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officially the Republic of Tunisia[9] (Arabic: الجمهورية التونسية‎ al-Jumhūriyyah at-Tūnisiyyah; Berber:Tagduda n Tunes; French: République Tunisienne), is the smallest country in North Africa. It is a Maghreb country bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 Laptop Keyboard

Tunisia is almost 165,000 square kilometres (64,000 sq mi) in area, with an estimated population of just under 10.7 million. Its name is derived from the capital Tunis located in the northeast. The south of the country is composed of the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil and 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) of coastline. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Tunisia has an association agreement with the European Union and is a member of the Arab Maghreb Union, the Arab League, and the African Union. Tunisia has established close relations with France in particular, through economic cooperation, industrial modernization, and privatisation programs. HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

In 2011, a revolution resulted in the overthrow of autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the first free elections in the country were held. Since then, Tunisia has been consolidating its young democracy. SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard

The word Tunisia is derived from Tunis; a city and capital of modern-day Tunisia. The present form of the name, with its Latinate suffix -ia, evolved from French Tunisie.[10] The French derivative Tunisie was adopted in some European languages with slight modifications, introducing a distinctive name to designate the country. Other languages remained untouched, such as the Russian Туни́с (Tunís) and Spanish Túnez.  HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

In this case, the same name is used for both country and city, as with the Arabic تونس, and only by context can one tell the difference.[10]

The name Tunis can be attributed to different origins. SONY VAIO VGN-N31S/W Laptop Keyboard

It is generally associated with the word "تؤنس" (it's different from تونس) in Arabic wich is a verb that means to socialize and to be friendly. It's also associated with the Berber root tns, which means "to lie down" or "encampment".[11] It is sometimes also associated with the Phoenician goddess Tanith (aka Tunit),[10][12] ancient city of Tynes[13][14] DELL Vostro 1015 Laptop Keyboard

Farming methods reached the Nile Valley from the Fertile Crescent region about 5000 BC, and spread to the Maghreb by about 4000 BC. Agricultural communities in the humid coastal plains of central Tunisia then were ancestors of today's Berbertribes. SONY VAIO VGN-CR150F Laptop Keyboard

It was believed in ancient times that Africa was originally populated byGaetulians and Libyans, both nomadic peoples. According to the Roman historianSallust, the demigod Hercules died in Spain and his polyglot eastern army was left to settle the land, with some migrating to Africa. Persians went to the West and intermarried with the Gaetulians and became the Numidians. The Medes settled and were known as Mauri latter Moors. DELL Inspiron 9300 Laptop Keyboard

The Numidians and Moors belonged to the race from which the Berbers are descended. The translated meaning of Numidian is Nomad and indeed the people were semi-nomadic until the reign of Masinissa of the Massyli tribe.[15][16][17][18][19] DELL Latitude D505 Laptop Keyboard

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 BC. The city of Carthage was founded in the 9th century BC by Phoenician and Cypriot settlers. HP Pavilion DV3000 Laptop Keyboard

Legend says that Dido from Tyre, now in modern day Lebanon, founded the city in 814 BC, as retold by the Greek writer Timaeus of Tauromenium. The settlers of Carthage brought their culture and religion from the Phoenicians.[20] Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

After a series of wars with Greek city-states of Sicily in the 5th century BC, Carthage rose to power and eventually became the dominant civilization in the Western Mediterranean. The people of Carthage worshipped a pantheon of Middle Eastern gods including Baal and Tanit. Tanit's symbol, a simple female figure with extended arms and long dress, is a popular icon found in ancient sites. The founders of Carthage also established a Tophet, which was altered in Roman times. HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

A Carthaginian invasion of Italy led by Hannibal during the Second Punic War, one of a series of wars with Rome, nearly crippled the rise of Roman power. From the conclusion of the Second Punic War in 202 BC, Carthage functioned as a client state of the Roman Republic for another 50 years. SONY VAIO VGN-NW15G/S laptop keyboard

Following the Battle of Carthage in 149 BC, Carthage was conquered by Rome. After the Roman conquest, the region became one of the main granaries of Rome and was fully Latinized.

