Urban and Rural Ways of Life
Algeria's Ethnic Groups
The Berbers and Arabs
The berbers and Arabs are Algeria's two main ethnic groups. The Berbers have lived in North Africa since at least 3000 B.C. Most Berbers live in villages in rural areas and continue to follow traditional ways of life.
Family is so important to the Berbers that their village governments are based on it. Most rural Berbers make a living by farming and herding.
The Berber way of life changed in the A.D. 600s, when Arabs spread across North Africa.
Arab traditions are like Berber traditions in many ways. Arabs created a central government in Algeria that is based on Islam. The Berber tradition is for each village to govern itself.
About half of Algeria's people live in cities where mosques and open-air marketplaces called souqs are common. Older parts of the cities are called casbahs.