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{{about |the North African region| the king| Magreb (Tengiz)}}{{short description|Major region of North Africa}}

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250px)| label1 = Countries and territories WEBSITE=THE WORLD FACTBOOK LANGUAGE=EN, 2018-08-06, | label4 = Population density| data4 = {{#expr:101095436/6045741 round 2}}/km2| label5 = Area6,045,741sqmi|abbr=on}}| label6 = GDP PPP| data6 = $1,276.1 billion (2019) (23rd)| label7 = GDP PPP per capita| data7 = $12,622 (2019)| label8 = GDP nominal| data8 = $421.479 billion (2019) (31st)| label9 = GDP nominal per capita| data9 = $4,169 (2019)| label10 = Languages {edih}| label11 = Religion| data11 = Islam, Christianity and Judaism| label12 = Time Zones| data12 = | label13 = Capitals| data13 = Algiers (Algeria)Nouakchott (Mauritania)Rabat (Morocco)Tripoli (Libya)Tunis (Tunisia)| label14 = Currency {edih}ISO 3166>ISO 3166 code| data15 = }}The Maghreb ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|m|ʌ|ɡ|r|ə|b}}; {{transl|ar|ALA|al-Maghrib}}, "the west"), also known as Northwest Africaweblink or Northern Africa, Greater Arab Maghreb ( {{transl|ar|ALA|al-Maghrib al-ʻArabī al-Kabīr}}), Arab Maghreb ( {{transl|ar|ALA|al-Maghrib al-ʻArabī}}) or Greater Maghreb ( {{transl|ar|ALA|al-Maghrib al-Kabīr}}),NEWS,weblink ar:ما هي دول المغرب العربي - موضوع, موضوع, 2018-08-06, ar, WEB,weblink المغرب العربي الكبير, PowerPoint presentation, 2018-08-06, WEB,weblink The Countries of the Greater Arab Maghreb and the European Community, January 1991, University of Pittsburgh, Europe Information: Development DE 68, 2018-08-06, or by some sources the Berber world,UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. IIMedieval Cuisine of the Islamic World, Lilia Zaouali, 2007, University of California Press, Los Angeles. BarbaryHistory and Present Condition of the Barbary States, Michael Russell, 1837, New York.Travels in England, France, Spain, and the Barbary States, Mordecai Manuel Noah, 1819, London.Journey into Barbary: Travels Across Morocco, Wyndham Lewis, 1987, New York. and Berbery,Kharijite political Influences in Medieval. William J. T. Brown, University of Wisconsin-Madison.Algiers with Notices of the Neighbouring States of Barbary. Perceval Barton Lord, 1835, London. is a major region of North Africa, which consists primarily of the countries Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. It additionally includes the disputed territories of Western Sahara (mostly controlled by Morocco) and the cities of Melilla and Ceuta (both controlled by Spain and claimed by Morocco). As of 2018, the region has a population of over 100 million people.In historical English{{what|date=September 2019}} and European literature, the region was known as the Barbary Coast or the Barbary States, derived from the native Berbers.WEB,weblink Barbary Wars, 1801–1805 and 1815–1816, 2014-06-04, WEB,weblink Antique Maps of North Africa, 2014-06-04, dead,weblink" title="">weblink October 11, 2008, Sometimes it was referred to as the Land of the Atlas, derived from the Atlas Mountains.BOOK, Amin, Samir, The Maghreb in the modern world: Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, 1970, Penguin, 10,weblink 27 August 2017, In current Berber language media and literature, the region is part of what is known as Tamazgha.The region is usually defined as much or most of northern Africa, including a large portion of Africa's Sahara Desert, and excluding Egypt, which is part of Mashriq. The traditional definition of the region that restricted it to the Atlas Mountains and the coastal plains of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya was expanded by the inclusion of Mauritania and of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.During the era of Al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula (711–1492), the Maghreb's inhabitants, the Muslim Berbers or Maghrebis, were known by Europeans as "Moors","The Moors were simply Maghrebis, inhabitants of the Maghreb, the western part of the Islamic world, that extends from Spain to Tunisia, and represents a homogeneous cultural entity", Titus Burckhardt, Moorish culture in Spain. Suhail Academy. 1997, p.7 or as "Afariqah" (Roman Africans).The Muslim Conquest and Settlement of North Africa and Spain, Abdulwahid Thanun Taha, Routledge Library Edition: Muslim Spain, p21{{Request quotation|date=February 2018}} Morocco transliterates into Arabic as "al-Maghreb" (The Maghreb).Before the establishment of modern nation states in the region during the 20th century, Maghreb most commonly referred to a smaller area, between the Mediterranean Sea 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, Maghreb was used to refer to the Western Mediterranean region of coastal North Africa in general, and to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, in particular.Elisee Reclus, Africa, edited by A. H. Keane, B. A., Vol. II, North-West Africa, Appleton and company, 1880, New York, p.95The region was somewhat unified as an independent political entity during the rule of the Berber kingdom of Numidia, which was followed by the Roman Empire's rule or influence. That was followed by the brief invasion of the Germanic Vandals, the equally brief re-establishment of a weak Roman rule by the Byzantine Empire, the rule of the Islamic Caliphates under the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate and the Fatimid Caliphate. The most enduring rule was that of the local Berber empires of the Almoravid dynasty, Almohad Caliphate, Hammadid dynasty, Zirid dynasty, Marinid dynasty, Zayyanid dynasty, and Wattasid dynasty—from the 8th to 13th centuries. The Ottoman Empire for a period also controlled parts of the region.Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya established the Arab Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and economic integration in a common market. It was envisioned initially by Muammar Gaddafi as a superstate.{{citation needed|date=November 2014}} The union included Western Sahara implicitly under Morocco's membership,WEB,weblink L'Union du Maghreb arabe, 2010-05-17,weblink" title="">weblink 2010-04-20, dead, putting Morocco's long cold war with Algeria to a rest. 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.WEB,weblink Maghreb, 2007-07-11, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05., However, the instability in the region and growing cross-border security threats revived the calls for regional cooperation, with foreign ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union declaring a need for coordinated security policy in May 2015 at the 33rd session of the follow-up committee meeting, which revived hope of some form of cooperation.Maghreb Countries Urged to Devise Common Security Strategy, Integration Project Remains Deadlocked, North Africa Post (2015)