The Romans controlled nearly all of modern Tunisia from 149 BC until the area was conquered by the Vandals in the 5th century AD, only to be reconquered byRoman general Belisarius in the 6th century, during the rule of Emperor Justinian I. DELL PK130CW1A08 laptop keyboard

During the Roman period the area of what is now Tunisia enjoyed a huge development. The economy, mainly during the Empire, boomed: the prosperity of the area depended on agriculture. Called the Granary of the Empire, the area of actual Tunisia and coastal Tripolitania, according to one estimate, produced one million tons of cereals each year, one-quarter of which was exported to the Empire. Additional crops included beans, figs, grapes, and other fruits. ASUS A6J laptop keyboard

By the 2nd century, olive oil rivalled cereals as an export item. In addition to the cultivations, and the capture and transporting of exotic wild animals from the western mountains, the principal production and exports included the textiles, marble, wine, timber, livestock, pottery such as African Red Slip, and wool. SONY VAIO VGN-CR21SR laptop keyboard

There was even a huge production of mosaics and ceramics, exported mainly to Italy, in the central area of El Djem (where there was the second biggest amphitheater in the Roman Empire).

Berber bishop Donatus Magnus was the founder of a Christian group known as the Donatists.[21] During the 5th and 6th centuries (from 430 to 533 AD), the GermanicVandals invaded and ruled over a kingdom in North Africa that included present-day Tripoli. They were defeated by a combined force of Romans and Berbers. ACER TravelMate 8210 laptop keyboard

Around the second half of the 7th century and the beginning of the 8th century, the region was conquered by Arab Muslims, who founded the city of Kairouan, which became the first city of Islam in North Africa. In 670 AD, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7340 laptop keyboard

the Great Mosque of Kairouanwas erected; it has the oldest standing minaret in the world.[22] This mosque, also called the Mosque of Uqba, is the most ancient and most prestigious sanctuary in the Muslim West;[23] it is also considered a masterpiece of Islamic art and architecture.[24]

The Arab governors of Tunis founded the Aghlabid Dynasty, which ruled Tunisia, SONY VAIO PCG-FR130 laptop keyboard

Tripolitania and eastern Algeria from 800 to 909.[25] Tunisia flourished under Arab rule, as extensive irrigation installations were constructed to supply towns with water and promote agriculture (especially olive production).[25][26] This prosperity permitted luxurious court life and was marked by the construction of new palace cities such as al-Abassiya (809) and Raqadda (877).[25] TOSHIBA Satellite C655-S9520D laptop keyboard

After conquering Cairo, the Fatimids abandoned Tunisia and parts of Eastern Algeria to the local Zirids (972–1148).[27]Zirid Tunisia prospered, with agriculture, industry, trade and learning, both religious and secular, all flourishing.[28]Management of the later Zirid emirs was neglectful though, and political instability was connected to the decline of Tunisian trade and agriculture.[25][29][30] ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

The invasion of Tunisia by the Banu Hilal, a warlike Arab Bedouin tribe encouraged by the Fatimids of Egypt to seize North Africa, sent the region's urban and economic life into further decline.[27] The Arab historian Ibn Khaldun wrote that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert.[29][31]  HP Pavilion DV7-3060us laptop keyboard

The coasts were held briefly by the Normans of Sicily in the 12th century, but following the conquest of Tunisia in 1159–1160 by the Almohads the last Christians in Tunisia disappeared either through forced conversion or emigration.[citation needed] The Almohads initially ruled over Tunisia through a governor, usually a near relative of the Caliph.  HP G62-b12SL laptop keyboard

Despite the prestige of the new masters, the country was still unruly, with continuous rioting and fighting between the townsfolk and wandering Arabs and Turks, the latter being subjects of the Armenian adventurer Karakush. TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

The greatest threat to Almohad rule in Tunisia was the Banu Ghaniya, relatives of the Almoravids, who from their base inMallorca tried to restore Almoravid rule over the Maghreb. Around 1200 they succeeded in extending their rule over the whole of Tunisia, until they were crushed by Almohad troops in 1207. After this success, TOSHIBA Satellite L200 laptop keyboard

the Almohads installed Walid Abu Hafs as the governor of Tunisia. Tunisia remained part of the Almohad state, until 1230 when the son of Abu Hafs declared himself independent. During the reign of the Hafsid dynasty, fruitful commercial relationships were established with several Christian Mediterranean states.[32] In the late 16th century the coast became a pirate stronghold (see: Barbary States). Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

In the last years of the Hafsids, Spain seized many of the coastal cities, but these were recovered by the Ottoman Empire.

