This arid Saharan country does not seem very aesthetic, especially in terms of its overall economic performance. In fact, the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Algeria 154th, right after Russia and before Laos.

Fortunately, a country is more than just its wealth. In fact, a more captivating aspect about Algeria is the Algerians themselves. Here are the top 5 facts about Algerian society that visitors may find very interesting:

Honor Is Everything

Honor may seem like a concept that usually applies to old medieval cultures. In Algeria, this principle is a non-negotiable demand for both locals and foreigners alike. It stands to reason that Algerians price courtesy and politeness in every social interaction. At the same time, anything that causes people to lose face such as criticism, humiliation, and vexation, no matter how justified, can easily be taken as an attack.

Same-sex Hand-holding

One of the strangest facts about Algeria is that people of the same sex often hold hands. This may seem perfectly normal for females but even men behave the same way in public. New-comers visiting Algeria may find this unusual (and funny) but it is best to restrain expressing such disapproval, no matter how mild and innocent. Remember 'honor'? Exactly!

Title Is (Also) Everything

Speaking of honor, the emphasis on acknowledging titles may seem to be one of the top 5 facts about Algerian society that don't sit well with people raised in a liberal society. Algerians are often all about prestige. Generals, professors, lawyers, and doctors are highly respected in this land - to a point that it is inappropriate to address these accomplished individuals by their first name alone.

Hands Off Our Women!

Among the important things men should observe when visiting Algeria is to avoid getting close with their women. In other words, take note of the two N's: Nod only when you greet. Never make prolonged eye contact.

Because They Are Smarter!

Though women are often kept at bay by non-relative males, they weren't actually being disrespected at all. In fact, one of the strangest facts about Algeria is that it is probably the only predominantly Muslim country where a larger portion of its educated population is of the fairer sex - excelling in law, medicine and other sciences. Hence, women hold more erudite titles than men.