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Coordinates: 31°57′N 5°19′E / 31.950°N 5.317°E / 31.950; 5.317

Ouargla (Arabic: وَرڤلة ‎) is the capital city of Ouargla province, in the Sahara Desert, in southern Algeria. It has a flourishing oil industry, and hosts one of Algeria's universities.[clarification needed] The city had a population of 129,402 in 1998 (census figures).

Historical Ouargla

The Fatimids turned westward in 911 CE, destroying the imamate of Tahert and conquering Sijilmasa in Morocco. Ibadi Kharijite refugees from Tahert fled south to the oasis at Ouargla.

Modern Ouargla

The city was a significant touristic attraction until recently, when troubled times during the nineties and since brought a stop to that. Many tourists chose to shop sand roses at souk l'ehjar, the old rock market. The souq, or market, had many traditional shops filled with antiquities, traditional crafts, and local items - from dresses to stuffed lizards. The area across from these shops was used to display sand roses, mineral specimens, of all sizes and shapes. The market has gone through a renovation process. However many[who?] criticized this renovation, feeling it destroyed the historical character of souk l'ehjar and the area.

Not far from souk l'ehjar[citation needed] is the old groceries market, or the Sunday market as the local people call it. It is also located in the centre of the old city, La Lasbah. At its centre lays the original old market, shaped as a circle split into small archs. The central circular structure is presently used as a meat market, and around this are rows of grocers and farmers with stalls displaying their produce, with all sorts of fruits and vegetables.

Next to the old groceries market lie to the two oldest mosques of the city, "al-Masjid al-Atiq" which literally means "the old mosque," and the old Ibadhi mosque. The old Ibadhi mosque was "home" to one of the most renowned Islamic scholars of the city, Taleb et-Tayeb.

Some of Ouargla's population speak the Ouargli language.


Peter Chatman, known as Memphis Slim, a great piano blues musician and boogie woogie all star, composed and performed a boogie-woogie instrumental tune named 'Ouargla' in 1971. On the track, he was accompanied by Michel Denis on drums. The piece pays tribute to the Ouargla oasis, which was a famous and popular 'hang out' in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

See also


External links

  • Falling Rain Genomics, Inc. "Geographical information on Ouargla, Algeria". Retrieved 2008-04-27.

ar:ورقلة de:Ouargla fr:Ouargla it:Ouargla lt:Uargla nl:Ouargla ja:ワルグラ pl:Warkala pt:Ouargla ro:Ouargla ru:Уаргла war:Ouargla zh:瓦尔格拉