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The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
and the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Member states of the Arab League, Arab countries which are members of ...

Arab world
. The region includes
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
,
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
,
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; Berber languages, Berber: ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: ''Moritani''; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Gànnaar''; Soninke language, Soninke: ''Murutaane''), officially ...

Mauritania
(also considered part of
West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania ...

West Africa
),
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
and
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
. The Maghreb also includes the disputed territories of
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a disputed territory Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of conflicting opinion or point of view. The word was coined from the Latin ''controversia'', as a com ...

Western Sahara
(controlled mostly by Morocco and partly by the self-proclaimed
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (; SADR; also romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as t ...
) and the Spanish cities
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
and
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; ber, Mrich / Mlilt; ar, مليلية ) is an of located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing with . It has an area of . One of two Spanish autonomous cities in mainland Africa together with , it was part of the until ...

Melilla
.Article 143. As of 2018, the region had a population of over 100 million people. Through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, English sources often referred to the region as the Barbary Coast or the Barbary States, a term derived from the demonym of the
Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...

Berbers
. Sometimes, the region is referred to as the Land of the Atlas, referring to the
Atlas Mountains The Atlas Mountains ( ar, جِبَال ٱلْأَطْلَس, jibāl al-ʾaṭlas /ʒibaːl al atˤlas/, Tamazight The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: , ; Neo-Tifinagh: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ, Tuareg Tifin ...

Atlas Mountains
, which are located within it. In
Berber languages The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: , ; Neo-Tifinagh: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ, Tuareg Tifinagh: ⵜⵎⵣⵗⵜ, , ), are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They comprise a group of closely related l ...

Berber languages
, the word "
Tamazgha Tamazgha ( Berber: Tamazɣa ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵖⴰ) is a toponym Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of '' toponyms'' (proper names of places, also known as ''place name ...

Tamazgha
" is used to refer to the Maghreb region plus the smaller parts of
Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭, Renndaandi Maali, ar, جمهورية م ...

Mali
,
Niger ) , official_languages = French , languages_type = National language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...

Niger
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
and the Spanish
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...
that have traditionally been inhabited by the
Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...

Berbers
. The Maghreb is usually defined as encompassing much of the northern part of Africa, including a large portion of the
Sahara Desert The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the . With an area of , it is the largest hot in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of and the northern . ...

Sahara Desert
, but excluding
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
and
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
, which are considered to be located in the
Mashriq Image:Mashreq.PNG, Map depicting the area most conservatively known as the ''Mashriq'' The Mashriq ( ar, ٱلْمَشْرِق), sometimes spelled Mashreq or Mashrek, is a term used by Arabs to refer to the eastern part of the Arab world, locat ...

Mashriq
— the eastern part of the Arab world. The traditional definition of the Maghreb — which restricted its scope to the Atlas Mountains and the coastal plains of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya — was expanded in modern times to include Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara. During the era of
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
on the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian Peninsula
(711–1492), the Maghreb's inhabitants — the Muslim Berbers, or Maghrebi — were known by Europeans as the "
Moors '' of Alfonso X, c. 1285 The term Moor is an Endonym and exonym, exonym first used by Christian Europeans to designate the Muslims, Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors init ...

Moors
". Before the establishment of modern nation states in the region during the 20th century, the ''Maghreb'' most commonly referred to a smaller area, between the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
and the Atlas Mountains in the south. It often also included the territory of eastern Libya, but not modern Mauritania. As recently as the late 19th century, the term "Maghreb" was used to refer to the
Western Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands aroun ...
region of coastal North Africa in general, and to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, in particular. Elisée Reclus, ''Africa'', edited by
A. H. Keane Augustus Henry Keane (1833–1912) was an Irish Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome ...
, B. A., Vol. II, North-West Africa, Appleton and company, 1880, New York, p.95
During the rule of the
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
kingdom of
Numidia Numidia (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifica ...

Numidia
, the region was somewhat unified as an independent political entity. This period was followed by one of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
's rule or influence. The Germanic
Vandal The Vandals were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Soci ...

