Travel Tuesday: Tunisia

I’m starting a new category! Travel Tuesday is a bunch of facts and stuff, including pictures, from countries or places I am someday going to go. I want to (at some point) travel the world doing history and stuff. This is my list.

Tunisia is in Northern Africa below Italy. It is the home of the once-great city of the Carthaginians (Carthage), destroyed by Rome in the Punic Wars. It was under Arab rule, Ottoman rule in the 16-1900s, and finally governed by France from 1881 to 1957. It was governed as a “republic” until the 1970s, when an authoritarian dictator took over. In 2011, Tunisia went through a revolution, in which the dictator fled and a bunch of stuff happened. Now, it is governed by a fairly-free constitutional republican government, modeled after France, which has had profound impact on its government, sociality, and economy.

In the north of Tunisia there are mountains, and the south is mostly desert-y. There are salt lakes in the east and west on the borders of the Sahara.

The official language is Arabic, but Berber and French are spoken as well. French is spoken by about 64% of the population, along with Arabic, which is spoken by most.
(side note: I’m trying to learn Arabic next year.)

Tunisia is one of the most free Arabic countries, promoting womens’ rights and human rights. 98% of the population identifies as Muslim, with 1% Christian and 1% Jewish or other religions. There are 20,000 Catholics out of the 25,000 identified “Christian”. The Tunisian constitution requires the president to be Muslim, but allows citizens to practice their religions with considerably more freedom than other countries.

Tunisian culture is influenced heavily by the old Ottoman empire and Arabic tradition. There are also many French cultural elements, due to the French occupation of Tunisia in the 18- and 1900s. Its literacy rate is 77%. Life expectancy is 73 years.

I really want to go here because I’ve been influenced by a friend who lived there for a year with her family. She talks about it all the time and truly loved it. I think I would love it too, however, I’d want to learn some Arabic before going :). Anyway, that’s the first thing for Travel Tuesdays!

Tunis_063The capital of Tunisia is Tunis ^^


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