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Open map of AlgeriaAlgeria / Geography /
Kabylia
Arabic: qabīla
Berber: Tamurt Idurar
Other spellings: Kabylie; The Kabyle



Kabylia, Algeria.
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Kabylia

Kabylia, Algeria.
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The village of Agouni Gueghrane, Kabylia, Algeria.
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The village of Agouni Gueghrane.

Kabylia, Algeria.
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Kabylia, Algeria.
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Kabylia, Algeria.
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Mountain area in northeastern Algeria, principally along the coast, between the capital Algiers and Bejaļa, equalling a stretch of about 200 km.
The Kabylia stretches from the coast to the hinterland of about 125 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea. Normally the Kabylia is divided into two areas, the Djurdjura or Jurjura, or the Larger Kabylias, to the west; and the Small Kabylia to the east. The mountains of the Larger Kabylias reach summits of 2,000 metres, while the highest summits of the Small Kabylia reach about 1,200 metres.
The terrain of the Kabylias is one of the wildest of North Africa, with rugged mountains, and isolated valleys. Through large parts of the year, many areas are inaccessible because of snowfall and rain.
The isolation of Kabylia has given birth to a strong independent cultural feeling, where the Berber people of the region do not speak Arabic, but a Berber dialect named Kabyle. And it is French that is their second language.
The Kabyle population are Muslims, and women enjoy great liberty and independence. Over recent times, tens of thousands of Kabylians have converted to Christianity, the traditional religion of the region. Islam is by many considered synonymous with the dominant Arabs in Algeria.
An important traditional structure of Kabyle society are the aarush, village committees.

History
(This is not a complete timeline, it is a work in progress)
2001: Black Spring, caused by the Algerian police's arrest and killing of a Kabyle high school student. Kabyles react with numerous demonstrations, like in Algiers in late May, in which 300,000 participated (organizers claimed up to 600,000).
June: A new demonstration in Algiers, this time with 500,000 participants. The demonstration ends in clashes with the police.
October: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika makes Tamazight Berber language official language of Algeria along with Arabic.




By Tore Kjeilen