Tunisia was called Ifriqiyah in the early centuries of the Islamic period and was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, which lasted until 1922. Today Tunisia is the smallest of the 'Maghreb' states with Arabic as the official language, although French is widely spoken.
Mosques over centuries have played an important role in education, some of the oldest universities in the world still exist in Africa. Amongst these are Al-Zaytuna in Tunisia, Al-Azhar in Egypt, and Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco. Unfortunately, unlike its Islamic past, Arabic and Islamic studies for foreigners in Tunisia are limited to a few Institutes.