Touggourt à travers les écrits Anglais

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Touggourt - Rich in History and Culture

Touggourt - Rich in History and Culture

The large city of Touggourt is situated in northeastern Algeria in the Wadi Igharghar Valley. With a population of roughly 300 000 people, this is one of the biggest cities to be found in the Sahara. Built around an oasis, Touggourt's economy is based mainly on agriculture with dates being one of their biggest exports. Cereals, vegetables, carpets and cloth also play a large role in the economy. The good growth in the area also caters towards healthy livestock. While Touggourt is not the only oasis city in the Ouargla province, it is certainly one of the most profitable ones.

In its earlier days, the city of Touggourt was surrounded by a large moat that was eventually filled up by the French. The city also had its own sultanate dynasty, the "sultanate of Tuggurt", which was founded in 1414. Over the years the dynasty saw the rise of fourteen sultans until it was eventually abolished by the French colonial authorities in 1854. Today the city is mostly made of mud or clay-stone buildings and the streets are winding with a lot of overhead coverings to protect against the summer heat. It has a very authentic feel, but at the same time is an ever growing and developing Algerian city.

The surrounding area is very fertile and Touggourt has gained quite a reputation for the top quality dates that are grown here. The large date groves are a popular attraction with many tourists. However, most tourists prefer to head to the fortress mosque with its sturdy architectural splendor. The mosque is home to the tombs of the Beni Djellab kings that rest together under a large dome. They are a place of pilgrimage for the locals and are quite fascinating to see. If you visit Touggourt, you will likely take the time to see these three attractions for yourself. Otherwise you may enjoy getting to know the people of the city who are very proud of their ancestral origins. Accommodation is easy to find and restaurants provide decent meals. Transport to the city is also relatively good as it has road, rail and even air access from many other urban centers in the country. Why not take the time to visit Touggourt next time you are in Algeria? You may be surprised at what you find!

Tuggurt 1855.

dimanche 25 avril 2010, 13:11

TUGGURT , A town in the Algerian Sahara, 135 miles S, of Biskra with which it is now connected by railway . It lies in 32 ° 7 ` N . lat and 6 ° 2 ` E . long at a heigh of 200 feet above sea-level .
Tuggurt is the most important place in the Wed Rir , along narrow valley running for over 130 miles from north to south into which two Saharan rivers flow : the wed Mea from Tidekelt and Tgharghar from the Hoggar . The presence at a slight depth of subterranean water has enabled palmgroves to flourish here , of which those of Tuggurt , with over 170.000 trees , producing a famous quality of dates , are the largest . The stagnation of the water on the surface of the soil however , because it cannot run away , makes the country very unhealthy and produces in summer a dangerous fever called them by the natives . The climate is further marked by great variations in temperature (minimum in winter nights: - 7 ; maximum in summer days: + 56 Centigrade). In spite of these unfavourable conditions, Tuggurt, situated at the junction of caravan routes, has always enjoyed from the economic point of view a considerable importance which has earned it the name of the Stomach of the Sahara",
Tuggurt consists of a town made up of several quarters and suburbs consisting of villages grouped around in a radius of 2 or 3 miles (Nazla, Sidi Bou Djnan, Tabesbest, Zawiya). The houses are for the most part built of unbaked brick, the principal streets are bordered by arcades or partly covered over. The only notable building is the great mosque, built by Tunisian workmen in the service of the sultans of Tuggurt . The population consists for the most part of Ruagha (natives of the Wad Rir) of Berber origin, but so strongly mixed with black blood, at a result of the introduction of slaves from the Sudan, that many of them look like Negroes. Mention may also be made of the Mhajdrin, Jewish converts to Islam at the end of the XVII century or beginning of the XVIII century, who live in a quarter of their own and acted as scribes and book-keepers to the Sultans. The population of the town proper and adjacent villages amounts 12.108, of whom 168 are Europeans (census of 1926). Tuggurt is the capital of a territory measuring 139,000 sq km, with 212,683 inhabitants of whom 691 are Europeans.
History. We know very little of the history of Tuggurt down to the XVI century, and such information as we do have is largely of a legendary character. If the Romans reached the Wed Rir, they did not establish themselves there and the country remained in the possession of its natives. According to Ibn Khaldun, a section of the Berber tribe of the Rira took possession of the whole land between the Zab and Wargla where they mixed with other tribes of Zenata stock. The groups thus formed lived independently in little towns of which Tuggurt was the chief. According to the Kitab al-Adwani they included a good many Jews. Kharidjism made many converts among them and survived for long there since a local tradition attributes the conversion of the Ibadhiyas of Tuggurt to an Idrissi Sharif Sidi Muhammad b. Yahya, who settled in Tuggurt in the XV century A.D. After escaping the first Arab invasion, the people of Tuggurt had to recognize the authority of the rulers of the Maghrib. In the Almohad period, they were under a governor, who resided in Biskra; they were next under the Hafsids of Tunis, then under the Beni Murin, who had rendered themselves practically independent in the Ziban. The town itself was disputed between two families, the Ubaid Allah and the Beni lbrahim of Temacine. The disorders provoked by this rivalty brought down on the town an expedition sent by the Hafsid Sultan Ibn al-Hakim, who seized it and levied tribute upon it in 1353 A.D. Civil strife however soon broke out again. It ceased, according to the story, on the arrival of Sidi Muhammad ben Yahya, who ruled the Wed Rir for 40 years. To the same date, we are told, belongs the foundation of the present town of Tuggurt (Tuggurt al-Behldja) to the north of the old town the site of which is marked at the present day by the of which is marked at present day by the willage of Nazla .
As a result of fresh troubles there appeared in the district a Moroccan prince Sliman ben Djellab, related to the Marinids. He settled in Tuggurt on his way back from the pilgrimage to Mecca and founded a mosque; then ,supported by the nomads of the neighbourhood, notably the Oulad Moulat and the Dawawida Arabs, he succeeded in obtaining recognition as sovereign. He was the ancestor of the Beni Djellab who reigned at Tuggurt till the XIX century.
In spite of many vicissitudes and continual domestic strife, complicated by the intervention of the nomads and later of the Turks, the Ben Djellab succeeded in maintaining their independence. In the XVI century, the beylerbey Salah Reis led an expedition successfully against them, but after plundering the town, he was content with the exaction at a tribute of 15 negroes annually. In the XVIII century, the Ben Djellab recognized the suzerainty of the beys of Constantine, but paid no taxes. The beys therefore tried unsuccessfully to replace them by their creatures, the Ben Ghana. The campaigns undertaken by Salah Bey, who in 1788 bombarded the town for 22 days, then in 1821 by Ahmad Mamlok, whose withdrawal the people of Tuggurt purchased, only resulted in increasing the hostility of the Ben Djellab against the Turks. After the taking of Algiers, Sultan Abd al-Kabir offered his services to France against the bey of Constantine (1831); when the French had established themselves at Biskra, his successor Abdal-Rahman recognized the suzerainty of France. These good relations were broken in 1852. Sliman ben Djellab, nephew of the late sultan, who had usurped the power, having made an alliance with an agitator, the Sherif of Wargla, Muhammad ben AbdeAllah, a French column occupied Tuggurt on Dec. 3 ,1854 and Installed a garrison there. Troubles Again broke out in 1871. An adventurer, Bu Shousha, seized Tuggurt and massacred the garrison, but order was again definitely established by the end of the same year And peace has not since been disturbed.