Chad

{tab Chad}

Facts & figures

Full name: The Republic of Chad

Population: 11.8 million (UN, 2012)

Capital: N'Djamena

Area: 1.28 million sq km (495,800 sq miles)

Major languages: French, Arabic

Major religions: Islam, Christianity

Life expectancy: 49 years (men), 52 years (women) (UN)

Monetary unit: 1 CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc = 100 centimes

Main exports: Cotton, oil, livestock, textiles

GNI per capita: US $720 (World Bank, 2011)

Internet domain: .td

International dialling code: +235

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{tab Leader}

 

Idriss Deby came to power in a coup and has faced several attempts to oust him by similar means.

He won a fourth term in presidential elections in April 2011, which the main opposition parties boycotted as they did the 2006 elections.


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Visa & travel advice

The Chadian Embassies and Consular Offices are the only Competent Chadian Government Agencies, who are authoried to issue Chadian visas abroad. In order to avoid any risks that may arise when boarding flights or at Chadian ports of entry due to possible miscommunication, travellers are strongly recommended to apply with the Chadian Embassy and Consular Offices in United Kingdom to get Chadian visas before travelling.

  • Best period:

The dry season (September to June) is the best for travel between cities, though it’s unlikely that tourists will be doing much of that in the near future.

  • Safety:

The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning for Chad and advises that visitors avoid all travel to eastern Chad

{tab History}

 

The area around Lake Chad has been inhabited since at least 500 B.C. In the 8th century A.D. , Berbers began migrating to the area. Islam arrived in 1085, and by the 16th century a trio of rival kingdoms flourished: the Kanem-Bornu, Baguirmi, and Ouaddaï. During the years 1883–1893, all three kingdoms came under the rule of the Sudanese conqueror Rabih al-Zubayr. In 1900, Rabih was overthrown by the French, who absorbed these kingdoms into the colony of French Equatorial Africa, as part of Ubangi-Shari (now the Central African Republic), in 1913. In 1946, the territory, now known as Chad, became an autonomous republic within the French Community. An independence movement led by the first premier and president, François (later Ngarta) Tombalbaye, achieved complete independence on Aug. 11, 1960. Tombalbaye was killed in the 1975 coup and succeeded by Gen. Félix Malloum, who faced a Libyan-financed civil war throughout his tenure in office. In 1977, Libya seized a strip of Chadian land and launched an invasion two years later.

Nine rival groups meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, in March 1979 agreed to form a provisional government headed by Goukouni Oueddei, a former rebel leader. Fighting broke out again in Chad in March 1980, when Defense Minister Hissen Habré challenged Goukouni and seized the capital. Libyan president Muammar al-Qaddafi, in Jan. 1981, proposed a merger of Chad with Libya. The Libyan proposal was rejected and Libyan troops withdrew from Chad that year, but in 1983 they poured back into the northern part of the country in support of Goukouni. France, in turn, sent troops into southern Chad in support of Habré. Government troops then launched an offensive in early 1987 that drove the Libyans out of most of the country.

In 1990, Idriss Déby, a former defense minister and head of the Patriotic Salvation Movement, overthrew Habré, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the legislature. In 1994 a new constitution was drafted and an amnesty for political prisoners was declared. Déby won multiparty elections in 1996 and was reelected in 2001. His rule has been marked by repression and corruption. Déby has faced about a half-dozen insurgencies since taking office.

{tab Arts & Culture}

 

  • Music:

Chad is an ethnically diverse Central African country in Africa. Each of its regions has its own unique varieties of music and dance. The Fulani people, for example, use single-reeded flutes, while the ancient griot tradition uses five-string kinde and various kinds of horns, and the Tibesti region uses lutes and fiddles. Musical ensembles playing horns and trumpets such as the long royal trumpets known as "waza" or "kakaki" are used in coronations and other upper-class ceremonies throughout both Chad and Sudan.

 

The national anthem of Chad is "La Tchadienne," written in 1960 by Paul Villard and Louis Gidrol with help from Gidrol's student group

 

  • Literature:

Chadian literature has suffered greatly from the turmoil which has engulfed the country, economical and political. As with many cultures, literature in Chad began with folk tales and legends.[1] While French is the dominant language, Arabic is also used by some Chadian writers. Chadian literature is more prevalent in France than in Chad itself, due to market demand and the repressive culture present in Chad.[2]

Chad's only literary critic, Ahmat Taboye, wrote Anthologie de la littérature tchadienne in 2003 to spread knowledge of Chadian literature. Though there are not very many well-known Chadian writers, there are a few, including Joseph Brahim Seïd, Baba Moustapha, Antoine Bangui and Koulsy Lamko.

