• Location: Northern Africa
• Capital: Tunis
• Language(s): Arabic, French
• Population: 10,433,105
• Total Area: 163,610 sq km
• Currency: Tunisian Dinar
• Curious Alcohol Fact:
• Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 1.27 liters
• Most Popular Drink(s):
Tunisia is located at the very top of Africa and it shares borders with Algeria and Libya, while its northern border is adjacent the Mediterranean Sea. As I had guessed, the name of the country stemmed from the capital city of Tunis. The Sahara Desert covers much of the country but the coastal areas make up for the country in terms of agriculture and large-scale farming. At a time, the country was a monarchy and it has been ruled in the distant past by the Romans, and later by the Ottomans and most recently, the French. Independence came in 1956, earlier than most African nations. The Roman legacy of the country is still preserved in the numerous monuments and sites found all over the country, especially in the city of Carthage, the legendary city of Hannibal.
Unlike many of the African nations in the southern part of the continent, Tunisia does not have too many tribes or ethnic groups, and many of the citizens (almost 100%) are of the Arab-Berber stock, and the most popular language is Arabic. There is a tiny population of Berbers and for them, the predominant language is Berber, and they also speak the Shelha language. Also, an overwhelming proportion of Tunisians are Muslims, and although Islam is the state religion, you are free to practise any religion or faith of your choice. A little fraction of the population are Christians and Jews.
As it is with most foods in Northern Africa, the meals are hot and spicy. However, in Tunisia, the foods are also very spicy but the dishes in the country have a special Mediterranean taste and flavor, and that explains the use of olive oil in many of the meals prepared in the country. In Tunisia, you can always be sure of getting fresh foods served with exotic sauce. The commonest foods in the country are couscous (which is also the staple in many North and West African nations) and baklava. In the cities close to the coastline, seafood is the in-thing for many of the locals and the tourists. If you doubt this, then it is because you have not enjoyed a plate of fresh lobsters with French wine on a beach in Tunis!
Although Tunisia is an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, alcohol is easily purchased, especially in the capital Tunis where wines from Spain, France, Italy and Portugal are sold at many of the hotels, bars and restaurants. Apart from these wines, mint tea is also very popular in the country. Interestingly, mint tea is a regular feature in many Arab countries, and in Tunisia, it is regarded as the national drink.
Places to Visit
Tunisia is a nation of outstanding beauty and there are numerous sites that you can visit. The capital city itself is of unparalleled splendor, but one city that has always been a crowd puller is Carthage which has many Roman ruins. There are also various museums in cities like Sousse, Bardo and Al Jem.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Daniel Krasnopolsky (Woodmere, NY, USA)
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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