Algeria (Arabic: الجزائر, al-Jazā'ir; Berber and Algerian Arabic: Dzayer or Ldzayer, French: Algérie), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Al Jumhuriyah al Jazairiyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Shabiyah), also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.
In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab World (since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011), and also of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea; it is also the tenth-largest country in the world. The country is bordered in the northeast by Tunisia, in the east by Libya, in the west by Morocco, in the southwest by Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali, in the southeast by Niger, and in the north by the Mediterranean Sea. Its size is almost 2,400,000 square kilometres (926,645 sq mi) with an estimated population of 36.3 million as of 2011. Its southern part includes a significant part of the Sahara. To the north, the Tell Atlas form with the Saharan Atlas, further south, two parallel sets of reliefs in approaching eastbound, and between which are inserted vast plains and highlands. Both Atlas tend to merge in eastern Algeria. The vast mountain ranges of Aures and Nememcha, occupy the entire north eastern Algeria and are delineated by the Tunisian border. The highest point is Mount Tahat (3,003 m). Algeria is divided into 48 provinces (wilayas), 553 districts (daïras) and 1,541 municipalities (baladiyahs). Each province, district, and municipality is named after its seat, which is usually the largest city.
Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC and the United Nations. The country is also a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union.
The national emblem of Algeria (Arabic: شعار الجزائر الوطني) is the seal used by the government, as other states use coats of arms. The current form of the emblem was adopted in 1976, but was only differentiated from previous one by the changing of the motto from French to Arabic. Contained on the emblem is the crescent that is also found on the flag of Algeria, and is a symbol of Islam. The text that rings the emblem says in Arabic: الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية ("The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria", the country's official name). The hand of Fatima, a traditional symbol of the region, appears in front of the Atlas Mountains, below a rising sun representing a new era. Buildings stand for industry and plants for agriculture.