Tunisia often gets overlooked by such countries as Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Israel when talking about the middle east. Hopefully, this blog will familiarize the reader with Tunisia if they aren’t already familiar with the country.
Tunisia is located in North Africa and juts out into the Mediterranean Sea near the island of Sicily. This small nation covers 59,985 square miles of land and has a population of 10,937,521 people. Currently, there are three primary languages within this country which are Arabic, Tunisian, and French. The capital of Tunisia is Tunis. The nation was founded and is currently a Republic, however, there has been periods of unrest as the government went from a republic to a dictator and is currently reestablishing a republic. As of 2014, Tunisia is headed by a president by the name of Beji Caid Essebsi and a Prime Minister Habib Essid.
This country has a significant place in history. The region was settled by Phoenicians during the 12th Century B.C. and by the 6th and 5th centuries was home of the great Carthaginian empire. After three Punic wars, it became a region under Roman control. The Arabs conquered the area in the 7th century A.D. The region exchanged several rulers after this, including the vast Ottoman Empire, up until French intervention in 1881 . France was involved with the region until local nationalism drove them out in 1956. Ultimately, it has had a significant yet turbulent place in history. History has definitely played a role in the current situation of the country. The economy is trying to beat pre-revolution numbers in terms of their economy and face a serious threat from the terrorist group such as The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria(ISIS). All of this information, in more specific detail can be found at http://www.infoplease.com
Currently, Tunisia has been undergoing some hardships. One such hardship is the Tunisian economy. The world bank group, www.worldbank.org, has cited that unemployment was at 15.3% in 2011 and also predicts that in 2014 the economy only grew by 2.2%. According to www.GOV.uk, in 2011 the country was economically sanctioned, 2011 is considered the first fair election in 50 years, and recently are undergoing immense unrest around recent terrorist attacks. Terrorists often reside and/or target countries who have weak and unstable governments. Unfortunately, Tunisia has such a weak government and many fear for the country and its continued longevity. From the New York Times “Europe — and France in particular — cannot afford to wait until the black flag of the Islamic State is hoisted above the presidential palace in Tunis.” This is a quote from Herve Morin who is a former French Prime Minister talking about ISIS. Earlier this year, Tunisia suffered a terrorist attack aimed at destroying the tourist economy and destabilize the economy. Sousse was the sight of a 38-person massacre in which an armed gunman assaulted a coastal resort near the city of Sousse. After the Sousse attack, it became obvious that the country struggles to effectively handle the nation’s security situation. With the caliphate already declaring that it wants to spread into Europe and beyond. As a result of this, Europe needs to prevent countries such as Tunisia from falling to ISIS. While Tunisia is not in an enviable position presently, there is hope that this country can emerge stronger than before with the help of more influential countries backing it.
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