In Tamezret, Tunisia, a 2,000-year-old Berber kitchen in a mountain cave

by Rashmee

Posted on May 29, 2018


In Tamezret, a mostly abandoned mountain-top Berber village in southern Tunisia, we meet Monji Bouras, who runs Le Musee Berbere de Tamezret. Mr Bouras, an architect who left Tunis to return to his Berber home, started the museum 18 years ago out of a passion to preserve and tell the story of the Amazigh people. … Continue reading “In Tamezret, Tunisia, a 2,000-year-old Berber kitchen in a mountain cave”

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Visiting the Ben Nasrs in their troglodyte house, Matmata, Tunisia

by Rashmee

Posted on May 28, 2018


We turn up at the Ben Nasrs’ family home in western Matmata. Here’s a handy landmark, we’re told, to find the house. Two round domes, denoting the tombs of marabouts or holy men, stand in the hills almost exactly in front of the house. (I’m not sure that’s enough to get me there!) The Ben … Continue reading “Visiting the Ben Nasrs in their troglodyte house, Matmata, Tunisia”

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Tunisia’s troglodytes follow a different script from Star Wars

by Rashmee

Posted on May 27, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


MATMATA, Tunisia — Najet sits in her kitchen about 6 metres below ground level. It has no running water nor any of the other basic conveniences much of the world takes for granted but Najet has no plans to leave the 300-year-old house in the southern Tunisian town of Matmata. “It’s cooler (than above ground),” she says … Continue reading “Tunisia’s troglodytes follow a different script from Star Wars”

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What meaning did Meghan Markle’s white wedding dress really have?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 21, 2018


That Meghan Markle’s elegant wedding dress was white meant really nothing at all. It didn’t really have any particular meaning, considering Ms Markle was previously married and seemed to be living with Harry before their May 19 ceremony in Windsor. It was meant to be virginal. Certainly, it had nothing of the symbolic significance Queen … Continue reading “What meaning did Meghan Markle’s white wedding dress really have?”

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A distinctly European sensibility in a Tunisian troglodyte house

by Rashmee

Posted on May 19, 2018


We walk into the Trait d’Union, Tijma, Matmata in distant south-eastern Tunisia. The Libyan border is about 150 km away. Trait d’Union is a 350-year-old troglodyte house that now takes in paying visitors. Seven generations of one troglodyte family lived there from the early 1600s. In 1967, after the natural disaster that locals call “the … Continue reading “A distinctly European sensibility in a Tunisian troglodyte house”

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Living below ground: Matmata, southern Tunisia

by Rashmee

Posted on May 18, 2018


I sit in a troglodyte structure to write this. It is a dwelling typical of Matmata and because it is 20 feet below ground, there is no connection with the world beyond this part of south-eastern Tunisia. No connection other than the memory of having come through Tamezret and Douz and beyond that, through Kebili … Continue reading “Living below ground: Matmata, southern Tunisia”

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In Old Matmata, Tunisia, they still live below the ground as for centuries

by Rashmee

Posted on May 17, 2018


Off to Matmata, the Berber town in southern Tunisia, where some of the locals still live the way their ancestors did – underground. Until 51 years ago, the troglodyte buildings were basically unknown to the world. No one knew they were there and once they did, the settlement of Matmata was built above-ground. But the … Continue reading “In Old Matmata, Tunisia, they still live below the ground as for centuries”

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Are these really bread riots in Tunisia? Have prices really gone up so much?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 13, 2018


You wouldn’t know it from the international media coverage but here’s the so-called price rise that’s supposedly bringing all these angry people onto the streets: petrol has gone up by 50 millemes per litre. Just 50 millemes. To judge how expensive that is, consider the following: The Tunisian dinar is sub-divided into 1,000 millemes. One … Continue reading “Are these really bread riots in Tunisia? Have prices really gone up so much?”

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Tunisia protests a truth told elsewhere: ‘There’s no magic money tree’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 12, 2018


Today I leave a Tunisia that’s once again featuring high on international news bulletins. That’s on account of violent protests across the country. Eight years after the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, Tunisians in several cities are protesting against their government. Not about the government’s make-up but about its policies, particularly the austerity measures. Tunisians are upset … Continue reading “Tunisia protests a truth told elsewhere: ‘There’s no magic money tree’”

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Reading a bowl of youpo noodles in #Tunis for evidence of China’s rise

by Rashmee

Posted on January 9, 2018


Does it say something about the new year that in the closing hours of 2017, one of the most comforting (and relatively cheap) meals in the Tunisian capital was offered by a Chinese restaurant? It is not a fancy place (in fact, it rejoices in the simple, clear name of “Chinese Restaurant”) but it offers … Continue reading “Reading a bowl of youpo noodles in #Tunis for evidence of China’s rise”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK