Geography of Algeria - Introduction

Geography of Algeria - Introduction Last updated on Monday 19th April 2010

Algeria is the largest of the three countries (including Morocco and Tunisia) which form the region of western North Africa known traditionally as Al Maghrib ("the West"). It is also the second largest country in Africa and the tenth largest country in the world in terms of land area, equal in size to Western Europe.

The name Algeria derives from the Arabic Jaza'ir which is the plural for the word meaning "island" or "peninsula". The name Jaza'ir comes from the ancient regional descriptive, Barr al Jaza'ir (Lands of the Islands), indicating the three countries of the Magreb region.

The total area of Algeria is 2,381,741sq km, sharing its western border with Morocco, its southern border with Niger, Mali and Mauritania and its eastern border with Libya and Tunisia. Its 1,200km of northern coastline runs along the Mediterranean Sea.

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