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Marine pollution in Tunisia: Pandemic at a tipping point

You take a walk by the seaside, thirsty for the Tunisian scenery and the beauty of the azure waves brushing the strands of beach sand. Instead, the first things your eyes catch are stray plastic cups, bags, straws, and the list goes on. Marine pollution in Tunisia has always been, but only became a red flag in the past few years when international NGOs started to loudly voice their concerns about the disastrous levels reached in the Mediterranean Sea.

From De-kebabization to Halal Ban: Muslim Immigrants and Their Food Are Not Welcome in France

“Halal meat will be banned starting from July 2021!!!” This message was issued by the Great Mosques of Paris, Lyon and Evry, which criticized the French government for banning the halal method of animal slaughter. The Islamic slaughter rite – like the Kosher one – prohibits stunning before death and requires the butcher to kill the animal by swiftly slitting its throat with a single slash to the neck. The announcement received massive media coverage and had a strong impact on the French Muslim minority.

Tunisia-Finance Law 2022: Business as usual

There will be no fiscal revolution for Tunisia in 2022 as many might have once hoped. The country’s new finance law remains loyal to the same business model under which physical persons, including the most disenfranchised segments of the population, contribute a significantly larger portion to tax revenues than do businesses.

Siliana: A Decade After, Victims Still Demand Justice

Over several days in late November 2012, police used birdshot against protesters in Siliana, injuring hundreds of people including demonstrators, journalists covering the demonstration, and bystanders, according to an Amnesty International report at the time. One investigative report by civil society put the number of injured at 178, and at least 20 people lost eyes or sustained severe damage to their eyes. Now, a decade later, these people are still calling on authorities to cover their healthcare costs, extend their social benefits, and hold the officials responsible for the use of birdshot accountable.

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Borders live on dark bodies, even in Tunisia

On October 15, 2021, I was stopped at the Tunis airport and denied entry into Tunisia on the basis of the same piece of paper that the police in Bab Souika guaranteed as allowing me the liberty to enter and exit Tunisia – a carte de séjour provisoire [provisional residency card]. It had been a year since I had submitted my file demanding a carte de séjour; as an Indian citizen who needs a visa to enter Tunisia, I had hoped that this card would make my research in and on Tunisia easier.

Seeking Knowledge While Blind in Tunisia

In another world, Mohamed Gabsi would have studied technology and probably specialized in computer science. Instead, because of the limited access to study material accessible to disabled people like himself in his preferred field, he enrolled in the Faculty of Letters of Sousse. “I am a French graduate, technophile and blind,”the young man likes to introduce himself—both in everyday life and during his activities as a disability justice activist.

Cinema for Prisoners Too, as JCC Film Festival Kicks Off

As Tunisia’s biggest annual film festival, the Carthage Cinema Days (JCC) kicked off on Sunday, October 30, the traditionally desperate search for tickets began. But one group of people received their own private film screening: about 150 prisoners from the Oudhna Civil Prison, including 30 female prisoners who were brought in from the Manouba Women’s Prison facility.

Tunisia. New Political Groups Seize July 25 as Launching Pad

New political groupings, parties, and movements have launched or gained prominence in the wake of President Kais Saied’s decision on July 25 to suspend Parliament, dismiss the previous government, and concentrate powers under the presidency. Meshkal/Nawaat spoke with members or representatives of several of these groups shortly after July 25; they said that the president’s decisions created a new political environment with new conditions ripe for making the changes they want to see. All of them strongly criticized or denounced the political system ante July 25 as undemocratic.

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Sun, Sea and Sewage: Mass Protest in Tunis Southern Suburbs

One of the largest environmental protests Tunis has ever seen occurred on Sunday, September 12 when thousands of residents of the southern coastal suburbs formed separate human chains on their beaches in the neighborhoods of Ezzahra, Hammam Lif, Rades, Hammam Chatt and BorjCedria. They demonstrated against the daily sewage flow in their beaches where thousands swim every summer.

Najla Bouden’s nomination: Having a Seat at the Table Doesn’t Mean You Have a Voice

I was on my treadmill exercising and watching Nicki Minaj “killing it” in one of her concerts when I saw a notification on my Facebook stating that Tunisian President Kais Saied had just nominated Ms. Najla Bouden as the new Head of Government. This would make her the first to hold such a high position in Tunisia as well as the first in the Arab world. I was excited for only a few seconds. As a Tunisian woman and a feminist who founded the association “Aswat Nisaa” to enhance women’s political participation and advocate for gender sensitive public policies, this should have been a celebratory moment! But it wasn’t for me. Why—I asked myself—am I being a joy-killer here? Am I being a “bad feminist ”?

Kais Saied and the Judiciary: A Clash of Powers?

Judiciary officials are under fire from President Kais Saied. Saied does not mince his words when it comes to the country’s magistrates, reproaching them for complicity with all kinds of corrupt individuals. Accused of promoting impunity, magistrates have defended themselves by pointing to political interference in their domain. It’s open war on a battlefield where needed reforms have been blocked.

In Tunis, Thousands Protest Against President Saied’s decisions

On Sunday, September 26, thousands of people, close to Ennahdha party and its allies, demonstrated in downtown Tunis against President Kais Saied and his latest decision extending his exceptional powers and suspending parts of the constitution. Thousands assembled in front of the National Theater on Habib Bourguiba Avenue from about 10:00 until 16:00 to denounce the recent decisions, which they consider illegitimate, calling it a “coup” and a step back towards dictatorship.

Tunisian Police Violently Disperse Peaceful Demonstrators, Journalists

On September 1, police violently dispersed a peaceful demonstration in downtown Tunis, punching, shoving, and using pepper spray against demonstrators as well as journalists who were there covering the event. Aside from some incidents in front of Parliament on July 26, Wednesday’s police repression was the first documented use of police violence against peaceful demonstrators since President Kais Saied suspended parliament and dismissed the government on July 25.