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01

Dec

Re-imagining Democracy, Rebuilding Tunisia

In all the conversations and manifestos that have ever been, or will ever be, on the benefits of democracy, never has the word ‘easy’ come up.

No, I haven’t checked sources to be able to make such an absolute statement. There’s no need. It’s self-evident.

Being a born and bred American, and having visited the motherland - Tunisia - yearly and lived here for nearly the entirety of 2011, I’ve seen democracy in various stages of its life. The United States has nearly 240 years under its belt, so it’s problems are more developed, yet less critical, I’d say, than those with which Tunisia is struggling at present. The Tunisian democracy is on a ledge; any mis-step can doom the whole experiment to failure.

The bickering, whether in the halls of government buildings or in cafés lining avenues across the country, is constant and never-ending; the social and economic divisions are ever-present and expanding. It seems the minute you solve one problem, a hundred more emerge.

It’s a matter of immeasurable pride to be Tunisian. In no one’s wildest dreams just one year ago would we have accomplished half of what we’re seeing manifest today.

REVOLUTION!

Various Commissions to Protect and Sustain Revolutionary Goals.

http://magharebia.com/cocoon/awi/xhtml1/en_GB/features/awi/features/2011/03/22/feature-02

Kasbah Protests to Exert Pressure for True Reforms.

http://cowidget.demotix.com/news/603682/thousands-tunisians-protest-kasbah?destination=search/context/location/Kasbah

Independent Electoral Commission (ISIE).

http://isie.tn/Ar/الصفحة-الرئيسية_46_3

Successful Elections of National Constituent Assembly (NCA) on October 23, 2011.

http://www.tunisia-live.net/tunisias-election-results-in-infographic/

And now, Forming a Coalition Government

Admittedly, everyone knew it would be difficult to form a government characterized by national consensus and unity. Negotiations over who would be President of the Republic, Prime Minister, President of the NCA dragged on for around 10 days after the preliminary results of the elections were released by the ISIE. The country found itself, once again, in a state of limbo, motionless, anxious, confused, waiting..

Desperate, there were even reports that my father, Dr. Radwan (sometimes spelled ‘Radhouane’) Masmoudi, was to be Prime Minister! Imagine my shock, and dismissive chuckles. Here’s a Business News article, correcting an earlier article on the subject: http://www.businessnews.com.tn/Accords-conclus—Marzouki-prĆ©sident,-Ben-JĆ¢afar-Ć%C2%A0-lĀ’AssemblĆ©e-et-Djebali-Premier-ministre,520,27720,1

More than one month after the elections, and final decisions about these and other key positions have yet to be confirmed by the Assembly. In truth, the NCA is still quarreling over its internal voting rules and procedures, so hopes for decisions about government positions, let alone ones involving a new Constitution, are so far pending.

Thus is democracy. As a friend aptly put it, “It’s messy, but I’d choose democracy over [a benevolent dictator] any day.”

So we move forward. We keep working. Struggling. Protesting. Demanding. Amending. Forming, and reforming, until we get it right.

تونسية، و راسي عالي — I’m Tunisian, and I hold my head up high.

29

Nov

Opinion Piece by a Tunisian Jew: beautiful, rich history with promise and optimism for the future

18

Nov

What the Tunisian people wanted in these past elections was to close the past, indefinitely.

Interview with Mahmoud ben Romdhane

'Ettajdid' Party

This quotation is taken from his explanation for the electoral breakdown of the October 23 elections for the Tunisian Constituent Assembly.

The “Roadtrip of Champions” - with Dr. Alfred Stepan, Aymen ben Abderrahman, and myself - took us to the cities of Kairouan, Sousse, and Hammamet, in the Sahel region of Tunisia.

The above photographs are from the Ribat of Sousse, a defensive fortress built at the end of the 8th century. It’s one of the best conserved structures from the series of “fortress monasteries” that lined the North African coastline.

One picture is a view from the interior, and the other is of myself at the top of the Ribat tower.

02

Nov

My latest chat with NPR's Dick Gordon post-elections.

10

Jun

Election Storm Cloud.

It’s official: I won’t be here to experience the first democratic elections of Tunisian and Arab World history.

They were initially planned for July 24, but as of 2 days ago have been postponed until October 23.

Why October 23 in particular, you might ask?

