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Coordinates: 35°46′32″N 006°03′12″E / 35.77556°N 6.05333°E / 35.77556; 6.05333

Batna Province
ولاية باتنة
Algeria 05 Wilaya locator map-2009.svg
Map of Algeria highlighting the Province of Batna
Province Code 5
Area Code +213 (0) 33
Administration
Capital Batna, Algeria
Districts 22
Municipalities 61
Wāli Mr. Bouazgui Abdelkader
PPA president Mr. Soltani El Arbi (FLN)
Basic statistics
Area 12,192 km² (4,707 sq mi)
Population 1,128,030[1] (2008)
Density 92.5/km² (239.6/sq mi)

Batna (Arabic: ولاية باتنة‎) is a wilaya of Algeria. Capital is Batna. Localities in this province include Barika, Merouana and Timgad. Belzma National Park is there.

Contents

Administrative divisions

It is made up of 22 districts and 61 municipalities.

The districts are:

  1. Aïn Djasser
  2. Aïn Touta
  3. Arris
  4. Barika
  5. Batna
  6. Bouzina
  7. Chemora
  8. Djezzar
  9. El Madher
  10. Ichmoul
  11. Menaâ
  12. Merouana
  13. N'Gaous
  14. Ouled Salem
  15. Ouled Si Slimane
  16. Ras El Aioun
  17. Seggana
  18. Seriana
  19. T'Kout
  20. Tazoult
  21. Théniet El Abed
  22. Timgad

The municipalities are:

  1. Aïn Djasser
  2. Aïn Touta
  3. Aïn Yagout
  4. Amantan
  5. Amdoukal
  6. Arris
  7. Barika
  8. Batna
  9. Ben Foudhala El Hakania
  10. Bitam
  11. Boulhilat
  12. Boumague
  13. Boumia
  14. Bouzina
  15. Djerma
  16. Djezzar
  17. Draa Etine
  18. El Hassi
  19. El Madher
  20. Fesdis
  21. Foum Toub
  22. Ghassira
  23. Chemora
  24. Gosbat
  25. Guigba
  26. Hayat
  27. Hidoussa
  28. Ichmoul
  29. Inoughissen
  30. Kimmel
  31. Ksar Bellezma
  32. Larbaa
  33. Lazrou
  34. Lemsane
  35. Maafa
  36. Menaa
  37. Merouana
  38. Metkaouak
  39. N'Gaous
  40. Nouader
  41. Oued Chaaba
  42. Oued El Ma
  43. Oued Taga
  44. Ouled Ammar
  45. Ouled Aouf
  46. Ouled Fadel
  47. Ouled Sellam
  48. Ouled Si Slimane
  49. Ouyoun El Assafir
  50. Rahbat
  51. Ras Ei Aioun
  52. Sefiane
  53. Seggana
  54. Seriana
  55. Talkhamt
  56. Taxlent
  57. Tazoult
  58. Teniet El Abed
  59. Tighanimine
  60. Tigherghar
  61. Tilatou
  62. Timgad
  63. Tkoutt
  64. Zanat El Beida

Geography

The origins of the name of the city and province of Batna are not clear, but most historians agree that it is of Arabic origin: m'batna, meaning: "Where we sleep this night". Capital of high lands situated between north and south Atlas Mountains constitute a naturally protected passage between south and north. Its climate is moderate, hot and dry during summer time, due to its altitude (it being 800 metres above sea level) the winter is tough, snowy and at times cold (with temperatures of -15°C recorded on some cold winter nights). This geo-political position is the origin of the last economy merging city due to a high commercial exchange rate between the north's seaward opening, and the south's source of all the wealth of the country (including reserves of oil, natural gas, iron and many minerals).

Population

Batna City is the fourth largest Algerian city in terms of population; The number of permanent inhabitants is estimated by the Office National de Recencement at 446,000 (as of 2000), though other sources closer to the province estimate closer to one million. A large part of the population is largely mixed from all surrounding villages which suffer from a heavy unemployment and isolation. The natives are named "Tamazight", or in the local dialect: "Chaouyas", (the plural of Chaoui). The presence of the Tamazight is historically established; the locals refer to "Jugurtha", "Massinissa" and especially "Dihya" or so called "Kahina" buried on the well known site of "Madghasen", as their ascendants and history. The local resistance to the repetitive invasions is a source of proud and trivial culture; Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and French. The word "Tamazight" in Chaoui (Berbère) language means "Free men". As opposed to the surrounding villages (e.g. Arris, Fesdis, Ain Yagout, Kais, N'gaous, Merouana, Djerma, El Madher) where you can find pure chaoui, the city of Batna itself is very heterogeneous, including chaoui from Batna (like Ouled Sidi Yahia), Biskra and Khenchla but also many non-berber or mixed families from the Algerian desert (from Oued Souf, Tougourt, Msila, Ouled Jelle, Ouled Nail..etc), explaining the fact that the city is mostly arabophon.

Economy

The economy is based on heavy industry launched during the first half of the 1970s. With chemicals, as well as with an industrial and textile base, the region attracts people from the whole region. The city offers a large choice of university orientation (15,000 students in 2001). The city urban structure is based on the old town buildings, narrow and highly populated; the actual city expansion policy is based on heavy works done the surrounding mountain flanks to provide enough buildable space.

Life level

The rapid expansion of the city on the last 10 years is mainly due to the open market policy of the previous government, which was a benefit for many, but in the same way penalized many of the middle-class.

The continuously growing city results in an extreme level of inflation especially on the real estate domain where prices reach extreme levels (for example, ownership of one square meter of land in the city center costs $1000) where the lowest paid salaries are in the region of $180.

Social life

The cultural aspect of the city was active during a time when the local theater group was giving continuous and innovating performances. The city consisted of 12 cinemas and 2 "cinemathèques", one culture house and many open museums across the province. Due to recent events, security problems and an influx of population into the city, the cultural life has been heavily affected, though recently, thanks to the work of young artists, culture is once again on the public scene.

References

  1. ^ Office National des Statistiques, Recensement General de la Population et de l’Habitat 2008 Preliminary results of the 2008 population census. Accessed on 2008-07-02.
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