26 April 2013 11:45 am | | 12

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Students drummed and sang in downtown Tunis. Photo courtesy of Elena Lesley.

A festive mood overtook downtown Tunis today as high school seniors celebrated finishing the athletic component of their national examinations — and blew off steam before studying for the upcoming academic exam that will determine their college majors.

High school seniors throughout Tunisia took the sports exam this week and will sit for the national Baccalaureate exam in June. Because “the Bac” determines the college studies of graduating high school students, it is a stressful period for both seniors and their parents.

Celebrating the first phase of the national exam — the sports component — has become a tradition passed down through generations of high school seniors.

Fireworks in downtown Tunis. Photo courtesy of Roua Khlifi.

“This exam happens once in your lifetime and it determines your future,” said Hichem, a high school senior. “Instead of stressing about it, we are trying to have fun. All students gathered here to enjoy themselves before we start the rest of the exams.”

Marwa, a senior, added, “the mood is awesome. We are a bit stressed so this is an opportunity for us to relax before we start the other exams.”

Students save money to contribute to the celebration, giving what they can afford. Then they print out t-shirts with comic slogans related to their studies, hang banners in schools or put on impromptu fireworks diplays.

This morning, seniors from the high school located on Rue de la Russie treated passersby to a musical show as they marched down the street singing and beating large drums.

Onlookers watched the young people and cheered for them. Some stopped to wish them good luck on their exams.

“The Bac exam period is hard on the seniors and parents,” commented Khadija, a mother of two. “I think such celebrations help them feel better and get prepared for their exams. Let them have some fun before they start studying hard.”


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Comments (12)

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  1. pauli says:

    Are you you german doing a satire of what you think is a moslem , pee pee?

  2. Publicola says:

    tertiary education – ratio female male students – some figures

    USA: On a national scale, public universities had a male-female ratio of 43.6–56.4.
    (source: Forbes (online) – 2/16/2012 – The Male-Female Ratio in College)

    Tunisia: Young women represent 59.5% of students enrolled in higher education in Tunisia.
    (source: wikipedia – ‘Tunisia’)

    OECD*-countries: On average 33% of women aged 25 to 34 have tertiary education, compared with 28% for men of the same age in OECD countries
    ( http://www.oecd.org/std/37962502.pdf )
    [*OECD is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries committed to democracy and the free-market economy]

    Saudi-Arabia: According to the World Bank, in 2006 the gross enrollment ratio for females was 36.1 percent, the gross enrollment ratio for males was 24.7 percent
    (source: wikipedia – Education in Saudi-Arabia)

  3. proud primitive bedouin says:

    girls shouldn´t study at universities. they should marry and become housewifes and mothers.

    universitites turn women into satanic boy haircut and trousers wearing feminists, who don´t obey their hunsbends and commit adultary.

    universities for a girl is a feminist reeducation camp!

    feminism=female nazism

    feminist groups= the Hitlerjugend of feminism

    • Luiza says:

      haters gonna hate

    • Publicola says:

      ppd – I suspect, you overestimate your strength considerably, as you want to make the earth change its course and turn round in the opposite direction

      • proud primitive bedouin says:

        to “Publicola”: no one expected the end of the cold war or the fall of the berlin wall or the invention of the internet or the iranian revolution etc.

    • Publicola says:

      ppd – Have you ever had (any personal) contact to a girl, girl-friend, woman?

      • proud primitive bedouin says:

        to “publicola”:


        • hichem says:

          lady palm and her five sisters?

        • Publicola says:

          @ ppd – Why did I ask you that?

          Then it can’t have escaped your notice that (some) women can be – of course not necessarily must be – terribly intelligent, smart, clever, prudent and incredibly competent as to everyday practical life. … – …
          … which is of course not exclusively a source of pure happiness for a male human being resulting initially of course in the one or the other inferior complex that might turn out to be highly severe and unmatched so far.

          On the other hand, what lastly counts is definitely that every personal cloud has a silver lining,
          the silver lining being in this case
          that a male human being cannot but profit enormously from this alarmingly high female competence,
          which often, or even as a rul, covers an area different from the area covered by the skills and the competence of a male person – possibly and hopefully to the common good of both.

  4. proud primitive bedouin says:

    party is from the devil. go read a book or the quran.

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