The the Maghreb (in Arab Al-Maghrib , “the Setting one”) is the area of North Africa ranging between the Mediterranean, the the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean and which gathers, in a strict sense, the Morocco, the Algérie and the Tunisia. In order to avoid any confusion, one also invites this area Petit the Maghreb or the central Maghreb . The space of the Grand the Maghreb attaches to this unit the Mauritania and the Libya.
The Maghreb covers a Superficie approximately three million km ² shared between the Mediterranean basin and the Saharan areas. The Désert of the the Sahara recovers the major part of its territory. The population of approximately 76,2 million inhabitants of this fact distributed and is very unequally concentrated mainly on the Plaine S littoral. The area lays out moreover important Natural resources mining (Phosphate S and Fer) and energy (Natural gas and Pétrole).
The Maghreb forms since more than one millenium a geographical, linguistic and religious unit. It indeed has a strong identity which distinguishes it compared to the worlds arabo-Moslem and African because of his relative insulation compared to this one and of the importance of the Berber element in its culture. Although distant one by report/ratio the other, the Maghreb and the Machrek are however particularly dependant by the Arab language and the Islamic Culture. Crossroads of various influences, its modern history is marked by the French, Spanish and Italian colonization but also by its proximity with the Western Europe.
EtymologyIts name comes from the Arab Al-Maghrib (rear RTL المغرب) which means “the Setting one” or “the Occident” because of the Western position of this area compared to the remainder of the Arab Monde. He is opposed to the Machrek (“Raising It”) which indicates the Arab East extending from the Egypt to the Iraq and with the Arabic Péninsule. The Arab used initially the name of Jezirat Al-Maghrib , which means “Island of the Occident”, then putting ahead the situation of the area apparently isolated between a Mer and a Désert. Al-Maghrib in Arabic indicates also the Morocco and, when there is ambiguity, one calls Morocco Al-Maghrib Al-Aqsa , which means “the remote Occident”, one uses the term Al-Maghrib Al-Araby (literally “Setting Arabic” but often translated “the Arab Maghreb”) to indicate the whole area.
Some autochtones of the area, which are called themselves Imazighen (plural of Amazigh meaning “free man”), that Europeans call Berbères, indicate it by the name of Tamazgha and not of the Maghreb. They dispute this last name, with the reason which it is not the original name of the area but a designation by the the Middle East with at the time of the Moslem Conquête of the Maghreb, and do not call it either Berbérie, term which comes from its designation by the Greek and the Romains.
The area of the Maghreb is populated as of the Préhistoire by the Berbère S which develop an original culture. They are the first inhabitants of the area and are regarded as being the ancestors of the modern Maghrebians, Arabic-speaking people like berbérophones.
The Phénicien S install counters from of which most prosperous is Carthage. The Punic Wars oppose then the Carthaginians to the Romains which take possession of the territory from To its apogee, Roman Africa urbanizes and christianizes itself. This Church of Africa, made up of Berber Christians in majority, was with the base of European Christianity.
At the 5th century, Germanic people of religion Christian and originating in current Poland, the Vandals, cross the Straits of Gibraltar and invade the Maghreb, they represent approximately 80.000 people. They there found kingdom transitory which will be destroyed at the 6th century following the defeat vandal vis-a-vis the armies of the Bélisaire general, who thus reinstates the Maghreb in the Romain Empire, then represented by Byzantine civilization .
As from the 7th century, the Arab conquest is fulgurating: it inserts the Maghreb in the world arabo-Moslem and drives out of them the Romans who had occupied it since the fall of Carthage more than one millenium rained early. In 711, ordered by Tariq Ibn Ziyad, a Maghrebian converted with Islam, the arabo-Berber forces cross the Straits of Gibraltar and attack the Iberian peninsula, then occupied by the Visigoths, barbarian people. One sumptuous period in the history of the peninsula will be followed from there, which remained during several centuries one of the most developed areas richest and Europe in all the fields, economic, scientific, artistic, and technological.
