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The Historic Hinterland

This second episode shows off the coastal and hinterland cities that were built by a prosperous Mediterranean trade; one that dates back to Phoenician sailors. The cities of Oran, Tlemcen and Constantine are explored for their history and sites.  In Oran, resident Zaki Souffi goes shopping in the jedida market. He visits the home of the city’s most eminent émigré, Yves Saint Laurent and has a local snack of karantika. He tours the old Bey palace before climbing the Mountain of Lions for a nose around Fort Santa Cruz – impregnable Spanish fortress during its war with the Ottoman Empire.  In Tlemcen, we gaze upon the wonders of the Mechouar Palace while historian Amina Miri Hana tours the fortress city of El Mansourah. Climbing over the Aures mountains, we behold the sprawling Roman settlement of Timgad in Batna before arriving at Constantine, ancient Numidian city perched on a rocky outcrop that overlooks the Rhumel Gorge. We learn how to cook a black couscous speciality called M’ziyet and drop in on the small but impressive Cirta museum.

Places Mentioned - Algeria

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Tlemcen, Algeria

The Seige of Tlemcen

Tlemcen was the medieval capital of Algeria, a trading hub on the crossroads of the caravan trade route that connected deepest Africa to the Mediterranean...

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Timgad ruins, Gabriel Jorby, Flickr Creative Commons

North Africa’s Natives: The Berbers

The Greek and Phoenician traders called them barbarians but the true nomenclature of the Berber people is “Amazigh”, which means “free people”.

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March 1954 - Soldiers of the French Foreign Legion parade through Bao Ninh, in Indochina.

“French by Spilled Blood”: The French...

The French Foreign Legion was created by Louis Philippe the King of France in March 1831. The French expeditionary force that had occupied Algiers in 1830 was...

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