Mascara (măsˈkərə, mäsˈkärä) [key], town (1998 pop. 80,797), NW Algeria. The town is also known as Mouaskar. It is an administrative center, a garrison town, and a marketplace, noted for its white wine and for its trade in cereals, leather goods, and tobacco. Mascara occupies the site of a Roman settlement. During the 18th cent. it served as capital of the Turkish province in W Algeria. It later became a headquarters of the Algerian emir Abd al-Kader, from whom the French captured (and destroyed) it in 1835; they lost it briefly and then reoccupied it in 1841.