New constitution approved in Tunisia

A new constitution has been approved in Tunisia. It took about 2 years for it to be written. The constitution defines the law of the land and the roles of the country’s leaders. It was a big achievement for Tunisia as it has gone through many changes in the last three years.

At the end of 2010, people in Tunisia were unhappy with their country’s government. There weren’t enough jobs, food prices were shooting up, and houses were getting less affordable. After weeks of protesting and fighting with the police, the people of Tunisia forced President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, their country’s leader for 23 years, to step down in January, 2011. Tunisians wanted a new government, a new constitution, and a new way of running their nation.

A new government was elected at the end of 2011, but Tunisians were unhappy with its progress. The prime minister stepped down last month and a temporary government is running the country until elections later this year.

Tunisia got its independence from France in 1956. It is easy to remember Tunisia’s capital – it’s Tunis. Arabic is the official language of Tunisia, though French is also widely spoken. Some of Tunisia’s popular products are olives and dates. A landmark of Tunisia is the Amphitheatre of El Jem. It is located in the village of El Jem, and was built about 1,750 years ago. The amphitheater was made up of stone blocks and could hold up to 35,000 people. Tunisia’s city called Bizerte is the northernmost city in Africa. In 2009, a world record was set in Tunisia for the largest pair of jeans (about 50 meters or 160 feet tall, and 36 meters or 120 feet wide). Imagine how many of you would fit in that pair!

Did you know?

Leaders of three countries near Tunisia (Egypt, Libya, and Yemen) were forced to step down by citizens of their countries in 2011.  Egypt’s leader had been in power for nearly 30 years, Libya’s for 42 years, and Yemen’s for 33 years.

Image Credits: Andy Avery for Amphitheatre of El Jem’s image
Sources: http://www.aljazeera.com/, BBC, http://whc.unesco.org, http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/