Tuesday, 25 September 2018
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Oran is Algeria's second largest city, with an internal population of about 1 million inhabitants and a regional population of about 2 million. In the past several years, there has been a large increase in international business and trade.
During wartime, Oran was ruled by the Vichy French government of Marshall Petain until it fell on November 8 1942 to Allied forces. The city became a logistical base and an important headquarters for the allied effort against Germany's Afrika Korps.
Today the city is a major Algerian port and has had new constructions on a mass scale. Two of these large construction projects, built by Chinese Firm CSCEC, include the new Hospital and Sheraton Hotel & Towers.
Name Origin
'Wahran' is the original name for the city. Oran is simply a french translation of Wahran given to the city by the French during their rule. The word 'wahr' is an ancient moorish noun defined as lion - the suffix '-an' is added to 'wahr' to mean two lions hence the presence of two lion statues outside the city hall in Place du 1er Novembre.
This name is derived from a popular legend that tells of the sightings of lions around the period 900BC where two felines were killed in the mountain by the city.
Notable people from Oran
» Orane Demazis/Burgard (1894-1991)
» Albert Camus (1913-1960)
» Emmanuel Roblès (1914-1995)
» Yves Saint-Laurent (1 Aug 1936)
» Jean-Pierre Elkabbach (29 Sep 1937)
» Jean Benguigui (8 Apr 1944)
» Nicole Garcia (22 Apr 1946)
» Louis Bertignac (23 Feb 1954)
» Etienne Daho (14 Jan 1956)
» Alain Chabat (24 Nov 1958)
» Rachid Taha (18 Sep 1958)
» Cheb Khaled (29 Feb 1960)
» Cheb Hasni (1968 - 29 Sep 1994)
» Lahouari El Wahrani (16 Aug 1986)
» Abdelkader & Abdelmalek Alloula - writers
» Sophie Garel (22 Apr 1942)
Oran Summary - Algeria.com
Oran is perhaps most famous for being one of the birthplaces of the Ra music style. This inventive music form is one of the more modern music forms popularly enjoyed in the various parts of Algeria and all over the world. The easy going and liberal atmosphere that pervades the city of Oran is clearly evident in the music style. Initially performed only by men, it soon became the domain of many women - many of whom have become every bit as popular as their male counterparts.
Founded by Moorish Andalusian traders around AD 937, the city has been around a long time. Due to its position on the coast, it quickly developed into a city with a thriving trade industry and developed strong business ties with Spain. Unfortunately it wasn't too long before the Spanish took occupation of Oran. This soon changed when invading Ottoman forces captured the city but the Spanish rose to reclaim the city two years later, only to abandon it when it suffered from an earthquake in 1790. Much of the development and progress evident in Oran today is largely due to the French who eventually occupied the city in the 19th century.
Oran is a lot larger than many think. The second largest city in Algeria, it is an industrial, cultural and educational centre for the country. Though part of it is covered by high-rise apartment buildings and fairly unattractive homes, there are older parts which make for interesting sight seeing. The Great Mosque built in 1769 is a good place to start. It is open to the public which is quite unusual in this part of the world. The Marabout Sidi Mohammed El Haouri is a very good example of Andalusian architecture. For all things historical, the Demaegth Museum has exhibitions which span thousands of years. The Cathedral de Sacre Coeur is a beautiful old building which has been converted into a public library.
Though Oran is a costal town, the beaches in the immediate vicinity of the city are not terribly good. However a short trip away from the hustle and bustle will leave you with miles of beautiful sand and refreshing sea water. It may be a bit out of the way, but Oran is a great place to visit while traveling Algeria.
Oran Summary - Columbia Encyclopedia
Oran (ôräN') , city (1998 population 692,516), capital of Oran prov., NW Algeria, a port on the Gulf of Oran of the Mediterranean Sea. One of the country's leading ports, it ships wheat, wine, alcohol, vegetables, meat, wool, cigarettes, and iron ore. The city, surrounded by vineyards and market gardens, is a commercial, industrial, and financial center. Oran is divided into a modern, French-style section and an old Spanish-type quarter with a casbah (fortress). Its frequently visited 18th-century mosque was bombed in 1995 by Islamist militants who objected to the adoration of saints, a practice forbidden by Islam.
The site of modern Oran has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the city's founding is generally attributed to Moorish Andalusian traders in the 10th cent. Oran's subsequent prosperity, based on commerce, was interrupted when the Moors began to engage in piracy, thus provoking reprisals from Spain. Spanish forces captured and fortified the city in 1509 and held it until the Turks arrived in 1708. Spain recovered Oran in 1732. The city was successfully besieged (1791) by the district governor of Mascara and was made a provincial capital of the Ottoman Empire.
French troops captured Oran in 1831 and began to develop it as a naval base, along with nearby Mers-el-Kebir. The building of the port and the construction of railroads linking Oran with the interior made the city the economic capital of W Algeria in the late 19th cent. Oran, held by Vichy France during World War II, fell to the Allied forces in Nov., 1942. Civil strife ravaged the city in the late 1950s; the French terrorist OAS (Secret Army Organization) and the Algerian nationalist FLN (Front for National Liberation) perpetrated violence against civilians. There followed a general exodus of the European population, which had been the largest, proportionally, of any North African city. The city provided the setting for Albert Camus's novel The Plague.
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