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Monday, September 24, 2012

Colour and Smiles, Not Smoke and Screams

I love the Tunis market. It's a place of colour and warmth: The cheese seller who greets me as a friend now, the spice vendor who walked past, recognized me and gave me a solemn nod, the man quietly reading the Koran at his vegetable stand, another cheese seller (the one with the kind eyes) who gave me a sample even though he saw I had already bought from someone else, the bread guy who was joking with us and snatched the bread from me, then grinned, the vegetable seller who called my friend and me "daughter" the other day, and the man who gave us presents (straw fans) worth much more than the couple dollars we spent on eggs and raisins. Each time I go there I am reminded of how lovely the people of Tunisia are, how vibrant and joyful and generous.
For friends overseas, these are the people you should think of when you think of the Arab world, not the outspoken, violent few who manage to make international news.

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