A global push for “green solutions” to climate change has driven many governments to pursue policies designed to keep the desert at bay by planting trees. But oasis communities in southern Tunisia are raising the alarm about the problem with a “great green wall.”
On Sunday, Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s far-right prime minister, hosted Saied and a number of other leaders from around the Mediterranean basin for a summit on migration in Rome. While she heralded the conference as a chance to initiate “wide cooperation to support development in Africa," the immediate objective was clear: stop the flow of migrants coming to Italy from Tunisian and Libyan shores.
Fdaouis, the traditional bards or storytellers of Tunisia, have nearly died out in the modern world. Yet while the ritual of listening to stories in public squares survives only in memory, a new generation of storytellers are reviving and renovating the art form.
Satirists flourished in the years after the Tunisian revolution. But two years on from President Kais Saied’s consolidation of power, their humor is being stifled by both economic hardship and a return to heavy-handed authoritarian control.
Kais Saied, who rode into power in 2019 on the slogan “the people want” and who took sole control of the country almost two years ago amid a wave of popular support after years of political gridlock and economic decline, has limited options for how to wrest Tunisia from the grips of economic disaster — and none of them is particularly what “the people want.”
Inside, the revelers were packed into the courtyard like the sweet sardines fished just off Djerba’s shores. Strands of bunting of Tunisian flags were strung from the upper floors. “Everyone was drinking. Everyone was dancing,” as music — sung in Judeo-Arabic — boomed from the stage set in their midst. There were swirls of color and glints of light off of gold and silver jewelry, their tintinnabulation adding to the din of the music.
Tunisia’s Security Forces Are Supposed To Stop Migration. Instead, They’re Fueling the Flight of Many
There is a paradox at the heart of Tunisia’s security sector: The country’s police, who receive outsize amounts of funding from the European Union, United Kingdom, United States and other foreign entities to crack down on extremism and control illegal immigration, are in reality exacerbating the issues they’re funded to fix.