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Batna is a wilaya of Algeria. Capital is Batna. Localities in this province include Barika, Merouana and Timgad. Belezma National Park is there.
 
The origins of the name of the city and province of Batna are not clear, but most historians agree[citation needed] that it is of Arabic origin: m'batna, meaning: "Where we sleep this night". Capital of high lands situated between north and south Atlas Mountains constitute a naturally protected passage between south and north. Its climate is moderate, hot and dry during summer time, due to its altitude (it being 800 metres above sea level) the winter is tough, snowy and at times cold (with temperatures of -15°C recorded on some cold winter nights). This geo-political position is the origin of the last economy merging city due to a high commercial exchange rate between the north's seaward opening, and the south's source of all the wealth of the country (including reserves of oil, natural gas, iron and many minerals).
 
The rapid expansion of the city on the last 10 years is mainly due to the open market policy of the previous government, which was a benefit for many, but in the same way penalized many of the middle-class.
The continuously growing city results in an extreme level of inflation especially on the real estate domain where prices reach extreme levels (for example, ownership of one square meter of land in the city center costs $1000) where the lowest paid salaries are in the region of $180.
 
The cultural aspect of the city was active during a time when the local theater group was giving continuous and innovating performances. The city consisted of 12 cinemas and 2 "cinemathèques", one culture house and many open museums across the province. Due to recent events, security problems and an influx of population into the city, the cultural life has been heavily affected, though recently, thanks to the work of young artists, culture is once again on the public scene.
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