Tunis Tunisia

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Captivating Tunis Tunisia and its Medina – a World Heritage Site

Tunis Tunisia has an impressive capital and is one of the country’s distinct coastal cities. Founded by the Berbers, Tunis Tunisia in its long history has been under the control of various civilizations including the Romans, Phoenicians, Ottoman, Spanish, French and German.

Tunis bay in Tunis Tunisia

A Few Statistics

• Tunisia
• City       212.63 km2 (82.10 sq mi)
Population (01-01-2013)
• City       651,183
• Density     9,406.01/km2 (24,361.5/sq mi)
• Metro       2,321,227

The city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it. It is Situated on a large Mediterranean Sea gulf (the Gulf of Tunis), behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette (Halq al Wadi). There has been an expansion of the Tunisian economy in recent decades. It is reflected in the booming development of the outer city where one can see clearly the social challenges brought about by rapid modernization in Tunisia.

Me·di·na [muh-dee-nuh for 1; muh-dahy-nuh for 2] noun – the old Arab quarter of a North African city. Origin: 1905–10; < Arabic madīna city 1. a city in W Saudi Arabia, where Muhammad was first accepted as the supreme Prophet from Allah and where his tomb is located.

 Carthage in Tunis Tunisia


Recent Unrest in Tunis Tunisia

Street protests began in Tunis in December 2010 over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty. High food prices in Tunis escalated in January 2011, culminating in rioting that led to hundreds of deaths. In January 2011, the same day BEN ALI dismissed the government, he fled the country. By late January 2011, a “national unity government” was formed. The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012 and after a stalled the transition, ratified the document in January 2014. Presidential and parliamentary elections for a permanent government could be held by the end of 2014.

Past Records Destroyed or Inaccurate

Because of the various civilizations occupying Tunis since ancient times and the various wars fought there much of its past is not known or is inaccurate. Even recently there has been turmoil in the country and in Tunis directly.

As a result, Tunis’ history and heritage feature an amazing mixture of ancient and modern cultures. At first glance, Tunis may not be the first choice for a holiday because it lacks the beaches that the northern and southern coastal regions possess. However, Tunis is special in its own right, partly because it does not offer the cookie-cutter package tourism travelers are always exposed to.

Two Sections in the City

Tunis is divided into two major sections. The older walled area is known as the medina while the ville nouvelle refers to the new and more modern section of the city. Both sections offer something different to visitors. The newer area is marked by the large Habib Bourguiba Avenue, which passes through notable landmarks like the Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul, the clock tower and Place de la Victoire.

The Tunisia medina

The Tunisia medina is hailed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is patched with narrow lanes and alleyways and decorated with mausoleums, palaces, mosques and exquisite monuments. Once you come across the massive free-standing gate called Port de France, you’re already entering the medina area. The gate formerly served as the official entrance to this old section for several decades. The Tunis Tunisia medina is compact and small enough to explore mostly on foot. Although it may seem like an elaborate labyrinth, it is still possible to remember your way and find the right exit.

Dame Carthage in Tunis Tunisia

La Dame de Carthage, Carthage National Museum (Tunisia). The famous “Lady of Carthage” mosaic dated back probably to the 6th century, is traditionally regarded as a portrait of a Byzantine empress. Photo by Pradigue, SA-CC-by-2.0

Interesting Shops, Mosques, Culture

If you walk through the Rue Jamaa Zaytouna from here, it will lead you to many interesting shops and to one of the most famous mosques in Tunis, the Zaytouna Mosque. The mosque stands in the heart of the medina, and remains a calming figure compared to the other bustling parts of the medina. Zaytouna was built during the 9th century by the Ibrahim ibn Ahmed, Aghlabid ruler, in place of the first mosque established way back in 734 AD. Its design greatly resembles the Great Mosque found in Kairouan. Some of the distinct parts of the mosques include the 18th century Torbet el Bey sculptures as well as the Dar Hussein Museum of Islamic Art.

The other prominent road named Rue de la Kasbah, leads you to the other important landmarks like the huge square of Place de la Kasbah and the Place du Gouvernment. Rue de la Kasbah is the more preferred entry point to the medina at night because it becomes more vibrant when the sun comes down. A tour around the medina in Tunis is not complete without visiting the souq or market.

The souq in Tunis is known for not only for its incredible old history, but also for the wide variety in the goods being sold here. Here, you will get to experience the lively local culture and take delight in how seasoned vendors and their numerous patrons haggle over the prices of many items like gold, clothes, perfumes, carpets and other souvenirs.

Something to be aware of

According to a US Government agency:

Tunisia is a source, destination, and possible transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Tunisia’s increased number of street children, children working to support their families, and migrants who have fled unrest in neighboring countries are vulnerable to human trafficking; Tunisian women recruited into Lebanon’s entertainment industry are forced into prostitution on arrival and other Tunisian women are forced into prostitution in Jordan; some Tunisian girls employed in domestic work are held in conditions of forced labor.

View the pictures and read the article above BEFORE you take the quiz.

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See how good you are at selecting the word that was misspelled in the article.

Quiz #20 Tunis and its Medina

travelerThis Travel Quiz is one in which a word is misspelled. When reading the article it may or may not be obvious. You need to check the correct word of the possible answers. The level of this test is easy.

Answer the single question. The answer is worth about 20 points. If you don’t know the answer, then take a guess (unless you want a guaranteed zero for the answer).

This test is timed (2 min) so be aware of that.

The correct answer to this quiz is the correct word that was misspelled in the article. Also the misspelled word made no sense. It might be easy to overlook the word because sometimes when reading there are misspellings of words and often our minds think the correct word. Some may recognize or spot it right away while others might have to look back in the article to find it.

To learn more about an ancient city or area click the link indicated below.

Ancient Cities.

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Tunisia is located only a few kilometers away from Sicily, the Roman influence is therefore still very obvious. In 800BC the Punic Tunis was only a small village in a shadow of Carthage. Today, Tunis is a modern city with 1,2 Million inhabitants.
Where ever we look the Tunisian flag hoisted everywhere. The five columns of Islam, the state religion of Tunisia, are symbolized by a pentacle

The Muslims believe in God being the only one and Mohammad being his prophet. The teaching of Allah calls the faithful to pray, to fast, to give alms and to make pilgrimage to Mecca.

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