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Ech Cheliff
Arabic: 'ash-shalif
Other spellings: Chlef; Chelif

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Ech Cheliff

City in northern Algeria with 200,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), along the Cheliff river, 50 km south of the Mediterranean port of Ténès.
It is the capital of Ech Cheliff province with 960,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 4,975 km².
Ech Cheliff is the centre of a rich agricultural area, and serves as its trade centre. The agriculture consists mainly in the production of wheat and barley, together with citrus fruits and grapes. Beef and dairy cattle are also raised in the irrigated areas. Small scale industries include printing, leather working and the processing of fruit juices and other food stuff.
Ech Cheliff is well-connected with other urban centres by both highways and railways. It is an important rail junction between Algiers and Oran.
Ech Cheliff has a university centre.

The area had an urban settlement during Roman times known as Castellum Tingitanum.
1843: Founded by the French as a military outpost and called Orléansville.
1954: A heavy earthquake strikes Orléansville.
1964: With Algeria's independence, Orléansville is renamed El Asnam.
1980: An earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale destroys half of El Asnam and kills about 5,000 of the inhabitants.
1981: In order to rid the city of its earthquake association, is it renamed Ech Cheliff.

By Tore Kjeilen