Union for the Mediterranean: Bon voyage!

12 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East (the western and middle part of the Middle East & North Africa region (MENA)) and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is scenic, architecturally and culturally very diverse. Cities, lakes, mountains, beaches and national parks offer everything that promises fun, recreation and perfect vacations. The cultural offers are numerous. In addition to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, there are numerous galleries, museums, theaters and opera houses. Of course, there are plenty of shopping and entertainment possibilities. However, holiday pleasure is not untroubled in all countries. At present, Syria and Libya in general, Mauritania (Sahara and Sahel) and Lebanon (North Lebanon and the border regions to Syria and Israel), Palestine (Gaza Strip) should be partly avoided. In all other countries of the Levant and North Africa, increased caution, vigilance and prudence are recommended. At the end of each country portrait is a link to the U.S. Department of State, in order to be able to find out about the current security situation on the ground.   read more…

Union for the Mediterranean: Bon appétit!

7 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General, Union for the Mediterranean

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East (the western and middle part of the Middle East & North Africa region (MENA)) and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is culinary very diverse (European cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine, Maghreb cuisine, Levantine cuisine, Middle-Eastern cuisine and Arab cuisine).   read more…

Theme Week Algeria – Algiers

30 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Bologhine district © flickr.com - Damien Boilley/cc-by-2.0

Bologhine district © flickr.com – Damien Boilley/cc-by-2.0

Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. The city’s population is at 3.5 million and the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 6.3 million. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria. Sometimes nicknamed El-Behdja or alternatively Alger la Blanche (“Algiers the White”) for the glistening white of its buildings as seen rising up from the sea, Algiers is situated on the west side of a bay of the Mediterranean Sea. The modern part of the city is built on the level ground by the seashore; the old part, the ancient city of the deys, climbs the steep hill behind the modern town and is crowned by the casbah or citadel, 122 metres (400 ft) above the sea. The Casbah and the two quays form a triangle. Some 20 km (12 mi) to the west of Algiers are such seaside resorts as Sidi Fredj (ex-Sidi Ferruch), Palm Beach, Douaouda, Zéralda, and the Club of the Pines (residence of State); there are tourist complexes, Algerian and other restaurants, souvenir shops, supervised beaches, and other amenities. The city is also equipped with important hotel complexes such as the hotel Hilton, El-Aurassi or El Djazair. Algiers also has the first water park in the country. The tourism of Algiers is growing but is not as developed as that of the larger cities in Morocco or Tunisia. The districts of Algiers are:   read more…

Theme Week Algeria – Tlemcen

29 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© panoramio.com - habib Kaki/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – habib Kaki/cc-by-3.0

Tlemcen is a city in north-western Algeria, and the capital of the province of the same name. The city has developed leather, carpet, and textile industries, which it ships to the port of Rashgun for export. It had a population of 140,000, while the province had 950,000 inhabitants. The town is the ancient capital of central Maghreb, and was founded by the local Berbers. Its centuries of rich history and culture have made the city a center of a unique blend of music and art. Its textiles and handcrafts, its elegant blend of Berber and Al-Andalusian cultures, and its cool climate in the mountains have made it an important center of tourism in Algeria. It is home to a beautiful tomb – that of Sidi Abu Madyan, whose tomb adjoins a mosque. The Great Mosque at Tlemcen was completed in 1136 and is said to be the most remarkable remaining example of Almoravid architecture.   read more…

Theme Week Algeria – Ghardaïa

28 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

© Taguelmoust/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Taguelmoust/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ghardaïa is the capital city of Ghardaïa Province. The commune of Ghardaïa has a population of 93,000, with an annual growth rate of 0.7%. It is located in northern-central Algeria in the Sahara Desert and lies along the left bank of the Wadi Mzab. The M’zab valley in the Ghardaïa Province (Wilaya) was inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982. The unique layout of the Ghardaïa village is dictated by the rocky terrain of the region. Apart from the mosques and the housing pattern layout, with the mosque at the top of the hill, and the houses laid in labyrinthine alleyways, there is also a large market centre. The houses in particular are oriented in such a way that it admits sunlight into every as they strongly believe: “Inhabitants of the house where sun comes in will never see a doctor”. Chimneys are also set in such a way that they do not encroach their neighbours comfort.   read more…

Theme Week Algeria – Jijel

27 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© flickr.com - mycondor34/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – mycondor34/cc-by-2.0

Jijel is the capital of Jijel Province in north-eastern Algeria. It is flanked by the Mediterranean Sea in the region of Corniche Jijelienne, and has a 2008 census population of 130,000 inhabitants. Jijel is situated 30 km from Taza National Park; this national park, a UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve, and other vicinity features support a variety of flora and fauna. In particular, the Taza National Park is habitat for the endangered Barbary macaque. Due to the rugged landscape, Jijel is slightly isolated. However, it is connected by road to large cities like Bejaïa (90 km west), Setif (135 km southwest) and Constantine (150 km southeast). The city also has its own airport Jijel Ferhat Abbas Airport.   read more…

Theme Week Algeria – Tamanrasset

26 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© W. Robrecht - wilrob.org/cc-by-sa-3.0

© W. Robrecht – wilrob.org/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tamanrasset is an oasis city and capital of Tamanrasset Province in southern Algeria, in the Ahaggar Mountains. It is the chief city of the Algerian Tuareg. It is located an altitude of 1,320 metres (4,330 ft). As of the 2008 census, it has a population of 93,000. Tamanrasset was originally established as a military outpost to guard the trans-Saharan trade routes. Surrounded by the barren Sahara Desert, very high temperatures of over 47 °C (117 °F) have been recorded here. Tamanrasset is located at an oasis where, despite the difficult climate, citrus fruits, apricots, dates, almonds, cereals, corn, and figs are grown. The Tuareg people are the town’s main inhabitants. Tamanrasset is a tourist attraction during the cooler months. Visitors are also drawn to the Museum of the Hoggar, which offers many exhibits depicting Tuareg life and culture. The city is served by Tamanrasset Airport and the Trans-Sahara Highway.   read more…

Theme Week Algeria

25 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Constantine © Szaten/cc-by-2.5

Constantine © Szaten/cc-by-2.5

Algeria is a state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the country’s far north. With an area of 2,381,741 km² (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes (counties). Algeria is a regional and middle power. The North African country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defence budget on the continent. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations and is the founding member of the Maghreb Union.   read more…

Djamaâ el Djazaïr is set to become the third biggest mosque in the world

29 August 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Union for the Mediterranean

© competitionline.com

© competitionline.com

PROJECT
Djamaâ el Djazaïr is set to become the third biggest mosque in the world, with a prayer hall capable of holding 35,000 worshippers and a complex including conference rooms, libraries and other facilities. Architects Drees & Sommer are working with Jürgen Engel Architekten and the engineering consultancy Krebs und Kiefer on the project, which is likely to take more than four years to complete.   read more…

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