|Posted on December 16, 2011 at 2:10 AM||comments (1)|
A LITTE BLUE TREASURE BENEATH TUNISIA'S DESERT SANDS COULD PROVIDE AN INITIAL 250,000 JOBS AND PROVIDE WATER SUPPLIES FOR CENTURIES TO COME!
It stretches between Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The United States has been in full knowledge of the importance of this since the 60s. Their last interest in this according to reliable sources was in April 2004, when the then president George Bush received ...a report from Pentagon advisors who were warning him of the disasters that would result from global warming which in the short term would cause a huge water crisis. The report advises vigilence and to undertake the necessary steps in order to control all water resources wherever they were located. It went on to say that water resources should be one of the primary strategic American interests!
The maps supplied taken by highly developed scanners of the globe for underground water around the world, showed that a whole lake exists in the Tunisian desert. It is a sea of potable water. This discovery was supported by experts from UNESCO who confirmed the existence of such underground reservoirs scientifically and geographically.
It is estimated that the reserves are around 60 billion cubic metres or the equivalent of the Egyptian High Dam.
The experts reckon that these reserves will change the face of agriculture for ever in the desert and ensure real economic development from the extreme south to the extreme north of Tunisia, eradicating unemployment once and for all as well as perhaps needing foreign labour brought in! Water should be sufficient for centuries to come.
This is a very important finding, particularly when it is projected that the superficial waters in the country are due to come to an end by 2030.
It was said that the old regime used the excuse that agriculture as an industry in Tunisia was not good enough because of lack of water and because of this it cost too much to produce, so recommended that many things should be imported from abroad, with the exception of citrus fruits and olive oil. In a direct contradiction to this, it was said that the Agricultural Ministry was looking to lease 9,640 hectares of the best and most fertile land in Tunisia to foreign investors (according to Reuters,) which was in the north and east of the country and spread over 16 regions. There was a news blackout about this!
|Posted on June 8, 2011 at 9:23 AM||comments (0)|
The new and definite election date was announced today, June 8th 2011, to be held on 23rd October 2011. All announcements have been made to the National Press and Facebook pages and groups have updated their stories.
Many of the Tunisian political parties had expressed their wishes that the original date in July be maintained, for fear of :-
a) losing ground with support, as other parties had more time to promote themselves or
b) that the general mood of the country which had been improving greatly in most regions, would return to that of impatience, leading to rioting and lawlessness yet again!
For now, most political parties have had no option but to agree for fear of looking like the bogeymen and any odd politician who tried to speak out during a long televised speech by the Prime MInister Beji Caid Essebsi, was swiftly and professionally put down in front of the cameras with the expert wit and humour of the man, who many have said was a missed opportunity for Tunisia, all those years ago!
The weather in Tunisia has not been much better, being just as indecisive for unlucky tourists with sunshine, showers and even cold spells in a month which would normally have lived up to its more usual name of "Flaming June!" An earthquake on the 23rd May was even thrown in, although being registered at only 3.2, did not cause much of a stir or bring too many people out of their beds!
Metlaoui, a town in the far South of Tunisia, which many tourists will know as the place to catch the famous Red Lizard Train for a spectacular journey through the rocky and cavernous terrain of this desert region, became a scene of horror and tribal warfare, with over a dozen killed and hundreds of injuries, resulting in residents of the town being locked up in their homes under a curfew from as early as 4.00pm in the afternoon! Thankfully things seem to be getting a little calmer and no tourists have been affected as the trouble seems to be isolated to this remote part of the country!
Will report back next month from an election-free summer which hopefully will be enjoyable, peaceful and prosperous for all!
|Posted on May 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM||comments (0)|
Despite 2009, being designated as a year long anti-smoking campaign in Tunisia and cafes and restaurants by law are supposed to have a non-smoking designated area, the message regarding health implications is still not reaching the Tunisian population!
In Tunisia 61.3% have started smoking by the age of 11. 30% of teenage students engage in the smoking of shisha in the home and 40.8% in cafes! 1,751 students participated in the survey, spread over 50 colleges and 71 classes.
The Tunisian consumes 17 cigarettes per day on average and devotes 5% of their income on tobacco as against 3.2% for health and 1.8% for culture. Tobacco causes 7,000 deaths per year in Tunisia, the equivalent of 20 deaths per day!
|Posted on May 13, 2011 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
LA PRESSE NEWSPAPER INTERVIEWS FOREIGN RESIDENTS IN TUNISIA
EXTRACTS FROM ORIGINAL ARTICLE BY HAJER AJROUD
THE FOREIGN COMMUNITY IN TUNISIA
Tunisia is currently living one of the toughest periods in its modern history and the repercussions are felt in all areas. We all believe that this is a transient period and the day will come when everything will be fine. Meanwhile, tourists are deserting the country, which is understandable, but they will soon return ... The Ministry of Tourism is working hard to convey a good image of Tunisia, still standing proud, despite its wounds, still open. It is true that there are troubles ravaging some areas, but that in some regions of Tunisia, nothing suggests that a revolution has passed through the country ...
