Later Justinian sent his Byzantine armies to recapture Tunisia from the Vandals in 553 AD and took the cities of the area back with few problems and finding the cities far from vandalised by the Vandals in fact maintained and kept in much the way the Roman Empire had left them.
Arabian armies spreading the Islamic faith eventually pushed out the Christian Byzantines and spread their religion, though Arabs and Berbers fought for control for much of the next thousand years, the result was that the area became split between different tribes though Islam slowly became dominant.
Most Tunisians identify themselves as Arab though and the language is a Tunisian Arabic Dialect with many Berber influences and borrowed words.
The Berber language however is still spoken in places in Tunisia, primarily in remote mountain and Saharan areas.
During the Second World War though the Tunisians sided with the Allies even after much of France had fallen to Germany and they ceased to be in control.
Many of the people of Tunisia though rose in protest with numbers that Ben Ali was no longer to control in late 2010 and on January 14th 2011 Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia and an interim government took control, making Tunisia’s government the first to change during the Arab Spring.
Going forward Tunisia is looking to increase the number of multinationals operating in the country with Hewlett Packard and Airbus already attracted to what has been ranked Africa’s most competitive economy, which offers workers with a high level of education, close to the EU but with much lower wages.
Destroyed and then rebuilt by the Romans, Tunis has a long and fascinating history that can only truly be appreciated by coming here and walking the streets.
Of course the beautiful, usually sandy, coastline is a major attraction but the interior of the country going down to the edges of the Sahara and the across to the Atlas mountains should also be explored by those with a sense of adventure and there is enough to keep history buffs transfixed for weeks.
The first thriving centres of culture in Tunisia were the Phoenician cities with Carthage founded in 814BC.