Sat, Sep 02, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting: Tunisia 世界走透透 - 突尼西亞

Women make baskets in Gabes, south of Tunis.
婦女們在突尼斯南邊的加貝斯製作竹籃。 (照片:美聯社)


The ancient people who first lived in Tunisia - — as well as much of northwestern Africa — the Berbers, founded the ancient city of Carthage and eventually ruled over parts of Spain. Take a closer look at Tunisia, the country whose modern one-party government is responsible for one of the most progressive stances on women's rights in the region, while at the same time

keeping tight control of information and press freedom.


A closer look 說古論今

The land of Tunisia has been passed through the hands of several different cultures over the centuries. The one constant is its involvement in the economic and political lives of the civilizations around it. In ancient times, the city of Carthage was as powerful and prominent as many of its Roman contemporaries. In fact, the navy of Carthage was so powerful that it was considered even better than Rome's. Powerful hatred existed between Carthage and Rome. The Romans even told stories, which may have been true, about Carthage's practice of child sacrifice. Carthage was eventually destroyed by Rome, and stories of its destruction describe Romans as being so angry that they salted the fields around Carthage so that nothing could ever grow in them again.

Since then, Carthage has been influenced by Arabs, Turks, Egyptians and even Europeans. While many people know that Africans were at one time sold to Europeans as slaves, did you know that in ancient Tunisia it was quite normal for a wealthy slave owner to own people who originally came from Europe? Although it was controlled most recently by France, the country became independent over 50 years ago and now has its own constitution and system of electing its leaders. Although many people criticize the country for keeping too much information about its government a secret, some people also praise the government for the rights that it protected for women when the country first became independent in the 1950's.

About Tunisia 國家概況

Size: 163,610km2, more than four times the size of Taiwan

Location: Northern Africa

Border countries: Algeria, Libya

Capital: Tunis

Population: 10,175,014

Languages: Arabic and French

Government: Republic

Currency: One Tunisian dinar is worth about NT$25.












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