April 9 - Martyrs' Day in Tunisia

Posted on April 9, 2018

The thing about Martyrs' Days is, they're always solemn occasions. They're all about honoring people who died in the cause of _____ [fill in the blank].

In today's case, Tunisians are honoring those who died fighting for their independence from France, which the nation finally won in 1956.

April 9 was chosen because on April 9, 1938, a group of independent-minded Tunisians led by a lawyer named Habib Bourguiba clashed with French troops. Hundreds of Tunisians were injured and at least 22 died.

Of course, eventually Tunisians did prevail, and the nation is now independent. It's also...

...The northernmost nation of Africa. It juts a bit farther north into the Mediterranean Sea than its neighbors Algeria and Libya.

...Home of a lot of Carthaginian and Roman ruins.

Above and below, Carthage

Above and below, Roman ruins

...The location of several Star Wars sets. 

The desert planet Tataooine was inspired by (and partially filmed in) Tataouine, Tunisia. 

Star Wars fans can stay in a hotel that was once the filming location of Luke Skywalker's home. The bar has a lot of Star Wars memorabilia for sale and a menu inspired by the movies.

Ben's hermitage is used by fishermen as storage.

Toshi Station is actually a temple. 

Tatooine slave quarters are actually a grain storage facility.

The exterior of Luke's home now sits empty in the desert.

Mos Epsa was also a set that was built out in the middle of a desert, and Tunisians have mostly left it alone because they like the tourism dollars that it can earn. 

...The movie set location for Raiders of the Lost Ark and a few other films, as well as Star Wars. Raiders crew members had to remove 300 TV antennas for a rooftop scene (the film was set in 1936), and then of course, when they were done with the scene, they had to reattach all those antennas.

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