Record heatwave points to looming climate crisis for Maghreb

Temperatures this year are expected to remain above 35 degrees for more than 32 days in parts of the Maghreb. Southern Algeria likely registered Africa’s all-time highest temperature, hitting 51.3 degrees Celsius on July 5, part of a weeks-long heatwave that has turned North African cities into tinderboxes. The record temperatures were made worse by breakdowns in water supplies and rolling power outages, which prompted residents throughout the region to demand government action. In Tozeur, an oasis town on the edge of the Sahara in Tunisia, temperatures reached 49 degrees…

Can Tunisia revive its tourist industry?

Seven years after its revolution, the country is luring visitors back with desert settlements and a diverse history In the cool interior of his troglodyte cave, Ali Diglish is speaking at full tilt. The 26-year-old guide from Chenini barely draws breath. Like much of the country these days, this Berber village in southern Tunisia doesn’t get many visitors, so Diglish is seizing his chance. “Before the revolution we had 500 or 1,000 tourists coming each day,” Diglish says. “Now only 20 people come here. There used to be 12 local…

Home’s where the heart is: Tunisia in comeback

THERE’S a knack to eating a Brik, the traditional Tunisian delicacy of a runny fried egg stuffed inside a triangular case of pastry. And, as I sat under the scorching sun outside an open-air café, I hadn’t got it. You’re supposed to hold the concoction up over your head, take a bite and then let the egg trickle straight into your mouth. Only I missed and splashed a yellow splodge down my clean white T-shirt. “Ha, ha,” giggled my unsympathetic companion, “the yolk’s on you!” Well, at least I hadn’t…

German government aims to streamline returns of irregular migrants to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Georgia

The Cabinet of Germany’s federal government has decided to add Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Georgia to the category of “safe countries of origin”, which makes it easier to return irregular migrants who have not obtained a right to stay in Germany. Before this change can be signed into law, it still needs to pass Germany’s two legislative bodies – the Bundesrat and the Bundestag. Find out more about the implications and what happens if these bodies decide in favour of the law. What are the safe countries of origin? Germany…

IAEA Helps Researchers Worldwide Implement Sophisticated Isotope Techniques to Date the Age of Very Old Groundwaters

Nuclear techniques enable scientists to understand more accurately the age and flow of particularly old groundwaters. This information can prove important for the long-term management of water resources. Groundwater is the main source of freshwater in many places of the world, but it is a limited resource. Many developed and developing countries are actively seeking the best way to use clean groundwater as sustainably as possible, considering the risks associated with water shortage, pollution, or land subsidence. To this end, the IAEA, together with 13 countries, collected over 100 groundwater…

Tunisian Producers See Promise in Olive Oil Tourism

Tunisian producers are exploring how olives, one of the country’s biggest natural resources, can potentially lure a new kind of tourist. Tunisia has long been a tourist destination for mostly sun-seeking Europeans. But as alternative models for tourism are explored, there’s a new interest in developing opportunities for visitors to learn about aspects of Tunisian culture, including food. It’s a simple aspect of Tunisian life and culture that can be fun and meaningful for travelers who want an authentic experience.– Austin Hand, Engaging Cultures One-third of Tunisia’s land is covered…

3,073 Tunisians head to Europe illegally

Some 3,073 Tunisians have made the perilous journey from to Italy across the Mediterranean Sea since the start of the year, an official at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) revealed this week. Head of the mission, Lorena Lando, said Tunisians made up the largest number of migrants traveling to Italy during this period. Ethiopians and Nigerians came in second and third place respectively. Tunisian youths are taking to the waters in search of a better life in Europe amid a rise in unemployment in the country and increased frustration…

Tunisia receives crucial backing from IMF with third loan instalment

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) allocated a $249 million loan instalment to Tunisia after endorsing its progress in implementing difficult economic reforms. The approved payment is the fourth tranche of a 4-year, $2.8 billion loan tied to sweeping changes aimed at keeping Tunisia’s deficit under control. The Tunisian economy took a hit following the 2011 ouster of former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, which led to widespread social unrest, particularly in rural and interior areas. Since then, eight different governments have been unable to cut the country’s budget deficit or…

Tunisia and Libya bet on new partnership model

The model of the Tunisian-Libyan partnership, to which the two countries’ officials aspire, will not be completed only by activating the previous joint 80 agreements. Politicians in Tunisia and Libya have understood late that there is no longer time to save the remaining economies of their battered countries, in the dark political conditions, to seize the opportunity to move to the stage of reviving their historic trade partnership in all fields on a sustainable basis to help them end the crisis. While the obstacles are numerous and troubling, the two…

Why Migration Processing Centers won’t Solve EU’s Migration Problem

The EU has been thinking of outsourcing the management of migration and asylum to North African countries where most migrants are taking the perilous sea route to Europe. The idea of setting up migrant processing centres is winning support in the EU but has been met with utter rejection by Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. “Morocco rejects and has always rejected these kinds of methods for managing the issue of migration flows,” Nasser Bourita said last week. The same stand has been expressed in Algeria where authorities continue forced repatriations of…