There is a place in El Kef, at the foot of the Kasbah, at the end of a rough path on the edge of the hill, that people over there call Palermo. No one could explain me why, but I believe it is unanimously recognised, since someone even wrote it on the side of a rock, with black spray and a school-child handwriting, the name of the Sicilian city that apparently has nothing to do with this place.

The view from here is indeed very far from the Mediterranean scenery which connects the coasts of Tunisia with those of the neighboring Italian island. From the Tunisian Palermo, after the last houses outlining the shape of the city, a green blooming valley stretches and reaches mountains among the highest in the country. The bluish silhouette of the Table de Jugurtha, the plateau symbol of the Berber resistance, marks the border with Algeria, just 40 km away from the city.

The region of El Kef, with its pine forests and water springs, doesn’t have a place in the common touristic picture of the Tunisia of white beaches and yellow dunes. Yet, this region played a central role in the history of the country, and crossroads of many civilizations: Berber, Carthaginian, Roman, Arab, Jewish, Italian, all still vivid in the memory and in the cultural inheritance of the city. Though today it dramatically resents from the crisis and the negligence particularly afflicting the peripheral areas, the “kefoises” preserve a vivid pride for their land, and keep on trying to make their city an important pole of art and culture.

Just after few days from the end of a Jazz Festival, the city of El Kef hosted one of the most important artistic event of the country, the “24-hours theater non-stop”. The event took place in the frame of a theater festival which lasted from the 23rd to the 28th of March, and which included, a part from theater and music spectacles, seminars and workshop on dramatic arts.