Preparing for a Tunisian Adventure

With 4 days until we arrive in Tunis, I eagerly anticipate what awaits us when we land. During our travels, I hope to gain a better understanding of Tunisian culture, their business landscape, and their food.

Tunisia’s location in North Africa bordering the Mediterranean sea has led to a long standing history of outside influence from people such as Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, Italians, Spaniards, and the French. As a result, their culture represents a melding of an African identity with elements of an Old World, Middle Eastern, and European identity. What I look forward to most is seeing how this is brought to life through various cultural experiences in the capital of Tunis.

While in Tunisia, we will be meeting with several companies to gain a better understanding of the economic and business conditions within Tunisia. Although Tunisia’s economy has managed 5% growth over the last decade, it continues to suffer from high unemployment especially among youth. As such, it will be a pleasure to finally connect with our Open Startup Tunisia (OST) teams. Our OST partners will likely give us key insights on what it is like to be a young Tunisian entrepreneur with a strong interest in providing business solutions for many of Tunisia’s social and economic problems.

Lastly, it is with the utmost excitement that I look forward to learning about and finally tasting local Tunisian cuisine. Here again, we are likely to see how the presence of outsiders through Tunisia’s history has left its mark on the country. Throughout my travels, I have found that food is the dimension on which local communities often feel most proud and eager to share with visitors. I am most excited to try Lablabi, Tajine, and anything with harissa!

— Nimra Khan ’20

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