TS Update-(Informed & Cautious)

Greetings Expats,

First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. As Expats living in Tunisia we have a lot to be thankful for considering the regional situation and the challenges that Tunisia is experiencing.

Situational Update

Once again we are in one of those turbulent cycles where we see an increase of protests, strong political rhetoric, and therefore a greater potential for widespread disturbances.

Below are (2) articles that will bring you up to speed with the current situation:

Screen shot 2013-11-28 at 9.39.57 AM

Source:  Voice of America (Reuters)

“While Tunisia has largely avoided the bloodshed afflicting much of the region, a prolonged political crisis is hurting the economy badly..”

Gafsa: potential for widespread protests

ap

Source:  IOL News

“Gafsa, Tunisia – Several hundred protesters set fire on Wednesday to the office of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party in the neglected Gafsa region, one of several areas on strike, an AFP journalist reported.”

Expat Awareness

Today (November 28th), several groups have called for protests in downtown Tunis. As Expats we should continue to follow the general of advise of avoiding protests & demonstrations.

Additionally, we have to stay ahead of the “news curve” so that we’re not simply reacting to what’s happening on streets.

In order to stay ahead we have to move out of the “expat bubble” and simply network.

Let’s keep sharing information as we continue to live through these challenging & colorful times in Tunisia.

TS Update-(Time to Review)

Greetings Expats,

It’s been a while since my last update…(work, life, and well let’s face it Tunisia is going through a bit of a lull).

Lull:  a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.

Top 3 Items on the Expat Radar

As the political process grinds along, here are 3 issues that expats need to have top of mind:

1.  Driving:

La Marsa Highway (GP9) by night 

Before, during, and after the revolution; driving remains the number 1 safety risk in Tunisia.  Sure it’s not as bad as many other countries but in the last 3 weeks we’ve documented at least 2 fatal accidents on the La Marsa (GP 9) highway.  Pay special attention to the section of the highway in front of Carrefour as many pedestrians attempt to cross the street without basic precaution.

2.  Residential Security:

Statistics are hard to come by, but there is certainly a general perception among expats that petty crimes have increased after the revolution.  Still, Tunisia remains a relative safe place if and when people implement basic security measures.

3.  General Awareness:

As expats the strength of our security posture depends on our ability to receive and implement practical information.  A general sense of awareness means implementing basic security measures (varying routes, avoiding large crowds, and making local connections) in your everyday life.

Networking

Security analysts forecast a slow & complicated political process for Tunisia.  Throughout the process we will experience many challenges such as security incidents, strikes, and demonstrations.

Now is the time for expats to network and review their personal security setup. Let me know if you need guidance on any of 3 items discussed above.

TS Update-(Time to Review)

Greetings Expats,

It’s been a while since my last update…(work, life, and well let’s face it Tunisia is going through a bit of a lull).

Lull:  a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.

Top 3 Items on the Expat Radar

As the political process grinds along, here are 3 issues that expats need to have top of mind:

1.  Driving:

La Marsa Highway (GP9) by night 

Before, during, and after the revolution; driving remains the number 1 safety risk in Tunisia.  Sure it’s not as bad as many other countries but in the last 3 weeks we’ve documented at least 2 fatal accidents on the La Marsa (GP 9) highway.  Pay special attention to the section of the highway in front of Carrefour as many pedestrians attempt to cross the street without basic precaution.

2.  Residential Security:

Statistics are hard to come by, but there is certainly a general perception among expats that petty crimes have increased after the revolution.  Still, Tunisia remains a relative safe place if and when people implement basic security measures.

3.  General Awareness:

As expats the strength of our security posture depends on our ability to receive and implement practical information.  A general sense of awareness means implementing basic security measures (varying routes, avoiding large crowds, and making local connections) in your everyday life.

Networking

Security analysts forecast a slow & complicated political process for Tunisia.  Throughout the process we will experience many challenges such as security incidents, strikes, and demonstrations.

Now is the time for expats to network and review their personal security setup. Let me know if you need guidance on any of 3 items discussed above.

TS Update-(Interesting Analysis)

Greetings Expats,

A recent article entitled:  “Bleak outlook for Tunisia’s economy” by Mourad El Hattab, posted on November 10th, 2013, offers a lot of insightful information for those wondering about the future of Tunisia.

Below is a brief summary of the article:

  • “Evaluating the general situation in Tunisia today is  almost exclusively based on the evolution of policies, particularly regarding security.”

3 Scenarios to consider (excerpts from the article):

Scenario 1:  (High Probability) hinges on the escalation of violence and attacks + creation of a strict budgetary plan to gain access to the IMF loan.

