North and West Africa
A Nation Shaped by Islam
Besides Islam being its religion, there are 3 ethnic groups existing in Egypt:
The Islam's holy book is called the Quran. It has teachings similar to the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible. Muslims pray five times a day and they can't enter the mosque with their shoes on because that would be disrespectful for God.
Life in Egypt
Because Cairo is really crowded so there are many traffic jams, housing shortages so people have to live in the outskirts of the Cairo or near the Nile.
Algeria and its Ethnic Groups
Berbers have lived in North Africa since 3000 B.C. Most of them live in rural areas and their families are really united. Their households are really close to each other so they can see each other everyday.
Family is so important to the Berbers that their village governments are based on it. Most rural Berbers make a living by faming and herding.
Arabs conquered North Africa gradually, over hundreds of years when Berbers were there. When both ethnic groups were there, Berbers accepted the Islam religion. Both ethnic groups are similar because both live in extended families
They have also many differences. For example, Arabs created a central government in Algeria based on Islam. But Berbers tradition is for each village to govern itself.
Arabs were nomads and then Berbers adapted this way of life but still there are some Berbers who are farmers.
Life in the cities
Berbers and Arabs Today
They have mixed over centuries. Both practice Islam and most Berbers speak Arabic and Berber. French is also spoke because of prior influence of France. Both ethnic groups have had conflicts but they have learned to live in peace.
For hundreds of years, the Hausa-Fulani have made an important part of their living by trading goods from far away as Spain, Italy and Egypt. These people make about 33 percent of Nigeria's people and most are Muslims. They built cities and each of them had its own ruler and own public places.
Yoruba conform about 20 percent of Nigeria's people. Many still live in Lagos, which was a center for the European slave trade were Yoruba were sold into slavery and sent to America. Now Yoruba is more peaceful.
Most of them are farmers and live in big compounds all together making a community.
Ibos traditionally live in farming villages and they rule themselves with a democratic council of elders who work together to solve problems. Ibo wanted to separate from Nigeria in 1967 to form their own country but war stopped them from doing that and Nigeria stayed united.
Moving Toward Independence
Nkrumah's Government is Overthrown
Ghanas's Economy and Culture Today
Ghana's culture and economy has benefited from Rawling's renewal of traditional values.