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28 May 2017 | Day 2
The Andalouse of Tunisia
The mountain town of Zaghouan is situated 70 kilometers south of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. The majority of the 40,000 people settled in this area trace their ancestry to the Muslims of Andalusia who were forced to flee by the Spanish during the expulsion of Muslims during the 17th century. It surprises some to know that Islam was widespread in Spain for nine centuries.
Taxi drivers, shop keepers and mothers with their children are quick to tell you about their proud history. They tell of their escape to Zaghouan, with their most precious treasures hidden in small round white sweets, so as not be robbed on their arduous journey. Zaghouan is now famous for its small round pastries called ‘kaak warka’ made of dough and almonds mixed with rose water.
Zaghouan is a popular sightseeing spot for Tunisians. Visitors can stumble over magnificent Roman ruins or wander through mountains that are wooded and beautiful, and often snow-capped in winter. Foreigner tourists used to visit this area but since the terrorist attacks on tourist resorts in 2015, tourism in Tunisia has suffered badly. Now many hotels are closing and locals are worried about them not returning. Since the revolution of 2011 many Tunisians are unsure what to make of their new place in the world, and distrustful of their new government.
During the reign of Emperor Hadrian a 132km aqueduct was built to supply water from Zaghouan to the city of Carthage. The Water Temple still stands majestically on the hillside where the spring, now mostly dry, once emerged – a reminder of the spiritual significance water was given in this dry land. Recently a prayer team visited this area and prayed that once again life would spring from Zaghouan, and this dry and barren land would find its hope in the ‘source of everlasting life’.
How to Pray
- Pray that those who have lost livelihoods with the loss of tourism will find other ways to support their families
- Pray for stability and peace in Tunisia and for wise leadership.
- Pray for streams of living water to flow to and from Zaghouan as Jesus described in John 4.