The first Ottoman conquest of Tunis took place in 1534 under the command of Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, the younger brother of Oruç Reis, TOSHIBA Satellite A215-S4807 Laptop Keyboard

who was the Kapudan Pasha of the Ottoman Fleet during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. However, it wasn't until the final Ottoman reconquest of Tunis from Spain in 1574 under Kapudan Pasha Uluç Ali Reis that the Ottomans permanently acquired the former Hafsid Tunisia, retaining it until the French occupation of Tunisia in 1881. HP G72-b67CA Laptop Keyboard

Initially under Turkish rule from Algiers, soon the Ottoman Porte appointed directly for Tunis a governor called the Pashasupported by janissary forces. Before long, however, Tunisia became in effect an autonomous province, under the local Bey. Under its Turkish governors, the Beys, Tunisia attained virtual independence. The Hussein dynasty of Beys, DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

established in 1705, lasted until 1957.[33] This evolution of status was from time to time challenged without success by Algiers. During this era the governing councils controlling Tunisia remained largely composed of a foreign elite who continued to conduct state business in the Turkish language. HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

Attacks on European shipping were made by corsairs, primarily from Algiers, but also from Tunis and Tripoli, yet after a long period of declining raids the growing power of the European states finally forced its termination. Under the Ottoman Empire, the boundaries of Tunisia contracted; it lost territory to the west (Constantine) and to the east (Tarabulus). ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The Maghreb suffered from the deadly combination of plague and famine.[34] The great epidemics ravaged Tunisia in 1784–1785, 1796–1797 and 1818–1820.[35]

In the 19th century, the rulers of Tunisia became aware of the ongoing efforts at political and social reform in the Ottoman capital. ACER Aspire 5336 Laptop Keyboard

The Bey of Tunis then, by his own lights but informed by the Turkish example, attempted to effect a modernizing reform of institutions and the economy.[36] Tunisian international debt grew unmanageable. This was the reason or pretext for French forces to establish a Protectorate in 1881.  HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

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In 1869, Tunisia declared itself bankrupt and an international financial commission took control over its economy. In 1881, using the pretext of a Tunisian incursion into Algeria, the French invaded with an army of about 36,000 and forced the Bey to agree to the terms of the 1881 Treaty of Bardo (Al Qasr as Sa'id).[37]  SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

With this treaty, Tunisia was officially made a French protectorate, over the objections of Italy. Under French colonization, European settlements in the country were actively encouraged; the number of French colonists grew from 34,000 in 1906 to 144,000 in 1945. In 1910 there were 105,000 Italians in Tunisia.[38] TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

In 1942–1943, Tunisia was the scene of the Tunisia Campaign, a series of battles between the Axis and Allied forces. The battle opened with initial success by the German and Italian forces, but the massive supply and numerical superiority of the Allies led to the Axis's surrender on 13 May 1943.[39][40] SONY VAIO VGN-N31S/W Laptop Keyboard

Tunisia achieved independence from France in 1956 led by Habib Bourguiba, who later became the first Tunisian President.[41]The secular Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), formerly Neo Destour, controlled the country as one of the most repressive regimes in the Arab World since its independence in 1956.[42] ACER TravelMate 6252 laptop keyboard

In November 1987, doctors declared Bourguiba unfit to rule and, in a bloodless coup d'état, Prime Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali assumed the presidency.[41] President Ben Ali, previously Habib Bourguiba's minister and a military figure, held office from 1987 to 2011,  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 laptop keyboard

having acceded to the executive office of Habib Bourguiba after a team of medical experts judged Bourguiba unfit to exercise the functions of the office in accordance with Article 57 of the Tunisian constitution.[43] The anniversary of Ben Ali’s succession, November 7, was celebrated as a national holiday. HP Pavilion dv6-3217cl laptop keyboard

 He was consistently re-elected with enormous majorities every election, the last being 25 October 2009,[44] until he fled the country amid popular unrest in January 2011.