Vandal
s invaded after that, followed by the equally brief re-establishment of a weak Roman rule by the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
. The Islamic
Caliphates A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' ...
came to power under the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
, the
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
and the
Fatimid Caliphate The Fatimid Caliphate ( ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْفَاطِمِيَّة , al-Ḫilāfa al-Fāṭimiyya) was an Ismaili Shia Ismāʿīlism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, ''al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah''; fa, اسماعیلیان, ''E ...

Fatimid Caliphate
. The most enduring rule was that of the local Berber empires of the
Ifranid dynasty
Ifranid dynasty
(also called Emirate of Tlemcen with abu Qurra as leader; the Berbers called him "caliph" Ibn Khaldun, as explained in his book Kitab al ibar),
Almoravid dynasty The Almoravid dynasty ( ar, المرابطون, translit=Al-Murābiṭūn, lit=those from the ribat A ribāṭ ( ar, رِبَـاط; hospice, hostel, base or retreat) is an Arabic term for a small fortification built along a frontier during ...
,
Almohad Caliphate The Almohad Caliphate (IPA IPA commonly refers to: * India pale ale, a style of beer * International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin ...

Almohad Caliphate
,
Hammadid dynasty The Hammadid dynasty or Kingdom of Hammadid () was a branch of the Sanhaja The Sanhaja ( ber, Aẓnag, pl. Iẓnagen, and also Aẓnaj, pl. Iẓnajen; ar, صنهاجة, ''Ṣanhaja'' or زناگة ''Znaga'') were once one of the largest Berber ...
,
Zirid dynasty The Zirid dynasty ( ar, الزيريون, translit=Al-Zīryūn), Banu Ziri ( ar, بنو زيري, translit=Banu Zīry), or the Zirid state ( ar, الدولة الزيرية, translit=Al-dawla al-Zīrya) was a Sanhaja The Sanhaja ( ber, Aẓnag, ...
,
Marinid dynasty The Marinid Sultanate was a Berbers, Berber empire from the mid-13th to the 15th century which controlled present-day Morocco and, intermittently, other parts of North Africa (Algeria and Tunisia) and of southern Spain around Gibraltar. It was ...
,
Zayyanid dynasty The Zayyanid dynasty ( ar, زيانيون, ''Ziyānyūn'') or Abd al-Wadids ( ar, بنو عبد الواد, ''Bānu ʿabd āl-Wād'') was a Berber Zenata The Zenata ( Berber: ⵉⵣⵏⴰⵜⵏ ''Iznaten'') are a group of Amazigh (Berber) tribes ...
,
Hafsid dynasty The Hafsids ( ar, الحفصيون ''al-Ḥafṣiyūn'') were a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Berbers, Berber descentC. Magbaily Fyle, ''Introduction to the History of African Civilization: Precolonial Africa'', (University Press of America, 1999), 84 ...
and
Wattasid dynasty The Wattasid dynasty ( ber, ⵉⵡⴻⵟⵟⴰⵙⴻⵏ, ''Iweṭṭasen''; ar, الوطاسيون, ''al-waṭṭāsīyūn'') was a ruling dynasty of Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption ...
, extending from the 8th to 13th centuries. The
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
for a period also controlled parts of the region. Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia established the Arab Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and
economic integration Economic integration is the unification of economic policies between different states, through the partial or full abolition of tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by a government A government is the system or group of people governing a ...
in a common market. It was envisioned initially by
Muammar Gaddafi Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, Modern Standard . Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Ling ...
as a
superstate A superstate is defined as "a large and powerful state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...
. The union included Western Sahara implicitly under Morocco's membership, and ended Morocco's long cold war with Algeria over this territory. However, this progress was short-lived, and the union is now dormant. Tensions between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara re-emerged, reinforced by the unsolved border dispute between the two countries. These two main conflicts have hindered progress on the union's joint goals and practically made it inactive as a whole. The instability in the region and growing cross-border security threats revived calls for regional cooperation. In May 2015 foreign ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union declared a need for coordinated security policy at the 33rd session of the follow-up committee meeting; this revived hope of some form of cooperation.