There’s no real reason for the choice of day, except it’s in accordance with the unilateral demands (oh, I’m sorry, ‘recommendation’) of Kamel Jendoubi, the recently-elected head of the Election Commission.

Let’s recap:

The Election Commission was created by the High Council for the Protection of the Revolution early this year for the clear and succinct purpose of organizing elections for the 24th of July. That is its jurisdiction. Making elections happen on July 24.

Thus, in theory, if the EC for whatever reason finds that it is unable to do so, it must immediately report back to the High Council, which is the only body with the given right of deciding next steps forward.

This, however, is not at all what happened.

Mr. Jendoubi, a mere 3 days after being elected to his position, and without seeking the advice of neither the interim government nor any political parties, announced that it would be impossible to hold credible elections on July 24, and further announced that his commission believed October 16 to be the earliest date elections could take place.

What followed was a 2-week-long period of Limbo, with all parties scrambling to clean up the mess created by Mr. Jendoubi, who acted out of his right, and redefine the roadmap to democratic transition.

FINALLY, Interim PM Beji Caied Essebsi announced, before a hall full of interim government members and leaders of political parties, that the elections were henceforth set for the 23rd of October, a date chosen for no apparent reason other than it is 1-week after Jendoubi’s ‘October 16’ marker.

To not linger too long on how illegitimate, underhanded, and evasive Mr. Jendoubi has proved himself to be, the new election date has been accepted by all parties, who are now in the midst of re-drafting their campaign plans.

Sure, the postponement of the election gives more time for new parties to build capacity and constituency. It (in theory) guarantees more credible elections. It gives average citizens more time to familiarize themselves with the actors in time to make a decision at the poll booth. It allows civil society more time to unleash mass public awareness campaigns and to mobilize itself.

On the other hand, more time also gives more time for slippage. It gives a larger window of time for those for whom democracy is not the end-goal to plot new ways to derail the process. It removes the sense of urgency, infuses the general populace with a false sense of comfort, and allows procrastination to permeate. Instead of clarity, it could produce more confusion. In lieu of coalitions, it could yield greater factionalism.

Oy..

As for me, I can still vote in the elections in absentia, but that’s not the point! I’ve been here for nearly six months, working on any and every avenue possible, but won’t be around to see it all through to the finish line.

'Yalla,' as we say, 'Inshallah fiha kheir.' Perhaps it's for the best.

19

May

'Search for armed terrorist' in Tunisia

Great — al Qaeda operations have reached Tunisia.

Despite the gorgeous weather and rays of sun peeking through the window curtains, yesterday was not a ‘happy, go-lucky’ kind of day. Tunisians woke up to a media flood, reporting a fight between the Tunisian National Guard and 5 al-Qaeda terrorists: 2 Algerians, 2 Libyans, and a Tunisian. A bus driver had noticed the group was acting suspiciously and carrying large duffle bags and reported them to local law enforcement officials. The men did not go down without a fight after police caught up with them, with 3 of them killed, 1 injured, and a Tunisian military colonel KIA (killed in action).

Though the curfew was lifted in greater Tunis, helicopters were circulating ‘round the clock, police and military personnel were dispatched and on high alert, and average citizens were in paranoia — the ‘official emotional sponsor’ of the Tunisian transition to democratization.

Al Qaeda in Tunisia??? This is insane. Since when? How? Why?

As far as my knowledge with the terrorist organization is concerned - shoutout to Dr. Schanzer’s ‘9/11 and its Aftermath’ Policy Class -  it seems odd that it would order operations in Tunisia, especially now after the revolution. In fact, al Qaeda released documents praising the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt… that is not to say that we are in any way happy to receive al Qaeda’s praise, but rather to note the absurdity and hypocrisy of their operatives now carrying out missions here. That, and no documents have ever highlighted Tunisia as a target.

My conclusion: these men were not acting per the orders of al Qaeda officials; they went rogue, and decided to act of their own accord.

Needless to say, the country is on high alert. No curfew, and the streets were empty around 11pm last night. Not a soul.

An armed terrorist is on the loose, and Tunisians are thinking ‘REALLY??? This is the absolute LAST thing we need right now.’

ربي يقدر الخير - May God command what is best.

17

May

On the ground realities

It is now week 2 in the second phase of curfews in Tunis.

