Republic of Tunisia
CAPITAL : Tunis
FLAG : Centered on a red ground is a white disk bearing a red crescent and a red five-pointed star.
ANTHEM : Al-Khaladi (The Glorious).
MONETARY UNIT : The Tunisian dinar ( D ) is a paper currency of 1,000 millimes. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 millimes and of 1 / 2 , 1, and 5 dinars, and notes of 1, 5, 10, and 20 dinars. D 1 = $0.7752 (or $1 = D 1.29) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Independence Day, 20 March; Martyrs' Day, 9 April; Labor Day, 1 May; Victory Day, 1 June; Republic Day, 25 July; Women's Day, 13 August; Evacuation Day, 15 October; Accession of President Ben Ali, 7 November. Movable religious holidays include 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', 1st of Muharram (Muslim New Year), and Milad an-Nabi.
TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Tunisia has a great variety of trees, including cork oak, oak, pines, jujube, and gum. More than one-fourth of the country is covered by esparto grass, which is the characteristic vegetation of the steppe region. Jackal, wild boar, and several species of gazelle are numerous. Horned vipers and scorpions are common in the Sahara. The sleeved mouflon, a species of wild sheep, is found in the mountains.
Tunisia has a highly homogeneous population, almost entirely of Arab and Berber descent (98%). The small European population (1%) consists mostly of French and Italians. Tunisian Jews and other groups make up the remaining 1% of the populace.
Arabic is the official language and one language used in commerce. French is taught to all school children and is also commonly used in commerce and administration. Small numbers of people speak Berber.
Commercial fishing takes place along the Mediterranean coast and in the Lake of Tunis and Lake Achkel. Small quantities of tuna, sardines, shrimp, and lobsters are exported. Except for some trawler and sponge fishing, most activity is on a limited scale; the 2000 catch was 95,550 tons. In 2000, fish and fishery products exports exceeded $86.2 million. The National Fisheries Office owns part of the trawler fleet.
Tunisia has no territories or colonies.
Anderson, Lisa. The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830–1980. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986.
Borowiec, Andrew. Modern Tunisia: A Democratic Apprenticeship. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998.
Brown, Leon Carl. The Tunisia of Ahmad Bey, 1837–1855. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1974.
McDougall, James (ed.). Nation, Society and Culture in North Africa. London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2003.
Moore, Clement H. Tunisia since Independence: The Dynamics of One-Party Government. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1982.
Moudoud, E. Modernization, the State, and Regional Disparity in Developing Countries: Tunisia in Historical Perspective, 1881–1982. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1989.
Nabli, Mustapha K., and Jeffrey B. Nugent (eds.). The New Institutional Economics and Development: Theory and Applications to Tunisia. New York: Elsevier Science Publishing Co., 1989.
Nelson, Harold D (ed.). Tunisia: A Country Study. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: Dept. of the Army, 1988.
Perkins, Kenneth J. Historical Dictionary of Tunisia. 2d ed. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1997.
Zartman, I. William (ed.). Tunisia: The Political Economy of Reform. Boulder, Colo.: L. Rienner, 1991.