But if between Tunisians, we try to find solutions and we are also concerned about the arrival of tourists who still contribute to keep the economic machine running, there is a community that feels lost and trying to live a situation and deal with it ...
It is the foreign community, many living for decades on the Tunisian soil. They are men or women in business, half Tunisians, entire families who have decided to settle here, teachers, or others. In short, they are a society in our society they consider theirs.
How do they live the situation in Tunisia? Are they afraid? Will they ever decide to leave this country which is dear to many of them, or at least representative of their home?
We then tried to collect some testimonials ...
Alina Wozniak, Polish artist
"I'm afraid, but I remain optimistic"
On the political front, I fear that the Islamists will come to power. I then asked the question on what will be the fate of Christians in case it happens. I would not want to fall into the religious problem. I fear the possibility of an experience of Algeria at the time of the FIS ... I wonder if I would then be accepted as a resident foreigner here. I also fear that the revolution in Tunisia will raise a wave of price increases globally.
I certainly do not feel safe, I avoid venturing downtown, I go less to church, and even if I go, I go to the one in La Goulette rather than in Tunis. Other people in my community continue to live normally, and if by chance they find themselves in the midst of demonstrations during a visit to the city centre, they do not feel any fear. As for me, although I'm fearful, I will not leave Tunisia. It's beautiful here!
And despite all these concerns, I remain optimistic ... I fully understand that a revolution does not give its fruit in a few weeks or months, we must learn to wait.
That's why when I hear of a Tunisian immigrant having left Tunisia for the Europe following the revolution, because he has not been offered employment, it surprises me. Many Tunisians are impatient, yet patience is required!
In Eastern Europe, we also experienced a revolution and political issues, but the situation was different. Not only was there the army, but we are naturally cold blooded. People here are excited and passionate, "hot blood" as they say, it affects the reactions ...
Emmanuel Caltagirone, French businessman
"Strikes and claims hamper the competitiveness of enterprises"
On a personal level, I worry about my safety, but also for my goods, due to the increase in burglaries! Even walking downtown, is becoming risky for us. When you see what happened in Morocco, we are concerned that may also happen in Tunisia. Much of the army is maintaining order in the south of the country, the borders are "short" and the police overwhelmed. Anything can happen then.
The curfew also worries me. I wonder if it will continue until 24 July?
On the political front, there is a blur and we do not know what is going to happen. Everyone tries to be reassuring, but the situation proves otherwise. I believe that our fate and that of 1,250 companies and 110,000 jobs offered by French investors will be decided after the election. This may decide whether we should stay and invest more ...
As for the manifestations held downtown, it does worry me, but it's far from the neighbourhoods where the majority of the French are living.
As a businessman I have faced strikes and demands for both tenure and for the salary increase, which leads to higher prices and it hurts us in terms of competitiveness. Besides this, the strikes make it difficult for us to honour our commitments and deliver on time. And we must not forget that Tunisia is not only competing with the Maghreb countries, but also with those of Eastern Europe.
Camille. The freelance journalist
"We must learn to be patient and wait"
Since coming to live here, just after the revolution, I have no fear, in fact I live in the Medina and I haven't had any problems. Sometimes I fear the complications that can happen in any democratic transition, as in the few days we have just experienced, but I was prepared knowing that there will be no democratic transition without problems. I also realise that safety is not always assured. I remain optimistic about the elections. It is true that I have not yet departed from Tunis, but everyone I talked to here seems moderate. And on the political scene, there are also several moderate political forces ...
Be patient, do not require it to go faster. One should not expect everybody to agree about how to run the economy!
|Posted on May 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM||comments (0)|
It has been nearly a month since I last wrote in here!
In this time Tunisia has turned a full circle again, by reintroducing a curfew in the Grand Tunis area! Marches, demonstrations, sit-ins and strikes dominate the headlines, but it is not all bad! The weather is hotting up, and tourists are returning, including 4000 who arrived on two cruise ships on April 30th at the port of La Goulette after a break of more than 3 months of activity cruises to Tunisia!
Promotors of mega projects such as the Tunis Financial Harbour and Sama Dubai are working hard to get their projects on track again as well as Djerba introduced its plans for its own futuristic, if not controversial vision, creating both joy and sadness at the thought of just how much Djerba's skyline would change!
British expats who often find it very difficult due to work commitments to get together much of the time, made sure that if there was just one day in the year that was going to be the exception to the rule, April 29th would be it! Prince William's marriage to Kate Middleton seemed to be the biggest crowd puller of the year so far, for many cafe and bar owners in Tunisia!