The first phase was in the 3-4 weeks after the revolution, when there was quite a bit of unrest (vandalizing, thefts, and mild violence) and the interim government needed to calm the country down. Then, the curfew started at 6pm, was pushed back to 10pm, and was eventually dropped.

Now, a curfew has once again been imposed - though this time only in the capital city - nearly 10 days ago. At first, it was set to 9pm to deal with renewed public unrest after the accusations (which have turned out to be false suppositions) made by ex-interim Interior Minister Farhat Rajhi. Some of the things he ‘revealed’ were:

1. The Interim Government was a puppet, whose strings were being pulled by a Mr. Kamel el-Taief, the very man who had literally put Ben Ali in power all those years ago;

2. Theories of media infiltration (which may not be entirely false) and conspiracy;

3. Rachid Ammar, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, is planning a coup d’etat in the event of Islamists gaining seats in the Constituent Assembly, for which elections are planned for July 24, 2011.

That period, roughly one week ago, was maybe the most confused and helpless I felt during this entire experience in Tunisia, second only to my first few days of orientation into this whirlwind of a post-revolution reality. No one knew what to believe anymore; we couldn’t discern myth from fact, and there was a tangible mist of exhaustion [with the political uncertainty] hovering in the air. We heard sounds of gunshots and helicopters overheard for a few nights and braced ourselves for what might happen. It felt as though Mr. Rajhi’s accusations had changed everything, and sent the country on a backwards sprint into chaos and mass hysteria.

But, as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever, and a few days ago, with calm returning to the capital, the curfew was pushed back to 12am, and gave us some room to breathe in again..

In a lot of ways, the uncertainty of this period is exhilarating, because for once the saying ‘Anything is Possible!’ isn’t just a cheesy Disney Channel catch-phrase; anything IS possible, and tomorrow is truly the product of today’s preparation.

As always, I try to remain optimistic and hopeful, but it’s been more difficult lately. It’s May 18, and the ticking of the clock counting down to July 24 is resounding… though even as we work, it is with the knowledge that others are as well, who may not share the same noble intentions…

See how I do that to myself?! It’s exhausting being on alert all the time; people naturally want to feel secure — or want to believe they’re secure, even when they’re really not. And though the sun is out now and all seems well again, there is no guarantee it won’t change by sunset.

13

Apr

Tunisian Interview in English? Yes we can!

The link should take you directly to the ‘Programme Anglais’ (English Program) page, wherein you’ll immediately find a picture of the talk show host, Hela Gueida, who interviewed me.

From there, click on Podcast titled ‘Programme Anglais 12/04/2011’ for my conversation with her about SAWTY (The Tunisian association with whom I’ve been working) as well as an analysis of the first national survey conducted post-revolution!

Hope you enjoy it :)

09

Apr

Making Impeccable Strides!

Things are really starting to pick up pace - and exponentially so - with regards to the election season manifesting before everyone’s eyes. The interim government and its accompanying commissions, the 50+ political parties, the 100s of civil society organizations, and nearly every politically-conscious citizen is on the move: planning and strategizing for, partnering with, and progressing towards the elections of July 24th.

That day is our D-Day. It is the pivotal junction that will chart the course of the next century or more of Tunisian history, and truly must be regarded as nothing even remotely less significant.

On Tuesday, La Presse published an incredibly favorable and humbling article on our association SAWTY, and later that day, I represented us on the Tunisian National Radio station in a discussion on civil society, particularly when it comes to laying the foundations for democracy. It was an engaging 2-hour long conversation with representatives of 4 other civil society organizations. I was the youngest and the only female present among them, which (I’ll be honest) was enough to put a little smirk on my face for the rest of the afternoon.

Additionally, SAWTY is making phenomenal progress in the field of partnerships and initiatives on various projects in the upcoming weeks and months, most of which were finalized after long collaboration just this week. These projects include the following:

1. A civil society Forum that brings Tunisian and French organizations together to encourage practical, real-life collaboration on a variety of projects and concepts. This Forum is in collaboration with the French Institute for Cooperation (IFC) via the French Embassy in Tunisia, and will bring together nearly 50 (hopefully more) civil society organizations from the two countries.

