Posted November 7, 2013
This holiday was a self-serving commemoration: the government of Ben Ali created this positive-sounding holiday in order to celebrate Ben Ali's taking power on this date in 1987! Although Ali promised to take steps to make his country more democratic than it had been before he took power, he used his police force against his political opponents.
In late 2010, protests broke out in Tunisia, in the capital city of Tunis, and the result was a revolution! After a month of intense protests and civil resistance, Ben Ali stepped down on January 14, 2011, and almost a year later one of the dissidents, a human rights activist, was elected president.
So this is a new new era in Tunisia!
(I imagine that this Ali-based holiday is no longer celebrated in Tunisia, but my search of the internet did not confirm or deny that guess.)
Tunisia is the smallest country in North Africa—larger than the state of Georgia or the nation of Greece, smaller than the state of Wisconsin or the United Kingdom. The nation has close ties to Europe, especially France; historically Tunis was ruled by Arab Muslims, Arab Bedouins, Normans from Sicily, Spain, pirates, the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, and finally France.
Check out the beauties of Tunisia, which range from the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert to the waters of the Mediterranean sea and from ancient ruins to modern skyscrapers.
If you have half an hour to devote to learning more about Tunisia, check out this video, which discusses history and culture as well as geography.
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