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Here’s to My Nostalgia for a Childhood in Tunisia

I opened my eyes in a world of beautiful Mediterranean beaches and a land filled with olive trees and gardens. Tunisia has a beautiful mix of European and Middle Eastern culture, and it has hospitality that would leave you breathless.

In the early and mid 90’s, this view was home for me. This is where I ran around carelessly, where I picked blackberries from my grandfather’s garden, and where I created my Tunisian identity. There are many reasons why I have a nostalgia for Tunisia and among them is the sense of open-mindedness that I acquired throughout my childhood. The Tunisian culture is a beautiful mosaic of the many neighbouring countries surrounding it. So I grew up surrounded by Jewish and Christian neighbours and that was so beautiful to me. However, what I reminisce about the most are Tunisia’s beautiful beaches, its old Medina market, the delicious cuisine, and of course, the extended family I left behind.

In this article, I’ve summed up a few reasons why I have a nostalgia for Tunisia:

1. The beautiful blue and white village of Sidi Bou Said off the Mediterranean Sea

 

2. Authentic Tunisian cuisine, which has a combination of Berber, European, and Middle Eastern elements.

Food and hospitality shape Tunisian homes and overall culture. Tunisian food is rich in spices like cumin and coriander and is almost always eloquently presented with either tuna or black olives. Tunisian cuisine is also famously known for its staple dish, the couscous : pictured below.

3. The narrow and always crowded alleyways of the old town in Tunis, the Medina.

The souks of Tunis are home to artisan and trade shops in a network of covered alleyways located in the heart of the City, and surrounding the ancient Ezzitouna Mosque. Ezzitouna, or the ‘mosque of the olive tree’, is also the oldest Islamic university in the Muslim world, having taught scholars like Ibn Khaldun. Ezzitouna holds a special place in my heart, because, years ago my grandfather graduated from their Islamic educational program and eventually began to lead Muslims in prayer here:

4. Finally, perhaps what I miss the most about Tunisia is my careless and stress-free childhood that was filled with curiosity and an eagerness to grow up.

It is always good to relive good memories however you want. I know that nobody can be a child forever, but it is always important to remember where you come from. For me, my heart and soul are embedded in a rich Tunisian culture that I will always proudly carry with me.

 

Dhouha is a fourth-year student at the University of Windsor majoring in Women's and Gender Studies with a minor in History. Dhouha is a dual citizen of Tunisia and Canada, currently living in Windsor, Ontario. She is a writer & editor for HerCampus at UWindsor. Dhouha describes herself as a free-spirited social butterfly who is chasing every little thing her heart desires. In the future, she wishes to pursue an MA and a PhD. in Gender Studies.
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