Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Algeria - Tamanrasset

Images of Tamanrasset.

Sent by Karim from Algeria.

This is from Wikipedia : Tamanrasset (Arabic: تمنراست , also known as Tamenɣest or Tamenghest) is an oasis city and capital of Tamanrasset Province in southern Algeria, in the Ahaggar Mountains. It is the chief city of the Algerian Tuareg. It is located at 22°47′6″N 5°31′22″E / 22.785°N 5.52278°E / 22.785; 5.52278 at an altitude of 1320 meters (4333 feet) and has a population of 76,000 (estimate 2006).

Tamanrasset was originally established as a military outpost to guard the trans-Saharan trade routes. Surrounded by the barren Sahara Desert, some of the world’s highest known temperatures have been recorded here. Tamanrasset is located at an oasis where, despite the difficult climate, citrus fruits, apricots, dates, almonds, cereals, corn, and figs are grown. The Tuareg people are the town’s main inhabitants. Their red houses and the area’s magnificent, rugged scenery make Tamanrasset a popular tourist attraction during the cooler months. Visitors are also drawn to the Museum of the Hoggar, which offers many exhibits depicting Tuareg life and culture.

When Algeria was under French rule, the city was also called Fort Laperrine.

The city is served by Tamanrasset Airport and the Trans-Sahara Highway.

The oasis town is now the site of the Joint Military Staff Committee headquarters for combating Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb. The four-country Committee (Algeria, Mali, Niger, Mauritania) intends to use Tamanrasset to coordinate their military activity in the Pan-Sahel (BBC - "Saharan states to open joint military headquarters" ).

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