A Maghreb country which is the largest in Africa and the Arab World, Algerian culture is defined by the often conflicting influence of Arab, French and North Africa cultural traditions. The French influence is due to the long period of French rule over Algeria which lasted well over 100 years, from 1830 to 1962. As with all their African colonies the French purposefully influenced every element of social, cultural and political life; this combined with a huge influx of French emigrants, irrevocably changed the character of Algerian life.
The Battle of Algiers, widely considered a cinematic classic, documented the guerrilla war against the French in 1950s Algiers, which would eventually result in the independence of Algeria and a massive exodus of French emigrants. Independence was followed by years of despotism and tyranny which also contributed to the cultural output of Algeria, since many writers and artists were forced to flee the country. The literature of Algeria often focuses on the upheavals of Algerian history, as is evident from the work of prominent writers such as Mohammed Dib, Albert Camus, Kateb Yacine and Ahlam Mosteghanemi.