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Of course the beautiful, usually sandy, coastline is a major attraction but the interior of the country going down to the edges of the Sahara and the across to the Atlas mountains should also be explored by those with a sense of adventure and there is enough to keep history buffs transfixed for weeks.The first thriving centres of culture in Tunisia were the Phoenician cities with Carthage founded in 814BC.In Tunisia the position of women is much more equal than in many Arab countries and women visiting will find few problems in the major cities, though in restaurants and hotels questions and bills will initially be presented to the men in the party.In law though the equality of women is guaranteed and though traditionally marriages may be arranged, often by the groom’s mother, consent of both parties is essential to make a wedding valid and breaking of agreements is common though these arrangements are becoming more rare in the first place. Tunisia has several major oil fields, these give a significant contribution to the economy, though the country certainly isn’t reliant on it.There is a small European population, mainly French and Italians, and Jewish population as well.Religion follows a similar balance with 98% of the population Muslims, as well as around 1% Christians and 1% Jewish; of those giving their religion as Muslim the majority are Sunnis.

Many of the people of Tunisia though rose in protest with numbers that Ben Ali was no longer to control in late 2010 and on January 14th 2011 Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia and an interim government took control, making Tunisia’s government the first to change during the Arab Spring.Tunisia spends 6% of GDP on education, which is to a high standard and compulsory for 6 to 16 year olds, as well as Tunisian and standard Arabic children are also taught French and English.Tunisia also has a number of well thought of universities.Though there were other Phoenician cities that remained independent the Carthaginian empire started to spread and flourish, absorbing many other cities.The Punic Wars with Rome however eventually led to the downfall of Carthage after Hannibal and his armies were eventually defeated and the Romans sacked cities including Tunis and Carthage.

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