After one period of political unit under the Aghlabides (9th century) around the town of Kairouan, several dynasties follow one another the Maghreb: the Fatimides, the Zirides (10th century). After having détrôné the Almoravides at the 12th century, the dynasty of the Almohades will carry out the political unit of all Maghreb, their state extended from the West of Libya in Morocco, and included/understood most of the Iberian peninsula.
In 1236, the Hafsides, vassal of Almohades, are declared independent and founded a new dynasty with Tunis which reigns until in 1574. The kingdom of Tlemcen, founded in 1282 is directed by the dynasty of the Abdalwadides. With its apogee, this State controls an active territory of the Atlas to current the Tunisia at the 15th century.
In 1553, the kingdom passes under Othoman protection. , Except for Morocco all the Northern part of the Maghreb forms theoretically part of the Ottoman Empire, but Algeria and Tunisia, then vassal of the Sublime Door, are in fact of the quasi-independent states. It is at that time that the limits of the three entities current policies are fixed and that the capitals are installed on the littoral.
European colonizationIn 1830, the beginning of the French Colonisation begins with the Maghreb. It will start with the invasion of Algeria, then of Tunisia, both vassal states of the Ottoman Empire, and will end in the conquest of Morocco in 1912.
During the Second world war, the Maghreb is used as field of battaille between the Allies and the powers of the Axis, it is thus the theater of many military interventions, like the Opération Torch. It is starting from the Maghreb, which will be used as a basis strategic for Allied and whose town of Algiers will be proclaimed capital provisional France during the Occupation, which the French Army will be reconstituted and that the Alliés quotas will unload in Italy in 1943, and will launch in August 1944 the unloading of Provence, which released Is France of the German troops. Hundreds of thousands of Maghrebians will take part in these operations.
After 1945, the independence claims are thus done day and lead to the independence of the three countries, in an almost simultaneous way, but according to different methods. By negotiations for Morocco and Tunisia, which obtain independence since 1956, and by a war for Algeria, begun in 1957, which ends on Algerian independence in 1962. Today, the Maghrebian governments are very different and must face the democratic oppositions and islamist.
See also: French Algeria
The French invasion of Algeria in 1830 marked the beginning of the colonial period. During more than one hundred years, the French tried to integrate Algeria into France, primarily because of the abundance of its resources. The French Army subjected it village after village, but it should be specified that what characterizes the colonization of Algeria and holds place of characteristic is that it is about a colony of settlement. Whereas France annexes officially Algeria, forming three French department, the indigenous populations remain obligations with a lower statute of Indigénat, and is thus formed within the Algerian company two communities; on a side indigenous Moslems, juridically inferior, and colonists, French citizens (Pied-noir), with the higher standard of living. What exacerbated the Algerian tensions, and nationalist claims, whose point of paroxysm is reached with the demonstrations of Algerians of May 1945, repressed hard, who make 10 to 25.000 dead, according to the historians, and marks the beginning of the war of independence.
The number of Algerian victims is several tens of thousands of deaths, the American consulate-general in Algiers will speak about 40.000 dead. Oulémas closer to the ground, will advance the figure of 80.000 dead. The Algerian government, as well as Washington Times, an American newspaper, speak about 45.000 dead. The cruelty which was spread following the manifestations of May 8th, 1945 with Sétif and Guelma marks a turning in the history of the nationalist fight. The gap between Algerians and Europeans will be filled never again. -->
See also: French Protectorate in Tunisia
At the 19th century, the European powers enter in conflict for the control of the Moslem territories of the Maghreb and the the Middle East. Tunisia is the stake of the competitions between France and the Italy. The latter will accept finally the French seizure on Tunisia in the condition of having the free field in Libya, a country which Italy covets and which it will seize in 1911.
