I received an e-mail from a good friend who has just visited Tunisia on business. He works with the World Bank and specializes in the Middle East. He has just pent a few weeks there helping the Tunisians rebuild their tourism industry which has been hit very hard by the recent events and which according to my friend was not in very good shape to start with.
From the photographs he sent Tunisia is a very beautiful place to vacation. The Romans it seems had many amazing villas there (I assume used for vacations) which contained some of the most beautiful mosaics ever made. Many of these are now in the Bardo Museum ( the museums web site is in French and the English link does not seem to work so if you want more information go to the Wikipedia link).
While in Tunisia my friend was meeting with Mr. Hamadi Jebali, the leader of the Islamist Party, when Mr. Jebali got the phone call that he was officially named Prime Minister, Tunisia’s first democratically elected leader. This was quite a historic moment and my friend was the first person to congratulate him. From his note my friend really liked Mr. Jebali who responded that it was the Tunisian people who were to be congratulated. From his brief meeting he came away thinking that Tunisia seems to be in pretty good hands even if the road ahead is a rough one. Mr. Jebali had spent 15 years in prison under the previous regime of Ben Ali, 10 of them in solitary confinement but he brings his upbeat personality he might become North Africa’s Nelson Mandela.
What my friend impressed on me and what the photos convey is that Tunisia is a wonderful place to visit and (with the transition now complete) a safe and welcoming place to visit. Tunisia needs our help and a one way to do so is to visit it.