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M'zab Valley is a region of northern Algerian Sahara, looking like a vast rocky plateau cut in deep and intricate valleys hence the name of “Chebka” meaning net. The cretaceous plateau is formed by hard limestones of the Turonian. It is furrowed in every direction by fluvial erosion of the early Quaternary and crisscrossed by a complex network of wadis which form the four major valleys. The M’zab river crosses it Northwest. Southeast. This configuration has earned the region the Arabic name “Chebka” which means lace, net.

Ghardaïa, its main city, is located at a distance of 600 km southern the capital Algiers. It is the capital of the wilaya of the same name. It runs along the M’zab river over an area of 25 km.

The wilaya of Ghardaia has experienced different historical periods, from prehistory to the present day, through the Islamic period. The remains and monuments that bear witness are, for the majority, in fairly good condition. With its rich historical experience and cultural values that have distinguished the region (particularly M’zab Valley) has been classified as “national heritage” by the Algerian State (1971) and part of the “universal heritage” "(UNESCO -1982), and conserved area in 2005.

M’zab Valley contains towns and oases, which are distinguished by their urban appearance remarkable and unique. As such, it has unsuspected potential for tourism and economy.

Human activity in the M’zab region experienced several historical stages, starting with prehistoric times through the Islamic Period that left remains existing today.

In three and a half centuries, the eleventh century to the fourteenth century, a process of urbanization of the valley led to the creation of five cities: El-Atteuf, Bounoura, Ghardaia, Ben-Isguen and Mélika. Each city has a palm grove, an irrigation system and cemeteries. Living isolated from the outside world with the sociological, religious, economic, cultural and linguistic specificities, M'Zab population was able to overcome all interference and sociocultural invasions for ten centuries.

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