Teach, Write, Love: Teaching English in North Africa

By: Adam Lucente

Tunisia is known for its clear blue skies in the spring, and this day was no exception as Simon and I ventured from Tunis to Sidi Bouzid. A long ways from the capital city of Tunis situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Sidi Bouzid is a small city of about 120,000 that we would’ve never heard of if it weren’t for what one Mohamed Bouazizi did there on December 17th, 2010.

On that day, Bouazizi burned himself alive in front of city hall after his fruit stand was confiscated by local authorities under the auspices that he lacked the proper permits. This set off a series of protests in Sidi Bouzid, and then Tunis, and then Egypt, and then Libya, and Syria and so on and so forth. These protests would later become what is known as the Arab Spring.

I was an intern on Capitol Hill at the time. Seeing the mass protests on the streets of Tunis on the office television, I never thought I would one day live and work in the country. But a decision to teach English abroad ultimately led me to ‘Tunisia the green,’ as some aptly call it.