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Arabic: jījal
Formerly know as Djidjelli

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Jijel, Algeria.
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Jijel, Algeria. Photo: Yann Arthus Bertrand.

Jijel, Algeria.
Jijel, Algeria.

Jijel, Algeria.
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City in northeastern Algeria with 110,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated on the Mediterranean Sea in the region Corniche Kabyle on the foot of the Small Kabylia Mountains.
It is the capital of Jijel province with 640,00 inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 2,577 km².
Jijel is the administrative and trade centre for a region specializing in cork processing, leather tanning and steel making. Local agriculture produces especially citrus fruits and grains. Fishing is also of great importance. Tourism (mainly Algerians) are attracted to Jijel for its beautiful nature, fine sand beaches and a casino.
Due to the rugged landscape is Jijel slightly isolated, but connected by road to large cities like Beja´a (90 km west), Setif (135 km southwest) and Constantine (150 km southeast).
Jijel is built along modern patterns with wide streets framed by trees. The surrounding nature is unusually beautiful, dominated by dense cork-oak forest. A peninsula lies right out from the coast and there is a citadel to the north.
Jijel has the UniversitÚ de Jijel.
The population is a mixture of Arabs and Kabyli Berbers.

1st millennium BCE: Founded by the Phoenicians as a trading post.
2nd century: Falls to the Romans, who name it Igilgili.
7th century: Conquered by the Muslim Arabs.
16th century: Khayr ad-Din (Barbarossa) takes control over Jijel, turning it into a pirate stronghold.
1839: Captured by the French, marking the end of piracy. Local fighting would continue for 12 more years before control is established.
1856: Earthquake destroys much of Jijel.

By Tore Kjeilen