Tunisia

Tunisia is a North African country bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert. In the capital, Tunis, the Bardo Museum has archaeological exhibits from Roman mosaics to Islamic art. The city’s medina quarter encompasses the massive Al-Zaytuna Mosque and a thriving souk. To the east, the site of ancient Carthage features the Antonine Baths and other ruins, plus artifacts at the Carthage National Museum. Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa. It is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia is dominated by the Atlas Mountains in the north and the Sahara Desert in the south. The Atlas Mountains extend northeast from the Algerian border to the Mediterranean Sea. To the north and east of those mountains, the topography is generally characterized by low, rolling hills and flat coastal areas.

The Sahara is the largest desert in the world, and a small part of it covers Tunisia. The Grand Erg Oriental is a large erg or “field of sand dunes” in central Tunisia. The Kerkennah Islands are a series of low-lying islands no more than 42 ft. (13 m) above sea level.  Jerba Island, about 20×20 km in size, is connected to the mainland by a road originally built by the Romans. The Medjerda River rises in Algeria and then flows through Tunisia before entering the Mediterranean Sea. With dozens of smaller tributaries and a length of 1,476 ft. (450 km), it is the longest river in Tunisia. Lake of Tunis is a natural, shallow lagoon located between Tunis and the Gulf of Tunis (Mediterranean Sea). The lake is 14 sq miles, (37 sq km) in size. A series of (mostly dry) salt lakes, known as shatts, lie in an east-west line at the northern edge of the Sahara. One of them, Shatt al Gharsah, is the lowest point in Tunisia at -55 ft. (-17 m) below sea level.

Key Cities

Key cities in Tunisia include: Tunis, Sfax, Sousse, Ettadhamen, kairouan, Gabes, Bizerte, Aryanah, Gafsa, El Mourouj.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

At the beginning of recorded history, Tunisia was inhabited by Berber tribes. Its coast was settled by Phoenicians starting as early as the 12th century BC (Bizerte, Utica). The city of Carthage was founded in the 9th century BC by Phoenicians. Influences from the Middle East, Europe, and Africa are found throughout Tunisia, which boasts as many ancient ruins as Greece. Tunisia may be a predominantly Muslim country, but it is also a progressive nation where other religions and cultures are widely respected. Islam is the official state religion in Tunisia. Approximately 99 percent of the population of the country is Sunni and at least nominally Muslim. The constitution of Tunisia states that the country’s “religion is Islam”, the government is the “guardian of religion”, and requires that the president be Muslim.

Brief Country History

By about 8,000 BC human beings lived in what is now Tunisia by hunting and gathering. After about 5,000 BC they began farming although they still used stone tools. Then from about 1100 BC the Phoenicians from what is now Lebanon settled and traded in the area.

About 480 BC the Phoenicians founded Carthage. Slowly this city became stronger. In time the Carthaginians built an empire in the Mediterranean. However, they came into conflict with Rome. The First Punic War between Carthage and Rome began in 263 BC and lasted until 241 BC. It ended in the Carthaginian defeat. A second war followed in 218 BC. This time Hannibal led an army across the Alps into Italy but he failed to capture Rome. Finally, in 202 the Carthaginians were crushed by the Romans at the battle of Zama. A third was fought between 149 and 146 BC. This time Carthage was destroyed. However, the Romans later rebuilt Carthage as a Roman city. Under Roman rule Tunisia prospered and it exported grain and olive oil to other parts of the empire. Furthermore, many Romans settled in the area and trade flourished. However, by the 5th century, the Roman Empire was crumbling. A people called the Vandals had conquered Spain. In 429 80,000 Vandals led by Genseric crossed to North Africa. In 439 they captured Carthage and created a new kingdom. Meanwhile, the Roman Empire had split into 2 halves, East and West. The Eastern half became known as the Byzantine Empire. In 533 Byzantine Emperor Justinian sent an army under his general Belisarius, which crushed the Vandals and took Carthage.

Byzantine rule in Tunisia lasted till 698. In that year the Arabs took Carthage. At first Arab Tunisia was ruled by the Caliphs but in 800 Ibrahim ibn al Aghlab was made hereditary ruler of the country. Under the Aghlabid dynasty Tunisia prospered and trade flourished.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

The German language is now spoken in Tunisia’s major cities. Offering Modern Standard Arabic, French, Tunisian Arabic or Darija, English and German, Tunisians are able to convey all of their warmth to you in your native language.

Important Types of Commerce in Tunisia

Tunisia’s market-oriented economy has been cited as a success in Africa and the Arab world. However, it has faced an array of challenges since the 2011 Arab Spring Revolution including high rates of unemployment and slow economic growth. After the failed socialist economic policies of the 1960s, Tunisia embarked on a strategy to bolster exports, tourism and foreign investment all of which are now the country’s economic pillars. The primary exports are petroleum products, food products, fertilizers, and chemicals. Liberal strategies coupled with investment in infrastructure and education fuel the 4-5% annual GDP growth. Economic policies spurred the economy into a continuous growth pattern until the mid-2000s when the government of former President Abidine Ben Ali was marred by corruption, mismanagement, nepotism, and wastage of funds. The cost of living and unemployment rose sharply, provoking the Arab Spring that led to the ouster of the president and the government. The economy went on a downfall as investments and tourism declined sharply. Inflation and falling global prices of crude oil worsened the situation and spiraled the country into lawlessness. Although calm was restored, the successive government remains under pressure to rebuild the economy and mitigate socio-economic challenges especially unemployment and high cost of living. Terror attacks continue to impede the tourism sector that is yet to recover from the 2011 Arab Spring. Strikes in the education and manufacturing sectors have also affected the economy negatively as the country struggles to attract capital and multinationals. Recovery measures initiated by the government include relaxing regulations imposed on the exchange rate, cutting the wage bill to curb fiscal deficit, promote exports to boost foreign currency reserves, reform the pension system, reduce subsidies, and the privatization of loss-making public entities.

Language Services US and others will provide working with Tunisia

The official language in Tunisia is Arabic, but French is widely spoken. Professional language services are required to help U.S. companies sell their products and services in Tunisia. A business targeting Tunisia should be prepared with German, Arabic, French, and Darija interpreting services to make a bigger impact on the people of Tunisia. German, Arabic, French, and Darija business Interpreting is suitable for business situations requiring interpreting. German, Arabic, French, and Darija business Interpreting is ideal for situations such as:

  • negotiations
  • study visits
  • dinners
  • exhibitions

Looking for a German, Arabic, French, and Darija translation company? Look no further. American Language Services (AML-Global) offers certified translations, native interpreting services, and turn-key localization solutions for any language. Call us today @ 1-800-951-5020 for further information, visit our website https://www.alsglobal.net/ or for a quick quote click http://alsglobal.net/quick-quote.php

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