African continent – Algeria Essay

In the African continent, Algeria is the second biggest country. Language is the primary distinction in ethnic societies in this country. Berber was the widespread language used by native people before the arrival of Arabic-speaking aggressors. Arabic influenced slowly, spreading through the areas nearby migrants and conquerors while Berber remained prevalent in rural areas. The official language is Arabic and spoken by the majority while French is also extensively spoken. Islam is the official state religion. About 45,000 Roman Catholics, some Protestants and a few Jewish compose the non-Muslim minorities. (“Wikipedia”, 2006)

The largest country on the Arabian Peninsula is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. About 80% of the total population in this country is ethnically Arab. Aside from the Arabs, there are also some of Sub-Saharan, East African heritage. Around 7 million migrants from all over the world namely Filipinos, Indians, Bangladeshi, Egyptians and Pakistani inhabit Saudi Arabia. Religious freedom is often not practiced in this country. As declared by the government, Islam must be the official religion of all citizens. None of the Christians or Hindus, who migrate in the country as workers, is allowed to put up their temples or churches or even to pray in public even though it allows religious minorities. (“Wikipedia”, 2006)

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Turkey has been a moderator between the eastern and western civilizations because of its tactical position. Most of the Turkish people are of the ethnic group, Turkish. The largest non-Turkic ethnic group in the country is the Kurds, traditionally found in the southeast. The sole official language throughout Turkey is Turkish. However, broadcasts in local languages and dialects on media outlets Bosnian, Kurdish, Arabic and Circassian. Majority of the population in this country belongs to the Sunni branch of Islam. (“Wikipedia”, 2006)

Tajikistan is the dwelling of the Tajiks. They speak Tajik which is associated to Persian. It has a population of around 7 million. Tajik is the major ethnic group. A minority of Uzbeks and a little number of Russians are also found in this country. Tajik Persian is the national language. However, Russian is also used in business transactions. Sunni Islam is the official religion. Nevertheless, a few Shi’a resides in the country as well. (“Wikipedia”, 2006)

Algeria is ranked 103rd in the 2005 Human Development Report, with a value of 0.722 while Saudi Arabia ranked 77th, with an HDI value of 0.772. Tajikistan, however, is ranked 122nd, with a value of 0.652 and Turkey is ranked 94th, with an HDI value of 0.750. The HPI-1 (measures human poverty in developing countries) value for Algeria, 21.3%, ranks 48th among 103 developing countries for which the index has been calculated while Saudi Arabia, 14.9%, ranks 32nd; and Turkey, 9.7%, ranks 19th.(“Human Development Reports”, 2006)

ALGERIA
SAUDI ARABIA
TURKEY
TAJIKISTAN
Telephones
Main lines in use: 2.288 million (2004); mobile cellular: 4,682,700 (2004).
main lines in use: 3.9 million (2002 est.); mobile cellular: 2.9 million (2002 est.)
main lines in use: 19.5 million (1999); mobile cellular: 17.1 million (2001)
main lines in use: 363,000 (1997); mobile cellular: 2,500 (1997)s
Radio broadcast stations
AM 25, FM 1, shortwave 8 (1999)
AM 43, FM 31, shortwave 2 (1998)
AM 16, FM 107, shortwave 6 (2001)
AM 8, FM 10, shortwave 2 (2002)
Television broadcast stations
46 (plus 216 repeaters) (1995)
117 (1997)
635 (plus 2,934 repeaters) (1995)
13 (2001)
Internet hosts
1,175 (2005)
22 (2003)
50 (2001)
4 (2002)
Internet users
845,000 (2005)
1,453 million (2002)
2.5 million (2002)
5,000 (2002)
Railways
total: 3,973 km (2004)
total: 1,392 km (2002)
total: 8,607 km (2002)
total: 482 km (2002)
Highways
total: 104,000 km; paved: 71,656 km; unpaved: 32,344 km (1999)
total: 151,470 km; paved: 45,592 km; unpaved: 105,878 km (1999)
total: 385,960 km; paved: 131,226 km (including 1,749 km of expressways); unpaved: 254,734 km (1999)
total: 27,767 km (2000)
Ports and harbors
9
11
9.
None
Airports
137 (2005)
209 (2002)
120 (2002)
66 (2002)
(“Fact Monster”, 2006)

Because of social divisions and ethnicity, certain events in these countries occur. Ethnics groups crash which results in some major troubles in their respective societies. Here are some events brought about by ethnic and social geography, which affected Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey respectively.

            Isfara district local authorities in Tajikistan are profoundly troubled over the condition on the boundary and the fact that mined territories are not marked with symbols (“Biznes i Politika”). The only concern of the paper is to inform the Uzbek officials that only the civilian people are blown up by mines and no terrorist ha been blown up. According to the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs, land mines are being placed by the Uzbek border guards along the Tajik-Uzbek boundary in circumstances when the works on demarcation between them have not been finished. These measures oppose the Ottawa convention on October 10, 1980 and to the International legal norms in general which prohibits the use of anti-personal mines and other strategies that cause death or injury.  Appropriate political notes on the issue have been sent by the Tajik government to Uzbekistan but up to this time, they have not received any response. 15 Tajik people were killed and 15 other were injured for the last three months as a consequence of the Uzbek mining, all of which are residents of Panjakent, Asht and Isfara districts.  (“REACTION OF THE TAJIK AUTHORITIES TO THE EVENTS ON THE TAJIK-UZBEK FRONTIER”, 2006)

            In Makkah, Saudi Arabia, the first major stride in decades toward shared recognition was taken. Famous Shiite and Sunni religious scholars from Iraq led this action. A cooperative pronouncement was signed for an absolute end to the sectarian murders in Iraq that have lately assumed terrible size. (“Makkah Pact Forbids Shiite-Sunni Killings”, 2006)

            Proposals to end a row between EU and Ankara over privileges for trade in Cyprus contained a few unequal elements. The additions of constructive talks were ongoing according to Turkey. There is a risk that its discussion on joining the EU could be disrupted. Turkey rebuffs to liberate its air and sea ports to Greek Cypriot utilization in a customs unification pact with the EU, except if the EU builds well on guarantees to alleviate the economic seclusion of the secede Turkish Cypriots in the north of the divided island. (“Turkey sees ‘unbalanced’ elements in proposal on Cyprus deadlock”, 2006)

            Muslim countries all over the world experience certain tribulations due to their social geography. The presence of different kinds of ethnic groups makes it hard for these countries to be at peace. Language barrier is also one main factor that hinders certain ethnic groups to communicate well with each other. The difference in the kind of Islam they practice affects their social relationship with their countrymen.

Reference:

Arab Newspaper. (2006). Retrieved October 22, 2006, from http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4;sectionfiltered=0;article=86978;d=22;m=10;y=2006

Baku Today. (2006). Retrieved October 19, 2006, from http://www.bakutoday.net/view.php?d=28220

Eurasianet. (2006). Retrieved October 22, 2006, from http://www.eurasianet.org/resource/tajikistan/press_digest/digest11.10.shtm

Fact Monster. (2006). Retrieved October 22, 2006, from http://www.factmonster.com/countries.html

Human Development Reports. (2006). Retrieved October 22, 2006, from http://hdr.undp.org/statistics/data/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_DZA.html

Wikipedia. (2006). Retrieved October 22, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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