The toponym (:wikt:مغرب|maghrib) is a geographical term that the Muslim Arabs gave to the region extending from 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 m−, which makes a noun out of the verb root, and غرب (gharaba, to set, as in setting sun).{{citation needed|date=September 2019}}Muslim historians and geographers divided the region into three areas: al-Maghrib al-Adna (the near Maghrib), which included the lands extending from Alexandria to Tarabulus (modern-day Tripoli) in the west; al-Maghrib al-Awsat (the middle Maghrib), which extended from Tripoli to Bijaya (Béjaïa); and al-Maghrib al-Aqsa (the far Maghrib), which extended from Tahart (Tiaret) to the Atlantic Ocean.BOOK, Idris El Hareir, Ravane Mbaye, The Spread of Islam Throughout the World,weblink 2011, UNESCO, 978-92-3-104153-2, 375–376, They disagreed, however, over the start of the eastern boundary. Some authors extend it as far as the sea of Kulzum (the Red Sea) and thus include Egypt and the country of Barca in the Maghrib. Ibn Khaldun 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 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.BOOK, Jan-Olaf Blichfeldt, Early Mahdism: Politics and Religion in the Formative Period of Islam,weblink 1985, Brill Archive, 1183–1184, GGKEY:T7DEYT42F5R, {{As of|2017}} the term Maghrib is still used in opposition to Mashriq in a sense near to that which it had in medieval times. It also denotes only 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).BOOK, Hassan Sayed Suliman, The Nationalist Movements in the Maghrib: A Comparative Approach,weblink 1987, Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 978-91-7106-266-6, 8, Berber-language speakers now call this region Tamazɣa or Tamazgha, which translates to: "Berbery" (land of the Berbers).WEB,weblink Tamazgha, North African Berbers, 2010-02-09, BOOK,weblink History and the culture of nationalism in Algeria (Page: 189), 2011-01-14, 978-0-521-84373-7, McDougall, James, 2006-07-31, This term has been popularized by Berberism activists since the second half of the 20th century.