In 1881, the French Army penetrates in Tunisia, then in a state of extreme weakness, which decides not to oppose resistance. By the Treated of Bardo, a Protectorat is imposed on Tunisia which will be the second Maghreb country to being colonized by France.
MoroccoThe Morocco will remain independent until in 1912, date on which Spain and France, then combined, force the Sultan to accept to him also a Protectorat. The country was thus going to be occupied by France, while Spain, already present in the Sahara Occidental, would occupy the part of the extreme North of Morocco. In 1921, bursts the Guerre of Rif, carried out by the resistant Morrocans who are directed by Abdelkrim, then fights about it against the Franco-Spanish occupation of its country. After the success of the battle of Anoual, at the conclusion which 16.000 Spanish soldiers are killed by the Moroccan armies, which seize their military material. Spain, then in full crisis, requires the assistance of France. Fearing for the stability of its colonies in the Maghreb, this one sends several tens of thousands of men to support the troops Spanish. After the defeat of the Morrocans, a great number of civilians will be massacred as reprisals, and this in spite of the promises of the colonial administration not to be caught some with the civil populations if the chief of the rebellion, Abdelkrim, agreed to go to the authorities.
The Maghreb has a total Superficie of more than six million square kilometers with strong disparities from one country to another. This area is bordered in north by the Mediterranean, in the west by the Atlantic Ocean and in the south by the desert of the the Sahara. It is crossed by the chain of the Atlas on more 2 000 kilometers.
The Maghreb undergoes a strong demographic and economic imbalance between the Littoral and the interior of the grounds, particularly in Algérie where 90% of the population concentrate in the north of the country, in the mountains and on the coastal plains. This area, the fertile part of the country, represents nearly three times the surface of the England. The Algerian Sahara as for him extends on two million square kilometers. Thus, if the share of the desert in the extent of the Maghrebian countries is important (84% of the surface of Algeria and 40% of the surface of Tunisia), these countries have in revenges important fertile grounds and shelter vast Forêt S with the image of the solid mass of the Kroumirie.
LittoralOf Tobrouk to Agadir, the Maghreb has a maritime frontage which extends on nearly five thousand kilometers in edge to the Mediterranean, until Tangier, and on 700 kilometers along the Atlantic Ocean between Tangier and Agadir. The coast becomes then desert until the mouth of the river Senegal, 1500 kilometers more in the south. The Plaine S Littoral be of the Maghreb offer the strongest human densities of the area and shelter the main cities. It is also on the coasts that is practiced the Intensive agriculture, that settled the Industrie in relation to the tourist ports and infrastructures as with the Morocco and in Tunisia. The coasts constitute an active interface with the Europe and thus receive the essence of its investments.
The Climat of the Maghrebian littoral is of standard Mediterranean: it is characterized by Hiver S relatively soft and be S dry and hot. It is about an asset to attract the European tourists and also makes it possible to cultivate Primeur S and Agrume S which are then exported towards Europe. However, the Dryness estival installation of the problems of management of the Water and opposes different economic activities: industry and agriculture, large water consumers, are found then in competition.
The area is not saved by the earthquakes. The seism of Agadir (Morocco) made more 15 000 died in 1960. More recently, the May 21st 2003, the seism of Boumerdes (Algeria) caused the death of 2 217 people whereas the seism of Al Hoceima (northern of Morocco) made 629 dead and hundreds of blessées.
ReliefThe chain of the Atlas crosses the Maghreb of is in west and form a natural protection against the progression of the Désert. It rises with more 4 000 meters of altitude - its culminating point is the Jbel Toubkal in culminating Morocco with 4 167 meters - and was used a long time as refuge with the populations Berbères.
Today still, the Berber stockbreeders and farmers live in these mountainous regions by preserving their cultural identity. The Climat is colder there in altitude and can sometimes be frankly rigorous in Hiver. During this Season, the tops of the Atlas are covered with Neige.
