Songs from North Africa | Al Jazeera World

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  • Al Jazeera English published this video item, entitled “Songs from North Africa | Al Jazeera World” – below is their description.

    Music offers insights into the songwriter, the performers, the audience and their cultures. In this film, we delve into the stories of four songs from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Sudan.

    From Morocco comes an expression of mourning and loss – Younes Megri is a renowned regional name whose most famous song was picked up by a western pop group. The Algerian song is from the legendary Hamid Cheriet, aka ‘Idir’, who sang in the Amazigh language and achieved a global fan base. The patriotic Tunisian anthem was written by Mohamed Jamoussi, who was close to the country’s first Prime Minister Habib Bourguiba. And from Sudan is a people’s song about heroism that dates back to a major flood on the Nile in 1946. All are part of the long North African tradition of songwriting and performance.

    We speak with a range of musicians, historians and commentators who explain these songs’ fascinating contexts and histories.

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    In This Story: Algeria

    Algeria, officially the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest by area in the African Union and the Arab world. With an estimated population of over 44 million, it is the eighth-most populous country in Africa.

    Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the southeast by Niger, to the southwest by Mali, Mauritania, and the Western Saharan territory, to the west by Morocco, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country has a semi-arid geography, with most of the population living in the fertile north and the Sahara dominating the geography of the south. This arid geography makes the country very vulnerable to climate change.

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  • In This Story: Morocco

    Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. Marrakesh’s medina, a mazelike medieval quarter, offers entertainment in its Djemaa el-Fna square and souks (marketplaces) selling ceramics, jewelry and metal lanterns. The capital Rabat’s Kasbah of the Udayas is a 12th-century royal fort overlooking the water. 

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  • In This Story: Sudan

    The Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, Libya to the northwest, Chad to the west, the Central African Republic to the southwest, South Sudan to the south, Ethiopia to the southeast, Eritrea to the east, and the Red Sea to the northeast.

    Sudan’s history goes back to the Pharaonic period. Independence from the British was proclaimed on 1 January 1956.

    Islam was Sudan’s state religion and Islamic laws applied from 1983 until 2020 when the country became a secular state. The economy has been described as lower-middle income and relies on oil production. Sudan is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, African Union, COMESA, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation.

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  • In This Story: Tunisia

    Tunisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, covering 163,610 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is also the northernmost point on the African continent.

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