Tunisia lies in North Africa, covering 165,000 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent. Tunisia’s population was estimated to be just under 11 million in 2014.] Tunisia’s name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, which is located on Tunisia’s northeast coast.
After several attempts starting in 647, the Arabs conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, followed by the Ottomans between 1534 and 1574. The Ottomans held sway for over three hundred years. The French colonization of Tunisia occurred in 1881. Tunisia gained independence with Habib Bourguiba and declared the Tunisian Republic in 1957. In 2011, the Tunisian Revolution resulted in the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, followed by parliamentary elections. The country voted for parliament again on 26 October 2014, and for President on 23 November 2014.
Tunisia is a representative democracy and a republic with a president serving as head of state, prime minister as head of government, a unicameral parliament, and a civil law court system. In October 2014 Tunisia held its first elections under the new constitution following the Arab Spring.
Tunisia is 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. Tunisia has a diverse economy, ranging from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and petroleum products, to tourism.
Among Tunisia’s tourist attractions are its cosmopolitan capital city of Tunis, the ancient ruins of Carthage, the Muslim and Jewish quarters of Jerba, and coastal resorts outside of Monastir. According to The New York Times, Tunisia is “known for its golden beaches, sunny weather and affordable luxuries.