TS Update-(French travel update)

Greetings Expats, 

Now, before I offer my thoughts on the French embassy’s new travel update, I wanted to share with you the great time I had yesterday (Sunday, June 23rd) at Select Beach in Gammarth.  

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Located in Gammarth’s tourist zone, Select Beach is a modern beach club that offers customers the opportunity to enjoy good music, food, and beautiful sights.  I recently visited Select with my family and we had a great time.  Live Cuban music, safe beach area, and people from all walks of life came together and celebrated life on a beautiful day.

And now back to the news… 

The updated French travel warning offers some interesting yet practical points for Expats to consider throughout the summer.  

(loosely translated…)

“The security situation in the tourist areas (Greater Tunis, coastal, island of Djerba) do not present any specific problems, except the risk of a common crime that should be taken into account.  Aside from tourist areas, enhanced vigilance must be observed…”-(Expat Networking + Situational Awareness)

“Movements are strongly advised against in the Tunisian south, especially near the borders with Algeria and Libya as well as the Tunisian-Algerian border area.  With regard to the Saharan region, they are in any event subject to prior authorization by the authorities of Tataouine permission.”-(Pre-plan your trips & Use common sense)  

Perspective…

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Far be it for me (Mr. Security Guy) to play down the security situation in Tunisia.  Instead I think that what my experience and to some extent the French travel warning are saying:  yes there are security concerns in Tunisia, but with proper awareness; Expats and tourist can experience a safe & enjoyable time in Tunisia.

Expat News Update-(Sufi Shrine Sentencing)

Source:  New York Times

Date:  June 18, 2013

Title:  Six Men Sentenced for Attacking Sufi Shrine in Tunisia

Abstract:

“A Tunisian court sentenced six men to five years in prison on Tuesday for attacking visitors to a famous Sufi Muslim shrine in Tunis, the capital, and for setting the shrine on fire.

The attack was carried out last October by ultra conservative Salafi Muslims who consider the Sufi practice of visiting and praying at tombs to be heretical.”-Read Full Article Here

TS Update-(Summer’s here…)

Greetings Expats,

It’s been a while since my last post and I hope everyone is doing well. While my day job has occupied most of my time, I’ve still managed to share many updates via our Facebook  Page & Twitter feed.  

Where we stand today

For better or worse, most headlines concerning Tunisia these days mostly concern football, economic progress, topless protesters, and other political controversies.  

During Turkish Prime Minster Erdogan’s visit we saw once again that Tunisian security forces can operate in a professional & effective manner.  At each event PM Erdogan was met by protesters but things seem to go smoothly.  

Politics aside, one can say that a certain flow has settled in Tunisia.  Tunisians are basically saying “our country is a work in progress and we want to go about this process in a civilized manner.”  Additionally, Tunisian security forces have also spoken and said “we got this”.  

As a result the various vocal (minority) salafists groups have altered their approach and the general situation has settled.  Still, the situation can change very rapidly.

Challenges Ahead

League for the Protection of the Revolution (LPR) 

Labeled as a “controversial pro Islamist militia”, the so-called League for the Protection of the Revolution (LPR)  have had their good share of headlines lately.  Currently, they are focused in a campaign to advance the controversial Protection of the Revolution bill.  Human Rights Watch has stated that the proposed law’s “provisions and procedures for exclusion amount to an unnecessary and disproportionate restriction on political rights.”

Situational Awareness:  Planned gathering Tuesday, June 18th in front of the National Constituent Assembly (Bardo)

Expat Awareness

sunset

Last night I witnessed a beautiful sunset at the Golden Tulip hotel in Gammarth.  We were saying goodbye to good friends who are moving back to California, USA.  While enjoying ourselves and discussing the situation in Tunis  I couldn’t help but wonder how bitter sweet these last few years have been in Tunis.  

Let’s keep sharing information, connecting, and working together as we continue to explore Tunisia during these times of uncertainty.  

 

TS Update-(June Challenges/Expat Awareness)

Greetings Expats,

The weather is getting better…but the security challenges in Tunis have not gone away.  I want to share some information regarding the current security situation in Tunisia and  what Expats can do to improve their personal safety setup.

From my perspective…

OK here’s the thing…during the last 2 months I’ve organized security for field trips to Carthage, Sidi Bou Said, Ghar El Melh tunisie, Testour, Manouba, Oudna, Hammett, Manouba, Raf Raf, …and other places.

At each site we received a warm welcome and great support.  No incidents…no issues (knock on wood)…no problems.

So while things are going well on the operations side (day-to-day activities)…we’re constantly receiving alarming reports which clearly indicate that we should maintain a heighten sense of security.

Press TV’s report (watch video below) is a prime example:

Situational Awareness

Durning the last few days several sources have shared enough information that indicate that Expats should take extra precaution.  While the threats are mainly focused on high profile targets, it is important that we implement the following personal safety measures:

Stratfor has a great refresher article on situational awareness with many useful tips.

 

“Give me specifics Dave!”

I understand that people find these updates somewhat vague and would like more specifics but here’s the thing:     1.  The information is so broad that we can not say “on this day…this will happen..etc. and 2.  So much is happening globally, regionally, and locally that we really have to take the approach of awareness, caution, and collaboration…

Let’s face it…the world is in a state of flux (Turkey!).

Feedback

 Please feel free to email me any relevant questions, comments, updates.

Let’s continue to share information and work together.