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Beyond the plateau are the Saharan Atlas Mountains, which form the boundary of the Algerian Sahara desert.Despite efforts by the government to contain the desert by planting rows of pine trees, it continues to expand northward. The largest of these are the Kabyles, who live in the Kabylia Mountains east of Algiers.Inland from the coast is the High Plateau region, with an elevation of 1,300 to 4,300 feet (396 to 1,311 meters).This is mostly rocky and dry, dotted with vegetation on which cattle, sheep, and goats graze.
During World War I and again in World War II, Algerians were drafted to fight with the French.
The second Muslim conquest saw a great shift in Berber civilization, as the people were forced to convert in great numbers or to flee to the hills.
However, as internal conflicts began to sway the Muslim stronghold in North Africa in the fifteenth century, Europeans capitalized on this, and by 1510 Spain had seized Algiers, Oran, and other important port cities. In retaliation for Algerian debts and insolence toward the European nation, they blockaded several Algerian ports, and when this did not succeed, they invaded Algiers on 5 July 1830.
When the French came, they attempted to get rid of native culture, and one of the ways they did this was to impose their language on the people.
At independence, Arabic was declared the official language.