Algeria Trivia: 50 Trivia / General Knowledge Questions on Algeria
1. What is the capital city of Algeria?
Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria located on the Mediterranean coast in the far north of the country. Algiers has been the political and economic heart of Algeria for more than 600 years.
2. What is the official language of Algeria?
Arabic is the sole official language of Algeria, while Berber dialects and French are also commonly spoken and used in business, education, science, and government functions.
3. What major sea borders the north coast of Algeria?
The Mediterranean Sea forms the entire northern border of Algeria stretching over 900 miles along the Algerian coast from the border with Morocco in the west to Tunisia in the east.
4. Which former colonial power ruled Algeria from 1830 until 1962?
France colonized Algeria beginning in 1830, ruling it as an integral part of France for 132 years until the bloody Algerian War of Independence ended in 1962.
5. Who was the first President of Algeria after independence?
Ahmed Ben Bella, an independence war hero, became Algeria’s first president in September 1962, one month after Algeria declared independence from France.
6. What large Saharan desert covers much of southern Algeria?
Over 90% of Algeria consists of the Sahara Desert spanning the entire southern two-thirds portion of Algeria, extending into surrounding countries.
7. What major physical features are along Algeria’s borders with Tunisia and Morocco?
The Atlas Mountains run along Algeria’s border with Morocco, while the Tell Atlas range creates Algeria’s eastern border region adjacent to Tunisia.
8. What country borders Algeria to the southeast?
Niger, a landlocked Saharan nation, shares a long porous desert border stretching over 900 miles with southeastern Algeria.
9. What is Algeria’s currency?
The dinar has been the official currency of Algeria since 1964 issued by the Bank of Algeria with notes featuring national Algerian symbols.
10. The Berbers were the original ethnic group in Algeria – what was their religion before Islam?
The indigenous Berber tribes practiced variations of ancient polytheistic religions focused on nature worship before Islam gradually spread across northern Africa between the 7th-11th centuries.
11. Which narrow mountain pass is known as the ‘Gateway to the Desert’?
The Iron Gates, named for its imposing ridges, is the narrow mountain pass along the Zab Valley connecting coastal Algeria to the northern edge of the Sahara Desert interior.
12. What mountain range separates the coast from the high plateaus?
The Tell Atlas range stretches over 600 miles east-west across northern Algeria, separating the Mediterranean coastline from the higher inland plateaus.
13. Algeria is a member of which important regional organization?
The African Union is an alliance of 55 African states and governments focused on driving integration and economic development across the continent.
14. What natural resource was discovered in Algeria in the 1950s?
Commercial oil deposits were discovered in the Algerian Sahara in 1956 which transformed Algeria’s economy and politics over the following decades.
15. What Algerian port was a base for Barbary pirates in the 19th century?
Algiers served as the main base for the Barbary pirates who raided European ships in the Mediterranean and attacked seaside villages in the early 19th century.
16. What national symbol is pictured on Algerian dinars?
The fennec fox, a native Saharan desert animal, appears on the reverse side of Algerian dinar banknotes.
17. What Muslim holiday marks the end of Ramadan?
Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam’s two major annual holidays, celebrates the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan.
18. What musical genre originating in 1930s Oran is popular in Algeria?
Rai, a folk-pop style fusing North African, Arabic, and Western influences, originated in 1930s Oran clubs to become massively popular across modern Algeria.
19. What Algerian novel about women in a harem won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2021?
The 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature honored Algerian author Abdulrazak Gurnah for his novels highlighting colonialism’s legacy and refugee experiences.
20. What popular Algerian dish consists of chickpeas, onions, tomato, olive oil and lemon?
Hummus, a chickpea mash blended with olive oil, onions, tomatoes, and lemon, is a staple meze appetizer enjoyed across Algeria.
21. What major political faction fought for Algerian independence from France?
The National Liberation Front (FLN), Algeria’s main nationalist movement, waged an 8-year revolutionary armed struggle against French rule culminating in independence in 1962.
22. What was the name of the 1954-1962 Algerian War for Independence?
Algeria’s bloody war of independence against 132 years of French colonial rule is simply called the Algerian War in most histories.
23. Which ethnic group of Jews lived in Algeria for centuries until the 1960s exodus?
Algerian Jews, commonly called Pied-Noirs, resided in Algeria since Roman times but largely fled during the Algerian War of Independence in the early 1960s.
24. What Algerian port city was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 2003?
An earthquake in May 2003 centered near Boumerdès severely damaged the coastal city and surrounding towns, killing over 2,200 people.
25. What desert town was the site of Algeria’s first nuclear weapons test in 1960?
Reggane, a tiny Saharan desert outpost, was the location for France’s first nuclear weapons test site and Algeria’s initial nuclear bomb detonations after independence.
26. Algiers has been the capital of Algeria since what period in history?
Algiers rose to prominence as the center of the Barbary Coast pirate activity before becoming the capital of French Algeria in the 19th century and independent Algeria in 1962.
27. What Phoenician colony that later became part of the Roman Empire occupied part of coastal Algeria?
The ancient seafaring Phoenicians established the colony of Carthage circa 800 BCE in present-day Tunisia which later ruled much of coastal Algeria under the Romans.
