TUNISIA

Date of establishment: March 20, 1956

Brief history:

  • Antiquity – The territory of today’s Tunisia was inhabited by the Phoenicians and the Romans.
  • 7th century – Islam spread to the area after the Arabs conquered Tunisia. An Islamic emirate was established there.
  • 16th century – The Ottoman Empire takes control of Tunisia and grants it autonomy under Ottoman suzerainty.
  • 19th century – France gained control of Tunisia and began to carry out colonial administration.
  • March 20, 1956 – Tunisia gained independence from France under the leadership of the first president, Habib Bourguiba.
  • 1957 – Bourguiba became president and began the process of modernizing the country and secularizing society.
  • 1987 – Zine El Abidine Ben Ali staged a coup and became president. His authoritarian regime lasted several decades.
  • 2010-2011 – A wave of protests that began with the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi forced Ben Ali to step down and began democratic reforms.
  • 2011 – Tunisia experienced its first free elections, leading to the creation of a Constituent Assembly and a new constitution.

 

International abbreviation: TU

 

Currency: Tunisian dinar (TND)

The Tunisian dinar is divided into smaller units called milim. The currency code for the Tunisian dinar is TND, and is usually marked with the symbol “د.ت” or the abbreviation DT.

 

Internet domain: .tu

 

Dialing code: +216

 

Time zone: GMT+1

 

Geography:

Tunisia is located in the northwestern part of Africa and borders two countries: Algeria to the west and Libya to the east. In the north it has a coast on the Mediterranean Sea.

The country has a diverse relief. To the north are the Tell Atlas mountains, while the central and southern parts of the country are mostly flat, including the Sahara Desert, which occupies much of the south. It has approximately 1 148 kilometers (713 miles) of Mediterranean coastline, making it an attractive tourist destination with an abundance of beaches and seaside resorts.

 

Highest peak: Jebeal ech Chambi 1 544 m (5 066 feet) above sea level.

It is located in the Tell Atlas Mountains, which are located in the northeastern part of the country, near the border with Algeria.

 

Climate:

The Mediterranean climate prevails in the north of Tunisia by the Mediterranean Sea. Winter is mild and wet, with average temperatures around 10-15°C (50-59°F), while summer is hot and dry, with temperatures exceeding 30°C (86°F).

In the central part is the Tell Atlas Mountains, the climate here can be colder than on the coast. Winters can be cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing, while summers are still warm but less hot than on the coast. The southern part is part of the Sahara, which means it has a desert climate. Summers are extremely hot, with temperatures reaching over 40°C (104°F) or more. Temperatures can drop sharply at night. Rainfall is minimal and irregular.

In addition to the south, you can find other smaller desert areas in Tunisia, such as the Great Matmata Desert. These areas have a similar climate to the Sahara.

 

Fauna and flora:

The Barbary ibex lives in the Tell Atlas Mountains in northern Tunisia. The golden jackal is common in Tunisian forests and desert areas. The Barbary lion was once widespread throughout North Africa, but is now nearly extinct. Attempts are being made to restore it in some protected areas of Tunisia. The Nile crocodile lives in oases and river valleys.

Tunisia is home to many species of birds, including raptors, owls, and many migratory bird species that arrive on their journey between Europe and Africa.

It is famous for its olive oil production. In desert areas and in the south, various types of cacti grow, including the prickly pear.

Maquis is a Mediterranean shrub habitat characteristic of the coastal areas of Tunisia. It contains many aromatic herbs and plants. In desert areas, you will find plants adapted to extreme conditions, such as agaves, acacias, and other species of xerophytic plants. The country has several endemic plant species, which are species that are only found in the area, such as the Tunisian hellebore.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture includes the cultivation of various crops such as olive trees, wheat, barley, corn, dates, figs, grapes, citrus fruits. Livestock are also raised here, especially sheep and goats.

Olive trees are essential to Tunisian agricultural production. The country is one of the world’s major producers of olive oil.

Modern farming methods are used in desert areas, including irrigation systems that allow crops such as pumpkins, sugarcane, and tomatoes to be grown.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Tunisia is one of the world’s main producers of phosphates. Phosphates are mined from deposits in various parts of the country, and are important for the production of fertilizers and other chemical products. Salt is extracted in salt pans and salt lakes. The country has limited reserves of oil and natural gas, especially in the sea off its coast.

