In Tunisia’s first celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, an event was held today in downtown Tunis to raise awareness about discrimination against racial minorities in the country.
The event, “Tunisia with all its Colors,” was organized by the Association for Equality and Development (ADAM).
Taoufik Cheiri, the president of ADAM, told Tunisia Live that his association is the first in the country to fight for the rights of minorities. Formed in May 2012, ADAM aims to expose all instances of racial discrimination that Tunisian blacks, who make up 10 to 15 percent of the population, confront on a daily basis.
Cheiri added that ADAM members have penned letters to the politicians in the National Constituent Assembly asking for a new law to eradicate discrimination.
The event in downtown Tunis sought to revive the heritage of black minorities coming from Medenine, a state in southern Tunisia. Emina Soudani, General Secretary of ADAM, said that this event is highly important to create a better level of awareness among Tunisians.
Rokhaya Diallo, a French activist and author advocating against racism, said, “the main problem concerning this issue is the denial and the lack of awareness among Tunisians, as most of them don’t realize that there is real discrimination happening here.”
Gilberto Leal, from the Brazilian National Coordination of Black Institutions, participated in the event to build a link between his organization and ADAM, sharing with Tunisia some of Brazil’s experiences addressing racism.
The event will continue tomorrow with a presentation by Abdesattar Amamou, a Tunisian historian who will speak about the history of Tunisian racism.