Algeria / Geography /
Arabic: jibāl tabassa
Mountain range of northeastern Algeria and northwestern Tunisia, about 400 km long and up to 90 km at its widest.
Aurès Mountains, Algeria: Mahmel Mountain at 2,321 metres.
Aurès Mountains, Algeria: River oasis and village.
Again from Algeria.
Aurès Mountains, Tunisia: Chambi Mountain, the highest in Tunisia.
Aurès Mountains, Tunisia: Forested hills over Haidra.
The Aurès merges in the northeast with Tell Atlas, in the southeast with Ouled Nail Mountains. In the north and east, the mountains end in the coastal plans and the Mediterranean Sea. To the south, the Sahara.
The highest peaks are Chelia Mountain at 2,326 metres and Mahmel Mountain at 2,321 metres, both Algeria. The highest peak in the Tunisian part is Chambi Mountain at 1,544 metres, also the highest of the country.
The Aurès has fertile valleys along seasonal rivers, set in between rugged cliffs. The higher parts of the mountains has many places forests or pine, cedar and oak. The further south, the less vegetation.
The main cities of the Aurès are in Algeria: Batna (270,000), Tebessa (170,00), Khenchela (110,000); in Tunisia: Kasserine (75,000). All are 2005 estimates.
The agriculture of the region, the main economic activity, produces mainly sorghum and vegetables. Livestock is also of much importance, an activity which has involved semi-nomadic lifestyles. To some limited extent, this still applies.
The original population is the Berber people, Chaouia, speaking a Berber language known as Tachawit or Chaouia. Their number counts about 1.4 million. In Algeria, in recent years, many claiming Arab descent have moved into the region.
The Aurès is among the least developed regions of both Algeria and Tunisia. Traditional lifestyles have persisted longer here, and only in recent decades have infrastructure been brought to the point where modernization has been possible.
èThe Aurès is also the home of impressive Roman ruins, like at Timgad, Cillium, Haidra and Sbeïtla, the three latter in Tunisia.
The Aurès was home of the famous 7th century Berber resistance leader, the woman Kahina.