Ben Ali and his family were accused of corruption[45] and plundering the country's money. Corrupt members of the Trabelsi family, most notably in the cases of Imed Trabelsi and Belhassen Trabelsi, controlled much of the business sector in the country.[46] HP Pavilion dv5-1033ez laptop keyboard

The First Lady Leila Ben Ali was described as an "unabashed shopaholic" who used the state airplane to make frequent unofficial trips to Europe's fashion capitals.[47] Tunisia refused a French request for the extradition of two of the President's nephews, from Leila's side, who were accused by the French State prosecutor of having stolen two mega-yachts from a French marina.[48] Ben Ali's son-in-law Sakher El Materi was rumoured as being primed to eventually take over the country.[49] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Independent human rights groups, such as Amnesty International, Freedom House, and Protection International, documented that basic human and political rights were not respected.[50][51] The regime obstructed in any way possible the work of local human rights organizations.[52] In 2008, in terms of freedom of the press, Tunisia was ranked 143rd out of 173.[53]  Lenovo 3000 C200 laptop keyboard

The Tunisian revolution[54][55] was an intensive campaign of civil resistance that were precipitated by high unemployment,food inflation, corruption,[56] a lack of freedom of speech and other political freedoms[57] and poor living conditions. Labour unions were said to be an integral part of the protests.[58] The protests inspired the Arab Spring, a wave of similar actions throughout the Arab world. TOSHIBA Satellite m502 laptop keyboard

The catalyst for mass demonstrations was the death of Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year old Tunisian street vendor, who set himself afire on 17 December 2010 in protest at the confiscation of his wares and the humiliation inflicted on him by a municipal official. Anger and violence intensified following Bouazizi's death on 4 January 2011, ultimately leading longtime PresidentZine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down on 14 January 2011, after 23 years in power. TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

Protests continued for banning of the ruling party and the eviction of all its members from the transitional government formed by Mohammed Ghannouchi. Eventually the new government gave in to the demands. A Tunis court banned the ex-ruling party RCD and confiscated all its resources. A decree by the minister of the interior banned the "political police", special forces which were used to intimidate and persecute political activists.[59] HP Pavilion DV8310CA Laptop Keyboard

On 3 March 2011, the president announced that elections to a Constituent Assembly would be held on 23 October 2011. International and internal observers declared the vote free and fair. The Ennahda Movement, formerly banned under the Ben Ali regime, won a plurality of 90 seats out of a total of 217.[60] On 12 December 2011, former dissident and veteran human rights activist Moncef Marzouki was elected president.[61] ACER TravelMate 4050 Laptop Keyboard

In March 2012, Ennahda declared it will not support making sharia the main source of legislation in the new constitution, maintaining the secular nature of the state. Ennahda’s stance on the issue was criticized by hardline Islamists who wanted full blown sharia, and was welcomed by secular parties.[62] On 6 February 2013 Chokri Belaid, the leader of the leftist opposition and prominent critic of Ennahda, was assassinated.[63] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

HP Mini 1001TU Laptop Keyboard

Tunisia is situated on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Nile Delta. It is bordered byAlgeria on the west and Libya on the south east. It lies between latitudes 30° and 38°N, and longitudes 7° and 12°E. An abrupt southward turn of the Mediterranean coast in northern Tunisia gives the country two distinctive Mediterranean coasts, west-east in the north, and north-south in the east. SONY VAIO VGN-NR21E/S Laptop Keyboard

Though it is relatively small in size, Tunisia has great environmental diversity due to its north-south extent. Its east-west extent is limited. Differences in Tunisia, like the rest of the Maghreb, are largely north-south environmental differences defined by sharply decreasing rainfall southward from any point. Dell Inspiron 2500 Laptop Keyboard

The Dorsal, the eastern extension of the Atlas Mountains, runs across Tunisia in a northeasterly direction from the Algerian border in the west to the Cape Bon peninsula in the east. North of the Dorsal is the Tell, a region characterized by low, rolling hills and plains, again an extension of mountains to the west in Algeria. In the Khroumerie, the northwestern corner of the Tunisian Tell, elevations reach 1,050 metres (3,440 ft) and snow occurs in winter. HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard

The Sahel, a broadening coastal plain along Tunisia's eastern Mediterranean coast, is among the world's premier areas of olive cultivation. Inland from the Sahel, between the Dorsal and a range of hills south of Gafsa, are the Steppes. Much of the southern region is semi-arid and desert.