 

  • Film industry:

Chad cinematic history has only developed in the last few decades. The first renowned cineast is Edouard Sailly, who devoted himself to the production of filmed newspapers about Chad and also produced short films. His first feature is "Les Abattoirs de Forcha" (1966), a 15-minute documentary. "Largeau" (1966), one of his other early works , focussed archaeological richnesses of Tessaly, within the boundaries of Chad. He yet film another interesting short : "Le Troisieme Jour". In 1969 he directed "the child of Chad" and launches out in a new adventure in 1972 with "The discovery of Chad", another documentary film. While following a tourist route, he discovers the charms and beauties of his country.

 

Chad's first female filmmaker, Zara Mahamat Yacoub won international recognition in 1994 with her video Dilemme au Feminin. The film's subject matter brought her in conflict with the Chad regime. However, she managed to produce a further documentary in 1996 on the plight of street children, Les enfants de la Rue. In July 1999, Zara Majamat Yacoub completed her short film l'Enfance confisquée, the first film to be produced by a production company based in Chad, by Sud Cap Productions. Focused on the childhood slavery of Miriam, the short film appeals for clemency and affection to be shown towards children.

 

 

Other noteworthy productions are from Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, with his shorts "Maral Tanie" (1994), "Goï-Goï, le nain" (1995) and "Bord Africa" (1995) and Serge Issa Coelo, directed his debut short film "a taxi for Aouzou" (1994). Both Coelo and Haroun directed a full feature film. Bye Bye Africa is the first feature film from Chad. Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun presents a "documentary fiction", a story about making a documentary. The film addresses the difficulties in making and distributing or even visit a film in Chad and , at the same time, shows the advantages and possibillities of video technology. Bye Bye Africa won several prizes (Venise 99, Zanzibar 2000, M-Net All African Awards 2000). "Dar es Salam" is the first African feature film to focus on the civil wars, director Issa Serge Coelo's first feature belongs together with Bye Bye Africa to the first features from Chad. The film was co-written by one of Chad's first filmmakers, Ismael Ben Shérif. In 2001 "Dar es Salam" became the first Chadian film to be nominated for best film at the FESPACO film festival in Burkino Faso.

 

The french filmmaker Caroline Chomienne produced "a letter to Ahmat" (2001),a documentary in the form of a letter addressed to Ahmat Yacoub, vice-president of the Coordination for Armed Movements and Political Opposition Parties of Chad. Being one of the poorest countries in the world, it is a small miracle some filmmakers manage to produce at all. The slow political process towards democracy might offer a glimmer of hope in the 21st century. All features from Chad are co-productions in collaboration with French funds or with filmmakers from surrounding countries. A recent example is the 85 minute long film Abouna by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (2003).

 

  • Famous places:

The Tibesti Mountains offer a landscape of canyons, rock faces and forests. Located in northwestern Chad, the mountains are 300 miles long and 175 miles wide with the volcanic summit of Emi Koussi reaching 11,204 feet above sea level. Travel to this remote range, which extends into Niger and Libya, can be dangerous, particularly as travel outside of the capital is at risk of carjacking and tribes living in mountain villages can be hostile to outsiders.

 

 

Zakouma National Park is Chad's prime location for safari. Wild animals including elephants, antelope, wildebeests and lions are found in the park, which is situated 500 miles southeast of N'Djamena. Poaching was a major problem in the park during Chad's civil war, but it recently has been restocked in an attempt to capture part of the tourist market. Reaching the park is difficult and the best way to arrange a trip is through one of the travel agencies based in N'Djamena

 

  • Architecture history:

The rate of urbanization in Chad is low, with most of the people still living as cultivators and pastoralists in dispersed hamlets, cattle camps, villages, and oases. Old capitals of the sultanates and kingdoms (for example, Njimi, capital of the Kanem kingdom, Wara of the Ouaddaïsultanate, and Niere of the Tama sultanate) have dwindled in size and few historical structures remain except for some palaces and mosques. There is a significant variety of building styles, use of space, mobility patterns, and material culture across the ethnic groups and climatic conditions. In the countryside, the traditional house- and hut-building styles are maintained, although the construction of corrugated iron and concrete buildings has rapidly expanded. In the sparsely populated north, with its vast expenses of desert plains, distances are great between pasture areas and human settlements. Several nomadic groups live in tents and shelter structures. The sedentary cultivators in the south live in villages and have a much higher population density. Abéchéis perhaps the most characteristic town of Chad, with its clay buildings, monuments, and small winding streets.

 

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