Union for the Mediterranean: Bon voyage!

12 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is scenic, architecturally and culturally very diverse. Cities, lakes, mountains, beaches and national parks offer everything that promises fun, recreation and perfect vacations. The cultural offers are numerous. In addition to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, there are numerous galleries, museums, theaters and opera houses. Of course, there are plenty of shopping and entertainment possibilities. However, holiday pleasure is not untroubled in all countries. At present, Syria and Libya in general, Mauritania (Sahara and Sahel) and Lebanon (North Lebanon and the border regions to Syria and Israel), Palestine (Gaza Strip) should be partly avoided. In all other countries of the Levant and North Africa, increased caution, vigilance and prudence are recommended. At the end of each country portrait is a link to the U.S. Department of State, in order to be able to find out about the current security situation on the ground.   read more…

Union for the Mediterranean: Bon appétit!

7 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General, Union for the Mediterranean

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is culinary very diverse (European cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine, Maghreb cuisine, Levantine cuisine, Middle-Eastern cuisine and Arab cuisine).   read more…

Theme Week Tunisia – Monastir

26 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Al Qurayyah beach © Tabkram

Al Qurayyah beach © Tabkram

Monastir is a city on the central coast, in the Sahel area, It is 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Sousse and 162 kilometres (101 miles) south of Tunis. Traditionally a fishing port, Monastir is now a major tourist resort. Its population is about 93,000. It is the capital of Monastir Governorate. Monastir enjoys a dry Mediterranean climate with hot summers, extremely mild winters, lots of sunshine and low rainfall year-round. The city sits in the northeast of Tunisia, on its central coast.   read more…

Theme Week Tunisia – Bizerte

25 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Old Port and Kashba of Bizerte © O.Mustafin

Old Port and Kashba of Bizerte © O.Mustafin

Bizerte, also known in English as Bizerta, is a town of Bizerte Governorate. It is the northernmost city in Africa, located 65 km (40mil) north of the capital Tunis. The city had 143,000 inhabitants in 2014. Bizerte is on a section of widened inlet and east-facing coast of the north coast of Tunisia, 15 kilometres from Ras ben Sakka (the northernmost point in Africa on the Mediterranean Sea), 20 kilometers northeast of the Ichkeul lake (a World Heritage Site), 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of the archaeological site of Utica and 65 kilometers north of Tunis. Bizerte has to the west coastal hills forming an outcrop of the Tell Atlas with well-conserved woods and vantage points. Its associated beaches include Sidi Salem, La Grotte, Rasenjela, and Al Rimel. It is on a section of Mediterranean climate coastline, close to Sardinia and Sicily, as opposed to coasts in the south of the country which have a year-round dry desert climate.   read more…

Theme Week Tunisia – Tozeur

24 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Star Wars film location © Rais67

Star Wars film location © Rais67

Tozeur is an oasis and a city in south west Tunisia. The city is located North West of Chott el-Djerid, in between this Chott and the smaller Chott el-Gharsa. It is the capital of the Tozeur Governorate. It was the site of Ancient city and former bishopric Tusuros, which remains a Latin Catholic titular see. During the Romans and Byzantine empires and in the Vandal kingdom, Tozeur was the site of Tusuros, in the Roman province of Byzacena (originally part of Africa Proconsularis). Tozeur has a hot desert climate typical of the northern edge of the Sahara Desert. The annual average rainfall amount reaches 80.8 mm, and the annual mean temperature (day and night) reaches 22.2 °C, both making the city hot and dry year-round. The weather is usually good, settled and sunny throughout the course of the year. Summers are extremely hot with daily highs often exceeding 45 °C in the shade, and the sirocco is known to often make the thermometer rise above 50 °C still in the shade. During winters, it can sometimes freeze at night and just before the sunrise, as the temperature may drop below 0 °C.   read more…

Theme Week Tunisia – Kasserine

23 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© looklex.com

© looklex.com

Kasserine is the capital city of the Kasserine Governorate, in west-central Tunisia. It is situated below Jebel ech Chambi, Tunisia’s highest mountain. Its population is 110,000. By road it is 200 kilometres west of Sfax, 246 kilometres (180 mi) south-west of Tunis, 166 kilometres (141 mi) south-west of Sousse.   read more…

Theme Week Tunisia – Galite Islands

22 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Hassene nostra/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Hassene nostra/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Galite Islands are a rocky group of islands of volcanic origin that belong to Bizerte Governorate, northern Tunisia. They are located 38 kilometres (24 miles) northwest of Cape Serrat, the closest point of the Tunisian mainland coast, from which they are separated by the Galite Channel, and almost 80 km (50 mi) north-by-northeast of the city of Tabarka, and 150 km (93 mi) south of Cape Spartivento in the south of Sardinia. The islands of the group sit atop Banc de Galite. Tunisian independence leader Habib Bourguiba was exiled to La Galite by the French colonial authorities from May 21, 1952 through May 20, 1954.   read more…

Theme Week Tunisia

21 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, Union for the Mediterranean

Beach in Hammamet © Faresbenrayana/cc-by-sa-4.0

Beach in Hammamet © Faresbenrayana/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tunisia is a country in North Africa, covering 165,000 square kilometres (64,000 square miles). Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent, only 140 km south of Sicily. It is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia’s population is at 11.3 million. Tunisia’s name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, which is located on Tunisia’s northeast coast. Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains and the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country’s land is fertile soil. Its 1,300 kilometres (810 miles) of coastline includes the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin and, by means of the Sicilian Strait and Sardinian Channel, features the African mainland’s second and third nearest points to Europe after Gibraltar.   read more…

Tunis on the Mediterranean Sea

8 August 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Place de la Victoire © BishkekRocks

Place de la Victoire © BishkekRocks

Tunis is both the capital and the largest city of Tunisia. The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as Grand Tunis, holds some 2,700,000 inhabitants. Situated on a large Mediterranean Sea gulf (the Gulf of Tunis), behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette (Ḥalq il-Wād), the city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it. At its core lies its antic medina, a UNESCO world heritage site. Beyond this district lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, and Sidi Bou Said. Just through the Sea Gate (also known as the Bab el Bahr and the Porte de France) begins the modern city, or Ville Nouvelle, transversed by the grand Avenue Habib Bourguiba (often referred to by popular press and travel guides as “the Tunisian Champs-Élysées“), where the colonial-era buildings provide a clear contrast to smaller, older structures. As the capital city of the country, Tunis is the focus of Tunisian political and administrative life; it is also the centre of the country’s commercial activity. The expansion of the Tunisian economy in recent decades is reflected in the booming development of the outer city where one can see clearly the social challenges brought about by rapid modernization in Tunisia.   read more…

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