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Customs & Traditions in Algeria

Home> Countries> Africa> Algeria> Customs & Traditions

General Etiquette

- Algerians tend to speak quite closely to each other. It's normal to keep an arm's length or less. In general, this space is larger when interacting with members of the opposite gender than when interacting with members of the same gender.

- Touching is acceptable if you know someone; otherwise, it is reserved for family and close friends.

- In public, it is common for people of the same gender to hold hands or walk arm in arm. Most countries, however, discourage public displays of affection between opposite sexes.

- Eye contact is a sign of respect and one should certainly make eye contact when being introduced. However, overly direct eye contact should be avoided.

- Being punctual in social situations is not as important as in business situations.


- The hierarchical nature of Algerian society makes titles important.

- When introduced to someone, try to call them by their title, professional, or academic title, and their surname.

- It is possible to have titles in either French or Arabic since the majority of people speak both languages.

- Common titles are "doctor", "professor", and "lawyer" in English. Some religious scholars may be called "Sheikh".


- The family is the most important unit of the Algerian social system and defines social relations.

- The individual is always connected to the family.

- Nepotism and honor are important because the family comes first.