TS Update-(New Site Subscribe Today)

Greetings Expats,

Since my return to Tunis on Friday I’ve been amazed at the amount of information coming our way here at the Tunisia Security Update blog.  On that note I would like to say thank you to all the expats and Tunisians that support us with insightful information.  

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Blog Update  

We’ve updated the blog and moved it to a self hosted site.  It’s the same domain (www.tunisiasecurityupdate.com) but we weren’t able to transfer all of our subscribers (over 2k!).    

If you would like to receive these updates directly into your email inbox please visit the new website and click on the subscribe button.  Simply enter your email and presto you will receive free security updates which you can view on any electronic device.  

Click here to visit new site

Challenges & Opportunities 

Since 2011 the purpose of the this blog was to empower expats with practical & relevant security information.  The security situation in Tunisia remains challenging but with the right setup and network we will continue to thrive in this beautiful country.

Please check out the blog homepage, subscribe and let me know what you think.

TS Update-(Summer Challenges & Beyond)

Greetings Expats,

As we stated in our previous postings, the threat level in Tunisia has increased and the month of Ramadan is proving to be very challenging for Tunisians.  This is a great time for us to review what happened and look beyond.

What’s going on? 

At least 14 Tunisian soldiers were killed when gunmen with rocket-propelled grenade attacked two checkpoints in the Chaambi mountain range.

Tunisian government stated that the attackers are tied to Al-Qaeda’s North Africa wing, known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Minster of Interior Mr. Ben Jeddou stated that since the start of Ramadan they’ve foiled six terrorist operations in  Tunisia.

Short Term=Tourism hit

Mount Chaambi is a war zone so it is very likely that similar incidents will take place.  On a broader level, the last couple of days have been a public relations nightmare for Tunisian tourism.  The Brits took the lead by warning its citizens of a “high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping.”

Specifically, the FCO advises against:  “all but essential travel to areas south of, and including, the towns of Nefta, Douz, Medenine and Zarzisj, and to within 30km of the border with Algeria from south of the town of Ghardinaou.”

To put it bluntly, this really sucks for Tunisia especially since the number of British visitors to Tunisia reached a new record last year with more than 400,000 visitors.

Long Term=Great Security Challenge 

Here are my top 3 reasons why I think we (Tunisians & Expat Community) have great security challenges ahead:

  1. Parliamentary elections (currently) scheduled to take place on October 26th & Presidential elections on November 23rd
  2. Current situation in Libya
  3. Social-Economic challenges in Tunisia

And as if these weren’t challenging enough we also have to look at even more alarming developments such as “reports indicating the return of Libyan jihadists and others from Tunisia to their countries to create branches of ISIS in North Africa.”

Expat Deep Breath 

Since 2011 we’ve seen how resilient, peaceful, and kind Tunisians are.  We certainly hope for the best for Tunisia but as expats we have to focus on ensuring that our personal security matches or exceeds the threat level.

With the right setup, mindset, and network we can continue to live & thrive in beautiful Tunisia.  This is true for both tourists & expats.

Let’s stay connected…

 

Tunisia Crime & Safety 2014

Greetings Expats, 

The Overseas Security Advisory Council (O.S.A.C.) was “created in 1985 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to promote security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State.”

Each year OSAC publishes a Crime & Safety Report covering a variety of security & safety topics.  I find the report very helpful especially for newly arrived expats.   

Below is a brief presentation highlighting the key aspects of the report.  I hope you find the information helpful and let’s continue to share practical security information.

TS Update-(31st crafts exhibition in Le Kram)

Greetings Expats,

The 31st crafts exhibition will be held in Le Kram from 25 April to 4 May this year. At the event it is reported that 580 exhibitors will show their best stuff from a vast range of crafts, interior decorating, clothing, and much more.  Over 130,000 visitors are expected to attend and the National Handicrafts Office (ONA) has high hopes for the event.  

Situational Awareness

images

Each year many expats attend this event and usually walk away with great gifts and a pleasurable experience.  On the flip side, these events are a good time to review practical personal security tips.    

