Middle East Eye
On the ferry from Europe to Tunisia in May, I met a middle-aged Tunisian man on his way home for a visit from the northern Italian city of Ancona, where he had worked in a plastic factory for the past 15 years.
The man confessed that he had often questioned his decision to abandon his village near the Tunisian-Algerian border to seek work in Italy, where - contrary to popular belief, he declared - there was little proper food to be found. In his village, he said, his family grew everything they needed. He launched into an enthusiastic run-down of the bread-making process.
Unfortunately for my little-while friend and other global inhabitants, however, the current international economic order does not look kindly on hints of self-sufficiency or agricultural independence.
In a brand-new documentary Couscous: Seeds of Dignity by Tunisian geographer and academic Habib Ayeb, one Tunisian farmer incidentally laments: “You’ll see, in ten years we’ll import sandwiches from Italy. To make a sandwich, we’ll have to go get the flour from Italy.”