Terminology

The toponym ''maghrib'' is a geographical term that the Muslim Arabs gave to the region extending from
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Etymologically it means both ''the western place/land'' and ''the place where the sun sets''. It is composed of the prefix ''ma−'', which makes a noun out of the verb
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large grou ...
, and غرب (gharaba, ''to set'', as in ''setting sun'') (from gh-r-b root (غ-ر-ب)). Muslim historians and geographers divided the region into three areas: ''al-Maghrib al-Adna'' (the near Maghrib), which included the lands extending from
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
to Tarabulus (modern-day
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...

Tripoli
) in the west; ''al-Maghrib al-Awsat'' (the middle Maghrib), which extended from Tripoli to Bijaya (
Béjaïa Béjaïa (; ar, بِجَايَة, ''Bijayah''; ber, Bgayet, Bgayeth), formerly Bougie and Bugia, is a Mediterranean seaport, port city on the Gulf of Béjaïa in Algeria; it is the capital of Béjaïa Province, Kabylia. Béjaïa is the largest ...

Béjaïa
); and ''al-Maghrib al-Aqsa'' (the far Maghrib), which extended from Tahart (
Tiaret Tiaret ( ar, تاهرت / تيارت; Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated ...

Tiaret
) to the Atlantic Ocean. They disagreed, however, over the definition of the eastern boundary. Some authors place it at the sea of Kulzum (the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a North ...

Red Sea
) and thus include
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
and the country of Barca in the Maghrib.
Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; ar, أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي, ; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) was an Arabs, Arab The Historical Muhammad', Irving M. Zeitlin, (Polity Press, 2007), p. 21; "It is, of course ...
does not accept this definition because, he says, the inhabitants of the Maghreb do not consider Egypt and Barca as forming part of Maghrib. The latter commences only at the province of
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...

Tripoli
and includes the districts of which the country of the Berbers was composed in former times. Later Maghribi writers repeated the definition of Ibn Khaldun, with a few variations in details. the term Maghrib is still used in opposition to
Mashriq Image:Mashreq.PNG, Map depicting the area most conservatively known as the ''Mashriq'' The Mashriq ( ar, ٱلْمَشْرِق), sometimes spelled Mashreq or Mashrek, is a term used by Arabs to refer to the eastern part of the Arab world, locat ...

Mashriq
in a sense near to that which it had in medieval times, but it also denotes simply
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
when the full ''al-Maghrib al-Aksa'' is abbreviated. Certain politicians seek a political union of the North African countries, which they call ''al-Maghrib al-Kabir'' (the grand Maghrib) or ''al-Maghrib al-Arabi'' (the Arab Maghrib). Speakers of
Berber languages The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: , ; Neo-Tifinagh: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ, Tuareg Tifinagh: ⵜⵎⵣⵗⵜ, , ), are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They comprise a group of closely related l ...

Berber languages
call this region ''Tamazɣa'' or ''Tamazgha'', which translates to "land of the Berbers". Since the second half of the twentieth century, this term has been popularized by activists promoting
Berberism Berberism or Amazighism is a Berber political-cultural movement of ethnic, geographic, or cultural nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation A nation is a community of people forme ...
.


History


Prehistory

Around 3,500 BC, changes in the tilt of the
Earth's orbit Earth orbits the Sun at an average distance of 149.60 million km (92.96 million mi), and one complete orbit takes  days (1 sidereal year), during which time Earth has traveled 940 million km (584 million mi). Jean Meeus, ''Astron ...
appear to have caused a rapid
desertification Desertification is a type of land degradation Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land. It is viewed as any change or distu ...
of the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
region forming a natural barrier that severely limited contact between the Maghreb and
sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

sub-Saharan Africa
. The
Berber people Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...
have inhabited western North Africa since at least 10,000 BC.


Antiquity

Partially isolated from the rest of the continent by the Atlas Mountains (stretching from present-day Morocco to present-day Tunisia) and by the Sahara desert, inhabitants of the northern parts of the Berber world have long had commercial and cultural ties across the Mediterranean Sea to the inhabitants of the regions of
Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth a ...

Southern Europe
and
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
. These trade relations date back at least to the
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...