2. A ‘Tunisian Parliamentary Monitoring’ website in partnership with Unitas Communications, a UK-based public relations agency that, among other things, works on coupling a unique and intimate understanding of the Muslim world with cutting edge research and analysis in the field of research and polling. Together, we will be creating and animating an incredibly intricate and comprehensive website that will include election monitoring, profiles and updates of all major political players, surveys and questionnaire results, direct communication with Members of Parliament (MPs), and more!

3. “Le Bus Citoyen,” or ‘The Citizen Bus,” which was an early SAWTY concept, is actually becoming a reality! We’ve been in contact with several potential funders for this project that we hope to launch in May that will travel throughout Tunisia, stopping for 2-3 days in each region for organized seminars and forums with local youth regarding such issues as the importance of voting responsibly, being politically active, and networking with other young people from across the country to build solidarity, trust, and hope in the budding democracy.

I hope to disclose more specific information about these, and other, projects as time and legal contracts permit, but rest assured that I and my colleagues at SAWTY are working diligently, tirelessly, and wholeheartedly for our vision of a true and lasting democracy.

What an incredible and indescribable joy it will be (I use the decidedly future tense cautiously, but optimistically…) to live to see my Tunisia a free, open, and democratic society.

04

Apr

Out of Many, One

It is astonishingly easy to get lost in the fine print of daily life here in Tunisia, and lose track of the immensity and profundity of this uncertain, but exciting and historic time the country is going through.

This past weekend, the ‘Association des Tunisiens des Grandes Écoles’ (ATUGE) held a Forum in which they invited new Tunisian civil society organizations and NGOs to attend lectures on the many aspects of creating and running an association, meeting and becoming familiar with the new and evolving Tunisian civil landscape, and ultimately creating a network of committed and progressive organizations.

The energy in the City of the Sciences (Cité des Sciences/مدينة العلوم - Tunis) conference halls was absolutely electrifying. Having so many tens of associations represented by hundreds of Forum attendees sent fireworks off, sparking phenomenal project ideas, cooperations, and mutual initiatives. 

Some of the organizations we at SAWTY will be working with on a number of projects in the coming 1-2 months are: Generation Jasmin, Action Citoyenne Tunisienne - A.C.T., Conscience Politique, Fhmet.com, and Pacte Tunisien. Though this is nothing close to an exhaustive list of the associations with whom we are now embarking on a number of comprehensive initiatives, it is meant merely as a tiny reference to the incredible strides being made in the civil society sector of the new Tunisia.

Out of the many organizations came one common platform, one mission: we want and will do all it takes for a truly democratic Tunisia. The ways and means of getting there differ between our associations, but it is our diversity that gives beauty and meaning to our struggle.

01

Apr

[Photograph: tank guarding la Kasbah, the site of recent and future demonstrations]

Three days ago (Monday, March 28, 2011), Interim Interior Minister Farhat Rajhi was fired,… or perhaps he quit, or… well, something definitely happened behind the scenes. The government was far from clear as to the reasons for his sudden replacement. Criticism for Mr. Rajhi’s removal spiked exponentially after his replacement was announced to be Mr. Habib Essid, who’s political resume is nearly 100% agricultural, with the one exception of having served as Under-Secretary to Interior Ministers Ali Chaouch (1997-1999) and Abdallah Kallel (1999-2001). The picture becomes horrifyingly problematic given Abdallah Kallel’s notoriety as ruthless and torturous, particularly when it comes to political opposition, among whom his name still raises hairs to this day.
 
Just when Farhat Rajhi was beginning to win back the trust of the Tunisian people with his humor, approachability, and transparency, he was sacked. Questions linger, and suspicions arise.
 
There remain hundreds of criminals on the loose - that much is certain - and the string of crimes in recent weeks are a testament of that unfortunate fact. But to replace an increasingly popular minister with one whose frightening reputation precedes him is not the brightest move this interim government could have made.
 
My mother called me yesterday from the United States, worried and fearful of the abrupt and inexplicable changes taking place as of late in the country, and what they might mean in terms of clashes on the streets. 
 
A new wave of demonstrations are planned tomorrow - Friday, April 1, 2011 - and no, it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke.

