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Tunis | Jerba
Tozeur | Tabarka

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Open LookLex Encyclopaedia

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Short facts

President Ben Ali of Tunisia

President Ben Ali a few years ago.

Tunisia is a Muslim country in a partly flat, partly mountainous region of North Africa, with about 10 million inhabitants The nature varies from fertile soil to desert with oases. Climate varies from cold and rainy in winter, when snow may fall even in the capital, to hot and dry summers. Climate varies a lot from the northern coast which is the coldest region to the inner desert oases, which are the hottest.
Tunisia is a country strictly controlled by its president, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, and there is no form of democracy, even if the official story is that there is. Freedom of expression is good, but limited to issues not regarding Islamism and hard criticism of the leadership. The threat of Islamism has justified the lack of democracy and the limitations of freedom of expression.
For this, Tunisia has been ranked as one of Africa's harshest dictatorships by international human rights organizations. But he fact is that most Tunisians enjoy more freedom and are more optimistic about the future than almost all other Africans.
Tunisian economy has grown much over recent years, and living standards are among Africa's highest, and not too far behind some Eastern European countries.
Tunisia is a historical country, being the home land of Carthage and a wealthy province in the Roman Empire.
Arabic is the first language, French the second, and signs all over are in both Arabic and French.

By Tore Kjeilen