced later cultures of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. After the Pharaonic era, Egypt itself came under the influence of Hellenism, for a time Christianity, and later, Arab and Islamic culture. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/W battery
Today, many aspects of Egypt's ancient culture exist in interaction with newer elements, including the influence of modern Western culture, itself with roots in Ancient Egypt. Egypt's capital city, Cairo, is Africa's largest city and has been renowned for centuries as a center of learning, culture and commerce. Sony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery
Egypt has had a thriving media and arts industry since the late 19th century, today with more than 30 satellite channels and over 100 motion pictures produced each year. Cairo in fact has long been known as the "Hollywood of the East." To bolster its media industry further, especially with the keen competition from the Persian Gulf Arab States and Lebanon, a large media city was built. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery
Egypt is also the only Arabic-speaking country with an opera house.
Libyan culture is, to a certain extent, similar to that of its other Arab neighbour states and the Libyan people very much consider themselves as part of a wider Arab community. The primary language is a colloquial form of Arabic that is unique to the area around Libya. Sony VAIO VPCF13M0E/B battery
There seem to be two distinct dialects and a couple of village and tribal dialects. Libyan Arabs have a heritage in the traditions of the nomadic Bedouin and associate themselves with a particular Bedouin tribe.
Family life is important for Libyan families. Sony VAIO VPCYB2M1E battery
Most Libyans live in apartment blocks and various kinds of independent housing units depending on their income status. Most of the Arabs who have lived a nomadic lifestyle, traditionally in tents, have been settled into various towns and cities in Libya, their old way of life fading out. Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E battery
It is believed that there are still some who do live as they have for centuries in the desert, though no one knows their exact numbers. Most of the population are engaged in occupations in industry and services and a small percentage in agriculture.
Similar to some other countries in the Arab world, Libya can boast few theatres or art galleries. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E battery
Public entertainment is almost non-existent even in the big cities. Most Libyans instead enjoy regular trips to the many beaches of the country. They also visit Libya's many beautifully preserved archeological sites, especially that of Leptis Magna which is widely considered to be one of the best preserved Roman archeological sites in the world. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B battery
The nation's capital Tripoli boasts a number of museums and archives including the National Archives, the Government Library, the Ethnographic Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Epigraphy Museum and the Islamic Museum. The Jamahirirya museum, built in consultation with UNESCO is possibly the country's most famous and houses one of the finest collections of classical art in the Mediterranean. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery