The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is a state in northwest Africa. Even though most of Algeria speaks Arabic, is a member of the Arab League, and is a largely Muslim nation, it is frequently not considered Arab. This is Serious Business, so we'll say no more.
Prior to its invasion by France in 1830, Algeria (then known as the Deylicate of Algiers) was known mainly as a centre for piracy in the Mediterranean. It was technically part of the Ottoman Empire, but often the ruler, the Dey, acted so autonomously that it might as well have been independent.
For 130 years, from 1830 to 1962, the area was under French occupation. Unlike other parts of Africa, the French saw Algeria as an integral part of France, and many French people, later known as the pieds-noirs, settled the country. As the rest of the colonial empires gained independence, Algeria experienced a bloody war between France, the Algerian independence movement and the pieds-noirs: the start of the war is fictionalized in the film The Battle of Algiers. The independence movement won, leading to many pieds-noirs to flee back to metropolitan France. The nation also experienced a long-lasting civil war started by the Islamic fundamentalist GIA (military wing of the FIS) during the 1990s. It ended (kind of) at the turn of the century, with the military putting Abdelaziz Bouteflika as President, where he stands as of today.
While the nation is mostly ignored in Anglophone media, it maintains a reasonable place in French media, partly because of the Algerian diaspora in France.
Albert Camus was born here.