I wanted to share a little perspective today… I know that most Expats are really enjoying their time here in Tunisia. Yes they are concerned about the security situation and yes they want to be informed but they prefer (quite understandably) not to get into the nitty gritty details.
Yesterday all my information sources were pretty much flashing the same headline: “Clashes in Bizerte…one person killed… watch out in Tunisia..” We even posted an update on the situation to alert our subscribers, but here’s the rest of the story:
As most of you know I work as a security coordinator and on a daily basis I am constantly talking and interacting with local security guards. I told one of our “regular guards” about the situation in Bizerte and he was concerned by the report. After our conversation he stated that his aunt lives right near the place were the clashes took place and that he would be more than happy to call her to get a personal account.
He called her on my office phone and put her on speaker. After the initial greetings (which took about 5 minutes…) he managed to ask her about the incident. “Oh yes…” she casually stated, “there was a big fuss this morning and one of the vendors a very old man even had a heart attack and died but it’s all quiet now…” (the account was in less than 1 minute).
After that she started asking about his kids and how they were doing and why he didn’t visit her in Bizerte (this took about 3 minutes). After hanging up he smiled and told me “see everything is alright”.
I kept receiving even more emails about the alarming situation in Bizerte and the potential for more unrest…etc…..
what’s a security coordinator to think?
Where we stand
The fact of the matter is that the situation in Tunisia is very sensitive and as Expats we should remain informed, aware, and engaged. That being said we have to also acknowledge that Tunisia is a mostly peaceful place and the media is not the best source for practical & relevant information.
As a security coordinator I will always trust my guard’s aunt over a BBC article but because I am entrusted to update a large community of Expats I will always consider both.
As Expats we should always remain engaged and never lose perspective.
Let’s keep sharing information.