Egypt, already the most populous country in the Arab world, hit a new milestone on 6 December 2015, when the country’s domestic population reached 90 millions. The increasing population has strained the resources of the populous Arab state. Many Egyptians live in difficult conditions, with the infrastructure of the country failing to match the increase in population, especially in rural areas. A shocking report released by CAPMAS near the end of 2015 found that three-quarters of 4,655 Egyptian villages surveyed lacked sewage systems…
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In August 2005, King Abdullah’s ascension to the throne furthered the erosion of powers of the religious establishment, and the education ministry was ordered to do a comprehensive review of the curriculum and introduce modern teaching methods and subjects. Suddenly, it seemed that the dam had burst, and artists who previously had showed their works privately began holding public showings in emerging art galleries.
The original inhabitants of North Africa apparently descended from Neolithic people who migrated there between 15,000 and 10,000 BCE. They were nomadic herdsmen who occasionally cultivated land and hunted. The earliest evidence of (semi-)permanent settlements in Libya dates back to 8000 BCE. The main source of knowledge about this period is the petroglyphs in the Acacus Mountains (near Ghat), Wadi Matkhandoush (south-west of Sabha), and Tassili n’Ajjer and the Hoggar Mountains (both in Algeria).
Algeria has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 40,000 years, stone carvings and rock paintings in the Saharan area of Tassili n’Ajjer, near Djanet, date back at least six thousand years. Around 300 BCE, the northern Mediterranean plains were part of the Berber empire of Numidia, which included much of North Africa. Its rulers became involved in a complicated game of alliances with the Mediterranean superpowers of the era, Carthage and Rome. Part of what is now Algerian territory was incorporated into the Phoenician and Cathaginian empires that were based in present-day Tunisia.
For centuries, several hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in the Arab countries among Christians, Muslims, and Druze Arabs. Some were descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492, others were European Jews who emigrated to different Arab countries, especially to Egypt and Palestine. The rise of Zionism and the strong hostility of the Arab populations […]
According to a legend, Carthage was founded by the daughter of Pygmalion, a king of Tyre. The city was, in any case, created partly to counter the increasing Greek influence in the area. Carthage would quickly become the most important power in the region, controlling, as it did, the coast from what is now western Libya to the Atlantic. Once the Phoenicians controlled large parts of the coastline, they began to settle inland, especially in the Medjerda Valley and the Cap Bon Peninsula, which offered fertile land that the Phoenicians could use for agriculture. The Carthaginians would eventually fight the Greeks over the island of Sicily and took control of it in the 3rd century BCE.
Moroccan society is a mosaic of cultures: Berber and Arab and European, educated and illiterate, male and female, official and unofficial. It is also regional, so there is no one popular culture, but many: the Rif differs from the Souss or the Jebala or the streets of Fes. Popular culture does not unite people, although the modern state and its institutions attempt to co-opt a popular culture that it defines in order to incorporate it.