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Wednesday 13th December
Tunisia Information - Page 1
Geography
The Tunisian Republic is in Northern Africa. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Libya and Algeria.

Tunis is the capital city and chief port. Other important cities and ports are Sfax, Sousse and Bizerte.

The terrain of Tunisia consists of mountains, a central plain, and a semi-arid region in the south that merges into the Sahara Desert. The principal river is the Medjerda.

The climate is varied: Mediterranean along the coast and more arid in the south.

Environment
Protected areas in Tunisia include Boukornine National Park, Chaambi National Park, El Feija National Park, Sidi Toui National Park and Dhoumes National Park. A conservation programme has reintroduced the Dorcas gazelle, the scimitar-horned Oryx and the Addax to their original habitat.

The governorate of Jendouba is known for vast expanses of cork oak forest which are protected by an ecosystem plan.

Ichkeul Lake in Ichkeul National Park, a World Heritage site, is a staging point on the flight path of migratory birds. The Djebel Bou-Hedma Biosphere Reserve and National Park is an important habitat for resident birds such as larks and warblers.

Architecture
A number of sites in Tunisia are on the World Heritage List. The earliest site is the city-state of Carthage founded in the ninth century BC and destroyed in 146 BC. Kerkuane, inscribed in 1985, was a Phoenician town.

Dougga is said to be the best preserved Roman small town in North Africa. Another Roman site is the Amphitheatre of El Jem, the largest colosseum in North Africa.

Medina of Sousse was an important commercial and military port dating from the early centuries of Islam. Kairouan, founded in 670, was the principal holy city of the Maghreb (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia).

Medina of Tunis contains examples of Islamic architecture such as palaces, mosques and mausoleums.

Population
The population of Tunisia was estimated at 10,629,186 in 2011.

Languages
Arabic is the official language in Tunisia. French is also used in commerce.

Religion
The majority of Tunisians are Muslims. There are Christian and Jewish minorities.

Food
Tunisian food is hot and spicy. Bread, a staple food, is often eaten with a hot dip and olives.

Couscous, cooked with vegetables, meat or fish, is the national dish. Brik, thin pastry wrapped around an egg and meat or vegetables, is another favourite dish.

Vegetables eaten are carrots, turnips, onions, okra, peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas.

Rice and semolina are used to make desserts. Baklava is a popular pastry. Fruits include dates, oranges, pomegranates, strawberries and watermelons.

Drinks are Turkish coffee and mint tea. Soft drinks and wines are produced locally. Boukha and Thibourine are traditional liqueurs.

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