Just to the northeast of Tunis, on the coast, in the suburb of Carthage, lie the ruins of ancient Carthage. The political and military reach of Carthage in the 5th century BC extended all across north Africa, from Morocco to Libya and Mediterranean islands such as Corsica, Sicily, Crete Cyprus, and Sardinia.
My first foray into international travel introduced me to the magic of wandering through stones and structures that were built and used in people’s lives literally thousands of years before. It was awe inspiring, even though I really didn’t understand it fully at the time. I’m sure that my experiences of being able to touch history in this way played a real role in my becoming a history teacher.
Two nights ago, my husband and I were watching Casablanca on television. What a truly superb film! While we were watching it, I began thinking about my one foray into north Africa way back in 1974 (yes, I truly am older than dirt). It wasn’t in Casablanca. Instead we visited Tunis and the ruins of Carthage. While in Tunis we did visit the kasbah and shopped for an array of tacky touristy bits of junk. In spite of the trinkets, the kasbah was an exciting, almost overwhelming experience, especially for a 13 year old girl. I took this picture with a Kodak instamatic camera. I cropped it a little which is why it is rectangular instead of the usual square shape of the instamatic photos. What I love most about this picture is the man in the centre wearing the fez. This is what I remember most about shopping in the kasbah, the men wearing their fez and the women in the burkas. This is the first of a series that I am planning on doing on circling the Mediterranean in 1974. Perhaps not the best photos I’ve ever taken, but I still believe that they catch the feeling of the time.