Algerian Culture

Algeria’s performing arts

  • Music:In Algeria, „Classical music“ always refers to Andalus or Arab-Andalus Music and its various declinations or styles, which include the „Gharnati“ (meaning from Granada) and „Hawzi“ styles from Tlemcen, the Algiers Cordoba-inspired style „San‘aa“ (meaning trade), and the Constantine „Malouf“ style reflecting an Ottoman influence translating into the use of „Maqamat“ or modes and „Bashraf“ and „Samai“ Turkish forms.

  • Andalus music is extremely popular and is a source of great inspiration for budding artists from various regions of the country. According to tradition, Andalus Music was designed to be played based on a musical system including 24 noubas, which determined the forms, genres and modes in use nowadays and are composed based on varying poetic forms. The 24-nouba system was intended to reflect moods prevailing at each different hour of a day. For instance, „Sika“ nouba was played in early afternoon, „Ramal“ nouba was played by sunset, „Raml-al-Maya“ was played in early evening, whereas „Aaraq“, „Zidane“ and „‘Sin“ noubas were to be played before midnight, „Mjenba“ nouba at midnight, etc.

  • Popular styles of music, on the other hand, take on different forms, depending on the region of the country: „Chaabi“ in Algiers, „Raï“ in western Algeria, Berber music in the mountains of Kabylia, „Chaoui“, also a type of Berber music, in south-eastern and eastern regions of Algeria, „Gnawa“, „Tynde“ and „Ahallil“ styles in the Deep South of the country, and Touareg style. Both Raï and Berber styles of music have gained international notoriety.

  • Algerian literature expressed in the Arabic language equally varied and popular, thanks to such prize-winning authors, poets or other great scholars of the Arabic language and culture as Emir Abdelkader (1808-1883) himself, Malek Bennabi (1905-1973), Moufdi Zakaria (1908-1977), Tahar Ouettar (1936-2010), Abdelhamid Benhadouga, Ouassini Laaradj, Ahlam Mosteghanemi, and many others.

  • Theater

  • Theater thrived before and after the country‘s independence, thanks to artists and playwrights such as Rachid Ksentini, Mahieddine Bachtarzi, Mustapha Kateb, Rouiched, Athmane Ariouet, Hadj Abderrahmane (famously known for his role as „Police Inspector Tahar“ and Yahya Benmabrouk, his sidekick, aka „L‘Apprenti“ or the apprentice. Algerian theater gained further experience and notoriety with major contributions from respected artists and writers such as Ould Abderrahmane Kaki, Abdelkader Alloula, Slimane Benaissa, and Ziani Cherif Ayad, who were known for their focus on history, identity and activism in support of social issues.

  • Algerian Cinema

  • Algerian Cinema was born during the War for Independence. Since then, numerous directors have produced movies that have been rewarded and celebrated as work of art throughout the world.

  • Algerian Cinema gained increasing refinement and notoriety through exposure at various cultural events and cinema festivals, such as the Arab Film International Festival which the city of Oran hosts every year. Algerian directors and moviemakers have been involved in numerous award-winning international joint productions. A number of such movies are among the following sampling of successful movies listed hereafter:

  • Chronique des années de braise by Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina (Golden Palm, Cannes film festival, 1975);
  • Tahiya ya Didou (Alger insolite) by Mohamed Zinet;

  • The Battle of Algiers by Gillo Pontecorvo (Golden Lion, Mostra de Venice, 1966; Prize at Cannes film festival; Oscars-nominated);

  • L‘Opium et le Bâton by Ahmed Rachedi;

  • Patrouille à l‘Est by Amar Laskri;

  • Inspector Tahar on Vacation by Moussa Haddad;

  • Carnaval fi Dashra by Mohamed Oukassi;

  • Hors-la-loi by Rachid Bouchareb (Cannes Festival Selection);

  • Le Puits (The well) by Lotfi Bouchouchi (Best Foreign Language Movie selection at 89th Oscars).

