Tunisian Times

A revolution came and went. Just the tourists have not come back to a country that really needs them. But maybe the typical tourist-office booked mass tourism isn't all that desirable after all? As a tourist, researcher, and guide, I will try to define what tourism in a post-revolutionary but underappreciated country could and should look like. 

The result to be expected is an alternative tour guide booklet that combines travel information with stories about people. The interim will be many posts about what I learn and do and think. Enjoy! And if you get the chance, let me know what you think, what you would like to hear from me about, and maybe even give me challenges on where to go and what to do!

And to explain the Conversation Photo: The 14th of January 2011 was the day that the century-long dictator Ben Ali was overthrown in social protests. To represent the new Tunisia, a prominent square in Tunis quickly was renamed.

Location

Tunis
Tunisia
  • The sun sets over Sidi Bou Said
    Rahel Dette | July 20th, 2012
    "Preface"  I am invited to eat Couscous. It is urgent, because one day later Ramadan might start, and so the friendly older man from the Carthage Museum cannot invite me for food during the day another time. When I tell a friend of mine about...
  • Poster of Mohammed Bouazizi
    Rahel Dette | July 18th, 2012
    The mother of Mohammed Bouazizi was detained last Friday. Mohammed Bouazizi died setting off the Tunisian Revolution. I met his cousins. Here are a few impressions of the birthplace of the Arab Spring … Sidi Bouzid is kind of at the very heart of...
  • An Unrelated Picture that I liked
    Rahel Dette | July 16th, 2012
    He is in his 60s, maybe 70s, he is short and he wears a yellow straw hat in a kind of cowboy-style, that is common in the south. We're on the same "louage" from the mountain village in the center of the country to the north-eastern capital, but we...
  • Sun Sets over Matmata
    Rahel Dette | July 4th, 2012
    5 days. 10 cities. 4 trains. 1 bus. 6 louages. 2 autostops. 1 car. 1 motorbike. And about 100 conversations, maybe more. I need to see what I will write about, so I headed to the south, and - in the spirit of my floating motto - nothing came as it...
  • Rahel Dette | June 29th, 2012
    "Remeeeember me!" she sings with resounding echo. Yes, Dido, I will remember you. She is the Queen of Carthage, and she is featured in the world's first opera: Dido and Aeneas. Today, I head to what is left of Carthage to see what people there...
  • Rahel Dette | June 26th, 2012
    It is a new product, a new strategy, a new future. "Except it isn't actually new," one friendly skeptic reminds me at some point. Well, for Tunisia it is. It has potential, and it can be a big step -- even if the road is bumpy first.  The...
  • Little Boy dressed up for the Wedding.
    Rahel Dette | June 22nd, 2012
    I recall: "To a Tunisian wedding, you invite your family, your friends, everyone you know, and everyone you don't know." And, of course, everyone else as well. It is true. So so true.  When you find a wedding in outside your doorA knock on the...
  • Bride in Red and Groom on Left
    Rahel Dette | June 19th, 2012
    "Si quieres puedes assistir con la boda," suddenly we're speaking Spanish. I wonder what my brain is gonna look like after weeks and weeks of language meshing. But Spanish is helpful, otherwise I would not have understood that the manager of the...
  • Allo!
    Rahel Dette | June 17th, 2012
    One month ago, my eyes were glimmering: "I'm going to Tunisia so soon," they would have told you. "The birthplace of the Arab Spring; the focus of my studies; the place that may just set me free, and will teach me endlessly." One week ago, however,...
  • Graphic seen at http://www.melekher.com/detail/exclusif-instauration-du-couvre-f
    Rahel Dette | June 16th, 2012
    I don't know if you know already, but things in Tunisia have been quite incited recently. Violence, protests, arrests and, of course, a curfew give people much to fear and worry. Some say Salafists (a group who promote a more conservative and...
  • Tourst/Researcher... :-)
    Rahel Dette | June 15th, 2012
    "Anfängerfehler," my stepdad would say in Germany: beginner's mistake. I brought my fancy much-too-good-for-me camera, and then I did not bring the necessary tools for transferring to my computer. So in the rush of time, here three images (taken...
  • Tunis in the Evening
    Rahel Dette | June 13th, 2012
    "Honaak mishaakel" says the man in the cell phone store, while he mashes stickers with my sim card barcode on four different contracts and on mypassport copy -- a lot of hassle for a prepaid card over less than 3 dollars, it seems. On his computer...
  • Rahel Dette | June 12th, 2012
    And so it starts. J'arrive en Tunis with a one hour delay. The plan had been simple: despite the many emails that were written, despite the many kind and lovely people that agreed to meet me, host me, show me around, despite the people I know that...
  • New Tourism Advertisements to Tunisia
    Rahel Dette | June 12th, 2012
    "We, err, we thought about traveling to Tunisia this summer," I say. "Please sit down." He smiles; very friendly! "Just the two of you?" I'm with a friend. The friend's a she. "Ermm… yeah. Right." He pauses, smiles, then: "That's a really bad idea...
  • Qatari Skyline
    Rahel Dette | June 12th, 2012
    "See you soon!" I said, and flew to Qatar. One day to get there, one day back. A three day conference. Almost more in-air time that in-Qatar time. (Almost.) But let me explain...  How does this sound: Submit your paper to an Undergrad...