Principal the mountainous solid masses of the Atlas are structured of south-west towards the North-East:
It break up then into various secondary solid masses:
DesertThe south of the Maghreb is occupied by the desert of the the Sahara of which the major part makes up of Plaine S rocky, while the other share is consisted immense Dune S of Sable.
The Précipitation S are weak there and the non-existent or discontinuous human presence. Some Oasis mark out the Trans-Saharan tracks and the presence of Hydrocarbure S (in particular in Algérie) or of Phosphate S (in particular in Tunisia) allowed the appearance of some cities (El-Wadi, Ghardaïa, Tamanghasset, Laayoune, etc).
The main cities of the Maghreb are:
- Algeria: Algiers, Oran, Constantine, Annaba, Batna, etc
- Morocco: Casablanca, Reduction, Fès, Marrakech, Tangier, Meknès, Agadir, Oujda, etc
- Tunisia: Tunis, Sfax, Sousse, Ettadhamen-Mnihla, Kairouan, etc
- 1. Algiers: 4.275.000
- 2. Casablanca: 3.900.000
- 3. Tunis: 2.250.000
- 4. Reduction: 1.810.000
- 5. Oran: 1.260.000
After the proclamation of the independence of the various countries, in the Years 1960, the respective governments choose the economic Planification. GDP per capita progresses but the economy of the Maghreb must face new challenges. Today, she is confronted like the rest of the world with the Mondialisation. That led the governments to privatiser of broad sectors of their economies. The various Maghreb countries are classified in the following way on the basis of GDP:
- : 113,6 millards USD is: 3340 USD per capita
- Morocco: 56,5 millards USD is: 1820 USD per capita
- Tunisia: 36,94 millards USD is: 2600 USD per capita
The crisis affects the growth of GDP, increases the food dependence and supports the riot S in social matter (like the riots of the Tunisian bread in 1983 - 1984). Economic development involved a transformation of the landscapes of the Littoral (tourist resorts, Intensive agriculture and Urbanisation accelerated). Vis-a-vis universalization, the Maghreb countries tried shy persons bringings together within the framework of the Union of the Arab Maghreb but the common achievements appear quite modest because of the political differences of its members.
Primary sectorThe Agriculture in the Maghreb knew important changes since the Années 1970: Mechanization, use of Manure and modern Irrigation involved an increase in the agricultural productions. The agricultural world however does not escape the crisis and the rise of harvests does not follow the increase in population.
By its membership of the Mediterranean basin, the products of Maghrebian agriculture are the Céréale S, the breeding of the ovine and the caprine , the Maraîchage, the Agrume S, the Vigne, the fishing and the Olive oil. It should be noted that the Morocco is also one of the first world exporters of Haschich. The main resources of the basement are the Hydrocarbure S and the Phosphate S. the principal layers of Pétrole in exploitation are in Algérie (Hassi Messaoud and In Amenas).
Secondary industryThe Industrialization is a relatively recent phenomenon in the area (Années 1970). The official intervention allowed the development of Usine S whereas the overseas investments and the Sous-traitance profit with the open littoral areas towards outside. The principal manufacturing sectors are the Agroalimentaire, the construction materials (Ciment and Sidérurgie) especially in Algeria, the Textile and the Pétrochimie.
A Autoroute transmaghrébine of 1216 kilometers is in the course of construction between the Moroccan littoral and the Libya.
Tertiary sectorThe Climate, the landscapes and the cultural heritage of the Maghreb are as many assets for the tourist development of the area. Moreover, the Maghreb profits moreover from the geographical proximity with the Europe and from the everyday usage of the language French E: Marrakech or Jerba is thus at two hours of Avion of Paris.
However, the tourist pressure causes a need for safeguarding of the inheritance and a reasoned management of the resources Eau. The Maghreb must also face the terrorist danger (Attentat of Ghriba in 2002, Attentats of May 16th, 2003 in Casablanca or Attentats of Algiers of April 11th, 2007).
