An overview of Algeria (Batna)

Hello, I hope you are well and in good spirits. Thanks for checking out my publication, Countries around the World. In case you are not aware, some of the locations highlighted in this publication are featured in my novel, Eteka: Rise of the Imamba. For this post we’ll be highlighting Algeria (with a focus on Batna). As always here is a little background on Algeria before I delve into Batna:

Geography and Economy

Algeria is a North African country with a rich history. It sits directly above Mali and Niger, between Morocco and Libya and to its north bordered by the Mediterranean sea. The Sahara Desert covers over 90% of Algeria making its terrain mostly high plateau and desert with mountains and some coastal plains. The national currency of Algeria is the Dinar, and as of the time of me writing this post, 1 Algerian Dinar = 0.012 US Dollars, or in reverse 82 Algerian Dinars = 1 US Dollar. The main force driving its economy are hydrocarbons which make up approximately 95% of their exports (hydrocarbons are predominantly used to create fuel, FYI). Algeria has the 5th largest gas reserves in the world and the 14th largest oil reserves. Algeria is predominantly a Muslim nation, and maintains an Arab culture.

History

Historically, the peoples most native to Algeria were the Berbers, but through the centuries the nation has been invaded by various foreign entities, namely the Phoenicians, Turks, Byzantines, Romans, Arabs and the French. Prior to the French, Algeria was under the influence and rule of the Ottoman empire. The modern borders that exist in today’s Algeria were drawn out by the French who colonized the region (the French conquest took place between 1830 and 1847). The notorious French Foreign Legion was one of the main driving forces behind France’s colonization of Algeria:

French foreign legion

Fun Fact: The 1998 movie Legionnaire staring Jean Claude Van-Damme was based on activities of the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, specifically Morocco:

Van Damme’s ‘Legionnaire.’ Have you seen it? What did you think?

During World War I the Algerian resistance movement began against the French occupation, led by two prominent groups: the FLN (National Liberation Front) and the National Algerian Movement. Protests, demands for independence and other internal issues led to the Algeria War for Independence from 1954–1962, and Algeria’s eventual independence on July 5th, 1962.

Here’s another fun fact for you: during the latter part of the Algerian conflict, France’s President at the time, Charles de Gaulle, shifted his stance on holding on to Algeria as a colony and proclaimed his favor of their independence. This led to creation of one of my favorite novels of all time, The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth (the novel is about an assassin hired by the OAS, a secretive group made up of former french soldiers, to kill Charles de Gaulle based on his change of heart). The novel was twice adapted for the screen, once in 1973 and a more modern spinoff in 1997 staring Bruce Willis:

So how does Algeria factor into my novel, Eteka: Rise of the Imamba?

This brings us to Batna, a city in Algeria. It is where the Algerian Revolution started and it served as the command headquarters of the entire revolution. Batna also plays a key part in the plot in my novel, which features this city in 1955, a significant year during the Algerian Revolution. I guarantee you will be thoroughly entertained when you read how this location with so much historical significance plays into the plot of Eteka: Rise of the Imamba.

I’ll leave you with this video showcasing some really beautiful aspects of Algeria:



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