(File:Ida Ou Nadif head ornament (19th century).jpg|thumb|Maghreb head ornament (Morocco))


Around 3,500 BC, changes in the tilt of the Earth's orbit appear to have caused a rapid desertification of the Sahara regionSahara's Abrupt Desertification Started by Changes in Earth's Orbit, Accelerated by Atmospheric and Vegetation Feedbacks, Science Daily. "One of the most striking climate changes of the past 11,000 years caused the abrupt desertification of the Saharan and Arabia regions midway through that period. The resulting loss of the Sahara to agricultural pursuits may be an important reason that civilizations were founded along the valleys of the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates. German scientists, employing a new climate system model, have concluded that this desertification was initiated by subtle changes in the Earth's orbit and strongly amplified by resulting atmospheric and vegetation feedbacks in the subtropics." and formed a natural barrier that severely limited contact between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa.{{citation needed|date=February 2019}} Berbers have inhabited western North Africa since at least 10,000 BC.Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen), Hsain Ilahiane,(2006), p. 112. "The Siwan people are mostly Berbers, the indigenous people who once roamed the North African coast between Tunisia and Morocco. They inhabited the area as early as 10,000 B.C., first moving toward the coast but later inland as conquering powers pushed them to take refuge in the desert."


File:Romtrireme.jpg|thumb|Roman trireme on a mosaic in the Bardo Museum, Tunisia]]Partially isolated from the rest of the continent by the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert, inhabitants of the northern parts of the Berber world have long had commercial and cultural ties to the inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries of Southern Europe and Western Asia, going back at least to the Phoenicians in the 1st millennium BC (the Phoenician colony of Carthage having been founded, according to tradition, in what is now Tunisia circa 800 BC).Berber coast ports and cities were predominantly constructed by the Berbers. Later, some Phoenicians and Carthaginians arrived for trade. The main Berber and Phoenician settlements centered in the Gulf of Tunis (Carthage, Utica, Tunisia) along the North African littoral between the Pillars of Hercules and the Libyan coast east of ancient Cyrenaica. They dominated the trade and intercourse of the Western Mediterranean for centuries. The Carthage defeat in the Punic Wars in 206 BC allowed Rome to establish the Province of Africa and control many of these ports, and eventually control the entire Maghreb north of the Atlas Mountains. Rome was greatly helped by the defection of King Massinissa and Carthage's eastern Numidian Massylii client-allies. Some of the most mountainous regions, such as the Moroccan Rif, remained outside Rome's control. The pressure put on the Western Roman Empire by the Barbarian invasions (the Vandals and Spain) in the 5th century reduced Roman control and led to the establishment of the Vandal Kingdom with its capital at Carthage in 430 AD. A century later, the Byzantine emperor Justinian I sent a force under General Belisarius that succeeded in destroying the Vandal Kingdom, with Byzantine rule lasting for 150 years. The Berbers contested outside-the-area control. After the advent of Islam in the 640s–700 AD period, the Arabs controlled the entire region.

Middle Ages

File:Kairouan Mosque Courtyard.jpg|thumb|The Great Mosque of Kairouan, founded by the Arab general Uqba Ibn Nafi (in 670), is the oldest mosque in the MaghrebTitus Burckhardt, Art of Islam, Language and Meaning: Commemorative Edition, World Wisdom, Inc, 2009, page 128 city of Kairouan, TunisiaTunisiaThe Arabs reached the Maghreb in early Umayyad times. Islamic Berber kingdoms like 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 slaves. 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.The Arabic language and dialects spread slowly without eliminating Berber, as a result of the invasion of the Banu Hilal Arabs, unleashed 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. The region was occasionally briefly unified, as under the Almohad Berber empire, and briefly under the Marinids.{{citation needed|date=November 2016}}

Early modern history

File:Guillaume Delisle North West Africa 1707.jpg|thumb|1707 map of northwest Africa by Guillaume DelisleGuillaume DelisleAfter the Middle Ages, the Ottoman Empire loosely controlled the area east of Morocco.