The commercial sector lies within the scope of the Mondialisation of the exchanges which benefits above all at the cities from the littoral turned towards outside. Arzew, Béjaïa, Skikda and Skhira is the industrial main ports of export towards the Europe.
General tableThe Maghreb counts approximately 75 million inhabitants very unequally divided and strongest population densities meets on the Plaine S Littoral are Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean. It is also in the north and the west of the area that are its principal Agglomération S (Algiers, Casablanca, Rabat, Tunis, Tangier, Annaba, Tétouan and Oran).
In thirty years, the population of the Maghreb was multiplied by two. However, the population growth tends to slow down because of the fall of the Fertility rate: she is explained by the effectiveness of the Family planning, the schooling of the girls and the modernization of the lifestyles. As for the Birth rate, it dropped in the three countries but the proportion less than 15 years remains high. That poses problems of schooling which the governments raised with more or less of success.
In addition, the Rural migration pushes the young people of the mountains and the campaigns to be migrated in the cities of the littoral where the Salaire S are higher and better living conditions. At the beginning of the 21e century, more half of the Maghrebians live downtown. A part of them tries then its chance while migrating towards Western Europe.
According to Gilbert Meynier, the Maghrebian population would be mainly Berber. However, the majority of the Maghrebians assert an Arab identity. Indeed, if the contribution of the the Middle East with in the Maghreb is not as important on the demographic level as it is not determining on the linguistic levels, cultural and religious. The Arabs made as from the 7th century with the Moslem conquests, contributed to convert with Islam the Maghreb. The Arab demographic contribution is much more significant as from the 11th century, when the capacity of the Fatimides sent, with an aim of repressing Dynastie S of the Maghreb having proclaimed their independence, of many warlike tribes. Most important of them is that of the Hilaliens accompanied by the Banu Sulaym and the Banu Maqtil.
The estimates in term of displacement of population go from: 80000 with: 200000 or: 250000. According to Charles-Andre Julien, the current populations Arabic-speaking people, majority in the Maghreb, would be mainly Berber. According to Gabriel Camps, the “invasions hilaliennes” were thus a big factor in the linguistic Arabisation of the area and also in term of population. Nowadays, the Written Arabic is the official language of the Maghreb countries, i.e. the language of the media and the school.
In this context, only a minority of the Maghrebian population - about 40% with the Morocco, 27,5% in Algeria and from 4 to 8% in Tunisia and Libya - speaks the Berbère in addition to Arabic. These groups preserve an identity which is clean in particular for them in the mountains of the Atlas. Some are wandering and other sedentaries. In addition, of small Jewish communities Séfarade S resides at the Maghreb. There would be: 7000 Jews with the Morocco and: 2000 in Tunisia, and would have practically disappeared in Algérie except in some big cities. So of many Jews are present at the Maghreb as of the Antiquité, in particular through the conversion of certain Berber, the majority of the Maghrebian Jews are the descendants of the refugees of the Iberian peninsula driven out at the time of the Christian projection and particularly during the expulsion of the Jews of Spain by the catholic sovereigns after the fall of the Royaume of Grenade which marked the end of the Reconquista in 1492. Certain European Jews arrived at the time modern with the French Colonisation. After independences of the three countries, the majority of the Jews left the Maghreb for Israel and the France.
In addition, several sources, indicate that more than one million Europeans were captured like slaves between 1530 and 1780 and that good number of them made stock in the Maghreb thereafter. These Christians were captured for the period Corsaire. It was about Guerre S, exacerbated on both sides by the religious fact, where slavery was practiced by the two camps. This slave system, practiced as well by the Christians as by the Moslems, terrorized the coastal populations of the Mediterranean basin. Thus, a great number of Moslem slaves was with Malta because of the many catches carried out by the galères of the Ordre of Malta which was in perpetual war against the “infidels” or by corsairs who razziaient the Maghrebian and means-Eastern coasts to capture the inhabitants of them. As of the 13th century, well before the beginning of this period, the European Christian ships unload with the Canary islands, then inhabited by the Guanches, settled and there practiced slavery there, so that this population is extinct today.
