Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kairouan was founded in the year 670 CE, during the great Arab conquests, and it has been the capital of Tunisia under the Aghlabites . Then Mahdia became the capital under the Fatimites. Under the Ottomans Tunis became, and remains, the capital.
Owing to its location far from the sea, the city was safe from raids from the sea.
Kairouan is a holy city for many Muslims, and many Sunni Muslims consider it the fourth holiest city of Islam, after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, and the holiest city of the Maghreb. There are very many mosques in the city, among which the great mosque. For a long time, non-muslims were not allowed to enter the city, in more recent times this is allowed. Pilgrimages are made to this holy city.
The souk (market place) of Kairouan is very famous, it is in the medina, which is surrounded by walls, and of which the entrance gates can be seen from far. Products that are sold here are carpets, vases and goods made of leather. As with merchants in most major Tunisian cities, Kairouan merchants rely on tourism for much of their income.
Amongst Tunisians, Kairouan is famous for its pastries (eg, zlebia and makroudh)
In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the street scenes in "Cairo" were actually filmed in Kairouan.
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