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see Qayrawan, AlQayrawan, Al
or Kairouan
, city (1994 pop. 102,600), NE Tunisia. It is a sacred city of Islam. Founded in 670 by Uqbah bin Nafi, an Arab leader, it was the seat of Arab governors in W Africa until 800.
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, Tunisia.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in eastern Tunisia; administrative center of Kairouan wilayat. Population, 46, 000 (1966). Railroad station and highway junction; it is an important historical and commercial and industrial center of the country. The city has domestic manufacture of carpets and leather goods, as well as enterprises of the food industry.

Kairouan was founded in a.d. 670; in the early eighth century it became the residence of the Umayyad vicegerents in Maghreb. In the eighth century it was twice the center of the rebellious Kharijites. From 800 to 909 it was the capital of the Aghlabite dynasty (this was the city’s zenith). After the capital was moved to Mahdia by the Fatimids, the political significance of Kairouan began to decrease. It long retained its role as Tunisia’s religious, theological, and scientific center. In the 11th century, invading Bedouin devastated the city; it was restored by the Hafsids in the 13th century. In 1881, in spite of stubborn resistance, Kairouan was occupied by French colonizers; since 1956 it has been a part of independent Tunisia. It is a pilgrimage site for Maghreb Muslims.

One of the largest monuments of Moresque architecture—the Great Mosque (Sidi Okba; the foundation was laid in 670, and it was rebuilt in 836; additions were made and restoration carried out in 863, the 13th century, the 14th century, the 17th century, and later), with a many-columned hall, a courtyard surrounded by arcades, and a minaret—is located in Kairouan, as is the Mosque of the Three Doors (866). The city has a museum of Islamic art.


Sebag, P. Le Grande mosque de Kairouan. Paris, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, Kairwan, Qairwan
a city in NE Tunisia: one of the holy cities of Islam; pilgrimage and trading centre. Pop.: 124 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"A force of Brigade 29 in the popular crowd carried out a pre-emptive operation this morning based on accurate intelligence in Kairawan, west of Mosul, which resulted in the seizure of explosive belts and an explosive device," the statement said.
Tunisia has a very special place in the topography of Arab identity and the spread of Islam, since it was home to the first mosque in North Africa, established by Arab conquerer Uqba bin Nafi' in the Arab caravan city of Kairawan, as well as the famed Zeitouna mosque and seminary in Tunis.
Some years later he was back in Tunisia--in Gabes and Tunis, and winding up in Kairawan. In the latter place he offered Sufi instruction, prosecuting a special mission God had given him to teach the ways of religious discipline to the unruly tribes of Arab bedouin in the area.
"The Ministry's camps in central and eastern Mosul have witnessed the return of 4,878 displaced people to their original areas in the right and left areas of Mosul and the districts of Al-Sharqat, Hadhar, Baaj and Tall Afar, In addition to the areas of (Rabia, Kairawan, Zammar and Rabia) and the areas of Tel Abtah, Magarin, Badoush, Kassak, Reform, Qusayat, al-Karama and neighborhoods (Al-Shuhada, Al-Naser, Al-Quds, Nahrawan, Iron stoning, Prophet Younis, Al-Zuhour, Zahra and Muthanna), indicating that the displaced people return was voluntarily to their homes according to their will and no one can force them to leave the camps.