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Tunisia: Aya Chebbi: We're showing a story about Tunisia, unlike the news

Published Date: 
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Your Middle East


[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"790","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","data-thmr":"thmr_22","height":"148","style":"float: left;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"148"}}]]"International media was disseminating misinformed news about the situation in Tunisia"
On March 18, Tunisia witnessed an attack on the Bardo Museum in the heart of the capital city, Tunis, next door to the Parliament.

Suddenly, international media was disseminating misinformed news about the situation in Tunisia, promoting an image of “terrorism” and “Jihadism” taking over the country, “destroying its economy”, and “threating its democracy”. It is actually not the attack that will affect our economy and tourism but it's the narrative mainstream media propagates at all times.

The headlines have been as dramatic as “In Tunisia, terror attack undercuts Arab Spring's best prospect”, or “Travelers warned of risks as Tunisia reels from attack”, ignoring that we have had at least 20,000 foreign visitors entering the country after the Bardo attack, and as lame and wrongful as “Tunisian town near 'Star Wars' backdrop now features in battle against ISIS”, ignoring that Les Dunes Electroniques, one of Tunisia's biggest musical festivals have taken place on the set of Star Wars just a few weeks ago, on February 21 when over 10,000 people attended. 

There is another story that has to be told not only by us, Tunisians, who obviously would encourage people to visit our homeland, but also through the testimonies of foreign visitors who have themselves experienced the beauty, safety, and hospitality of Tunisia.

I have interviewed visitors from Europe, Africa and America following the Bardo Attack. They have all stressed the difference of the narrative the media represents for Tunisia and what is actually on the ground: 

Peace and Security
Political and Public Participation