The ‘new’ Tunisia: in search of Carthage and lesser known Roman ruins

After the attacks of 2015 Tunisia is back in business — but forsake the beach for its heritage, says Nick Redmayne. “Carthago delenda est” — or “Carthage must be destroyed” — was a favourite phrase of Roman orator Cato the Elder. It took until 146BC and an emphatic victory in the Third Punic War for his punchline to be delivered. Rome’s vengeful legions levelled the city and sold its population into slavery. Today, Tunisia is again reeling in the wake of violence, namely 2015’s two terrorist outrages, at the Bardo National…

The Middle East is still building towards the right start-up culture

Entrepreneurs face the same key issues they did a decade ago Almost eight years ago, I was involved in the development of Wamda, a website commissioned by Abraaj Capital to inspire and connect the region’s burgeoning start-up scene, which was taking root among enthusiastic youngsters in places like Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia and the UAE. Packed with case studies, profiles and video interviews, it was celebratory in tone and perhaps painted a picture of entrepreneurship as a career in itself; a way of working – laptops, coffee shops, hoodies, pizza –…

The seven-year itch : Tunisia needs help if it is to remain a model for the Arab world

Many Tunisians appear to be losing faith in democracy “BREAD, freedom, dignity.” These were the demands of Tunisian protesters who threw off autocracy and sparked the Arab spring seven years ago this month. Tunisians now have more freedom and some dignity. But bread is scarcer than ever. GDP per person has barely budged since the revolution. That is why Tunisia has once again been mired in protests, this time over higher taxes, lower subsidies and the lack of jobs. Nine governments in seven years have failed to revive the economy…

Why Tunisia Is the One Lasting Success of the Arab Spring

The Iranian political demonstrations now under way have roots in the Arab Spring upheavals that began in December 2010 in North Africa. The starting point was Tunisia, the rare success story of the Arab Spring—despite two major terrorist attacks in 2015 and this week’s protests against austerity, the country has in recent years enjoyed the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of political disputes. By contrast, other Arab Spring upheavals fizzled out (as in Bahrain), produced humanitarian disasters (as in Syria), or ended up in a return to undemocratic…

Tunisia protests: Is there a trade-off between a strong economy and democracy?

Demonstrations have swept Tunisia due to government austerity measures, and the country’s democracy has advanced since its 2011 revolution that ushered in the Arab Spring. But does this transition come at a cost? Protests took place in ten towns across Tunisia Monday after the government enacted a series of price and tax increases to solve the country’s budget deficit. Rural economically disadvantaged cities in Tunisia’s interior such as Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid were hotspots during the revolution that took down Tunisian Dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali almost exactly seven years…

Algeria’s Sapped Tourism Potential

Battered by a sharp decline in its international reserves, Algeria made of tourism a key sector to relieve its economy from an acute dependency on oil revenues. However, little is done to boost the contribution of tourism in GDP, which remains limited to 1.4% in 2016 with most tourists being Algerian expatriates returning to visit their homeland. With over 1600 km of Mediterranean coastline, important cultural and historical sites, and the vast desert, Algeria is endowed with a potential that could enable it to be a leading tourist destination. Nevertheless,…

Olives Grown at High Altitudes Found to Have More Antioxidants

A study found a positive relationship between altitude and levels of CoQ10, tocopherols and phenolic compounds. A new study links the altitude at which olives are grown to key health benefits, Olive Oil Times reveals. The study found a positive relationship between altitude and levels of CoQ10, tocopherols and phenolic compounds — with olives grown at higher altitudes containing higher concentrations of the three chemical compounds, it adds. All three are widely recognized as powerful antioxidants with proven anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits, Olive Oil Times underlines. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) was…

4 ways Tunisia is moving toward greater gender equality

The North African country is making major strides. When it comes to championing for women’s rights, its safe to say the Arab world has had a relatively prosperous couple of years. From lifting the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia to abolishing a rape law in Lebanon, the region has witnessed a wave of feminist ideologies being educated and implemented on ground. One country, however, has made huge strides regarding women’s rights. Here are four ways Tunisia, the country that made international headlines twice this year, is moving more and more…

Migration and rural transformation

The wave of mass migration of youngsters from Africa to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea is a major challenge confronting the continent at the moment. Thousands of able-bodied young men and women are deserting their homes in search of “greener pastures” and many have lost their lives on the tortuous journey.What started as routine migration by scores of mainly economic migrants fleeing hardship in Africa has turned into a global nightmare and Africa is as confounded as the European Union is shocked.Over time, the number of countries whose citizens are…

With laws against rape and child marriage, 2017 was a momentous year for women’s rights

In India, lawmakers ruled that having sex with a wife aged 15-18 is punishable as rape, while Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan scrapped laws that allowed rapists to escape punishment if they married their victims. Beginning with the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who swiftly moved to restrict abortions around the world, 2017 brought a reminder to many that women’s rights have a long road ahead. But the trials ushered in a new era of resistance in the United States and elsewhere, while countries in the Middle East, Africa, and…