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Kairouan, Al Qayrawan, Kairwan, or Kayrawan, an inland city of about 160,000 people in north-central Tunisia, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and North Africa's most holy city. It has earned the name "City of 100 Mosques".
Prime religious building is the Great Mosque, which is nearly 13 centuries old (though it has been almost destroyed and rebuilt at least twice). Its minaret dates from about 730, probably the earliest minaret still in existence.
(See also Kairouan:Geography)
(See also Kairouan:History)
Founded in 670 by Uqba bin Nafi l-Fihri, and suffering occupation by Berbers from 757 to 761, Kairouan became the capital of the whole Maghreb region by the 9th century, and the capital of newly independent Tunisia briefly two centuries later.
A bloodless invasion by the French in 1881 led to almost a century of French rule. French remains one of the official languages.
After its sacking by the Fatimids in 1057 it never recovered all its administrative functions, although it has been an administrative centre for the last 500 years. It has been primarily a market town through the centuries, trading in local sheep and other livestock (and their products), grain, olives, and copperware.
Tourism is the main income earner now, with carpets, leather goods, and vases prominent among the merchandise in the "souk".
Other places named KairouanEdit
Subject-specific pages that have been started or that we hope will soon be written about Kairouan
- (please click to visit or start page)
- Accommodation (Hotels, bed&breakfast, motels, camping grounds?)
- Bargains (Where can frugal people buy cheaply?)
- Children's activities
- Current events
- Downtown (Or CBD or "City centre") - Avenue 7 Novembre and nearby streets contain most of the shops. Nearby are the Zaouia Sidi el Ghariani and the Mosque of the Three Doors.
- Food and drink - Tourists and locals alike may enjoy the occasional "World famous in Tunisia" pastries such as makroudh and zlebia.
- Geography (Rivers, mountains, suburbs, localities)
- Government ("Who ya gonna call" if there's a fountain flooding the road?) - Kairouan is the capital of the governorate of the same name.
- Hospitals (And other medical resources?)
- Industry - carpet-making
- Media (TV, radio, newspapers)
- Mosques - 100 or so
- Natives (Locally or nationally famous people born in Kairouan)
- Organisations (Clubs, NGOs, societies, charities)
- Pioneers (Who came first?) - The Byzantine Empire had a fortress here called Kamouinia.
- Prominent people (Which residents have been in the public eye?)
- Schools - see http://www.edunet.tn/ (in French)
- Sustainability (Environment and conservation)
- Tertiary education - Faculty of Arts and Humanities; Departments are Arabic (45 staff, including two Associate Professors), English (41 staff, including one Associate Professor), French (40 staff), Philosophy (20 staff, including one Associate Professor), and Archaeology (4 staff); its library has 93,000 volumes
- Transportation (Bus, cycleway, ferry, motorway, taxi-cab, train)
- Trivia (nicknames, slogan, symbols?) - Part of Raiders of the Lost Ark was filmed here.
- Utilities (Electricity, gas, phone, water)
- Official website
- Forum Interactif du Portail Kairouan.org
- UNESCO - Kairouan World Heritage Site
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