Map Page 1113 Area 63,170 square mile (163,610 square kilometer) Population 9,924,742 Capital Tunis Highest Point 5,065 foot (1,544 meter) Lowest Point -56 foot (-17 meter) GDP per capita $6,600 Primary Natural Resources oil, olives, olive oil, grain, tomatoes.
LONG BEFORE THE ROMANS sacked the Phoenician city of Carthage, Tunisia, located in the center of the North Africa’s Mediterranean coast, influenced the region’s land and sea routes. Since then, the Roman, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, and French rulers have all benefited from the perfect location until independence in 1956, when 3 decades of the Bourghiba regime would follow; a regime of extensive secular advances including the prohibition of polygamy, mandatory and free education, the emancipation of women, and a general direction against fundamental Islam. President Habib Bourghiba was dismissed because of senility in 1987, and past ambassador and prime minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali came into political power with a relative continuity of Bourghiba national policies. MAGINIFICENT COASTS Tunisia is a relatively small republic, only slightly larger in size than the state of Georgia, with long white sand beaches, date, olive and citrus groves, numerous Phoenician, Roman, and Islamic ruins and sites, and the booming capital city of Tunis. Magnificent coasts primarily face both north and east, and the country looks toward the Mediterranean Sea. With a sparsely populated western inland spine of mountain ranges, the interior is arid, rocky, and sandy, scattered with lush crossroad oases, dune fields, playa lakes and wadis, and steep peaks. The popular azure coasts are dotted with major cities thriving from expanding port and harbor use, agriculture, industry, and now healthy and repeat tourism—a new thrust and growing revenue generator in Tunisia. With more than 4 million tourists visiting each year, tourism now employs more than 400,000 Tunisians, increasing its role as a key player in the Mediterranean and North Africa for its location, beauty, bounty, and charm. Since its earliest Roman days, the land of the “lotus-eaters,” known for its turquoise coves filled with bountiful fish and inland oases abundant with fruits and cool water, has been in a strategic position on the Mediterranean.