Algeria ( or ; Literary Arabic: '; Algerian Arabic,Tamazight: Dzayer, ⴷⵣⴰⵢⴻⵔ; ), officially People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers. With a total area of , 90% of which is desert, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in Africa and in the Mediterranean. The country is bordered in the northeast by Tunisia, in the east by Libya, in the west by Morocco, in the southwest by Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali, in the southeast by Niger, and in the north by the Mediterranean Sea.
The territory of today's Algeria was the home of many prehistoric cultures, including Aterian and Capsian and the "Proto-Imaziɣen" cultures. Its area has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Amaziɣ Numidians, Phoenecians, Lybio-Punic Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arab Umayyads, Arab Abbasids, Multi-Ethnic Fatimids, Amaziɣ Hammadids, Amaziɣ Almoravids, Amaziɣ Almohads, Turkish Ottomans and the French colonial empire. In recent decades Algeria and other nations of the "Desert Belt" have experienced an identity crisis; in response Algeria and Morocco have nationalized Tamaziɣt, the language of their 13,000 year old people. Algeria is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1541 communes. With a population of 37.9 million, it is the 35th most populated country on Earth. Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been the President of Algeria since 1999 and has won four consecutive elections. However, according to the Democracy Index, Algeria is an authoritarian regime.