Welcome to the 1st edition of the interview project and blog “People of the Mediterranean” that will focus on Tunisia. I started this project to give insights into the lives of young entrepreneurs and creatives around the Mediterranean. We all share similar hopes and dreams, face plenty of challenges and find creative solutions to continue our unique story on planet earth.
On both shores of the Mediterranean, you will meet interesting people. Don’t let yourself distract by borders, misleading opinions of politicians or the media. Get to know these people and their countries. Challenge your mind and your stereotypes. Open yourself up to the unknown and get richer with each story you will read.
The idea for this interview project came to me this summer. After building the website, I started to do the first interviews in Tunisia, but I aim to cover all Mediterranean countries. In Tunisia, I have met 11 young people that wanted to share their story with me and finally with all those interested (that’s you!).
The structure of the interviews
All interviews follow the same structure of four different question blocs.
Personal story and projects
In the first part, I will tell you about the personal story and projects of the people I have interviewed. How did it came that they do what they do today? What motivates them? I was also curious to know what kind of difficulties they encountered and which solutions they have found. What surprised them on their way? Where do they see themselves in the future? What is their philosophy of life?
Country information and travel tips
In the second part of the interview, I asked these young people how it is to live in their country today. Where do they see the challenges? Where the opportunities? Their answers will give you an idea about their day to day life in.
For all the readers interested in discovering more about these countries, I also asked what places or things they recommend foreign visitors to discover. You will get for sure some great ideas for your next trip. They also shared with me their favorite music, film and cultural festivals. You will be able to combine sightseeing with immersing yourself in the local culture. Go to the places where you will meet the young, progressive and avant-garde generation of these countries.
Since this project is about Mediterranean people, I was curious what this word ‘Mediterranean’ means to them. Is it a place, an emotion, a way of living, a part of common history? What do they feel and think when they hear talking about the Mediterranean? I wanted them also to share their message for the Mediterranean, its people and the future of the region.
The fourth part of the interview aims to foster cultural exchange. The young entrepreneurs and creatives shared with me their favorite music, books, artists, and films. So if you’re short of new music or need an idea for what new book to read, get some inspiration in this section.
Interview publication in written and video format
I will publish a written interview telling the story of each person, but I will as well publish short videos. The videos will be short (3-5min) so you get an idea of the real persons. I know how important it is to hear their voices, see their faces and see them smile.
I will also gather travel and cultural tips in separate articles and/or videos so that you have them all in one place.
I hope you will enjoy the stories and find some valuable tips and inspiration in them!
Trailer of the 1st edition of the interview project
For the 1st edition of the interview project that focused on Tunisia, I share with you the trailer!
Don’t forget to like or share it with your friends!
People you will meet & stories you will discover
To find out the story of how I found all these young people, I invite you the read the article “My Tunisia (interview) experience”.
1st edition of the interview project
In the upcoming weeks you will meet:
who works as a consultant specialized in socially responsible business. She studied psychology and working with people and social innovative businesses motivate her.
an artist, actor, psychologist, and cultural writer. I met him in the medina of Tunis, his favorite place in the city. He knows the medina by heart. With the collective Doolesha, he offers urban medina tours that reveal its secrets to the attentive eye and listener.
is a history and political science student and cultural activist. Next to engaging in a plethora of cultural events in the medina of Tunis, he also writes for the ‘Journal de la Medina’.
took the courageous decision to change his life. He left his well-paid office job as an engineer to become an entrepreneur and digital nomad. He created @sailorsdesk, a co-working and co-living space on his native tiny Mediterranean island of Kerkennah.
an English teacher and leading member of the NGO “Carthagina” that maps historical monuments of the medina. The project started in collaboration with Wikipedia. History of the medinas of Tunis, Dougga, Sfax and soon Monastir and Djerba, is accessible via QR codes in seven languages.
founded the first anti-human trafficking NGO Not4Trade in Tunisia in 2016. She stumbled upon this topic when she was looking for babysitting jobs in England to finance her studies. Later, it became her life mission to protect girls from Africa and Asia that are often forced into sexual slavery or prostitution.
invited me to meet him at the Abdellia Palace in La Marsa where he was preparing the 7th Hors Lits Tunis edition. Selim is a dancer and choreographer with his own dance company. In 2013, he came back to Tunisia after spending some time in France and abroad. Since then, he promotes alternative arts and cultural exchange in Tunisia.
is a known singer and songwriter from Tunisia. She always lived her passion for music, singing in bars while studying fine arts or working in a communications agency. In 2015, she founded together with Ramy Zoghlemi the duo ‘Yuma’. The duo does a mix of acoustic, indie and Tunisian modern folk music. They started with cover songs on Youtube mixing Arab and Western songs and became famous almost overnight. Since then, they played at all major festivals in Tunisia, including Hammamet music festival.
invited me to join him and his two dogs at his home. Bahri is a polyvalent artist. He is a dancer, choreographer, cultural entrepreneur, cineast, and founder of the association ‘Danseurs Citoyens’. He grew up in a popular city district of Tunis and fooled his parents saying he goes to music classes, but went dancing instead. Today he is internationally known for his initiative “Je danserais malgré tout”. I will dance despite everything” turned streets into stages for dancers. The initiative tried to oppose Salafist culture and to bring back the joy of life to the Tunisians after the Terrorist attacks.
is a musician and entrepreneur. He studied cinema and contemporary music, lived in France and Germany. According to him, post-revolution Tunisia offers plenty of opportunities to build businesses. Everything in Tunisia is still to be developed. With music as his passion, it was evident that he will promote the music and culture of and for young Tunisians. Haythem opened the music rooftop bar Tutu at La Goulette with a spectacular view over the Mediterranean.
a socially responsible entrepreneur is one of the emblematic figures of Tunis Medina. She is converting historical places into meeting points for young people, artists, and foreign visitors. Next to the guesthouse Dar Ben-Gacem, she created “Dar el Harka”. In this cultural house and coworking space young Tunisians, artists and inhabitants of the medina meet to learn from each other. It’s also the head office for different associations such as the “Collective Creative”, “Le Journal de la Medina” or “Doolesha”.