[Photograph: tank guarding la Kasbah, the site of recent and future demonstrations]

Three days ago (Monday, March 28, 2011), Interim Interior Minister Farhat Rajhi was fired,… or perhaps he quit, or… well, something definitely happened behind the scenes. The government was far from clear as to the reasons for his sudden replacement. Criticism for Mr. Rajhi’s removal spiked exponentially after his replacement was announced to be Mr. Habib Essid, who’s political resume is nearly 100% agricultural, with the one exception of having served as Under-Secretary to Interior Ministers Ali Chaouch (1997-1999) and Abdallah Kallel (1999-2001). The picture becomes horrifyingly problematic given Abdallah Kallel’s notoriety as ruthless and torturous, particularly when it comes to political opposition, among whom his name still raises hairs to this day.

 

Just when Farhat Rajhi was beginning to win back the trust of the Tunisian people with his humor, approachability, and transparency, he was sacked. Questions linger, and suspicions arise.

 

There remain hundreds of criminals on the loose - that much is certain - and the string of crimes in recent weeks are a testament of that unfortunate fact. But to replace an increasingly popular minister with one whose frightening reputation precedes him is not the brightest move this interim government could have made.

 

My mother called me yesterday from the United States, worried and fearful of the abrupt and inexplicable changes taking place as of late in the country, and what they might mean in terms of clashes on the streets. 

 

A new wave of demonstrations are planned tomorrow - Friday, April 1, 2011 - and no, it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke.

26

Mar

On the morning of our first open house, a few of the active members of SAWTY - including myself - posed for a picture in our office in a gorgeous historic home in ‘La Kasbah’ district of the old city in Tunis.
The past few weeks in our organization have been disorienting. We have had incredible successes coupled with crippling obstacles. We have experienced joy, anxiety, exuberance, anger, anticipation, paranoia and the rest, but we continue to work. I can’t help but think that the troubles we have had are natural accompaniments of such an uncertain and fragile nation, and so I have not, and will not, quit.
Some of us have become great friends and others staunch competitors… and yet SAWTY must continue. It’s obviously ideal to make friends with those with whom you work most closely, but I suppose that’s not always possible. There are always personalities, agendas, and mentalities that stand at odds with one another, and there is very little at all that can be done about that. But what I have learned from this on-going experience is that I cannot allow myself to get caught in the details. The fighting and the bickering are all details, and they distract and detract from the goal.
I left my home, my family, my friends, my last semester at UNC, and my entire life with a purpose: to work, wholeheartedly and unrelentingly, for a better, democratic, and a just Tunisia. To give my time, energy, and capacity to my homeland. To instill in my fellow young Tunisians the same pride, impetus, and activism I exercise as a young American.
SAWTY’s Open House this past weekend was the refreshment I needed. Speaking with the few hundred people who came by to learn about and join in our organization reminded me why I came to Tunisia in the first place, why I joined the ‘first six’ who founded and created SAWTY, and why I stayed with the group for this long.
Our cause is larger than any of us and all of us combined, and it would behoove us to remember that.

On the morning of our first open house, a few of the active members of SAWTY - including myself - posed for a picture in our office in a gorgeous historic home in ‘La Kasbah’ district of the old city in Tunis.

The past few weeks in our organization have been disorienting. We have had incredible successes coupled with crippling obstacles. We have experienced joy, anxiety, exuberance, anger, anticipation, paranoia and the rest, but we continue to work. I can’t help but think that the troubles we have had are natural accompaniments of such an uncertain and fragile nation, and so I have not, and will not, quit.

Some of us have become great friends and others staunch competitors… and yet SAWTY must continue. It’s obviously ideal to make friends with those with whom you work most closely, but I suppose that’s not always possible. There are always personalities, agendas, and mentalities that stand at odds with one another, and there is very little at all that can be done about that. But what I have learned from this on-going experience is that I cannot allow myself to get caught in the details. The fighting and the bickering are all details, and they distract and detract from the goal.

I left my home, my family, my friends, my last semester at UNC, and my entire life with a purpose: to work, wholeheartedly and unrelentingly, for a better, democratic, and a just Tunisia. To give my time, energy, and capacity to my homeland. To instill in my fellow young Tunisians the same pride, impetus, and activism I exercise as a young American.

SAWTY’s Open House this past weekend was the refreshment I needed. Speaking with the few hundred people who came by to learn about and join in our organization reminded me why I came to Tunisia in the first place, why I joined the ‘first six’ who founded and created SAWTY, and why I stayed with the group for this long.