  • Museums in Algeria

  • Algiers:National Museum of Antiquities (Classical and Muslim antiquities; Muslim art), National Museum of Fine Arts (Modern art, paintings, drawings, sculptures, engravings), Mujahidin Museum (Collections referring to the National Liberation War), Bardo National Museum (Ethnography, prehistory, African collections), Children’s Museum (Works by children), Museum of Traditional Arts (Handicrafts collections; traditional art), Army Museum (Collections referring to the National War of Liberation).

  • Tipaza:Tipaza Museum (Antique sculpture and archeology), Cherchell – Bocquet Park: Open Air Museum and New Museum (Antique mics);
  • Timgad:Timgad Museum (Classic antiquities, sculptures, mosaics, and collections);
  • Annaba, Hippone Road:Hippone Museum (Classic antiquities, sculptures);
  • Tebessa:Minerva Temple Museum;
  • Djemila:Djemila Museum (Sculptures, classic mosaics);
  • Setif:Setif Museum (Classic antiquities, ethnography)
  • Cherchell:Cherchell Museum (Archeology, Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities)
  • Constantine:Constantine Museum, Koudiat Plateau (Prehistory, antiquities, paintings)
  • Tazoult(formerly Lambese): Tazoult Museum (Classic antiquities)
  • Oran:National Zabana Museum (Prehistory, Antiquities, Modern Art, Ethnography, Natural Sciences)
  • Guelma:Guelma Theater Museum (Sculptures and Numismatics)
  • Ouargla:Ouargla Saharan Museum (Prehistory, Ethnography, Arts/Crafts)
  • Tlemcen:Tlemcen Museum (Antiquities, Muslim Arts)
  • Beni-Abbès:Beni-Abbès Scientific Research Center (Botanical and Zoological Park)
  • El-Oued:El-Oued Museum (Prehistory, Ethnography and Craft Work)
  • Bejaia:Bejaia Museum (Archeology, Natural Sciences)
  • Ghardaïa:Ghardaïa Folk Museum (Art Craft, Folk Collections)
  • Algiers-Hamma:Test Garden (Flora), Zoological Park (Fauna)
  • Beni-Saf:botanical and Zoological Park (Flora and Fauna)
  • Bou Ismail:Aquarium (Marine Wildlife)
  • BouSaada:BoussaâdaEcomuseum
  • Djanet:Prehistory and History Museum

  • Algier s Opera Ho use

  • Algiers Opera House is a cultural pole by excellence. It was inaugurated on July 2016 by the President of the Republic, H.E.Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika. It is named after late Boualem Bessaih, former diplomat, a Senior Minister and President’s Adviser and personal representative. Under an impressive cube-like edifice of 35,000 square meter, the Opera gathers the Symphonic Orchestra, the National Ballet and the Andalusia Music Group. It has a main hall capacity of 1,400 seats.

  • The amazing Opera design embraces some Algeria’s heritage. It is a great combination of traditional style and contemporary architecture. The Opera headquarter is located in the district of Ouled Fayet in Algiers.


    Festival Culturel International de Timgad, Timgad, July
    Festival International du Cinéma, International de Alger, Algiers, November
    Festival International des danses populaires, Sidi Belabbes, July
    Festival Culturel Arabo-Africain des danses folkloriques, Tizi Ouzou, July-August
    Festival Culturel International de musique andalouse « Malouf », Skikda, July
    Festival Culturel International de la bande dessinée, Tipaza, November
    Festival Culturel International de « musique Gnaoul », Tipaza, November
    Festival Culturel International de Djemila, Sétif, July
    Festival Culturel International de musique andalouse, Algiers, December
    Festival Culturel Arabe du Cinéma, Oran, July
    Festival Culturel Maghrébin de musique andalouse, Tipaza, December
    Festival Culturel International de Musique de Jazz, Constantine, April
    Festival Culturel International de la littérature et du livre de la jeunesse, Algiers, June
    Festival Culturel International de la Calligraphie Arabe, Algiers, every year
    Festival Culturel International de la Miniature et des Arts Décoratifs, Algiers, every year
    Festival Culturel International de l’Art Pictural Contemporain, Algiers, every year