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Mascara, Algeria
—  City  —
Location of Mascara, Algeria
Country Flag of Algeria.svg Algeria
Province Mascara Province
Population (2008)
 - Total 150,000
Historic city flag.

Mascara (Arabic: معسكر‎) is the capital city of Mascara Province, Algeria, in northwestern Algeria. It has 150,000 inhabitants (2008 estimate). The name Mascara comes from the Arabic "Mother of Soldiers".

Mascara was the capital city of Emir Abd al-Qadir, a leader of the Algerian resistance to early French colonial rule.

Mascara is an administrative, commercial and a market centre. Its trade is mostly centered on leather goods, grains, and olive oil, but Mascara is especially famous for its good wine.

Mascara has good road and rail connections with other urban centres of Algeria. Relizane is 65 km northeast, Sidi Bel Abbes 90 km southwest, Oran 105 kkm northwest and Saïda 80 km south.

Mascara has two parts, a newer French area, and an older Muslim one. Large parts of the town lies inside the ruins of its ancient ramparts.

The city is also home of Lakhdar Belloumi, the former Algerian football (soccer) star.


  • 1701: Founded as an Ottoman military garrison. Many Muslims with Andalucian origins are settled here by the Ottomans.
  • Around 1790: Andalucian Muslims leave Mascara, causing the Ottoman Empire to relocate Jews to Mascara.
  • 1832: Abd al-Qadir makes Mascara his headquarters.
  • 1835: Mascara is destroyed by the French.
  • 1841: The French establish full control over Mascara.
  • August 18, 1994: An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale kills 171 people in Mascara.

Sister cities

Mascara has two sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:



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