The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Algeria) is located in the northern-most tip of Africa, sitting fairly close to the lower European nations. In Africa, Algeria shares its borders clockwise with Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and Morocco. It is in fact the largest nation in Africa (tenth largest in the world), but much of the country belongs to the Sahara Desert. Consequently most cities and universities are staggered along its Mediterranean Coastline.
Geo-politically, Algeria is made up of forty-eight provinces and more than one thousand communes. Almost 38 million people call the nation home, with four million living in the capital city of Algiers. The physical geography is a mixture of extremes, offering everything from snowy mountain peaks to palm trees in a desert oasis. The Tell Atlas runs alongside the Saharan Atlas mountain ranges in the north, while another set of large ranges take up most of the northeastern portion of the nation. From the coast to the Tell Atlas mountains, the land is fertile; between the Tell and Saharan mountains are the steppes; and beyond the Saharan mountains is the Saharan Desert.
The politics of the region has been somewhat tumultuous in the past and include civil wars, terrorism, and several uprisings. In 1999, Abdelaziz Bouteflika from the FLN party was elected as President, and he has continued to serve in that office since then, although his administration has continue to suffer under uprisings and outcries against corruption, lack of basic amenities in homes, unemployment numbers, corruption, etc. Currently, the nation is a semi-presidential republic with an economy based largely on oil. Algeria is presently a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, Arab Maghreb Union, and the United Nations.