The first official LGBT advocacy group and gay pride parade seem promising, but discrimination and imprisonment are still real threats. By Thessa Lageman 8 July 2015 http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/tunisian-lgbt-community-making-strides-165913373 There are about seven organisations in Tunisia that fight for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT), but you wouldn’t know it
Around forty percent of Tunisia is composed of the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil and a 1300 km coastline. Both played a prominent role in ancient times, first with the famous Phoenician city of Carthage, then as the Africa Province which became known as the bread basket of the Roman Empire, and then as the Maghreb region of various medieval Islamic states. Tunisia ranks high among Arab and African nations in reports released by The World Economic Forum. The Tunisian Penal Code decrees imprisonment of up to three years for sodomy between consenting adults. The Tunisian government tightly censors the internet and in addition to blocking sites containing political opposition. Tunisia also filters pornography and gay-related content. Yet despite harassment and occasional imprisonment gays have a degree of freedom compared to nearby Libya, Egypt and Sudan. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality
Introduction: There are countless reports from many Arab/Muslim societies about persecution, harassment or imprisonment of gay citizens, from Egypt to Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia where intolerance is the common rule. But Tunisia has a history of moderation and balance between Western and Muslim ideas and lifestyles. Indeed, I saw many Mercedes and BMWs and upscale Euro-style clothing and homes in Tunis. Ironically much of this happened under the 24-year governance of a corrupt and dictatorial president who was driven from office in early 2011 that started the infamous ‘Arab Spring.’
For this story I did not meet LGBT people who were living in fear or shame. This is not to suggest LGBT Tunisians are out and free. Most are not and they live within the confines and closets imposed by conservative Muslim dictates of modesty and discretion. The people I interviewed were fortunate not to be fearful in their daily lives. Both were comfortable talking aloud to me as I took notes and asked personal questions about their lives, loves and sexuality.
by Farah Samti and Jaber Belkhiria 26 January 2012 From: Tunisia Live.net The socio-political upheaval Tunisia has undergone since the revolution has led many Tunisians to question their place within this new society – Tunisia’s often undiscussed homosexual community is no exception to this uncertainty. While the fall of Ben Ali has afforded a greater
By John Champagne Gay and Lesbian Review May-June 2009 The Avenue Habib Bourgiba is downtown Tunis’s main thoroughfare. Built by the French colonizers as a version of the Champs Élysées and named after Tunisia’s first president, it stretches virtually from the bay of Tunis to the entrance to the medina, the ancient city. While the
La Marsa is an upscale suburban town north of the capital of Tunis, located on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a pleasant beach town and popular in the summer with many restaurants and a few hotels. It is also home to numerous affluent Tunisians and expats who enjoy the ambiance. I rented an apartment here
Sidi Bou Said is a small suburban town near Tunis. The town itself is an attractive tourist location known for the extensive use of blue and white colors on buildings. Here is located the former palace of Rodolfe d’Erlanger, a wealthy French banker who built his manse overlooking the sea between 1909 and 1921. He
There are two war cemeteries in the Tunis area where the World War II dead are buried. One is American, in Carthage, and the other is French, in Gammarth. The Battle of Tunisia occurred from 17 November 1942 to 13 May 1943. Also called the Tunisia Campaign, it was a series of battles that took
Modern Carthage is an upscale suburb of Tunis, Tunisia, with a population of about 22,000. Ancient Carthage is believed to have been founded in the 8th century BC then destroyed by warfare with Rome in the 3rd Puni war (149 BC to 146 BC). It was rebuilt by Rome in the 1st century BC to
The medina (souq) marketplace is the ancient core of Tunis, since the 7th century. Narrow alleyways are lined with hundreds of tiny shops and stalls selling everything from ladies underwear to sweet pastries. Every corner is a different scene, from pizza bakeries to cafes with hookah pipes for rent. Its crowded, colorful and noisy. The
The Bardo Museum in the capital city of Tunis contains the world’s largest collection of Roman mosaics as well as hundreds of Roman and Greek eras bronze and marble statuary. It was recently enlarged and renovated to better display the thousands of artifacts of Tunisia’s ancient history.
Tunisia’s area is almost 165,000 square kilometres (64,000 sq mi), with an estimated population of just over 10.4 million. Its name is derived from the capital Tunis located in the north-east. Tunisia began the famous ‘Arab Spring’ of revolution in 2010 with an intensive campaign of civil resistance, including a series of street demonstrations taking