Under the bilateral repatriation agreement signed between Italy and Tunisia in April 2011, the hopes and aspirations of thousands of Tunisian youths have been shattered. This film tells the story and journey of five Tunisian migrants deported from Italy. From the “gouna” to Lampedusa and from Palermo to Ennfidha airport, they testify about the reasons that led them to leave, the conditions of their journey and their disappointments.
Tunisian derja and literary Arabic are often perceived as rivalling languages. But the conflict runs deeper than what appears at the surface, a product of cultural, political and historical issues. It is not enough to simply question the use of one language versus another. Instead, we can ask: why use one language at the expense of the other? What drives the decision to use one language and abandon the other? Nawaat set out to find some answers.
[This report falls within the scope of activities carried out by the network of Independent Media on the Arab World. This regional collaboration includes Al-Jumhuriya (Syria), Assafir Al Arabi (Lebanon), Mada Masr (Egypt), Maghreb Emergent (Algeria), Mashallah News (Lebanon), Nawaat (Tunisia), 7iber (Jordan) and Orient XX1 (France).]
On March 21, 2019, the Medenine refugee shelter closed its doors. Tunisia Red Crescent’s regional committee called for the closure two weeks after the protest movement carried out by a group of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers on March 7. Protesters had left the center and set out on foot towards the Libyan border, calling attention to catastrophic conditions at the center, a facility which houses 210 occupants in spite of a 100-person capacity. It was here where, on March 11, a 15 year-old asylum seeker attempted suicide by cutting his wrists. Nawaat met with some of its residents to uncover the truth about this shelter.
Over the past month, Tunisia’s streets have provided the setting for a number of social movements marked by the new campaign slogan Basta (« enough »). The emergence of this campaign has raised a number of questions around the effectiveness of this form of struggle in achieving its demands and independence from political parties, especially in terms of its ability to preserve a horizontalist organization. Questions frequently raised in the context of youth protest campaigns that have been carried out in Tunisia over the past several years (Fech Nestannew, Manich Msameh, Tamarrod).
On December 23, 2018, Falikou Coulibaly, president of the Association of Ivorians in Tunisia, was killed during a robbery in Soukra (Greater Tunis). As protests led by the Subsaharian community multiplied across the capital, Nawaat met Eric. Settled in Tunisia since March 2017, the 31 year old Ivorian—like hundreds of his compatriots, has found himself uncapable of regularizing his status. Forced to relinquish his studies, Eric got a job as a construction worker. Racist acts of aggression, a lack of medical care and an exploitative work situation are some of the challenges he faces on a daily basis.
Mohamed Aziz Khlifi, 16 years old, is from the delegation of Bir Lahfay in Sidi Bouzid. Walid Lahmar, 27 years old, is from Bir Ali Ben Khelifa in Sfax. Mohamed Ali Ferjani, 32 years old, is originally from Chneni, Gabes. The three of them were on board a boat to cross illegally from the coast of Kerkennah to Italy on October 8, 2017. These are three survivors of the collision with a Tunisian military ship. After the “Skadra” incident, they have returned to the reality they had set out to escape.
On 31 May 2017, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) and the families of persons who went missing while making the illegal crossing over to Italy held a press conference to denounce a blackout of the investigation into the cases of those lost at sea. Families expressed their resentment around the procrastination of successive governments since 2008, indifference which has compelled the families to organize protests and hunger strikes in the hopes of pressuring the government to make headway into investigations. In this context, FTDES President Abderrahman Hedhili expressed his support for all protests carried out by the families of the missing migrants.
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