Tunisia (Arabic: تونس Tūnis) , officially known as the Republic of Tunisia (Arabic: الجمهورية التونسية al-Jumhūriyyah at-Tūnisiyyah), is a country in Northern Africa that has a Mediterranean Sea coastline in the very centre of Mediterranean Africa. Tunisia lies immediately to the south of Italy and Malta. Libya borders Tunisia to the south-east, whilst Algeria lies to the west.
Sex Scene and Prostitution
Prostitution in Tunisia is illegal, but, as in many other countries, the laws that ban prostitution are ignored and there are many brothels, tolerated and regulated by the authorities.
The 2009 Human Rights Practices Report states: "The penal code prohibits prostitution with penalties of up to two years' imprisonment. Few persons were convicted of violating this law. However, there were government-sanctioned brothels in which the workers reportedly had regular medical exams."
Since the resignation of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, there is public pressure for brothels to close.
| Northern Tunisia (Ariana,Bèja, Ben Arous, Bizerte, Jendouba, Mahdia, Manouba, Monastir, Nabeul, Siliana, Sousse, Tunis and Zaghouan)|
The capital Tunis, all of the north coast and mountains, and a number of very popular Mediterranean beach resorts
| Central Coastal Tunisia (Gabès, Madanine, Sfax and Sidi Bouzid)|
The southern beach resorts and the bus route to Libya
| Saharan Tunisia (Gafsa, Kairouan, Kasserine, Kebili, Kef, Tataouine and Tozeur)|
The Saharan hinterland - rocky plains, dunes, desert trekking and some major archaeological sites
- Tunis — the laid-back capital of Tunisia with easy access to Carthage and a very authentic souk
- Gabes — large town on the east coast, mostly a rail and bus transit point
- Kairouan — a major site for Islamic pilgrimage
- El Kef — Byzantine and Ottoman architecture in this small town in the northwest
- Monastir - ancient city with a history back to Phoenecian times; these days home of the main charter flight airport in the country
- Sfax — historic town with a great old kasbah; also access to the Kerkennah Islands
- Sousse - a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its architecture and also a popular beach resort option
- Douz - «Gate of the desert», a saharan citie known for its date-trees plantation and Saharan tourism
- Tozeur - Gateway to several Mountain oasis villages
- Hammamet - Popular tourist destination
Gay & Lesbian
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Tunisia face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Tunisia, and there is no organised LGBT-rights movement. Most Tunisians are Muslim, and traditional Islamic attitudes and mores look upon homosexuality and cross-dressing as signs of decadence and immorality.
Tunisia recently underwent a revolution and is currently in a contentious transitional period. While large-scale violence is not currently occurring, demonstrations do still happen from time to time, and are sometimes violent or/and broken up brutally. So consult your foreign office to check on current conditions before traveling to Tunisia, and do your best to steer clear of any large demonstrations that may occur while you are there.
It is apparently not considered rude for a man to stare at a woman's body which should indicate that modesty will attract less attention. Women can expect to be the target of frequent catcalls ("Gazelle" seems to be especially popular). If you travel as part of a couple, stay together as much as possible as the female traveller should not wander around on her own if she doesn't want to be pestered. The pestering usually amounts to nothing more than bizarre words and the occasional touch but it can be extremely persistent and annoying.
Tunisian women often wear outfits that would normally be seen on the streets of any major world city (tight jeans, slinky top), but they do so while showing traditional modesty by exposing virtually no skin. Arms are covered down to the wrists, collars go to the neck (cleavage is non-existent) and a head scarf may be worn. Western women visiting can minimize attention by selecting clothing that minimizes skin shown. V-necks are fine if another layer with a higher collar is worn underneath.