The Jasmine Revolution: Islam and the State in

The Jasmine Revolution: Islam and the State in

The Jasmine Revolution: Islam and the State in Dr. Rukhsana QamberTunisia Director, Area Study Centre for Africa, North & South America International Conference Islam and State: Practice and Perceptions in Pakistan and the Contemporary Muslim World

(IPRI, HSF, IRD & IIUI) International Islamic University Faisal Mosque Campus January 25-26, 2011 Tunisia has long been an important player in the Mediterranean, placed as it is in the centre of North Africa, close to vital shipping

routes. In their time, the Romans, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and French realised its strategic significance, making it a hub for control over the region

Interesting Facts about Tunisia Full name: Tunisian Republic Population: 10.4 million (UN, 2010) Muslims, Christian and Jews Capital: Tunis Area: 164,150 sq km (63,378 sq miles) Major languages: Arabic (official); French Major religion: Islam Life expectancy: 73 years (men), 77 years (women) (UN)

Monetary unit: 1 Tunisian dinar (TD) = 1,000 millimes Main exports: Agricultural products, textiles, oil GNI per capita: US $3,720 (World Bank, 2009) Tunisia is the northernmost African country, apart from being the smallest nation situated along the Atlas mountain range. The year 1883 saw French Protectorate being established over Tunisia.

Tunisia gained independence from France on 20 th March 1956. Till date, Tunisia has had only two presidents - Habib Bourgiba, who ruled from 1956 until 1987, and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who assumed power in a bloodless coup in 1987. Modern day Tunisia is the location of the ancient Phoenician empire, centered on Carthage, its ruins now around 10 km from modern Tunis. Tunisia is divided into 24 governates (wilayat), of which Tataouine is the largest and Tunis is the smallest, in terms of area.

Tunisia is home to a number of archaeological sites, particularly those of Roman origin. Tunis is currently the only town in Tunisia to be equipped with a metro ("tube") service, which is more like a tramway. The highest point in Tunisia is formed by Jebel ech Chambi (1,544 m). The Tunisian oasis at Kebili has been found to be containing evidence of Stone Age settlements. Spain occupied Tunisia for a short time, in the middle of the 16 th century.

The country became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1574. Sacred Sites Cartha ge Located on an strategically important site, Carthage was an important classical city and

a major center of early Christianity. Sacred Sites Great Mosque of Kairouan Every Tunisian city has a Great Mosque, but the one in Kairouan is the

most important. It is the oldest mosque in North Africa and commonly regarded as the fourth holiest site in Islam. Sacred Sites Three Doors

Mosque At Kairouan Dating from 866 AD, this mosque is famed for its magnificent carved facade with Kufic inscriptions and floral designs. Islamic Seminary Front of

Zaytuna Mosque (literally meaning the Mosque of Olive) Tunis' oldest monument dating back to the 8th century A.D., once home to scholars such as Ibn Khaldun and Imam Ibn Arafa

Islamic Seminary Zaytuna Mosque in Tunis The mosque is the oldest in the Capital of Tunisia and covers an area of 5,000 square meters with nine entrances. It is famous for its 160 authentic columns and for making Tunis a great centre of Islamic learning. Zaytuna Madrassa, Janazah (Islamic Funeral) Workshop: Imam Zaid Shakir demonstrates the procedure for washing the deceased. Jasmine Revolution

The Jasmine is the national flower of Tunisia. The Jasmine Revolution: December 17, 2010: Young Muhammed Bouazizis self-immolation. January 3, 2011: His death Tunisia Snapshot: How Its Youth Moved from Fear, to Whispering, to the "Jasmine Revolution" Jasmine revolution in Tunisia gets second wind with more protests by more rural and urban protesters

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