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Culture Tunisia

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Tunisia : Discover the country's culture

Music

Lotfi Bouchnak, Tunisian traditional singer.
Latifa Arfavi, artist of Quasids (sung poems).
Anouar Braham, renowned lute player.

Tunisia : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

850 BC: Founding of Carthage.
216 AD: Hannibal conquers the Romans.
146 AD: in the 3rd Punic Wars, Carthage is annexed by the Romans.
439: the Vandals landed and attacked Carthage.
647: Arab invasion of Tunisian territory by Okba ibn Nafi.
10th to 16th century: Tunisia is successively invaded by the Genoese, the Pisans, the Normans and plundered by countless pirates.
1574: Tunisia is ruled by the Ottoman Empire till the end of the 19th century.
1869: declared bankrupt, the country is placed under Italian and British trusteeship.
1881: institution of French protectorate.
1934: formation of an independence party, the Neo-Destour, by Habib Bourguiba.
1942: landing of German troops followed in 1943 by the English and Americans.
1956: country gains independence and a year later, a Republic is declared.
1987: Ben Ali becomes president.
1994: confirmation of Ben Ali in power after winning the presidential elections.
1998: Parliamentary votes amendment tabled in 1997 by Ben Ali, allowing opposition party chairpersons or secretary generals to run for elections once they have been in office for at least five years.
1999: Ben Ali is re-elected. He is still in power.
1 January 2005: Tunisian government removes VAT of 6% on health treatment for foreigners to promote the development of health tourism.

Tunisia : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events

Events

1 January: New Year.
10 January 2008: The Hegira. Muslim New Year.
February: Olive festival of the Sousse region.
20 March: Independence Day (National Day).
21 March: Youth Day.
April: Nabeul Orange festival.
9 April: Martyrs Day.
1 May: Labour Day.
June to August: Carthage International Festival (dancing, music, drama).
July: Tabarka Jazz Festival.
25 July: Republic Day.
5 August: Sea Day. Water sports contests, music, dancing and picnics on the beaches.
13 August: Women's Day.
15 October: Evacuation Day.
21 August 2009: Start of Ramadan.
19 September 2008: Aid el-Fitr (celebration of end of Ramadan).
7 November: Anniversary of takeover by President Ben Ali. Commemoration of Change.
November: Sahara Festival at Douz with greyhound races, camel fighting, reading of poetry and singing.
9 December 2008: Ad el-Kbir. Commemoration of Abraham's sacrifice.