The world marvelled at the hospitality of the Tunisians living in Tataouine, which was once best known as the town where Star Wars movies were filmed! Libyans fleeing the turmoil in their own country, just across the border, were welcomed to live as part of the family in many Tunisians' homes, with a story of one family being offered a whole house to live in, whilst their Tunisian host took his own family to live in the unfinished part of the property!
The town of Gabes also played its part, by integrating Libyan children into their own schools and helping them with donations of school books!
Farhat Raji, an ex interior minister sparked street protests and violence across Tunisia with remarks about a possible coup d'etat should the Islamic party Ennahdha win the elections! The article also provoked a storm of comments on our Facebook page, with 192 contributions to date, offering thoughts and opinions on the subject!
Sadly, many Tunisians, said to be mostly young and under 25, did not confine their anger about his remarks to social networking websites such as Facebook, or Twitter, but concentrated on causing as much mayhem as possible in many towns and cities across Tunisia!
Tunis was especially hit, which in turn resulted in some of Tunisia's police force being caught on camera releasing pent up aggression on young female protesters and journalists! The police are not without problems of their own! Many are said to be increasingly alarmed that they are not allowed to carry out their job properly due to serious threats issued against themselves or even their families, if they try to arrest someone for a crime committed. They are often resigned to telling victims of crime, that there is simply nothing that they can do anymore!
Life goes on in Tunisia, with the interim government trying to do the best they can in the current climate, and announcements such as "8500 youths have benefited in the town of Gabes from a new work training scheme called AMAL, which also offers a small monthly wage;" as well as news that "over 11 million dinars is being poured into the region of Jendouba for improvements," are very much welcomed!
British expats are also going about their everyday lives without too many disruptions, with even some cafe and bar owners in the Tunis area, just getting on with things by working around the curfew and opening in the afternoons rather than the evenings!
Life however, for some, is just a tiny bit "on hold," with all eyes on the date of the July 24th elections, which many believe will be the deciding factor on whether Tunisia will ever be the same again!
|Posted on April 19, 2011 at 5:06 AM||comments (0)|
The 9th century walls of Sfax are crumbling and in urgent need to restoration! The rebuilding of roads, facades, the replacement of cables and public lighting is planned as well as a creation of a tour highlighting the historical old monuments of the city!
2.3 Million Dinars will be spent on this project! View our Facebook page for our collection of beautiful photographs of Sfax and its medina!
|Posted on April 19, 2011 at 5:01 AM||comments (1)|
A Libyan refugee in Tunisia gave birth to a baby girl in Djerba on Saturday. Tataouine Radio announced that the new mother has called her baby "Tunisia" in gratitude and recognition for everything that the country has done for her!!!
|Posted on April 19, 2011 at 4:41 AM||comments (0)|
As political parties in Tunisia begin the rounds of drumming up support for July, the Ennadha party didn't quite get the welcome that they were looking for in Hammamet or in Kelibia this weekend as thousands gathered in front of their meetings to protest and shout "Degage!"
Mr Ghannouchi has stoked fear in some Tunisians by rumours that he would like to introduce Sharia Law into Tunisia, of which he has catagorically denied! He is on record as saying that it would cure Tunisia's growing rate of unmarried women if men were allowed 4 wives! He has stirred up a hornet's nest amongst hoteliers who were part of the crowd protesting, with his views on banning alcohol and introducing Islamic-style holidays, concentrating on Muslim countries which are so far away from Tunisia, they would not necessarily choose the country as their first destination!
Mr Ghannouchi's message is that people are just trying to stir up trouble!
|Posted on April 15, 2011 at 12:30 PM||comments (0)|
A first in the history of education in Tunisia - Students from a university in Sfax were surprised when they saw that their teacher came to give the course wearing the niqab.
Not pleased at all, they immediately left the room to go to complain to the dean of the faculty by insisting they did not accept that their teacher was teaching them in full veil!
Since this news article was published yesterday on our Facebook page, we already have up to 54 comments with differing opinions, due to the fact that discussions regarding politics and religion are at a fever pitch now in Tunisia!
|Posted on April 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM||comments (0)|
Many owners of fishing boats held yesterday, a sit-in on the islands of Kerkennah, blocking access to the port of Sidi Youssef. 40 fishing boats have prevented, since Tuesday night, the circulation of the car ferry linking the island of Kerkennah to Sfax.
The sit-inners warned that the number of fishing vessels participating in this protest action is likely to increase if the claims regarding the rising price of fuel as well as unmet social security demands do not come to be satisfied.
7000 dinars have been lost by the ferry company to date and regular users of the car ferry were seen expressing their impatience on Tunisian television last night!