Modern history

{{further|Spanish Morocco|Spanish Sahara|French protectorate of Morocco|French Algeria|French Protectorate of Tunisia|Italian Libya}}{{further|North African Campaign (World War I)|North African Campaign|Western Desert Campaign}}{{further|Western Sahara War|Algerian War of Independence|History of Algeria since 1962|History of modern Tunisia|Kingdom of Libya|Libya under Gaddafi}}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, there are 3 million French of Maghrebi origin (in 1999) (with at least one grandparent from Algeria, Morocco or Tunisia).An Estimation of the Foreign-Origin Populations of France, Michèle Tribalat Another estimation gives a number of six million."Estimé à six millions d'individus, l'histoire de leur enracinement, processus toujours en devenir, suscite la mise en avant de nombreuses problématiques...", « Être Maghrébins en France » in Les Cahiers de l’Orient, n° 71, troisième trimestre 2003


{{multiple image |align=left |direction=vertical
|image1=Botanical Garden Hamma.jpg |caption1=Algiers, Algeria |width1=
|image2=Casablanca - Morocco 008.jpg|caption2=Casablanca, Morocco |width2=
}}(File:Geschichte des Kostüms (1905) (14580573400).jpg|thumb|upright|People of Maghreb)The Maghreb is primarily inhabited by peoples of Berber ancestral origin. Berbers are autochthonous to Algeria (80%), Libya (>60%), Morocco (80%), and Tunisia (>88%).BOOK, Tej K. Bhatia, William C. Ritchie, The Handbook of Bilingualism, 2006, John Wiley & Sons, 978-0631227359, 860,weblink 27 August 2017, French, Arab, West African and Jewish populations also inhabit the region.The Maghrebi population was 1/8th of France in 1800, 1/4th in 1900 and par in 2000. The Maghreb is home to 1% of the global population as of 2010.Brunel, Claire, Maghreb regional and global integration: a dream to be fulfilled, Peterson Institute, 2008, p.1Various 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 muladies, that is, the indigenous Spaniards (Moors) who forcibly converted to Catholicism and later to be expelled, together with ethnic Arab and Berber Muslims, from the Spanish Catholic Reconquista. Other European contributions included French, Italians, and others captured by the corsairs.WEB,weblink Robert, Davis, British Slaves on the Barbary Coast, 5 November 2009, BBC, Historically, the Maghreb was home to significant Jewish communities called Maghrebim who predated the 7th-century introduction and conversion of the region to Islam. These were later augmented by Jews from Spain who, fleeing the Spanish Catholic Inquisition, established a presence in North Africa, chiefly in the urban trading centers. Many Jews from Spain emigrated to North America in the early 19th century or to France and Israel later in the 20th century.Another significant group are Turks who came over with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. A large Turkish descended population exists, particularly in Tunisia and Algeria.Sub-Saharan Africans 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, who are apparently descended from black populations who inhabited the Sahara during its last wet period and then migrated north.In Algeria especially, a large European minority, the "pied noirs", immigrated and settled under French colonial rule in late 19th century. The overwhelming majority of these, however, left Algeria during and following the war for independence.WEB,weblink France and Maghreb – An enhanced partnership with the Maghreb (March 20, 2007), 2007-07-11, French ministry of Foreign and European Affairs,


File:Imedghasen.jpg|thumb|right|The mausoleum of MadghacenMadghacenThe original religions of the peoples of the Maghreb seemweblink to have been based and related with fertility cults of a strong matriarchal pantheon, given the social and linguistic structures of the Amazigh cultures antedating 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, where bishops spoke and wrote in Punic, and even 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 Church martyrs or leading figures such as Perpetua and Felicity (martyrs, c. 200 CE); St. Cyprian of Carthage (+ 258); St. Monica; her son the philosopher St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo I (+ 430) (1); and St. Julia of Carthage (5th century).


