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Title: Kebili  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gafsa, Oases of Tunisia, Amor Ben Yahia, List of weather records, Uzinaza
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Entrance of the Kebili town
Entrance of the Kebili town
Kebili is located in Tunisia
Country Tunisia
Governorates Kebili
Population (2014)
 • Total 62,301
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Kebili ( About this sound  , French: Kébili) is a town in the south of Tunisia and one of the main cities in Nefzaoua. It is located at around , south of the Chott el-Jerid. It is the capital of the Kebili Governorate.


Kebili is one of the oldest Oasis in Tunisia and North Africa. Kebili holds the earliest hard evidence of human habitation in Tunisia (found near the town) and dates back about 200,000 years. Kebili, as many other Tunisian towns, entered under the control of Roman Empire after the Punic Wars.


The Kebili population more diverse compared to other Tunisian governorates. There are three main origins to the population of the city:

  • Berbers: The the native inhabitants of Tunisia and North Africa.
  • Arabs: They came to Kebili in early days of Islamic Conquest. Most came from the Southern Arabian Peninsula (known today as Saudi Arabia and Yemen). They still hold the names of their ancestor's tribes.
  • Black Africans: They came to the city when it was a famous slavery trade center. See economy for more information.

Language and religion

Arabic is the dominant language in the region. The everyday Arabic known also as Tunisian Arabic differs from literal Arabic to varying degrees. The most noticeable difference in its southern variant is the pronunciation of the letter Qäf; it is pronounced Gä. Some villages conjugate verbs with the Arabic second person plural, feminine: You-(all) - ('antunna) أنتن and the third person plural: feminine They - (hunna) هُنّ, which are rarely used in Tunisia. Bedouin vocabulary and expressions are less used by new generations. Islam is the dominant religion. Kebili, as many other Tunisian towns, holds a great number of Soofiat Maqams (Saleheen).


The Kebilian economy has seen diverse orientations through its history. Kebili was one of the main hubs of the African slavery trade to satisfy European needs at that time. Slaves were taken to Europe through the port of Gabès. Nowadays, Kebili relies heavily on agriculture and tourism.


The main agricultural product in the region is dates, or deglets. Kebili produce a very high quality date, exported around the world and contributing significantly to the local and national economy.


Beginning with national independence, the government of Tunisia has encouraged tourism projects and resorts in the Saharan region. Of these Douz, south of Kebili, is the most famous Saharian destination of Tunisia (known as the Sahara Gate).


Temperature records have been kept here from 1901-1939, 1949-1953, and 2000-2012 so far The French colonial authorities of the

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