Phoenicians
in the 1st millennium BC. (According to tradition, the Phoenicians founded their colony of
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
(in present-day Tunisia) ). Phoenicians and Carthaginians arrived for trade. The main Berber and Phoenician settlements centered in the
Gulf of Tunis The Gulf of Tunis () is a large Mediterranean bay in north-eastern Tunisia, extending for from Cape Farina in the west to Cape Bon in the east. Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia, lies at the south-western edge of the Gulf, as have a series of se ...
(
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
,
Utica, Tunisia Utica () was an ancient Phoenician colonies, Phoenician and Carthaginian Empire, Carthaginian city located near the outflow of the Medjerda River into the Mediterranean, between Carthage in the south and Hippo Diarrhytus (present-day Bizerte) in ...
) along the North African
littoral The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface ...

littoral
, between the
Pillars of Hercules The Pillars of Hercules ( la, Columnae Herculis, grc, Ἡράκλειαι Στῆλαι, , ar, أعمدة هرقل, Aʿmidat Hiraql, es, Columnas de Hércules) was the phrase that was applied in to the that flank the entrance to the . The ...

Pillars of Hercules
and the Libyan coast east of ancient
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
. They dominated the trade and intercourse of the
Western Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands aroun ...
for centuries.
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
's defeat of Carthage in the
Punic Wars The Punic Wars were a series of wars (taking place between 264 and 146BC) that were fought between the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run thr ...
(264 to 146 BC) enabled Rome to establish the
Province of Africa Africa Proconsularis was a Roman province on the northern African coast that was established in 146 BC following the defeat of Ancient Carthage, Carthage in the Third Punic War. It roughly comprised the territory of present-day Tunisia, the nort ...
(146 BC) and to control many of these ports. Rome eventually took control of the entire Maghreb north of the Atlas Mountains. Rome was greatly helped by the defection of
Massinissa Masinissa (''c.''238 BC – 148 BC)—also spelled Massinissa and Massena—was the first King of Numidia. During his younger years, before he was king, he fought in the Second Punic War (218–201 BC), first against the Romans as an ally ...
(later King of Numidia, ) and of Carthage's eastern Numidian
MassyliiThe Massylii or Maesulians were a Berber federation of tribes in eastern Numidia, which was formed by an amalgamation of smaller tribes during the 4th century BC.Nigel Bagnall, The Punic Wars, p. 270. They were ruled by a king. On their loosely def ...
client-allies. Some of the most mountainous regions, such as the Moroccan
Rif The Rif or Riff (; ), also called Rif Mountains, is a geographic and cultural region 's map of native American cultural areas within the territory of the United States (1948) as defined by Melville J. Herskovits influence , homelands of ...

Rif
, remained outside Roman control. Furthermore, during the rule of the Romans, Byzantines, Vandals and Carthaginians the Kabyle people were the only or one of the few in North Africa who remained independent. The Kabyle people were incredibly resistible so much so that even during the Arab conquest of North Africa they still had control and possession over their mountains. The pressure put on the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
by the
Barbarian invasions The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
(notably by the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic peoples, Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland. They established Vandal Kingdom, Vandal kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean islands, and North Africa in the fifth century. The ...
and in Iberia) in the 5th century AD reduced Roman control and led to the establishment of the
Vandal Kingdom The Vandal Kingdom ( la, Regnum Vandalum) or Kingdom of the Vandals and Alans ( la, Regnum Vandalorum et Alanorum) was established by the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of ...
of North Africa in 430 A.D., with its capital at Carthage. A century later, the Byzantine emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
sent (533) a force under General
Belisarius Flavius Belisarius ( el, Φλάβιος Βελισάριος; c. 500The exact date of his birth is unknown. – 565) was a military commander of the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, o ...
that succeeded in destroying the Vandal Kingdom in 534. Byzantine rule lasted for 150 years. The Berbers contested the extent of Byzantine control. After the advent of Islam in Mediterranean Africa in the period from 639 to 700 AD, Arab Empire , Arabs took control of the entire Maghreb region.