See also: Kitchen of the Maghreb countries, arabo-Andalusian Music
The Maghreb belongs to the Mediterranean basin and the Monde arabo-Moslem. Its culture is thus resulting from a mixture of various influences. Included in the Roman République then the Roman Empire, of second century BC at the 5th century, the Maghreb preserves this period the same type of vestiges that in the remainder of the Mediterranean basin: Roman temples (Dougga), Roman theaters (Timgad), Amphitheater S (Thysdrus), triumphal arches (Volubilis), thermal baths (Carthage) and mosaic (Museum of Bardo to Tunis). With the the Middle Ages, the Arab of the the Middle East impose gradually to them language and them religion which impregnates many fields of the social life. The Islamic Civilization contributes to the revival of the urban landscape (Mosquée S, Souk S, Hammam S, Médina S and Kasbah S) in a context of foundation of new cities (like Kairouan in 670, Fès in 809 or Oran at the 10th century).
However, the Arabisation of the Maghreb runs up against resistances of the populations Berbères which try to preserve their identity. Thus, the Berber Printemps of 1980 allows the expression of requests for officialization of the Berbère in Kabylie then other areas of Algérie (Aurès, Mzab, etc). Finally, the Algerian government will recognize the Berber one as a national language but will refuse its officialization, which contributes to maintain the tension on the linguistic and identity question in Algeria.
With the S, the French colonization reintroduces the Christianisme - already present during the Antiquité and whose holy Augustin was a great figure - built a cathedral (initially with Constantine in 1838), modern official buildings, transport infrastructures, etc However, the European domination strongly disturbed the Maghrebian company while bringing modernity and the Western values and showed the rejection of this influence through the Nationalisme then of the Islamisme. Today, the French remains used in the businesses and teaching and most of the Maghrebians has access to the Occidental culture, in particular thanks to the television programs collected by the parabolas. But the local cultural movements try out more and more forms of expression formerly repressed by the modes born of independence, in particular in the fields of the Musique, the Danse and visual arts.
Relations of the Maghreb with EuropeThe Straits of Gibraltar, broad, 14 kilometers more connects than it does not separate both Continent S. the Détroit from Sicily is more wide (approximately 100 kilometers) and also constitutes a maritime access road. So the economic relations between the Maghreb and the Europe are old. As of the Antiquity, the Maurétanie sends Mediterranean food products (Olive S, Blé, Vin, etc) or sub-Saharan Africa (Or, Ivoire, slaves, etc).
With the European Colonization at the 19th century, they double human exchanges. A great number of Europeans settles in the Maghreb, bringing with them them language and their religion. However, at the end of the War of Algeria (1954 - 1962), the Pieds-Noirs are constrained to migrate towards the France.
At the beginning of the 21e century, approximately 70% of the foreign trade of the Maghreb are carried out with the European Union. The exchanges relate to the Raw materials and the Minerai S (Exportation S of Hydrocarbure S and Phosphate S) but also the agricultural productions (Agrume S and Primeur S). The Tunisia exports also Textile. The Maghreb countries import primarily industrial products and agricultural (Céréale S and Lait). For a few years, european companies have delocalized their units in the Maghreb to benefit from the low costs of the labor, which is encouraged by the signature of bilateral agreements of Libre-échange in particular in the Tunisian case.
Lastly, the migratory flux remain important between the Maghreb and Europe. After the end of the Second world war, a certain number of Maghrebians left their countries to work in Europe. France, because of the historical links and cultural that it maintains with the Maghreb, remains the first destination of the economic migrations. Since 1974, legal immigration is strongly restricted by the European governments. The Maghreb is consequently the starting point of a clandestine immigration which passes by the Straits of Gibraltar, by the Spanish Enclave S of Ceuta and Melilla, like by the strait of Sicily and the island Italy of Lampedusa).
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