The history of Algeria takes place in the fertile coastal plain of North Africa, which is often called the Maghreb (or Maghrib). North Africa served as a transit region for people moving towards Europe or the Middle East, thus, the region’s inhabitants have been influenced by populations from other areas. Out of this mix developed the Berber people, whose language and culture, although pushed from coastal areas by conquering and colonizing Carthaginians, Romans, and Byzantines, dominated most of the land until the spread of Islam and the coming of the Arabs. The most significant forces in the country’s history have been the spread of Islam, Arabization, Ottoman and French colonization, and the struggle for independence.
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