What Are Some Interesting Facts About North Africa?

interesting-north-africa Credit: Celso FLORES/CC-BY 2.0

North Africa is composed of two basic regions: the Maghreb and the Nile Valley. The countries in the Maghreb are Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Western Sahara, and the countries of the Nile Valley are Egypt and Sudan. Most of the countries in North Africa are predominantly Muslim. While over 2,000 languages are spoken across all of Africa, Arabic is the dominant language of North Africa.

Because the Sahara Desert separates North Africa from the rest of Africa, the cultures of North Africa have often had greater communication with Mediterranean countries than with other African countries. North Africa had a significant Jewish population when the countries were colonies of European powers, but many Jewish families moved to Europe when the North African countries gained their independence. Egypt also has a significant Christian minority population.

People in Tunisia believe that fish are good luck. As a result, fish bones are often embedded in buildings under construction, and plastic or cloth fish are attached to cars to keep the passengers safe. The concept of the "evil eye" originated in North Africa, where people believe that sick people can be harmed by it. In Morocco, people often affix bright red eyes to the back of their clothing to ward off the evil eye.