Not many of my friends or family know this, but I have had a fascination with Algeria ever since I first heard that famous song by Cheb Khaled in the mid-nineties. For a long time I knew very little about this place except for Cheb Khaled, but I imagined what it must be like in those far off places - it just seemed so exotic with that strange way they spoke. Syria has a strange connection with Algeria, Sheikh Abdul Qadir al Jaz'airi came here after putting up a brave fight against the French invaders and he saved thousands of Christians from a massacre during an outbreak of riots in the city. Many Algerians came to settle with him in Damascus and today there are many families with the surname "al Jazairi" there. In fact Syria's connection with the land of the Maghreb and Algeria goes as far back as the days when Arabs were still in Andalucia. So I guess the connection is a throwback from those old days. In that tradition, I too dream of walking through Algeria's beautiful mountains or strolling through her delightful olive groves.
Here is a beautiful song by the late Kamel Messaoudi called Chemaa. It is in a wonderful style called Chaabi (popular) music in Algeria, and is different from the Rai music that Cheb Khaled is famous for, which is apparently from a region in Algeria called Wahran. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.