28. What ethnic group ruled Algeria as part of its Ottoman Empire from 1525-1830?
The Ottoman Turks incorporated Algeria’s coastal beylicates into their sprawling empire from 1525 until the French seized Algiers in 1830, starting 132 years of French rule.
29. Who was the Algerian nationalist leader assassinated by France in 1957?
Ali Boumendjel, a radical Algerian nationalist lawyer, was assassinated by French forces in 1957, later becoming a martyr for the independence movement.
30. What political party governed Algeria as a one-party state from 1962-1989?
The National Liberation Front (FLN) ruled newly independent Algeria as the single ruling party for over 25 years following the Algerian War.
31. What 1990s conflict killed over 150,000 Algerians?
The Algerian Civil War during the 1990s pitting Islamist guerillas against the Algerian government resulted in over 150,000 deaths over the decade of violence.
32. Algeria shares its longest international border with what neighboring country?
Algeria’s longest international border stretches over 900 miles adjoining Niger, though the vast majority traverses uninhabited swaths of the Sahara Desert.
33. The Tassili n’Ajjer rock art and cave paintings are listed as a UNESCO site in which desert region?
The Tassili n’Ajjer National Park containing over 15,000 ancient rock artworks and cave paintings is situated in southeast Algeria near the Libyan border.
34. Which Algerian port and second largest city holds an annual International Film Festival?
Oran, Algeria’s second most populous city, hosts the annual International Arab Film Festival showcasing productions from across the Middle East and North Africa.
35. What Berber king held off attempted Arab conquests of Algeria in the late 600s/early 700s?
Berber king Kusaila led the fierce Berber resistance to Umayyad Arab military expeditions into western Algeria in the early 8th century.
36. What mountain is the highest point in Algeria?
Mount Tahat located in the Ahaggar Mountains of the central Sahara is the highest peak in Algeria at 9,852 feet (3,003 meters).
37. Algeria is the world’s 10th largest natural gas exporter and home to pipelines connected to which countries?
Algeria’s vast natural gas reserves power pipelines delivering gas exports to southern Europe via connections under the Mediterranean to Spain and Italy.
38. Algeria’s economy remains highly dependent on export earnings from oil & gas despite efforts to diversify into what other sector?
Seeking to diversify, Algeria has targeted substantial investment and expansion in the agricultural sector to exploit cultivable coastal lands.
39. What populous ethnic group makes up most of the population in Algeria’s coastal cities?
Algerian Arabs of mixed Arab and Berber heritage and identity comprise the majority of Algerians living in cosmopolitan coastal cities like Algiers and Oran.
40. Which major desert takes up more than 90% of Algeria’s total land area?
The vast Sahara Desert covers over 90% of Algeria’s sprawling territory, extending more than 1500 miles from the northern cities into the deeper desert.
41. Hippo Regius, now called Annaba, was an important port city in which ancient empire?
Hippo Regius, the ancient name for modern Annaba, Algeria, was a significant port city in the Roman Empire and site of the famous church figure Augustine’s bishopric.
42. Constantine is nicknamed the “City of Bridges” – how many Ottoman-era and French-built bridges link the ravine neighborhoods?
Five bridges built under Ottoman and French rule connect the rocky ravine districts of Constantine, Algeria, earning it the “City of Bridges” moniker.
43. The mosque in Algiers named for Algeria’s last Ottoman provincial ruler is one of the finest examples of what architectural style?
The Ketchaoua Mosque exemplifying Ottoman imperial architecture was built in 1794 by Algeria’s last Turkish dey before the French captured Algiers decades later.
44. The Casbah in Algiers with its citadel and narrow winding alleys is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site from which era?
The historic Casbah district and fortress overlooking Algiers originated in the 10th century and is a UNESCO-listed world heritage site dating to Ottoman rule.
45. The Great Mosque of Algiers was originally built in 1097 AD under which North African Muslim dynasty?
The Great Mosque of Algiers, one of Algeria’s oldest and largest, was founded under the Almoravid Dynasty which ruled North Africa and Spain in the 11th-12th centuries.
46. What major historical region of Algeria was part of the Fatimid and Zirid dynasties in the 10th-12th centuries?
The coastal region of Ifriqiya, comprising modern-day Tunisia and northeast Algeria, thrived as part of the Fatimid and Zirid caliphates between the 10th and 12th centuries.
47. Algeria has coastal boundaries on both the Mediterranean Sea and what other body of water?
Along with 900 miles of Mediterranean coastline, Algeria’s western border provides it with access to the Atlantic Ocean.
48. French is commonly used in education and business in Algeria, but Arabic dialects are predominant in everyday life – what is the most spoken Algerian Arabic vernacular?
Algerian Arabic or Darija, a Maghrebi variant incorporating French and Berber words, is the primary Algerian dialect spoken colloquially by over 80% of Algerians.
49. Algeria’s life expectancy, literacy, education levels and health indicators rank high relative to countries with what income level?
Algeria’s overall human development benchmarks place it firmly into the upper-middle income bracket despite persisting socioeconomic challenges.
50. Algeria’s restrictions on Islamist political parties & women’s rights have stifled what movement that sparked 2011 Arab Spring uprisings?
Algeria banned protests and strikes following attempts to launch an “Algerian Spring” democracy movement in 2011 inspired by the wider Arab Spring revolutions.