Articles about Tunisia - Foreword
Tunisia is, according to its constitution, a secular country in which the "laws" of the Sharia (the rules of islamic behaviour) are not applicable.
However, the constitution of 2014 also states that Tunisia is a country of islamic character.
About 99% of all people living in Tunisia are Muslims, and this is reflected in many areas of the daily life. In addition, there are significant traditional influences from the rich past of Tunisia and the dominance of various invaders and occupiers, including the Arabs and the French.
Many tourists, especially tourist guides, consider Tunisia as a country from "1001 Nights"
However, Tunisia is neither an Arab country (arab countries are the ones on the Arabian peninsula in the Middle East), nor an Oriental country (those are the ones in the Far East, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India).
Tunisia is rather a north African country, and it has a long non-arabic history. It is closely related to the neighbouring countries Morocco, Algeria and Libya and forms with them the so-called "Maghreb States".
Finally, and this should not be forgotten, Tunisia is also a "Third World" country, a poor country with mostly, by European or North American standards, poor and often primitive living conditions, which are only elevated in some districts of large cities and the core tourist areas and amongst a small group of well-off individuals.
This all results in a, for "western" eyes, very foreign combination of thinking, lifestyle and circumstances.
You will find here a series of articles that do not follow wishes and dreams, but the current reality in Tunisia.
They are not written in the language (or dictated by intentions) of tourist offices and travel agencies and they do not try to be "politically correct". And also, they are sometimes influenced by the personal experiences that the authors collected in Tunisia.
If some of the topics should sound negative for you, then please consider this:
We, the "westerners", see Tunisia with our own eyes, we make up our opinions based on the experience and values of our own cultures, our own societies, our own education and life circumstances.
What might look or sound negative for us, might look the opposite way for people who have been raised and who are living in a different society than ours.
We also have the tendency to view foreign, alien conditions and lifestyles as being "romantic" or "adventurous", while for the people there, it is just a normal, everydays, life.
Tunisia is, like any foreign country, DIFFERENT from our own - whether one considers this difference positive or negative, whether one values this or that more or less important, is up to each one of us to decide!
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