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Other spelling: Mouaskar

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Mascara, Algeria

Mascara, Algeria

Town in northwestern Algeria with 90,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), south of the Atlas Mountains and on both sides of the seasonal river Wadi Toudman. The name Mascara comes from the Arabic "Mother of Soldiers".
It is the capital of Mascara province with 760,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 5,941 km².
Mascara is based upon being an administrative, commercial and a market centre. Trade deals mainly in leather goods, grains, and olive oil, but Mascara is especialy famous for its good wine.
Mascara has good road and rail connections with other urban centres of Algeria. Relizane is 65 km northeast, Sidi Bel Abbes 90 km southwest, Oran 105 kkm northwest and Sa´da 80 km south.
Mascara has two parts, the French and the older Muslim one. Large parts of the town lies inside the ruins of its ancient ramparts.

1701: Founded as an Ottoman military garrison. The Ottomans settle many Muslims that had Andalucian origins in it.
Around 1790: The Andalucian Muslims leave Mascara, and a Jewish community is settled here by Ottoman command.
1832: Abd al-Qadir makes Mascara his headquarters.
1835: Mascara is destroyed by the French.
1841: The French establishes full control over Mascara.
1994 August 18: En earthquake kills 171 people in Mascara.

By Tore Kjeilen