The Mosque of Three Doors is also worth visiting though tourists can only visit the outside.
Tunisia is now a true Republic and elections that were judged free and fair took place in October 2011 and a new constitution has been drafted.
The majority of Tunisians are of Arab and Berber origin though it is inevitable that there will still be Roman, Vandal, Turk and Phoenician blood mixed in for many natives.
An important city within the Muslim faith and an important centre for pilgrimage since the 7th century AD when it became a centre of Islamic teaching and learning.
Kairouan has two famous mosques, The Great Mosque can only be entered by Muslims but non-Muslims can enjoy the splendid exterior.
Agriculture, mining and manufacturing are all important with Sfax the country’s main industrial centre.
Tunisia’s Association Agreement with the European Union has seen the EU become a major trading partner with around 75% of imports and 75% of exports going from and to the EU respectively.
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.
With no dominate ruler the Christian Spanish and Islamic Ottomans fought for control in the 1500s with Turkey controlling Tunisia until their power also waned and the Husseinite dynasty came to rule an independent Tunisia.
Tunisia remained independent until France came on to the scene at first controlling the nation unofficially through a series of treaties and the moving in of forces, initially to put down uprisings.
The Axis armies in Tunisia surrendered in May 1943 and the Tunisians now looked to declare full independence from France as the war came to a close, it was 1957 though that Tunisia would officially become a independent republic.