Mascara (Arabic: معسكر, romanizedMuʿaskar) also spelled Maskara, is the capital city of Mascara Province. It has 150,000 inhabitants (2008 estimate). It was founded in the 10th century by the Banu Ifran, a Berber tribe, and was the capital city of Emir Abd al-Qadir, a leader of the Algerian resistance to early French colonial rule in the 19th century.

Mascara City
Mascara City
Mascara is located in Algeria
Location in Algeria
Coordinates: 35°24′00″N 0°08′00″E / 35.4°N 0.133333°E / 35.4; 0.133333
Country Algeria
ProvinceMascara Province
DistrictMascara District
Highest elevation
429 m (1,407 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (2008 census)
 • Total108,629
Time zoneUTC+1 (+1)
Postal code

Mascara is an administrative, commercial and a market centre. Its trade is mostly centered on leather goods, grains, and olive oil, but it is especially famous for its good wine. It has good road and rail connections with other urban centres of Algeria. Relizane is 65 kilometres (40 miles) northeast, Sidi Bel Abbes 90 km (56 mi) southwest, Oran 105 kkm northwest and Saïda 80 km (50 mi) south.

Mascara has two parts, a newer French area, and an older Muslim one. Large parts of the town lie inside the ruins of its ancient ramparts. The city is the home of Lakhdar Belloumi, a former Algerian football (soccer) star.

Etymology edit

The word mascara is a Francisation of the Arabic word معسكر (mu'askar), meaning 'camp'. French colonization caused the city's name to be adopted in the French version as an official name. The name "mascara" was likely given in reference to the city that bears the same name, since in the mid-19th century the French discovered antimony powder during their conquest in the old town of Mascara in Algeria. The nomadic tribes used the cosmetic as a beauty product but also to protect themselves from various trachomas and eye diseases.

History edit

Regency of Algiers edit

Emir Abd al-Qadir.
Grande Mosque
  • 1701: During the Regency of Algiers, Algerian built a military garrison in the town. Many Muslims with Andalucian origins were settled there by the Ottomans and Algerians.
  • 1708: The Muslim tribes of Mascara led by the bey Mustapha Ben Youcef captured the city of Oran and expelled the Spaniards while they were busy in the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • 1732: Spain regains control of Oran.
  • 1790: Famine and sickness had begun to aggravate the situation in Oran when the bey of Mascara appeared before the town with 30,000 men. The Spanish commander held out till August 1791, when the Spanish government, having made terms with the bey of Algiers, was allowed to set sail for Spain with their guns and ammunition. The bey Mohammed took possession of Oran in March 1792, and made it his residence instead of Mascara.[1]

French invasion and early French rule edit

  • 1832: Abd al-Qadir makes Mascara his headquarters.
  • 1835: Mascara is destroyed by the French.
  • 1841: The French establish full control over Mascara.

Algeria (sovereign state) edit

Twin towns/sister cities edit

Mascara is twinned with:

References edit

  1. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Oran" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 146.
  2. ^ Benouar, D.; Aoudia, A.; Maouche, S.; Meghraou, M. (1994), "The 18 August 1994 Mascara (Algeria) earthquake—a quick-look report", Terra Nova, 6 (6): 634–638, doi:10.1111/j.1365-3121.1994.tb00529.x
  3. ^ "Kardeş Şehirler". Bursa Büyükşehir Belediyesi Basın Koordinasyon Merkez. Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Archived from the original on 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2013-07-27.