File:Kabylie Christian family.jpg|thumb|upright|Christian Berber family from KabyliaKabyliaIslam 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-time Tunisia. Carthage fell 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 a fair number of conversions after the conquest, Muslims did not become a majority until some time late in the 9th century and became the vast majority during the 10th.Staying Roman, Jonathan Conant, pp. 362–368, 2012 Christian bishoprics and dioceses continued to be active, with relations continuing with Rome. As late as the reign of Pope Benedict VII (974–983), a new Archbishop of Carthage was consecrated. Evidence of Christianity in the region fades from the 10th century.Insoll, T. (2003) "The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa", Cambridge World Archaeology,weblink{{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} However, 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 were large-scale conversions to Islam from the end of the 9th century and many Christians of a much reduced community left in the mid-11th century and were evacuated by the Norman rulers of Sicily in the 12th. The Latin-African language lingered on 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. Any map of the region demonstrates the tradition by the proliferation of "Sidi"s, showing places named after the marabouts. Like some other religious traditions, this has substantially decreased over the 20th century. A network of zaouias traditionally helped proliferate basic literacy and knowledge of Islam in rural regions.There are communities of Christians mostly Catholics and Protestant in Algeria (100,000–380,000),Deeb, Mary Jane. "Religious minorities" Algeria (Country Study). Federal Research Division, Library of Congress; Helen Chapan Metz, ed. December 1993. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.weblink Mauritania (6,500), Morocco (~380,000),The World Factbook – Morocco Libya (170,000), and Tunisia (25,000).WEB, Fr Andrew Phillips,weblink The Last Christians Of North-West Africa: Some Lessons For Orthodox Today,, 8 January 2013, Most of the Roman Catholics in Greater Maghreb are of French, Spanish, and Italian descent who immigrated during the colonial era, while some are foreign missionaries or immigrant workers. There is also a Christian communities of Berber or Arab descent in Greater Maghreb, mostly converted during the modern era or under and after French colonialism.The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 3Rising numbers of Christians in Islamic countries could pose threat to social order {{webarchive|url= |date=2016-03-20 }} Prior to independence, Algeria was home to 1.4 million pieds-noirs (mostly Catholic),BOOK, Cook, Bernard A., Europe since 1945: an encyclopedia, 2001, Garland, New York, 978-0-8153-4057-7, 398, and Morocco was home to half a million Europeans,De Azevedo, Raimondo Cagiano (1994) Migration and development co-operation.. Council of Europe. p. 25. {{ISBN|92-871-2611-9}}. Tunisia was home to 255,000 Europeans,BOOK, Angus Maddison, Contours of the World Economy 1–2030 AD:Essays in Macro-Economic History: Essays in Macro-Economic History,weblink 26 January 2013, 20 September 2007, OUP Oxford, 978-0-19-922721-1, 214, and 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 there were more North African Christians of Berber or Arab descent live in France than in Greater Maghreb.Recently, the Protestant community of Berber or Arab descent has experienced significant growth, and conversions to Christianity, especially to Evangelicalism, is common in Algeria,*{{fr icon}} Sadek Lekdja, Christianity in Kabylie, Radio France Internationale, 7 mai 2001 especially in the Kabylie,Lucien Oulahbib, Le monde arabe existe-t-il ?, page 12, 2005, Editions de Paris, Paris. MoroccoMorocco: General situation of Muslims who converted to Christianity, and specifically those who converted to Catholicism; their treatment by Islamists and the authorities, including state protection (2008–2011) and Tunisia.International Religious Freedom Report 2007: Tunisia. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (September 14, 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.Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census The number of the Moroccans who converted to Christianity (most of them secret worshipers) are estimated between 40,000House-Churches' and Silent Masses —The Converted Christians of Morocco Are Praying in Secret-150,000.Morocco: No more hiding for ChristiansOsservatorio Internazionale: "La tentazione di Cristo" {{webarchive|url= |date=2014-09-05 }} April 2010 The International Religious Freedom Report for 2007 estimates thousands of Tunisian Muslims have converted to Christianity. A 2015 study estimate some 1,500 believers in Christ from a Muslim background living in Libya.JOURNAL, Johnstone, Patrick, Miller, Duane Alexander, Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census, IJRR, 2015, 11, 10, 1–19,weblink 30 October 2015,

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 in Tunisia. Over the following two or three centuries, such Jewish traders became known as the Maghribis, 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 Mediterranean trade.JOURNAL, Avner Greif, Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: The Maghribi Traders' Coalition, American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review, June 1993,weblink 2007-07-11, Avner Greif, . See also Greif's "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders" in the Journal of Economic History Vol. XLIX, No. 4 (Dec. 1989) pp.857–882



