I live in Bordj El Bahri and we’ve been living here 7 years now. We have no family who live in the area and, in fact, my husband has no connections and knew very little about the area before we came to look at it with a view to buying here.
One of the things I like most about this area is that there aren't that many high rise buildings so I don't feel "closed in". Having said that there are quite a lot of high rise buildings being built in parts of the area but I notice that, as much as possible the trees are left intact so that there is some greenery amongst the cement. But the roads in this area are quite wide so you don’t feel as if the buildings are on top of you, and there are quite a few tree lined roads which I love driving through as they are so pretty and calming mashallah. Everything I need, shopping wise is on my doorstep, the people are nice and I can go out anytime of the day or evening, there are several new mosques in the area with a couple of more being newly renovated to cope with the numbers. Our local mosque is not much good at all activity-wise, but there is a new one that has sprung up quite near us that holds a lot of hope for us inshallah. I am quite happy with the all the state schools around us - we have at least one in each - primary, secondary and college, but there is also a very good private school close by that has an excellent reputation throughout the Algiers region - Ecole Salim. The nearest University is Bab Ezzouar, about half an hour’s bus ride away, although there is a University residence in Dergana which is not that far from us and the free University buses are very good mashallah.
There are buses that travel around within the area that are very frequent, and then you go to Cahwah Shergui where you can get buses into Algiers and other areas that travel very frequently 7 days a week and until late in the evening. One of the big downsides to living here is that there are only two roads in and out of this area and the traffic is horrendous as anyone who has visited me can testify! But with the road to Fort de L'eau (Bordj El Kiffan) widened, there has already been a big difference, and with the new tram line coming through the area and the new motorway coming nearby, I think, inshallah, the traffic congestion may ease somewhat.
Activity wise, we have a sailing school just down the road where they teach surfing etc. and I believe that La Peruse, which is close by has a diving school. Apart from them, they have karate, judo, kick-boxing and football classes, and there is a new sports centre just opened. We also have a community centre that teaches various things. And there’s a riding school which, I’ve heard, has beautiful meadows mashallah.
Although there is no hospital in the area, (the nearest is Rouiba or Ain Taya) there is a Health centre that deals with emergencies and there are doctors' clinics everywhere along with radiologists, dentists, Gynaeologists, opticians etc. etc. There is no orthodontist in the area as I have just recently discovered - we have to go to Bab Ezzouar which, again is not that far - about 20 minutes.
Within 5 or 10 minutes drive you can be out in the countryside with amazing views, and, traffic permitting, we are 20mins/half an hour’s drive, at the most, from the airport.
And of course we have the SEA alhamdulilah! On the doorstep, literally mashallah.
On the down side, although there are lots of clothes shops and a fairly good market nearby, you would have to go to Algiers for a better selection and prices. And there’s only one really good fabric shop here which is ridiculous. Another downside is perhaps more a double edged sword – we get a lot of émigrés in the area during the summer, but they usually don’t hang around too much, and least of all in the streets where I live as it’s too boring for them!!! But with them, comes all the interesting food in the superettes that are not normally available throughout the rest of the year – I’ve even seen pre-prepared meals which would be a snack for one member of a normal sized Algerian family!
There are two other English speaking sisters who live in this area, that I know of – there could be more, as one of these sisters has lived here 2 years and I only was introduced to her recently (by someone on this forum mashallah!). The next nearest ones live in Fort de L’Eau/Bordj El Kiffan, which is about 20 minutes drive away, so I’m not that far from other like-minded sisters Alhamdulilah.
Anyway, to sum up, I love the area and, as a family, we are happy to live here and I recommend it to anyone…. As long as you don’t mind traveling to go see family and other sisters.