Our cause is larger than any of us and all of us combined, and it would behoove us to remember that.

25

Feb

Politicization of the Citizenry

Having lived in a dictatorship for 23 years, if not for all 57 years since gaining independence from France, Tunisians are very much in need of dialogue, candid discussion, fiery debate, and of deep reconciliatory efforts to begin healing the wounds left by Ben Ali’s regime. There have unfortunately not been very many opportunities for ordinary citizens to express their long-held frustrations, worries, and disappointments, even with the current interim government.

Hence, a CSID (Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy) event yesterday, in which representatives of all the major opposition parties (‘el Nahdha’ Islamic Party, the Progressive Democrats, and ‘The Alliance’) was met with incredible enthusiasm, with attendees filling out the conference hall to the brim. Alongside representatives of these political parties were Yadh ben Achour, head of the interim government’s Commission on Political Reforms, and Hamouda ben Slema, renowned political scientist and human rights activist. This panel was the first time all these personalities assembled together publicly, and the audience reaction was a direct manifestation of this occasion:

  • The Q&A segment of the event became a veritable non-stop 20-person Commentary about grievances and anxieties with the interim government, the Commission on Political Reforms, the opposition parties, et al, that lasted nearly 2.5 hours!
  • There were a few isolated, but boisterous, outbursts from audience members in reaction to statements made by panelists!

To me, the scene was unbelievable, but on second thought, completely understandable. Having an opportunity to ask questions and demand answers from such important decision-makers and political players is a wholly unprecedented phenomenon in Tunisia; of course people’s attitude would be passionate and resolved. In truth, it was a wonderfully appropriate and timely interaction between political players and Tunisian citizens.

Tunisians are learning, adapting, and revolutionizing their relationship with their government, notable personalities, and politics in general. It is a new phase of politicization of the citizenry, emanating from within the populace at large. I am witnessing the birth and cultivation of democratic culture, and I can still hardly believe my eyes :)

23

Feb

Last night - for the first time in 7 years in an Arab country, besides Qatar - BBC World News hosted ‘The Doha Debates’ in Tunisia!
I was lucky enough to have gotten a seat in the audience, which is the source of the vibrant & heated debate on which this program prides itself. Fighting for Tim Sebastien’s attention, I got to ask a question to the 4 panelists on their assessments on Tunisian civil society, the strides it has taken recently, and the work left to be done in building a democracy out of the ashes of dictatorship.
It was an amazing event, which will be broadcast worldwide this Saturday and Sunday, February 25 & 26. To find a a local station broadcasting the debate near you, please check their website: http://www.thedohadebates.com/
Earlier in the day, I and my friends at SAWTY spent hours planning our Open House on March 5 & 6 in our new office in the Kasbah district of downtown Tunis.
I have also been working diligently on CSID grants, focusing on one to the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), to fund a year-long project on ‘Democracy, Citizenship, and Civic Engagement.’ This proposal will be completed and submitted within the next 1-2 days, and - we hope - funds will be released in the very near future so that training workshops on democratic culture and the role of the citizen can begin in the new CSID-Tunis office!

Last night - for the first time in 7 years in an Arab country, besides Qatar - BBC World News hosted ‘The Doha Debates’ in Tunisia!

I was lucky enough to have gotten a seat in the audience, which is the source of the vibrant & heated debate on which this program prides itself. Fighting for Tim Sebastien’s attention, I got to ask a question to the 4 panelists on their assessments on Tunisian civil society, the strides it has taken recently, and the work left to be done in building a democracy out of the ashes of dictatorship.

It was an amazing event, which will be broadcast worldwide this Saturday and Sunday, February 25 & 26. To find a a local station broadcasting the debate near you, please check their website: http://www.thedohadebates.com/

Earlier in the day, I and my friends at SAWTY spent hours planning our Open House on March 5 & 6 in our new office in the Kasbah district of downtown Tunis.

I have also been working diligently on CSID grants, focusing on one to the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), to fund a year-long project on ‘Democracy, Citizenship, and Civic Engagement.’ This proposal will be completed and submitted within the next 1-2 days, and - we hope - funds will be released in the very near future so that training workshops on democratic culture and the role of the citizen can begin in the new CSID-Tunis office!