Haythem Abidi’s passion is ‘blogging for citizens’. In order to also give a voice to those in Tunisia’s remote regions, Abidi has made it his mission to coach members of Tunisia’s young blogging community. In ‘Bondy Blog’, amateur journalists can post articles about their city and provide locals with information, thereby engaging in social debates. Commissioned by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, GIZ is thus helping to strengthen democracy in communities and cities in the south of Tunisia.
I love the media and I’m passionate about online journalism – including video reports. I have a talent for anything involving technology, like film-making or editing. I also think it’s good that people can post comments about the blogs. That’s why I initially volunteered with Bondy Blog. After a while, I underwent further training, for example with Bondy’s media partner, Canal France International. Now I’m a trainer myself.
It’s really important for me because I’m still young myself. I got involved in youth work at the youth centre. I made many friends there and we talked about cultural issues and about politics, too. Young people are a force for change.
Young people are interested in lots of different things and they are more likely to surf the internet than read a newspaper or watch TV. They don’t just want to sit on the sidelines – they want to have their say. This means they have to be well informed and that’s where ‘Bondy Blog’ comes in. Environmental, business, social and above all local issues all figure widely. Each city has its own page that is reserved solely for local news items. We bloggers decide what to put on the website and then we reached out to find out what the people in Gafsa and the surrounding areas think.
I call Gafsa the ‘capital city of the South’ because it is surrounded by the administrative districts in the country’s interior. The city’s centuries-old history and culture have had a big impact on other parts of the country, too. Sadly, joblessness – and youth unemployment especially – is a major problem here and many people are moving away.
I dream of having my own youth centre, one that caters for all young people’s interests: music, culture, theatre. Or maybe I’d like to start producing my own films.