Tu­nisia: A Coun­try Fea­tur­ing Deserts and Beaches

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

There are about 1,300 km of coast­line in the coun­try of Tu­nisia. This north­ern perime­ter fea­tures many sea­side re­sorts, golden beaches and blue gulfs. There are also mag­nif­i­cent mosques in this coun­try. Its south­ern re­gion in­cludes part of the Sa­hara Desert, where the film Star Wars was shot.

The Repub­lic of Tu­nisia is lo­cated in the north­ern­most part of Africa. It borders the Mediter­ranean Sea to the north and east and the Strait of Si­cily runs be­tween it and Italy. This is an im­por­tant area in east– west ship­ping across the Mediter­ranean Sea. Tu­nisia is one of the few coun­tries that fea­tures the com­bi­na­tion of beaches, deserts, moun­tains, an­cient civil­i­sa­tions and di­verse cul­tures.

The tourism in­dus­try plays an im­por­tant role in the econ­omy of this coun­try. The ma­jor­ity of its tourist fa­cil­i­ties are scat­tered in its eastern coastal re­gion. It fea­tures five main tourist cen­tres. Sousse's Port El Kan­taoui is the largest. Tu­nis, Sousse, Mona­s­tir and Djerba are some of its fa­mous at­trac­tions. As of Fe­bru­ary 2017, cit­i­zens from China have been able to visit Tu­nisia for up to 90 days with­out a visa un­less oth­er­wise noted and var­i­ous cus­tomised pack­ages are avail­able. Sum­mer is high sea­son for tourism in Tu­nisia. Vis­i­tors can en­joy a more moder­ate cli­mate in the spring and au­tumn, how­ever.

As a coun­try with rich his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural re­mains along the Belt and Road, Tu­nisia dis­played some beau­ti­ful pho­tos of its land­scapes and food at this year's “Colour­ful World” event. The pho­tos por­tray sunny seashores, tra­di­tional cuisines, an­cient build­ings and lo­ca­tions where

Star Wars was filmed. The pho­tos at­tracted many vis­i­tors, some of which were in­spired to plan to ex­plore the coun­try them­selves.

A struc­ture that looks like the Ro­man Colos­seum was in­cluded in the pho­tos. This is the El Djem Am­phithe­atre, one of the three best ex­am­ples of tra­di­tional am­phithe­atre ar­chi­tec­ture left stand­ing world­wide. It is a UN­ESCO World Her­itage Site. Many vis­i­tors felt that they were fa­mil­iar with some of the land­scapes on dis­play but were not sure from where at first. They were re­fer­ring to the area that was used for the film­ing of scenes on the planet of Ta­tooine in Star Wars.

Tu­nisia's land­scapes fea­ture deserts and beaches. An In­ter­na­tional Sa­hara Fes­ti­val is held ev­ery De­cem­ber in Duz on the edge of the Sa­hara Desert. The fes­ti­val's open­ing cer­e­mony is dis­tinc­tive. War­riors dressed in ar­mour with guns ride horses, and a parad­ing pro­ces­sion con­tain­ing peo­ple who ride camels fol­lows. A pro­ces­sion that is com­posed of sing­ing and danc­ing women and chil­dren in tra­di­tional Tu­nisian dress bring up the rear. Af­ter the open­ing cer­e­mony, in­ter­est­ing ac­tiv­i­ties such as camel marathons and camel wrestling oc­cur. Peo­ple sit around camp­fires at night, watch Ara­bian dances and en­joy roasted mut­ton.

Sta­ple foods in the coun­try in­clude khubz (Ara­bic bread) and rice. Lo­cal peo­ple of­ten pre­fer light food. If one's fam­ily has vis­i­tors, a whole, roasted lamb is usu­ally pre­pared. One should fill the lamb with rice, al­monds, pine nuts, raisins, olives and diced meat and roast it over char­coals. Other lo­cal spe­cial­ties in­clude cous­cous, brik (thin pas­try around a fill­ing, usu­ally deep fried) and lamb stew. Tu­nisian peo­ple of­ten eat olives, dates, wa­ter­mel­ons, bananas, peaches and desserts at the end of meals. Mint tea with pine nuts is a na­tional drink in Tu­nisia. Drink­ing it is con­sid­ered to be part of a life­style like cof­fee can be.

China and Tu­nisia have a last­ing friend­ship. Both coun­tries have ac­tively pro­moted bi­lat­eral re­la­tions since they es­tab­lished diplo­matic ties in Jan­uary 1964. Tu­nisia has also vol­un­teered to take part in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI). In 2017, com­pa­nies from both coun­tries reached agree­ments re­gard­ing co­op­er­a­tion in many fields such as com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy and in­fra­struc­ture. Tu­nisia has of­fered a new plat­form for Chi­nese in­vestors to gain ac­cess to Euro­pean, African and Ara­bic mar­kets. It will play an in­creas­ing role in the BRI.

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