Middle Ages

The Arabs reached the Maghreb in early Umayyad times. Islamic Berber kingdoms such as the Almohads expansion and the spread of Islam contributed to the development of trans-Saharan trade. While restricted due to the cost and dangers, the trade was highly profitable. Commodities traded included such goods as salt, gold, ivory, and Arab slave trade, enslaved persons from sub-Saharan regions. Arab control over the Maghreb was quite weak. Various Islamic variations, such as the Ibadis and the Shia, were adopted by some Berbers, often leading to scorning of Caliphal control in favour of their own interpretation of Islam. As a result of the invasion of the Banu Hilal Arabs, the Arabic language and dialects spread slowly without eliminating Berber. These Arabs had been set upon the Berbers by the Fatimids in punishment for their Zirid former Berber clients who defected and abandoned Shiism in the 12th century. Throughout this period, the Berber world most often was divided into three states, roughly corresponding to modern Morocco, western Algeria, and eastern Algeria and
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
. The Maghreb region was occasionally briefly unified, as under the Almohad Berber empire, Fatimid Caliphate, Fatimids and briefly under the Zirid dynasty, Zirids. The Hammadid dynasty, Hammadids also managed to conquer land in all countries in the Maghreb region.


Early modern history


Modern history

After the 19th century, areas of the Maghreb were colonized by France, Spain and later Italy. Today, more than two and a half million Maghrebi immigrants live in France, many from Algeria and Morocco. In addition, as of 1999 there were 3 million French of Maghrebi origin (defined as having at least one grandparent from Algeria, Morocco or Tunisia). A 2003 estimate suggests six million French residents were ethnic Maghrebi.


Population

The Maghreb is primarily inhabited by peoples of
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
ancestral origin. Berbers are autochthonous to
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
(80%),
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
(>60%),
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
(80%), and
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
(>88%). Ethnic French, Arab, West African, and Sephardic Jewish populations also inhabit the region. Various other influences are also prominent throughout the Maghreb. In northern coastal towns, in particular, several waves of European immigrants influenced the population in the Medieval era. Most notable were the moriscos and Muwallad, muladies, that is, the indigenous Spaniards (Moors) who were forcibly converted to Catholicism and later expelled, together with ethnic Arab and Berber Muslims, during the Reconquista, Spanish Catholic Reconquista. Other European contributions included French, Italian, and English crews and passengers taken captive by Barbary corsairs, corsairs. In some cases, they were returned to families after being ransomed; in others, they were used as slaves or assimilated and adopted into tribes. Historically, the Maghreb was home to significant historic Jewish communities called Maghrebim, who predated the 7th-century introduction and conversion of the region to Islam. These were later augmented by Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal who, fleeing the Spanish Catholic Inquisition of the 15th and 16th centuries, established a presence in North Africa. They settled primarily in the urban trading centers. Another significant group is Turks, who migrated with the expansion of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. Africans from south of the Sahara joined the population mix during centuries of trans-Saharan trade. Traders and slaves went to the Maghreb from the Sahel region. On the Saharan southern edge of the Maghreb are small communities of black populations, sometimes called Haratine. In Algeria especially, a large European minority, known as the "pied noirs", immigrated to the region, settling under French colonial rule in the late 19th century. They established farms and businesses. The overwhelming majority of these, however, left Algeria during and following the war for independence. In comparison to the population of France, the Maghrebi population was one-eighth of France's population in 1800, one-quarter in 1900, and equal in 2000. The Maghreb is home to 1% of the global population as of 2010.


Genetics

The Y-chromosome genetic structure of the Maghreb population seems to be modulated chiefly by geography. The Y-DNA Haplogroups haplogroup E1b1b (Y-DNA), E1b1b and haplogroup J (Y-DNA), J make up the vast majority of the genetic markers of the populations of the Maghreb. haplogroup E1b1b (Y-DNA), Haplogroup E1b1b is the most widespread among Maghrebi groups, especially the downstream lineage of E-M81, E1b1b1b1a, which is typical of the indigenous Berbers of North-West Africa. Haplogroup J is more indicative of Middle East origins, and has its highest distribution among populations in Arabia and the Levant. Due to the distribution of E-M81(E1b1b1b1a), which has reached its highest documented levels in the world at 95–100% in some populations of the Maghreb, it has often been termed the "Berber marker" in the scientific literature. The second most common marker, Haplogroup J (Y-DNA), Haplogroup J, especially Haplogroup J1 (Y-DNA), J1, which is typically Middle Eastern and originates in the Arabian peninsula, can reach frequencies of up to 35% in the region.*Alshamali et al. 2009 81% (84/104) *Malouf et al. 2008: 70% (28/40) *Cadenas et al. 2008:45/62 = 72.6% J1-M267 Its highest density is found in the Arabian Peninsula. Haplogroup R1, a Eurasian marker, has also been observed in the Maghreb, though with lower frequency. The Y-DNA haplogroups shown above are observed in both Arabic speakers and Berber-speakers. The Maghreb Y chromosome pool (including both Arab and Berber populations) may be summarized for most of the populations as follows, where only two haplogroups Haplogroup E1b1b (Y-DNA), E1b1b and Haplogroup J (Y-DNA), J comprise generally more than 80% of the total chromosomes:


