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Nefta, Tunisia

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Beautiful courtyard in Dar Houidi
Nefta is a town in western Tunisia, close to the border of Algeria, based around an oasis. It is considered by most Sufis to be the birthplace of the Sufi branch of Islam, and is thus a major pilgrimage site.

The town was settled around 100 BC by Sudanese shepherds, and was later the location of a Roman fortress to protect the oasis against desert nomads. For centuries, it has been a stopping point for caravans, as well as an arena of much religious controversy. The Byzantine rule pronounced Nefta an Episcopal See, escalating it to religous prominence, and in the 7th Century, after being conquered by the Arabs, Nefta was forced to convert to Islam, despite years of brutal resistance. Soon after, the Sufi branch of Islam was begun within this city.

Today, Nefta is known for its religious history and atmosphere, abundance of mosques and marabouts, luxury hotels, oasis, and architecture.






People Born in Nefta

coming soon


Nefta in People's Lives

Liam NeesonI traveled here in 1998, to film scenes of the movie Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace

Natalie PortmanI traveled here in 1998, to film scenes of the movie Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace. This town provided the setting of the fictional town of Mos Espa.

Ralph FiennesI traveled here in 1995 to film scenes of the movie The English Patient.

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