Tunisia

Tunisia has traditionally been one of the more liberal Arab states, moving toward a multiparty democracy, but its government is now facing a challenge from Islamic fundamentalists.


Geography:

Mountains in the north are surrounded by plains. 

Vast, low-lying salt pans in the center. 

To the south lies the Sahara Desert.

Climate:

Summer temperatures are high. 

The north is often wet and windy in winter. 

Far south is arid.

People & Society:

The population is almost entirely of Arab-Berber descent, with Jewish and Christian minorities. 

Many still live in extended family groups, in which three or four generations are represented. 

Women have better rights than in most other Arab countries and make up over 30% of the workforce. 

Parliamentary and municipal quotas aim to increase their representation in politics. 

A low birth rate is a result of a long-standing family planning policy. 

Economy:

Competitive and diversified. 

Expanding manufacturing. 

Exports olives, dates, citrus fruit, phosphates. 

Tourism. 

Free trade area with EU.

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