Religion

The original religions of the peoples of the Maghreb seem to have been based in and related to fertility cults of a strong Matriarchal religion, matriarchal pantheon. This theory is based on the social and linguistic structures of the Amazigh cultures that antedated all Egyptian and eastern Asian, northern Mediterranean, and European influences. Historic records of religion in the Maghreb region show its gradual inclusion in the Classical World, with coastal colonies established first by Phoenicians, some Greeks, and later extensive conquest and colonization by the Romans. By the 2nd century of the common era, the area had become a center of Phoenician-speaking Christianity. Its bishops spoke and wrote in Punic, and Emperor Septimius Severus was noted by his local accent. Roman settlers and Romanized populations converted to Christianity. The region produced figures such as Christian church writer Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 202); and Christian martyrs or leading figures such as Perpetua, Perpetua, and Felicity (martyrs, c. 200 CE); Cyprian, St. Cyprian of Carthage (+ 258); Monica (Christian saint), St. Monica; her son the philosopher St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo I (+ 430) (1); and Julia of Corsica, St. Julia of Carthage (5th century).


Islam

Islam arrived in 647 and challenged the domination of Christianity. The first permanent foothold of Islam was the founding in 667 of the city of Kairouan, in present-day
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
.
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
fell to Muslims in 698 and the remainder of the region fell by 709. Islamization proceeded slowly. From the end of the 7th century, over a period of more than 400 years, the region's peoples converted to Islam. Many left during this time for Italy, although surviving letters showed correspondence from regional Christians to Rome up until the 12th century. Christianity was still a living faith. Although there were numerous conversions after the conquest, Muslims did not become a majority until some time late in the 9th century. During the 10th century, Islam became by far the dominant religion in the region. Christian bishoprics and dioceses continued to be active and continued their relations with the Christian Church of Rome. As late as the reign of Pope Benedict VII (974–983), a new Archdiocese of Carthage, Archbishop of Carthage was consecrated. From the 10th century, Christianity declined in the region. By the end of the 11th century, only two bishops were left in Carthage and Hippo Regius. Pope Gregory VII (1073–85) consecrated a new bishop for Hippo. Christianity seems to have suffered several shocks that led to its demise. First, many upper-class, urban-dwelling, Latin-speaking Christians left for Europe after the Muslim conquest. The second major influence was the large-scale conversions to Islam from the end of the 9th century. Many Christians of a much reduced community departed in the mid-11th century, and remnants were evacuated in the 12th by the Norman rulers of Sicily. The Latin-African language lingered a while longer. There was a small but thriving Jewish community, as well as a small Christian community. Most Muslims follow the Sunni Maliki school. Small Ibadi communities remain in some areas. A strong tradition of venerating marabouts and saints' tombs is found throughout regions inhabited by Berbers. This practice was also common among the Jews of the region. Any map of the region demonstrates the tradition by the proliferation of "Sidi"s, showing places named after the marabouts. This tradition has declined through the 20th century. A network of ''zaouias'' traditionally helped teach basic literacy and knowledge of Islam in rural regions.


Christianity

Communities of Christians, mostly Catholics and Protestant, persist in
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
(100,000–380,000),
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; Berber languages, Berber: ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: ''Moritani''; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Gànnaar''; Soninke language, Soninke: ''Murutaane''), officially ...

