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Map Tunisia

Official name: The Republic of Tunisia (al-Jumhuriya al-Tunisiya).

Tunisia derives its name from Tunis, the current capital, which, in turn, comes from Tunes, an ancient city. Some scholars claim that ‘Tunes’ is of Berber origin, etymologically derived from the Berber root t-n-s meaning ‘halt, bivouac, encampment’. The word ‘Tunis’ became ‘Tunisie’ as the name of the country during the French protectorate, and many European countries subsequently adopted the name Tunisia.

Tunisia, previously subject to various empires and states, emerged as an independent political entity in 1956. The country was long referred to in Arabic as Ifriqiya, a region encompassing modern eastern Algeria, Tunisia, and western Libya. In ancient times, Tunisia was famous for the city of Carthage. It was later occupied by the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines, and the Arabs. During Ottoman rule, Tunisia was known as the Regency of Tunis. Following independence from France, the country was known for one year as the Kingdom of Tunisia, until the Tunisian republic was declared in 1957.

Even though Tunisia has been inhabited since ancient times, it has never managed to establish a level of wealth equivalent to that enjoyed by other countries in the region. Limited natural resources, coupled with economic mismanagement and corruption – which was rampant under the Ben Ali regime – have left most Tunisians struggling to make ends meet.

Further Reading

Page with a chronological overview of the country file articles published on the Chronicle website.
After the success of the Tunisian revolution, Tunisia was able to live a democratic transition of power through three presidential elections. Since the end of 2019, the university professor Kais Saied is the president of Tunisia.
Basic facts and figures regarding the politics, geography, population, and economy of Tunisia.
An overview of Tunisia's geography, including its state borders, local climate, and natural resources.
An overview of governance in Tunisia: Political Parties, The Judiciary, The Presidency and The Military.
The concept of human rights has become a well-known and widely accepted term to use. An overview of human rights in Tunisia.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 was $43 billion, compared with $47.6 billion in 2014 and $46.2 billion in 2013. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that GDP in 2017 will grow by 2.8 per cent, compared with 1.5 per ...
The overwhelming majority – approximately 98 percent – of Tunisians are Muslim Arabs or Berbers, most of whom are Sunnis; only a minority are Shiite Muslims. Christians make up about 1 percent of the population, and another 1 ...
A significant aspect of Tunisian society is its homogenous ethnic and religious character: Arab-Berber and Sunni. Nonetheless, various subdivisions exist within society.
Faces of influential people of Tunisia, people that are/were Tunisia's game changers.

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