The Tunisian Issue Vol.VIII
"A modern and inspirational journey to the amazing Tunisia"
“Tunisair TU283 is ready for depart”. The flight from Madrid was com- pletely full. It was last March 8th, 6 days b.P. (Before the Pandemic). It is the last memory I have of a trip that surely will not be repeated in a long time. That memory has repeated itself several times in my head, sometimes forcing it, trying to close my eyes and returning to that infi- nite road crossing the desert. Now I can’t even cross the threshold of my house, because of the lockdown.
But let’s go back to Tunisia, for when we can fly and live like b.P.
The flight landed at 6:23 p.m.. I was awakened by the collision of the aircraft with the ground.
“Bienvenue à l’aéroport de Cartago”.
Still puzzled by the lack of sleep, I thought I was landed in some city in Italy. Or was I dreaming of some battle of Asterix and Obelix? Tunisia was conquered by the Romans and so we can still find traces of the great Empire that conquered half the World, now turned into art trea- sures, or what is left of them.
But this is the most interesting thing about this fabulous and myste- rious country. That mixture of history and culture. Between the North and the South. Bathed by the sea and the desert. Divided by the white of the Mediterranean and the brown tones of the desert. Two identities that make a country rich in contrasts. Like the gastronomy, with exotic delicacies in the interior that compete with soft flavors of the Medite- rranean cuisine.
It is necessary to know the two faces of Tunisia. From the North to the South. From the Mediterranean to the desert. From its Roman history to its Arab culture. From chakchouka to brick pastry filled with tuna.
A mysterious country that you have to know to understand this clash of cultures that coexist together with total serenity and pride. I’ll be back. Because this odious Pandemic made us take an early flight. But in my mind, I keep recent images of a country with an intense blue sky, a brilliant sea, a golden desert and science fiction mountains. And its people, wishing that we would return to continue discovering more hidden treasures that Tunisia offers us.
Ymen Berhouma’s enigmatic characters seem to talk without saying any- thing; their expressions speak for themselves. The Tunisian self-taught art- ist’s paintings are drawn from intuition and navigate through the depths of human emotions, to explore topics like relationships between women. Born and raised in Tunis, and currently living in Sidi Bou Said, her artworks have been exhibited in Tunisia and France.