Welcome to Tunisia

Tunis © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : تونس
Geographical Location :
North-eastern Tunisia on Lake Tunis connected to the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Tunis by a canal.

Population : 2,256,320
Main Sites :
Carthage, Lake Tunis, Bardo National Museum, the Medina, North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial.
Tunisian Flag  Sousse Harbour © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : سوسة
Geographical Location :
Central south- east, 140 km south of the capital Tunis on the Gulf of Hammamet.
Population : 173,047
Interesting Facts :
Sousse is the third largest city in Tunisia and is an important tourist resort.  The film "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) filmed their Cairo scenes in Sousse.  Olive oil industry with an olive grove over 2500km².
Main Sites :
Through history Sousse has come under the rule of 5 major cultures, Punic, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine and French and the medina of Sousse was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.  Carthaginian Catacombs containing 15000 graves spread over 5kms.  Kasbah built in 859.  Sousse Ribat.

Tunisian Man © G Raisman


Republic of







Languages Spoken

Official Lanugage :  Arabic
Other Languages Spoken : French and English

Find out more about Tunisia

Name in Local Language :  الجمهورية التونسية
Currency :  Tunisian Dinar
Capital City :  Tunis
Official Written Script : Arabic (Tunisia)
Official Language : Arabic (Tunisia)
Population : 10.67 million
Total Area Covered : 163,610 km²
Highest Point :  Jebel ech Chambi (1,544 m)
Telephone Calling Code :  +216
Internet TLD :  .tn
National Food : Couscous
National Flower : Jasmine

See a sample of Tunisian text

حماة الحمى يا حماة الحمى
هلموا هلموا لمجد الزمن
لقد صرخت في عروقنا الدماء
نموت نموت ويحيا الوطن
لتدوي السماوات برعدها
لترمي الصواعق نيرانها
إلى عز تونس إلى مجدها
رجال البلاد وشبانها
فلا عاش في تونس من خانها
ولا عاش من ليس من جندها
نموت ونحيا على عهدها
حياة الكرام وموت العظام
حماة الحمى يا حماة الحمى
هلموا هلموا لمجد الزمن
لقد صرخت في عروقنا الدماء
نموت نموت ويحيا الوطن
إذا الشعب يوما أراد الحياة
فلا بد أن يستجيب القدر
ولا بد لليل أن ينجلي
ولا بد للقيد أن ينكسر
حماة الحمى يا حماة الحمى
هلموا هلموا لمجد الزمن
لقد صرخت في عروقنا الدماء
نموت نموت ويحيا الوطن

Humat al-hima ya humat al-hima
Halummu halummu li-majdi-z-zaman
Laqad sarakhat fi 'uruqina-d-dima
Namutu namutu wa yahya-l-watan

 Litadwi-s-samawatu bira'diha
Litarmi-s-sawa'iqu niranaha
Ila 'izzi Tunis ila majdiha
Rijala-l-biladi wa chubbanaha
Fala 'acha fi Tunis man khanaha
Wa la 'acha man laysa min jundiha
Namutu wa nahya 'ala 'ahdiha
Hayata-l-kirami wa mawta-l-'idham

O defenders of the Homeland!
Rally around to the glory of our time!
The blood surges in our veins,
We die for the sake of our land.

Let the heavens roar with thunder
Let thunderbolts rain with fire.
Men and youth of Tunisia,
Rise up for her might and glory.
No place for traitors in Tunisia,
Only for those who defend her!

Potential translation pitfalls

There are three national languages in Tunisia - Arabic, French and English.  French and English have no significant issues in terms of translating documents, but Arabic usually needs further consideration.

Firstly, Arabic is read from right to left (as opposed to left to right as Latin-based scripts) so this can pose a problem for documents which are anything other than straight-forward text (e.g. tables or check boxes).

In addition, Arabic letters change depending on their position within the word and the spaces around that word, for example there are different representations for the letter 'M' depending on whether it appears at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a word.

This can pose significant problems when a document already translated into Arabic needs electronic attention in a non-Arabic operating system as it is only too easy to delete spaces in error, not realise and have letters automatically change on you (or disappear altogether, if you're not careful!). 

Where most operating systems will now happily interpret and show Arabic characters, one cannot be so certain about how different online environments will handle Arabic fonts.  Tablets and mobile phone aps can be particularly difficult in this area.

Doing Business in Tunisia

El Kef © G Raisman

El Kef

Name in Local Language : الكاف
Geographical Location :
North-west Tunisia, near to the border with Algeria.
Population : 45,191
Interesting Facts :
El Kef was the provisional capital of Tunisia during World War II.   The city is built onto the southern cliff face of Jebel Dyr moutain which is part of the Atlas Mountains.
Main Sites :
Byzantine kasbah, Dar el Kous, Mausoleum of Hussein ben Ali, Mosque of Sidi ben Makhlouf, Djemaa el Kebir, Kalaat es Senan (Table de Jugurtha).
Carthage © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : قرطاج
Geographical Location :
Nowadays Carthage is a residential suburb of Tunis
Population : 20,715
Interesting Facts :
Carthage is a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded by the Phoenicians in 814BC and was a major hub of trade with political influence extending over most of the Western Mediterranean.  The city was in constant conflict with the Greeks and Romans and in 1985 the mayors of Rome and Carthage signed a symbolic treaty "officially" ending the conflict between their cities.
Main Sites :
Acropolis of Byrsa, the Punic ports, the Punic tophet, the necropolises, theatre, amphitheatre, circus, Antonin Baths.
Kairouan © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : القيروان
Geographical Location :
Centre of Tunisia almost equal distance from the sea and the mountains.
Population : 117,903
Interesting Facts :
Kairouan is referred to as the Isamlic Cultural Capital, it was founded by the Arabs around 670AD.  It is the most ancient Arabo-Muslim base of the Maghreb and is one of its principle holy cities.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Main Sites :
Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba, Mosque of the Three Gates, Mosque of the Barber, Mosque of Ansar, Mosque Al Bey, the souk in the Medina, the Basins of the Aghlabids.

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VISIT OUR COUNTRY PAGES for useful information and to see more of Prof Raisman's photos

Xi'an Bell Tower © G Raisman

Yeha Book

Lake Titicaca © G Raisman
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