Along the road going from El-Jem to the holly city of Kairouan, 68 kilometers away, families come back from the souq (market). The road is lined with eucalyptus trees and prickly-pears. Two women walk while one is sitting on the donkey that caries the goods they have bought and three kids caper around. This is the kind of scene that you often get.
At first, I wondered what this man, sit on an empty sack was busy doing! On the second photo, I have made a close-up (you need anyway to enlarge it) that allows to see that he has a hand saw for fresh wood that he uses to fix a handle on a pickaxe. He has almost finished preparing a handle out of a rough trunk of some strong wood that I have not identified.
As you stroll through the stall holders that line the route fro the car park to the amphitheatre, you will hear the cry 'un dinar' many many times - so much so that it appears to be a local greeting...
Many Asian and African countries, including Tunisia, are predominantly Muslim, so the religious sites you are most likely to encounter, are, predictably, mosques. This is a brief tip of advice, written from the point of view of a non-Muslim, female traveler (yours truly!!!):
- Do dress modestly, covering arms, legs, shoulders and the like, no frivolous dressing will be allowed. Hire the modest dress if needed;
- Check whether you are allowed into the mosque at all, since most of them admit you only into the courtyard, and some do not admit non-Muslims at all. However, in several countries you may be able to visit the interiors of many mosques;
- Respect the boundaries laid and do not attempt to enter further (I saw such a thing once, and it did arouse ill-feeling);
- If possible try to avoid going even to the courtyard on Friday afternoon, since I remember this is the most important praying time of the week;
- If you are curious, feel free to ask questions (though not of people hurrying to pray) and most likely you will be answered: Iýve always found people proud of their culture and heritage and ready to explain it;
- Do not criticize things we in Europe and in the West might (such as separate praying space for men and women), for such are the customs of the land and mosques are the least appropriate places for such topics.
This advice is based only on common sense, but it allowed me to see something of the mosques and learn loads of interesting info on Muslim countries, their religion, and culture. Really helped me when we had a general education class on religions at University:))