Kairouan Capital of Islamic Culture 1430 AH/2009 AD



Kairouan stands as a main cultural and religious metropolis in the Tunisian Republic. It still preserves its original blend of Arab-Islamic architecture with its souks (market places), alleys, and old streets. In 1988 the city was inscribed on UNESCO world heritage list.



Kairouan is located some 100 miles (156 km) south of Tunis. Its founding is associated with Uqba Ibn Nafi, a celebrated Muslim Arab general, who said at the moment when he reached the Atlantic coast, “Oh God, if the sea had not prevented me, I would have galloped on for ever upholding your faith and fighting the unbelievers!”

Original name:

The original name was derived from Persian Kâravân, meaning “camp”, “caravan”, or “resting place”. The term appears in the work of Imru’ al-Qais, a celebrated Arabian poet.



FIKRI, Ahmed, “The Great Mosque of Kairouan”, Dar Al-Mâarif Editions, Cairo, 1936
El KÂABI, Monji, “Kairouan”, Dar al-Gharb al-islami Editions, Beirut, 1990
JANHANI, Habib, “Kairouan during the Golden Era of the Civilization of the Maghreb”, Tunis, 1968
NAQRA, Tehami, “Kairouan throughout Centuries”, Tunis, 1964
TOUILI, Ahmed, “Cultural and Civilizational History of Kairouan”, Tunis, 2001
RAMMAH, Mourad, “Monuments of  Kairouan”, Tunis, 2007

MAOUDOUD, Khaled, “Kairouan”, Tunis, 1991
ROY (B) et POINNSOT (P), “Inscriptions arabes de Kairouan”, 2 T, Paris, 1950