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Tunisia

From Academic Kids

The Tunisian Republic (الجمهرية التونسية), or Tunisia, is a Muslim Arab country situated on the North African Mediterranean coast. It is the easternmost and smallest of the three nations along the Atlas mountain range, bordering one of the others, Algeria to the west, as well as Libya to the south and east. Forty per cent of the country is comprised by the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile land and easily accessible coasts. Both played a prominent role in ancient times, first with the founding of the famous Phoenician city of Carthage, and later, as the Africa Province, it became known as the bread basket of the Roman Empire. It is thought that the name Tunis originated from Berber, meaning either a geographical promontory, or, 'to spend the night.'

الجمهورية التونسية
El-joumhouriyya et-Tounisiyya
Flag of Tunisia Missing image
Armes_tunisie.jpg
Coa of Tunisia

(In Details) (In Details)
National motto: n/a
image:LocationTunisia.png
Official language Arabic
Capital Tunis
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi
Area
 - Total
Ranked 89th
163,610 km²
Population
 - Total (2003)
Ranked 81st
9,924,742
Currency Tunisian Dinar
Time zone
 - in summer
CET (UTC+1)
CEST (UTC+2)
Independence
 - Granted
(from France)
March 20 1956
National anthem Himat Al Hima, Ala Khallidi
Internet TLD .tn
Calling Code 216
Contents

History

Main article: History of Tunisia

At the beginning of recorded history, Tunisia was inhabited by Berber tribes. Its coast was settled by Phoenicians starting as early as the 10th Century B.C. In the 6th Century B.C., Carthage rose to power, but it was conquered by Rome (2nd Century B.C.), and the region became one of the granaries of Rome. It was held by the Vandals (5th cent. A.D.) and Byzantines (6th Century). In the 7th Century it was conquered by Arab Muslims, who founded Al Qayrawan. Successive Muslim dynasties ruled, interrupted by Berber rebellions. The reigns of the Aghlabids (9th Century) and of the Zirids (from 972), Berber followers of the Fatimids, were especially prosperous. When the Zirids angered the Fatimids in Cairo (1050), the latter sent in the Banu Hilal to ravage Tunisia. The coasts were held briefly by the Normans of Sicily in the 12th Century. In 1159, Tunisia was conquered by the Almohad caliphs of Morocco. They were succeeded by the Berber Hafsids (c.12301574), under whom Tunisia prospered. In the last years of the Hafsids, Spain seized many of the coastal cities, but these were recovered for Islam by the Ottoman Empire. Under its Turkish governors, the Beys, Tunisia attained virtual independence. The Hussein dynasty of Beys, established in 1705, lasted until 1957. In the late 16th Century the coast became a pirate stronghold (see: Barbary States). It was made a French protectorate on May 12, 1881. Tunisia became independent in 1956, and has had two presidents since.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Tunisia

Tunisia is a republic with a strong presidential system dominated by a single political party.

President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been in office since 1987 when he deposed Habib Bourguiba, who had been President since Tunisia's independence from France in 1956. The ruling party, the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD), was the sole legal party for 25 years--when it was known as the Socialist Destourian Party (PSD) - and still dominates political life .

The President is elected to 5-year terms - with virtually no opposition - and appoints a Prime Minister and cabinet, who play a strong role in the execution of policy. Regional governors and local administrators also are appointed by the central government; largely consultative mayors and municipal councils are elected.

There is a unicameral legislative body, the Chamber of Deputies, which has 182 seats, 20% of which are reserved for the opposition. It plays a growing role as an arena for debate on national policy but never originates legislation and virtually always passes bills presented by the executive with only minor changes.

The judiciary is nominally independent but responds to executive direction especially in political cases. The military is professional and does not play a role in politics. There are currently six legal opposition parties.

Tunisia is going for its Municipal Elections in May 2005.

See also:

Governorates

Main article: Governorates of Tunisia

Tunisia is subdivided into 24 governorates.

Geography

Missing image
Tunisia_sm03.png
Map of Tunisia

Main article: Geography of Tunisia

Tunisia is in north Africa, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert and between Algeria and Libya. Much of the land is semi-arid and desert. There are mountains in the north. The climate is temperate in the north, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. The desert is in the south.

See also:

Economy

Main article: Economy of Tunisia

Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, energy, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt. Real growth averaged 5.0% in the 1990s, and inflation is slowing. Growth in tourism and increased trade have been key elements in this steady growth. Tunisia's association agreement with the European Union (EU) entered into force on March 1 1998, the first such accord between the EU and Mediterranean countries to be activated. Under the agreement Tunisia will gradually remove barriers to trade with the EU over the next decade. Broader privatization, further liberalization of the investment code to increase foreign investment, and improvements in government efficiency are among the challenges for the future. In 2008, Tunisia will be a completely associated member of the E.U. (comparable to the status of Norway or Iceland).

Culture of Tunisia

Main article: Culture of Tunisia

See also:

Miscellaneous Topics

External links

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Arab League Flag of the League of Arab States
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Dependencies: Canary Islands | Ceuta and Melilla | Madeira Islands | Mayotte | Runion | Saint Helena and dependencies

Template:Mediterraneanar:تونس bg:Тунис ca:Tunsia da:Tunesien de:Tunesien et:Tuneesia es:Tnez eo:Tunizio eu:Tunisia fa:تونس fr:Tunisie ko:튀니지 hr:Tunis io:Tunizia id:Tunisia it:Tunisia he:תוניסיה ks:टुनिशिया la:Tunesia lv:Tunisija lt:Tunisas ms:Tunisia nl:Tunesi nds:Tunesien ja:チュニジア no:Tunisia pl:Tunezja pt:Tunsia ru:Тунис sa:टुनिशिया sk:Tunisko sl:Tunizija sr:Тунис fi:Tunisia sv:Tunisien uk:Туніс zh:突尼西亞 zh-min-nan:Tunisia

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