3-Effective Tips to Stay Aware

1.  Setup:  Avoid parking near isolated areas and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

2.  Focus:  It’s OK to explore but have a sense of purpose.

3.  Empower:  Remember most crimes in Tunisia are “Crimes of Opportunity“…don’t present the opportunity.  Walking while talking on your cell phone=opportunity, Leaving your hand bag unattended=opportunity, taking out large amounts of cash to pay for something=opportunity.

Feedback

Please feel free to share you’re experience if you attend this event.  Perhaps other expats will benefit from your feedback & tips.  

Share your feedback in the comment section below.  

 

 

 

 

 

TS Update-(31st crafts exhibition in Le Kram)

Greetings Expats,

The 31st crafts exhibition will be held in Le Kram from 25 April to 4 May this year. At the event it is reported that 580 exhibitors will show their best stuff from a vast range of crafts, interior decorating, clothing, and much more.  Over 130,000 visitors are expected to attend and the National Handicrafts Office (ONA) has high hopes for the event.  

Situational Awareness

images

Each year many expats attend this event and usually walk away with great gifts and a pleasurable experience.  On the flip side, these events are a good time to review practical personal security tips.    

3-Effective Tips to Stay Aware

1.  Setup:  Avoid parking near isolated areas and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

2.  Focus:  It’s OK to explore but have a sense of purpose.

3.  Empower:  Remember most crimes in Tunisia are “Crimes of Opportunity“…don’t present the opportunity.  Walking while talking on your cell phone=opportunity, Leaving your hand bag unattended=opportunity, taking out large amounts of cash to pay for something=opportunity.

Feedback

Please feel free to share you’re experience if you attend this event.  Perhaps other expats will benefit from your feedback & tips.  

Share your feedback in the comment section below.  

 

 

 

 

 

TS Update-(Ramadan Awareness)

Expats living in Muslim countries “know the deal”…We know that during the month of Ramadan things change. We know that whether we like it or not we have to adjust our daily activities.  Ramadan offers us a great opportunity to both feel the experience of living abroad and evaluate our daily flow.

From a security perspective, the moth of Ramadan is an ideal time to take a step back and evaluate your routines, driving routes, walks, runs, neighborhood, etc.

Ramadan Awareness

There is a confirmed report that two shops located in the main Carrefour food court area were closed yesterday by the police.  According to one report the officers closed the shops for the “protection of the store attendants”.  It is no secret that a small number of conservative Muslims have been going around town trying to persuade cafe owners to close their stores during the day.

Nevertheless, there are many cafes and restaurants open during the fasting hours.  A contact on twitter reported that in the “Lac 2 there are a lot of restaurants doing very good lunch business.”  Additionally, it is good to know that we live in a mostly tolerant and friendly Muslim country and most people understand that not everyone is fasting.  Conversely we should respect local customs and “when in Rome…”

 

Ramadan Resources

Empower yourself with solid information and enjoy Ramadan…

Tunisia Live Ramadan Survival Guide

Gulf News Ramadan Guide for Expatriates

Tunisia.com Ramadan Forum

 

 

TS Update-(May Day…May Day)

Last year, May Day in Tunisia was marked by beautiful weather and plenty of protests.  May 1st 2012 may very well be a replay of last year.  May Day also known as International Workers Day,  presents a good opportunity for the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) to make a statement.  Last year UGTT was able to get hundreds of people to protest against the Tunisian interim government, this year the list of grievances is longer and the scene less dramatic.

May Day For Expats

Most of the protest last year took place in downtown Tunis and a few towns located in the interior of the country.  This year we can expect the same since the only two authorized protests are scheduled to take place downtown.  Still it’s important to continue to practice smart situational awareness.  

It’s important to remember that situational awareness is a process which when used correctly, will empower you to avoid potential threats.  This process is all about having the right mindset and you don’t need any type of military training to become good at it.  By simply doing a little pre-planning before you go out and observing your surroundings; you will be at least 3 moves ahead of the bad guys.

Make it Positive

A positive thing to do on May Day is to participate in the Race Against Cancer taking place early that morning. The event is intended to help the children’s cancer ward of the Salah Azaiz Hospital continue.  To learn more about this cause or join volunteer effort, please contact Zainab Jabba, Race Against Cancer Event Coordinator, at zainabjabba@yahoo.com.

Feedback…

On days like May 1st it’s important that we share information so if you see something while you’re out and about…please let us know.  Feel free to comment or send us an email…