Mauritania
(10,000),
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
(~380,000),
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
(170,000), and
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
(100,750). Most of the Roman Catholics in Greater Maghreb are of French, Spanish, and Italian descent, with ancestors who immigrated during the colonial era. Some are foreign missionaries or immigrant workers. There are also Christian communities of Berber or Arab descent in Greater Maghreb, made up of persons who converted mostly during the modern era, or under and after French colonialism. Prior to independence,
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
was home to 1.4 million ''pieds-noirs'' (ethnic French who were mostly Catholic), and Morocco was home to half a million European Moroccans, Europeans,
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
was home to 255,000 European Tunisians, Europeans, and
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
was home to 145,000 Europeans. In religion, most of the ''pieds-noirs'' in Maghreb are Catholic. Due to the exodus of the ''pieds-noirs'' in the 1960s, more North African Christians of Berber or Arab descent now live in France than in Greater Maghreb. Recently, the Protestant community of Berber or Arab descent has grown significantly as additional individuals conversion to Christianity, convert to Christianity, especially to Evangelicalism. This has occurred in Algeria, especially in the Kabylie, Morocco and in Tunisia."International Religious Freedom Report 2007": Tunisia
United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (14 September 2007). ''This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.''
A 2015 study estimates 380,000 Muslims converted to Christianity in Algeria. The number of Moroccans who converted to Christianity (most of them secret worshipers) are estimated between 40,000-150,000.Morocco: No more hiding for Christians
Evangelical Focus
The International Religious Freedom Report for 2007 estimates thousands of Tunisian people, Tunisian Muslims have converted to Christianity. A 2015 study estimate some 1,500 believers in Christ from a Muslim background living in Libya.


Maghrebi traders in Jewish history

In the 10th century, as the social and political environment in Baghdad became increasingly hostile to Jews, some Jewish traders emigrated to the Maghreb, especially Kairouan, Tunisia. Over the following two or three centuries, such Jewish traders became known as the Maghribi, a distinctive social group who traveled throughout the Mediterranean world. They passed this identification on from father to son. Their tight-knit pan-Maghreb community had the ability to use social sanctions as a credible alternative to legal recourse, which was weak at the time anyway. This unique institutional alternative permitted the Maghribis to very successfully participate in the Mediterranean trade.


Geography


Ecoregions

The Maghreb is divided into a Mediterranean climate region in the north, and the arid
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
in the south. The Maghreb's variations in elevation, rainfall, temperature, and soils give rise to distinct communities of plants and animals. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) identifies several distinct ecoregions in the Maghreb.


Mediterranean Maghreb

The portions of the Maghreb between the
Atlas Mountains The Atlas Mountains ( ar, جِبَال ٱلْأَطْلَس, jibāl al-ʾaṭlas /ʒibaːl al atˤlas/, Tamazight The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: , ; Neo-Tifinagh: ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ, Tuareg Tifin ...

Atlas Mountains
and the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
, along with coastal Tripolitania and
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
in Libya, are home to Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub. These ecoregions share many species of plants and animals with other portions of Mediterranean Basin. The southern extent of the Mediterranean Maghreb corresponds with the Contour line#Precipitation and air moisture, isohyet, or the southern range of the Olive, European Olive ''(Olea europea)'' and Esparto, Esparto Grass ''(Stipa tenacissima)''.Wickens, Gerald E. (1998) ''Ecophysiology of Economic Plants in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands''. Springer, Berlin. * Mediterranean acacia-argania dry woodlands and succulent thickets (Morocco, Canary Islands (Spain), Western Sahara) * Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia) * Mediterranean woodlands and forests (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia) * Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Spain) * Mediterranean High Atlas juniper steppe (Morocco)


Saharan Maghreb

The Sahara extends across northern Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Its central part is hyper-arid and supports little plant or animal life, but the northern portion of the desert receives occasional winter rains, while the strip along the Atlantic coast receives moisture from marine fog, which nourishes a greater variety of plants and animals. The northern edge of the Sahara corresponds to the 100 mm isohyet, which is also the northern range of the date palm ''(Phoenix dactylifera)''. * North Saharan steppe and woodlands: This ecoregion lies along the northern edge of the Sahara, next to the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregions of the Mediterranean Maghreb and Cyrenaica. Winter rains sustain shrublands and dry woodlands that form a transition between the Mediterranean climate regions to the north and the hyper-arid Sahara proper to the south. It covers 1,675,300 square km (646,800 square miles) in
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
, Mauritania,
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
,
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
, and Western Sahara. * Atlantic coastal desert: The Atlantic coastal desert occupies a narrow strip along the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast, where fog generated offshore by the cool Canary Current provides sufficient moisture to sustain a variety of lichens, succulent plant, succulents, and shrubs. It covers in
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a disputed territory Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of conflicting opinion or point of view. The word was coined from the Latin ''controversia'', as a com ...