Tunisia has a coastline 1,148 kilometres (713 mi) long. In maritime terms, the country claims a contiguous zone of 24 nautical miles(44.4 km; 27.6 mi), and a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles (22.2 km; 13.8 mi).[64] SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

Tunisia is a constitutional republic, with a president serving as head of state, prime minister as head of government, abicameral parliament and a court system influenced by French civil law. The new Constitution of Tunisia guarantees rights for women, and states that the President's religion "shall be Islam."[67] TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

The number of legalized political parties in Tunisia has grown a lot since the revolution. There are now over 100 legal parties, including several that existed under the former regime. During the Ben Ali, only three functioned as independent opposition parties: the PDP, FDTL, and Tajdid. The Islamist opposition party Nahda was deemed a "terrorist organization" and outlawed by the Ben Ali government in 1991,  ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

but quickly reasserted its position as a major political player following the party’s legalization by the post-Ben Ali government. While some older parties are well-established and can draw on previous party structures, many of the 100-plus parties extant as of February 2012 are small.[68]

Rare for the Arab world, women hold more than 20% of seats in both chambers of parliament.[69] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

On December 23, 2011, the Constituent Assembly confirmed a new cabinet for Tunisia composed of 41 ministers (29 full ministers, 15 deputy ministers.) Length and terms of office, the authority of the legislature, and separation of powers are subject to change under the new constitution currently in draft.[68] DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

Trade unions are now in the process of reconstituting themselves to participate in the country’s new political and socio-economic debate. Following Ben Ali’s ouster, two new trade confederations, the Union of Tunisian Labor (UTT) and the General Confederation of Tunisian Labor (UCGT), emerged to challenge the status quo.[68]  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The Tunisian legal system is heavily influenced by French civil law, while the Law of Personal Status is based on Islamic law.[70] Sharia courts were abolished in 1956.[70]

A Code of Personal Status was adopted shortly after independence in 1956, which, among other things, COMPAQ NSK-H5401 Laptop Keyboard

gave women full legal status (allowing them to run and own businesses, have bank accounts, and seek passports under their own authority). The code outlawed the practices of polygamy and repudiation, and a husband’s right to unilaterally divorce his wife.[71] Further reforms in 1993 included a provision to allow Tunisian women to transmit citizenship even if they are married to a foreigner and living abroad.[72] DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

The Law of Personal Status is applied to all Tunisians regardless of their religion.[70] The Code of Personal Status remains one of the most progressive civil codes in the Middle East and the Muslim world.[73] SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

As of 2008, Tunisia had an army of 27,000 personnel equipped with 84 main battle tanks and 48 light tanks. The navy numbered 4,800 operating 25 patrol boats and 6 other craft. Paramilitary forces consisted of a 12,000-member national guard.[75] Tunisia's military spending is 1.6% of GDP (2006). DELL 0PVDG3 laptop keyboard

The army is responsible for national defence and also internal security. Tunisia has participated in peacekeeping efforts in the DROC and Ethiopia/Eritrea.[76] Previous United Nationspeacekeeping deployments for the Tunisian armed forces have included Cambodia (UNTAC), Namibia (UNTAG), Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Western Sahara (MINURSO) and the 1960s mission in the Congo, ONUC.  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The military has historically played a professional, apolitical role in defending the country from external threats. Since January 2011 and at the direction of the executive branch, the military has taken on increasing responsibility for domestic security and humanitarian crisis response.[68] HP Pavilion ze5170 laptop keyboard

Tunisia now finds itself as an export-oriented country in the process of liberalizing and privatizing an economy that, while averaging 5% GDP growth since the early 1990s, has suffered from corruption benefiting politically connected elites.[79]Tunisia has a diverse economy, ranging from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and petroleum products, to tourism. In 2008 it had a GDP of US $41 billion (official exchange rates),  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

or $82 billion (purchasing power parity).[80] The agricultural sector stands for 11.6% of the GDP, industry 25.7%, and services 62.8%. The industrial sector is mainly made up of clothing and footwear manufacturing, production of car parts, and electric machinery. Although Tunisia managed an average 5% growth over the last decade it continues to suffer from a high unemployment especially among youth. Lenovo 3000 G430 4152 laptop keyboard

Tunisia was in 2009 ranked the most competitive economy in Africa and the 40th in the world by the World Economic Forum.[81]Tunisia has managed to attract many international companies such as Airbus[82] and Hewlett-Packard.[83] HP Pavilion dv6-3030sp laptop keyboard

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