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Discover Tunisia (تونس‎) with Timothy Tye

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View of Monastir in TunisiaView of Monastir in Tunisia
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Tunisia is a small country in northern Africa. It is one of the Maghreb countries which include Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya and Mauritania. Tunisia is 163,610 sq km (63,170 sq mi) and has a population of 10.5 million people. Its capital and biggest city is Tunis. The official language of Tunis is Arabic, while French is given the status of 1st foreign language. 98% of the population are Muslims.

Medersa Salhia in TunisMedersa Salhia in Tunis
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authorshipم ض
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Tunisia is an hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1) and does not observe Daylight Saving Time. Its official currency is the Tunisian dinar (TND). The electricity is 127-220V/50Hz using European plug. The phone IDD code is +216.

Tunisia had a nominal GDP of $40.168 billion in 2009, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of $3,851. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity for 2011 is estimated at $8,254. Its economy is dependent on agriculture, mining, manufacturing and petrolum products.

Beach at Djerba, TunisiaBeach at Djerba, Tunisia
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Despite its small size, Tunisia has a diverse climate due to its position. The northern part of the country experiences a temperate climate with wet winters and hot, dry summers. The southern part of Tunisia has a harsh desert climate, as the terrain merges into the Sahara. The highest point in Tunisia is Jebel ech Chambi, at 1,544 m (5,066 ft) while the lowest is Shatt al Gharsah, at 17 m (56 ft) below sea level.

The history of Tunisia goes back thousands of years. The ancient city of Carthage, for example, was founded in the 9th century BC. The city was conquered by Rome in 149 BC, which led to Roman rule that lasted until the 5th century AD.

Rue Kasbah in Tunis, TunisiaRue Kasbah in Tunis, Tunisia
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authorshipم ض
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Arab Muslims conquered Tunisia at the end of the 7th century, bringing with them Islam. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, one of the oldest and most prestigious monuments of the Islamic world, was erected during this period.

Tunisia was under the Ottoman rule from 1705. During this period, however, Tunisia was virtually independent. In 1883, it became a French protectorate. It obtained its independence from France in 1956. It was led by Habib Bourguiba until 1987, when doctors declared him unfit to rule, and prime minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali became the president.

Roman ruins in TunisiaRoman ruins in Tunisia
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authorshipGIRAUD Patrick
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The authoritation rule of President Ben Ali has been accused of widespread corruption and nepotism. On 17 December, 2010, a 26-year-old street vendor set himself on fire in protest over the confiscation of his wares by municipal officials. It set off mass demonstrations and riots that ultimately brought down the Ben Ali administration, forcing the president and his family to flee into exile. It sparked similar protects across the Arab world.

Planning your visit to Tunisia

Tunisia has been rocked by a political crisis since January 2011. Casual visitors and tourists are advised to withhold plans for visiting the country until the situation improves. Those already in Tunisia are strongly urged to stay away from large public gatherings.

Major Cities in Tunisia

  1. Tunis - capital
  2. Djerba
  3. Gabes
  4. Kairouan
  5. El Kef
  6. Monastir
  7. Sfax
  8. Sousse
  9. Tozeur

Places of Interest in Tunisia

  1. Douz
  2. Great Mosque of Kairouan
  3. Jebil National Park
  4. Matmata
  5. Metlaoui
  6. Sufetula

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