Western Sahara
and
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; Berber languages, Berber: ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: ''Moritani''; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Gànnaar''; Soninke language, Soninke: ''Murutaane''), officially ...

Mauritania
. * Sahara Desert (ecoregion), Sahara desert: This ecoregion covers the hyper-arid central portion of the Sahara where rainfall is minimal and sporadic. Vegetation is rare, and this ecoregion consists mostly of sand dunes ''(erg (landform), erg)'', stone plateaus ''(hamada)'', gravel plains ''(Desert pavement, reg)'', dry valleys ''(wadi)'', and salt flats. It covers 4,639,900 square km (1,791,500 square miles) of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya,
Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭, Renndaandi Maali, ar, جمهورية م ...

Mali
, Mauritania,
Niger ) , official_languages = French , languages_type = National language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...

Niger
, and
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
. * Saharan halophytics: Seasonally flooded saline depressions in the Maghreb are home to halophytic, or salt-adapted, plant communities. The Saharan halophytics cover 54,000 square km (20,800 square miles), including Tunisian salt lakes of central Tunisia, Chott Melghir in Algeria, and other areas of Egypt, Algeria, Mauritania, and Western Sahara.


Culture

The countries of the Maghreb share many cultural traditions. Among these is a culinary tradition that Habib Bourguiba defined as Western Arab, where bread or couscous are the staple foods, as opposed to Eastern Arab, where bread or white rice are the staple foods. In terms of food, similarities beyond the starches are found throughout the Arab world.


Economy


Maghreb countries by GDP (PPP)


Medieval regions

* Ifriqiya (currently
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
, Constantinois and Tripolitania) * Djerid * Sous * M'zab * Draa River, Draa Valley * Hodna *
Rif The Rif or Riff (; ), also called Rif Mountains, is a geographic and cultural region 's map of native American cultural areas within the territory of the United States (1948) as defined by Melville J. Herskovits influence , homelands of ...

Rif
* Tamasna (Morocco), Tamesna * Tripolitania * Maghreb al-Awsat (Central Maghreb – currently Northern Algeria) * Maghreb al-Aqsa (Western Maghreb – currently Morocco) * Maghreb al-Adna (Eastern Maghreb – currently Libya and Tunisia)


See also

* Arab Maghreb Union * Barbary Coast *
Berber people Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Canary Islands, and to a lesser ...
* History of Algeria * History of Libya * History of Mauritania * History of Morocco * History of Tunisia * History of Western Sahara * Maghreb French * Maghreb toponymy * Maghrebi script * Maghrebi Arabic *
Mashriq Image:Mashreq.PNG, Map depicting the area most conservatively known as the ''Mashriq'' The Mashriq ( ar, ٱلْمَشْرِق), sometimes spelled Mashreq or Mashrek, is a term used by Arabs to refer to the eastern part of the Arab world, locat ...

Mashriq
, "place of sunrise", which contrasts Maghreb, "place of sunset" *
Moors '' of Alfonso X, c. 1285 The term Moor is an Endonym and exonym, exonym first used by Christian Europeans to designate the Muslims, Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors init ...

Moors
* Occident * Mughrabi (disambiguation) * Plazas de soberanía *
Tamazgha Tamazgha ( Berber: Tamazɣa ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵖⴰ) is a toponym Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of '' toponyms'' (proper names of places, also known as ''place name ...

Tamazgha
* Sahel * Juliette Bessis, Maghreb scholar


Notes and references


External links


Politics, economics, and human affairs analysis in the Maghhreb

Maghreb Radio Stations

News and Views of the Maghreb

Peacekeeping mission in Maghreb: The MINURSO

Total population of the MENA countries 2018
{{Authority control Maghreb, Geography of North Africa Regions of Africa