Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dennis Jarvis' Photo Travelogue - Tunisia

Most of us know that Tunisia is an Islamic country located in Africa - but perhaps not more than that. I too did not have a detailed knowledge of Tunisia either till a few days back.

Dennis Jarvis with amphitheater in the background at  the historic city of El Djem, Tunisia

It was just by chance that I came across a very wide collection of photos of Dennis Jarvis from Halifax Canada on Flickr, where I also share my photos as jalalspages, who has widely traveled around the world, including Tunisia.

And when I started to explore his photo-stream of Tunisia, I was flabbergasted to see the archaeological richness of this African country which dates back to 10th century BC. And then as I kept moving forward into his photo-stream, I virtually traveled form northeast of Tunisia along the Mediterranean Sea and then continued traveling to its eastern border and saw the beautifully photographed archaeological trove of Tunisia by Jarvis. 

Map Tunisia: The routes shown in green are almost the same as traveled by Jarvis

I may add here that Tunisia, which derives its name from Tunis - which is the capital of modern day Tunisia today, is the smallest country in North Africa, spread over an area of 165,000 square kilometres with an estimated population of 10.7 million. 

Tunisia-3935 - A Mirage ---- The Train!!!
Mirage at the Sahara Desert

It is a Maghreb country bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. The south of the country is composed of the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil and 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) of coastline.

Tunisia-4538 - Courtyard
The Mosque of Uqba or the Great Mosque of Kairouan - built by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD - is one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world

The majority of Tunisia's population (around 98%) are Muslims while about 1% follow Christianity and the remaining 1% adhere to Judaism or other religions. The bulk of Tunisians belong to the Maliki School of Sunni Islam and their mosques are easily recognizable by square minarets. However, the Turks brought with them the teaching of the Hanafi School during the Ottoman rule which still survives among the Turkish descended families today, their mosques traditionally have octagonal minarets.

Arabic is the official language, and Tunisian Arabic, known as Derja, is the local, vernacular variety of Arabic and is used by the public. Due to the former French occupation, French is widely used in education, the press, and in business.

Since I have already shared photos of many Flickr friends including Mary Loosemore, Lindsay, Tahir Iqbal, Daoudpota, Asif Saeed, khurram Saddiqui, BaltistaN PiczO, SaffyH and Dr. Shahid, I requested Dennis Jarvis to allow me sharing his photo trove to build photo travelogue of Tunisia and other places to share with my reader - which he graciously permitted.

Like Mary Loosemore's photo travelogues that I have broken down in a number of posts, I shall also travel with Dennis Jarvis in Tunisia and compose a number of posts as each place in Tunia deserves a separate and special handling.

While sharing Jarvis' photos, I shall also include a bit on history of each place so as to build an overall picture of the history of Tunisia from the earliest of times to modern day Tunisia.

Tunisia-2731 - Arrived at Dougga
Remains of an ancient Roman city Dougga 

So wait for my next post which will be about the archaeological remains of Dougga or Thugga, which was once a thriving Roman city in northern Tunisia, spread over an area of 65 hectare.

Resource Reference: Wikipedia
If you like Jaho Jalal, please follow us on Facebook