There are abundant supplies of various types of stone, including marble, limestone, and sandstone. Quarried stone is used for construction and the production of statues and decorative objects.

In some areas of the country, lead, tin, and zinc are mined, which are used in various industrial processes.

 

Industry:

Tunisia has a large textiles and clothing industry, which includes the production of clothing, footwear and textile products. The industry contributes to job creation.

The food industry includes the production of oils, dairy products, confectionery, and wines. Several international car companies have production facilities in Tunisia. Construction and the construction industry are significant, especially in relation to the development of infrastructure, tourist resorts, and real estate.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: transport and tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions: El-Jem, Carthage, Sousse, Tunis, Dougga, Kairouan, Djerba Island, beaches, and Ichkeul National Park

Tunisia has a rich history and many historical sites, including ancient Roman ruins, Carthaginian archaeological sites and medieval city fortifications. Sights such as Carthage, El Jem Amphitheater, and the city of Kairouan are popular among tourists.

Coastal areas such as Hammamet, Sousse, Monastir, and the island of Djerba are known for their beautiful beaches and luxury resorts. It also has a desert landscape including the Sahara Desert that attracts adventurers and tourists. Many of them go on desert expeditions to explore the dunes and oases.

For lovers of adventure and active relaxation, there is a range of activities such as diving, windsurfing, horse riding, and golf. Tourists can also experience traditional Tunisian culture and cuisine. Tunisia is famous for its traditional market in the town of Sidi Bou Said, where you can buy local souvenirs and taste traditional foods.

 

Waterparks in Tunisia:

 

Form of government: republic

The head of state is the president, who is elected in regular presidential elections. He/she has a significant role in state leadership and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Legislative authority is vested in the unicameral parliament, the Assembly of the People’s Representatives.

In 2011, the country underwent a political revolution during the so-called Arab Spring, which led to the overthrow of long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and democratic reforms. Since then, there have been several democratic elections, which have strengthened the democratization process and allowed different political parties to participate in the political field. However parliament has been suspended for the last couple of years.

 

Capital city: Tunis

It is located on the northeastern coast of Tunisia, near the Mediterranean Sea. The city of Tunis is the cultural, economic, and political center of the country.

The city has a long history dating back to ancient times when it was founded by the Phoenicians. Throughout history, the city has been ruled by various empires, including Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, and Muslim dynasties.

 

Area: 163 610 km2 (63 170 square miles)

 

Population: 12 000 000 (2022)

Tunisia has a relatively homogeneous ethnic composition, with the majority of the population being Arabs and Berbers.

Arabic is the official language here, but many residents also speak Berber dialects. French is widespread, especially in education and business. Islam is the predominant religion, especially the Sunni form. A small minority is Christian or followers of other religious traditions.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 9

 

  1. Amphitheater of El-Jem (1979) – The largest Roman amphitheater on the African continent.
  2. Carthage (1979) – Excavations of the Phoenician city that was burned down by the Romans.
  3. Dougga (1997) – Ruins of an ancient city on a huge area.
  4. Ichkeul National Park (1980) – The national park with the lake of the same name and many wetlands is home to many animals.
  5. Kairouan (1988) – The fourth holiest place in Islam and the center of learning of this religion.
  6. Medina in Sousse (1988) – Arab historical city in Sousse with a mountain fortress.
  7. Medina in Tunis (1979) – Arab medieval city, which is one of the best preserved in the world.
  8. The Punic Town of Kerkouane and its necropolis (1985) – Archaeological excavations of one of the most important Carthaginian cities.
  9. Djerba: Evidence of a settlement pattern on an island territory (2023) – The island bears witness to a settlement pattern that developed around the 9th century in a semi-arid, water-scarce environment.

 

National parks: 17

 

  1. Bou-Hedma National Park
  2. Boukornine National Park
  3. Chambi National Park
  4. Dghoumes National Park
  5. El Feidja National Park
  6. Ichkeul National Park
  7. Jebel Chitana-Cap Négro National Park
  8. Jebel Mghilla National Park
  9. Jebel Orbata National Park
  10. Jebel Serj National Park
  11. Jebel Zaghdoud National Park
  12. Jebel Zaghouan National Park
  13. Jebil National Park
  14. Oued Zeen National Park
  15. Sanghr Jabbess National Park
  16. Sidi Toui National Park
  17. Zembra National Park