The Maghreb is divided into a Mediterranean climate region in the north, and the arid 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

File:Chamaerops humilis argentea1.jpg|thumb|Dwarf fan palm, grown in Maghrebi countries]]The portions of the Maghreb between the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, along with coastal Tripolitania and 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 {{convert|100|mm|in|abbr=on}} isohyet, or the southern range of the European Olive (Olea europea)Dallman, Peter R. (1998) Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates. California Native Plant Society/University of California Press, Berkeley. {{ISBN|0-520-20809-9}} and Esparto Grass (Stipa tenacissima).Wickens, Gerald E. (1998) Ecophysiology of Economic Plants in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands. Springer, Berlin. {{ISBN|978-3-540-52171-6}}

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, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Western Sahara.{{WWF ecoregion|id=pa1321|name=North Saharan steppe and woodlands|accessdate=December 31, 2007}}
  • Atlantic coastal desert: The Atlantic coastal desert occupies a narrow strip along the Atlantic coast, where fog generated offshore by the cool Canary Current provides sufficient moisture to sustain a variety of lichens, succulents, and shrubs. It covers {{convert|39,900|km2|sqmi}} in Western Sahara and Mauritania.{{WWF ecoregion|id=pa1304|name=Atlantic coastal desert|accessdate=December 31, 2007}}
  • 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), stone plateaus (hamada), gravel plains (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, Mauritania, Niger, and Sudan.{{WWF ecoregion|id=pa1327|name=Sahara desert|accessdate=December 31, 2007}}
  • 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.{{WWF ecoregion|id=pa0905|name=Saharan halophytics|accessdate=December 31, 2007}}


(File:African Dinner-01.jpg|right|thumb|Traditional Maghrebi cuisine){{further|Moroccan cuisine}} {{further|Algerian cuisine}} {{further|Tunisian cuisine}}The countries of the Maghreb share many cultural traditions. Among these is a culinary tradition that Habib Bourguiba defined as Western Arab, where couscous is the staple food, as opposed to Eastern Arab where white rice is the staple food. In terms of food, similarities beyond the starches are found throughout the Arab world.