Impact: A fall in tourism revenues and direct foreign investments is anticipated, as is the emergence of a significant social risk and the following of fiscal measures that deter capital and encourage fraud.

Scenario 2:  (Moderate likelihood) would be known by a constitutional block and a failure to hold elections.

Impact:  Political and social violence, and perhaps even all out social breakdown.  Weak foreign aid and the continued absence of visibility are likely to have an impact on direct foreign investments.

Scenario 3:  (Weak Probability) may correspond to a second popular uprising accompanied by a default of payments, barring unlikely assistance from the IMF, World Bank, and other large funders.

Expat Awareness

While none of the scenarios are particularly optimistic, we can all appreciate the author’s straightforward analysis. As expats, we should consider these scenarios as we make our plans moving forward.

Let me know what you think and let’s continue to share information.

 

TS Update-(Interesting Analysis)

Greetings Expats,

A recent article entitled:  “Bleak outlook for Tunisia’s economy” by Mourad El Hattab, posted on November 10th, 2013, offers a lot of insightful information for those wondering about the future of Tunisia.

Below is a brief summary of the article:

  • “Evaluating the general situation in Tunisia today is  almost exclusively based on the evolution of policies, particularly regarding security.”

3 Scenarios to consider (excerpts from the article):

Scenario 1:  (High Probability) hinges on the escalation of violence and attacks + creation of a strict budgetary plan to gain access to the IMF loan.

Impact: A fall in tourism revenues and direct foreign investments is anticipated, as is the emergence of a significant social risk and the following of fiscal measures that deter capital and encourage fraud.

Scenario 2:  (Moderate likelihood) would be known by a constitutional block and a failure to hold elections.

Impact:  Political and social violence, and perhaps even all out social breakdown.  Weak foreign aid and the continued absence of visibility are likely to have an impact on direct foreign investments.

Scenario 3:  (Weak Probability) may correspond to a second popular uprising accompanied by a default of payments, barring unlikely assistance from the IMF, World Bank, and other large funders.

Expat Awareness

While none of the scenarios are particularly optimistic, we can all appreciate the author’s straightforward analysis. As expats, we should consider these scenarios as we make our plans moving forward.

Let me know what you think and let’s continue to share information.

 

TS Update-(How secure is your setup?)

Greetings Expats,

If you’ve been following the political chess match that’s been taking place in Bardo, you know that the dialogue process is not going according to plan.

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 6.51.23 PM
tunisialive’s diagram

Situational Awareness 

The current situation is not good for Tunisia. This state of political limbo is creating a void that only increases the risks of serious security challenges.

These challenges may come in the form of attacks against Tunisian security forces, political violence, or a similar scenario as the one that took place in Sousse.

As expats we need to be aware of this situation and take the necessary precautions so that we are prepared for the challenges ahead.

It’s all about your setup

If you’ve been following this blog then chances are that you are both aware & prepared for the challenges ahead.

The (3) areas you need to review are:Residence, Commute, and Routines.

Residence: Take a moment to review your apartment, home, etc. Mainly you’re looking to make sure that your perimeter, windows, and doors are secured. It’s not about being paranoid, it’s about peace of mind.

Commute:Remember that driving still remains the number 1 safety risk in Tunis.  Vary your routes and always use good defensive driving tactics.

Routines:  Simply put: Don’t become predictable! Avoid visiting the same cafe at the same time on the same day.  Why not check out the local fruit guy instead of going to the big & crowded market?

Informed & Engaged

We all know that with the right setup and support it is very easy to not only live in Tunisia but also connect and enjoy this colorful country.

Of course we continue to hope for the best but now more than ever we must be prepared for the challenges ahead.

TS Update-(Next days ahead…vig·i·lance)

Greetings EXPATS,

Having just gone through a miniature media roller coaster, I would just like to remind everyone that this is an independent blog written by a freelance security coordinator who enjoys providing expatriates in Tunisia with practical & relevant security updates.

No crystal ball, no “inside information”, no “special connections”…just a passion for security & good networking…

OK got that out of the way and now for the update.

New Year…Same Challenges

The Islamic New Year is upon us and this evening (Sunday, Nov. 3) we’ll know whether it will be on November 4th or 5th. Regardless, the combination of the holiday along with the ongoing political tension is enough for us to advise extra vigilance during these next 3 days.

Once again extra vigilance is simply a matter of:  a. reviewing your personal security setup b. staying informed and c. applying situational awareness.

Let’s continue to share information and remain connected during this challenging time in Tunis.