Tunisia is located on the Mediterranean coast of Africa, between Libya and Algeria.
It’s the smallest country in North Africa, with an area of 63,170 square miles, a little smaller than Washington State, But Tunisia’s population of 6.3 million is large for an Arab country of its size. While most Arab nations in Africa are largely desert, more than half of Tunisia consists of a fertile coastal plain.
Tunisia is an ancient land. Phoenicians from the Near East settled here as long ago as the twelfth century B.C. The region later came under the control of the Romans, who called it Africa, and there are Roman ruins today in many parts of the country. The Arabs conquered Tunisia in the seventh century and still call it Afrikiya.
France ruled this part of Africa from 1881 until 1956, when Tunisia gained its independence. Since 1957, the nation has been ruled by only one man, Habib Bourguiba. Today, every city and town in Tunisia has a street named after this long-time ruler.