Genetics of the Maghreb population

The Y-chromosome genetic structure of the Maghreb population seems to be mainly modulated by geography, The Y-DNA Haplogroups E1b1b and J make up the vast majority of the genetic markers of the populations of the Maghreb. Haplogroup E1b1b is the most widespread among Maghrebi groups, especially the downstream lineage of 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 especially J1combined (Semino et al. 2004 30%) & (Arredi et al. 2004 32%)JOURNAL, Origin, Diffusion, and Differentiation of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups E and J: Inferences on the Neolithization of Europe and Later Migratory Events in the Mediterranean Area, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 10.1086/386295, 15069642, 1181965, 74, 5, 1023–1034, May 2004, Semino, Ornella, Magri, Chiara, Benuzzi, Giorgia, Lin, Alice A, Al-Zahery, Nadia, Battaglia, Vincenza, MacCioni, Liliana, Triantaphyllidis, Costas, Shen, Peidong, Oefner, Peter J, Zhivotovsky, Lev A, King, Roy, Torroni, Antonio, Cavalli-Sforza, L. Luca, Underhill, Peter A, Santachiara-Benerecetti, A. Silvana, which is typically Middle Eastern and originates in the Arabian peninsula can reach frequencies of up to 35% in the region.JOURNAL, Alshamali F, Pereira L, Budowle B, Poloni ES, Currat M, Local population structure in Arabian Peninsula revealed by Y-STR diversity, Hum. Hered., 68, 1, 45–54, 2009, 19339785, 10.1159/000210448, *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 founded in the Arabian Peninsula. Haplogroup R1,JOURNAL, 17909833, 2008, Robino, C, Analysis of Y-chromosomal SNP haplogroups and STR haplotypes in an Algerian population sample, International Journal of Legal Medicine, 122, 3, 251–5, Crobu, F, Di Gaetano, C, Bekada, A, Benhamamouch, S, Cerutti, N, Piazza, A, Inturri, S, Torre, C, 10.1007/s00414-007-0203-5, which is a Eurasian marker has also been observed in the Maghreb, though with lower frequency. The Y-DNA Haplogroups shown above are observed in both Arabs 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 E1b1b and J comprise generally more than 80% of the total chromosomes:JOURNAL, 10.1086/319521, 11254456, High-Resolution Analysis of Human Y-Chromosome Variation Shows a Sharp Discontinuity and Limited Gene Flow between Northwestern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, April 2001, Bosch E, Calafell F, Comas D, etal, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 68, 4, 1019–29, 0002-9297, 1275654, JOURNAL, 10.1086/340669, 11992266, Genetic Evidence for the Expansion of Arabian Tribes into the Southern Levant and North Africa, June 2002, Nebel A, Landau-Tasseron E, Filon D, etal, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 70, 6, 1594–6, 0002-9297, 379148, JOURNAL, 10.1086/386295, 15069642, 1181965, Origin, Diffusion, and Differentiation of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups E and J: Inferences on the Neolithization of Europe and Later Migratory Events in the Mediterranean Area, May 2004, Semino O, Magri C, Benuzzi G, etal, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 74, 5, 1023–34, King, R, Torroni, A, Cavalli-Sforza, LL, Underhill, PA, Santachiara-Benerecetti, AS, 0002-9297, JOURNAL, 10.1086/423147, 15202071, 1216069, A Predominantly Neolithic Origin for Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in North Africa, August 2004, Arredi B, Poloni ES, Paracchini S, etal, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 75, 2, 338–345, 0002-9297, JOURNAL, 10.1086/386294, 15042509, 1181964, Phylogeographic Analysis of Haplogroup E3b (E-M215) Y Chromosomes Reveals Multiple Migratory Events Within and Out Of Africa, May 2004, Cruciani F, La Fratta R, Santolamazza P, etal, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 74, 5, 1014–22, Vona, G, Aman, R, Cali, F, Akar, N, Richards, M, Torroni, A, Novelletto, A, Scozzari, R, 0002-9297, JOURNAL, 10.1007/s00414-007-0203-5, 17909833, Analysis of Y-chromosomal SNP haplogroups and STR haplotypes in an Algerian population sample, May 2008, Robino C, Crobu F, Di Gaetano C, etal, International Journal of Legal Medicine, 122, 3, 251–5, 0937-9827, JOURNAL, 10.1016/j.fsigss.2007.10.173, Y-chromosome markers distribution in Northern Africa: High-resolution SNP and STR analysis in Tunisia and Morocco populations, August 2008, Onofri V, Alessandrini F, Turchi C, etal, Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, 1, 1, 235–6, Bekada A, Fregel R, Cabrera VM, Larruga JM, Pestano J, et al. (2013) Introducing the Algerian Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome Profiles into the North African Landscape. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56775. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056775{| class="wikitable"! Haplogroup !! Marker !! Sahara/Mauritania !! Morocco !! Algeria !! Tunisia !! Libya
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List by the International Monetary Fund (2013)">

Maghreb countries by GDP (PPP) {| style"font-size:85%;" List by the International Monetary Fund (2013)

List by the World Bank (2013) List by the CIA World Factbook (2013) valign="top"|{| class="wikitable sortable" style="margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto" bgcolor="#ececec"! Rank !! Country !! GDP (PPP) $MAlgeria>|285,541Morocco>|179,240Tunisia>|108,430Libya>|70,386Mauritania>|8,241|{| class="wikitable sortable" style="margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto" bgcolor="#ececec"! Rank !! Country !! GDP (PPP) $M| 421,626| 241,757| 132,695| 120,755| 11,835|{| class="wikitable sortable" style="margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto" bgcolor="#ececec"! Rank !! Country !! GDP (PPP) $M| 284,700| 180,000| 108,400| 73,600| 8,204

Medieval regions

See also

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Notes and references


External links

{{Wikivoyage}}{{Commons category|Maghreb}} {{Regions of the world|state=expanded}}{{Former French colonies}}{{Authority control}}{{coord|30|N|5|E|source:wikidata|display=title}}

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