TIME Magazine paid allegiance to the brave hearted souls in the Middle East North Africa region who rose up against despotic regimes by naming “The Protestor” as their 2011 person of the year. Known now as the Arab Spring, this powerful movement was sparked by the self-immolation of a college-educated fruit vendor in Tunisia who was fed up with corruption and dismal living conditions. Since the subsequent Jasmine Revolution, the country has teetered between its tainted past and uncertainty, but these five stories point to the very real possibility that its residents can look forward to a freer and greener future.
Tunisian graffiti artist eL Seed was born in France. According to Green Prophet writer Laurie. he played around with graffiti as a hobbyist but only became serious about the controversial art form within the last decade or so. He enjoys this medium for its immediacy and accessibility and for its very public nature. Graffiti isn’t hidden behind doors or restricted to fancy art galleries. His “calligraffiti” is designed to promote Arab culture and break down erroneous stereotypes.
Once the glittering home of the country’s former Construction Minister and nephew-in-law of ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, a giant mansion had been trashed by protestors during the Jasmine revolution. So a team of skaters and locals known collectively as “The Bedouins” converted the ill-begotten space into an inspiring skate and art park. Led by Nathan Gray, The Bedouins promote cross-cultural collaboration, self-expression, and a healthy working through of post-revolution issues.
Tunisia may be pursuing one of the most ambitious renewable energy sectors on the planet with the possible exception of Scotland and a series of Scandinavian countries. Truly, their plans are staggering, and their willingness to float a substantial amount of money to support alternative energy programs even more so. One recently announced project is the 2 GW TuNur Concentrating Solar-thermal Power (CSP) plant from the Mediterranean solar developer – and founding member of MedGrid – Nur Energie.
The recently released 2011 “Travel and Tourism Competitiveness” report by the World Economic Forum compiled in conjunction with Booz & Company demonstrates a noticeable shift that tourists around the global are heading to the East, with Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Asia rising in rank, and sustainability continues to establish itself as a key tourism trend. While eco-tourism has taken a back seat to other pressing issues in the Middle East, Tunisia placed 47th on the list of desirable destinations.
This beautiful Dar HI eco-retreat in Tunisia designed by Matali Crasset demonstrates just one reason that Tunisia is one of the most accessible and desirable holiday destinations for eco-aware travelers. Set astride a clip of the Sahara desert and nearby a salt lake, it was built using local knowledge and local materials and features a soothing minimalism that takes the edge off any greater uncertainty. Clear here to learn more about this beautiful space.