Opinions in English

Articles published under the Opinions section reflect the view and opinions of the author, but not necessarily that of Nawaat.



Opinions


07 May 2022

From freshwater fisheries in the great rift lakes to tuna fisheries in the waters around North Africa, for many African states, fisheries represent a substantial contribution to GDP. Due to imperfect knowledge of fish biology, incomplete fisheries data, natural variabilities and the inherent difficulties in using models to count fish in a population, the adoption of a different approach called “harvest strategies” or “management procedures” is becoming the latest innovation in fisheries management, and a reliable way for North African countries to continue to generate this blue growth value for decades to come.


22 March 2022

A notable achievement since Tunisia’s adoption of law-58 on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 2017 is that it has broken the taboo on speaking about domestic violence. Yet, while spousal violence has received significant attention, it can be seen as representing the trees hiding the forest: family violence, and its multifaceted implications for women in their adulthood, remains a kind of family secret. It is time to shed light on this dimension of violence against women.


07 March 2022

You take a walk by the seaside, thirsty for the Tunisian scenery and the beauty of the azure waves brushing the strands of beach sand. Instead, the first things your eyes catch are stray plastic cups, bags, straws, and the list goes on. Marine pollution in Tunisia has always been, but only became a red flag in the past few years when international NGOs started to loudly voice their concerns about the disastrous levels reached in the Mediterranean Sea.


04 February 2022

“Halal meat will be banned starting from July 2021!!!” This message was issued by the Great Mosques of Paris, Lyon and Evry, which criticized the French government for banning the halal method of animal slaughter. The Islamic slaughter rite – like the Kosher one – prohibits stunning before death and requires the butcher to kill the animal by swiftly slitting its throat with a single slash to the neck. The announcement received massive media coverage and had a strong impact on the French Muslim minority.


29 November 2021

On October 15, 2021, I was stopped at the Tunis airport and denied entry into Tunisia on the basis of the same piece of paper that the police in Bab Souika guaranteed as allowing me the liberty to enter and exit Tunisia – a carte de séjour provisoire [provisional residency card]. It had been a year since I had submitted my file demanding a carte de séjour; as an Indian citizen who needs a visa to enter Tunisia, I had hoped that this card would make my research in and on Tunisia easier.


06 October 2021

I was on my treadmill exercising and watching Nicki Minaj “killing it” in one of her concerts when I saw a notification on my Facebook stating that Tunisian President Kais Saied had just nominated Ms. Najla Bouden as the new Head of Government. This would make her the first to hold such a high position in Tunisia as well as the first in the Arab world. I was excited for only a few seconds. As a Tunisian woman and a feminist who founded the association “Aswat Nisaa” to enhance women’s political participation and advocate for gender sensitive public policies, this should have been a celebratory moment! But it wasn’t for me. Why—I asked myself—am I being a joy-killer here? Am I being a “bad feminist ”?


05 August 2021

In what seems to be a confusing set of legal opinions, a number of jurists in Tunisia and elsewhere were unable to converge decisively on qualifying the nature of President Kais Saied’s decision to suspend the Tunisian parliament and sack the government on July 25, 2021. Technically sound arguments seem to be made on all sides. Saied on his part, based his decision on article 80 of the Tunisian constitution which allows the President to take exceptional measures “in the event of imminent peril,” and one can very well argue that a Parliament and a government that let 18,000 Tunisians die of Covid 19 in a year and a half are a peril already in place.


02 August 2021

It’s funny enough that post-2011 Tunisia was dubbed “democracy startup”. Well, why not apply a benchmarked and proven model if the playbook was matured by other players? Because the Tunisian people, consciously or unconsciously, are exploring a new path, and searching for a new model. And that’s what startups are about. In my view the Tunisian people are a rare kind of country-preneurs. But where are they heading to? Let’s look back at the roadmap, to try to understand where its trajectory may lead.


01 August 2021

On the 25th of July, Tunisia witnessed a major shake-up of the political landscape. Western “experts” could have predicted that. They were able to believe what they actually saw and heard. In their well-entrenched imaginary, something was decidedly wrong with this picture. The complexity was too much to handle for minds trained to see Tunisia, and the region as a whole, as easily knowable if not already known. No wonder many of them have rushed to cry foul.


14 May 2021

The tragic murder of a young woman by her husband has exposed the devastating failures of the authorities to protect Tunisian women from domestic violence. On 9 May, Tunisian Facebook timelines were suddenly flooded with a grim black image, bearing the words: “Her name is Refka Cherni.”


11 May 2021

Over last three weeks, I have been telling everyone around me that my parents in India have Covid, that they had Covid, that they continue to cough or have intense body pain. I tell them about my fears that my parents might suddenly need to go to a hospital, that there are no hospitals with vacant beds, that there are no oxygen cylinders left to keep us breathing when Covid chokes us. I tell this to distant faces I see over Zoom, to folks I run into on the streets in Tunis. Every time I am confronted with the same response: remarks about the pictures of cremations, the images of fire eating away the bodies of the dead, followed by a look of pity that I am forced to accept.


10 May 2021

One of the most beautiful lines ever spat in hip-hop comes from a song called « Last Supper » by D Smoke, in which he says “every kid needs a hero, I’m trying to be uncle Stan Lee.” In this context, Stan Lee represents the idea that no matter where you come from, you can make it if you put your mind to it, even when you live in a small hood in the capital of one of the tiniest countries in the world.