On the 1st of March, an event occurred in the Library of Research and Publishing in Tunis by “J’observe” a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Club. Young adults and youth came to talk more about their favorite books and share their thoughts, poems, and writings. Besides, three writers came along and shared their experiences and books: Iitidel Guesmi, Raneem Chouria, and Nour ElHouda Barkallah. A group of people was listening, sharing their thoughts and love for reading and writing. Tunisian reader’s community is getting bigger, especially with new writers manifesting themselves and their pieces of work to the world; on the national and international levels. Lately, many active clubs and groups in Tunisia are trying to push the new generation to read and write due to the lack of interest in books and written papers. The same group is complaining about the high price of books in the country especially those who are brought from abroad. A book costs a lot compared to what a young person can afford, they are trying to find ways to buy cheaper books or read PDFs which is the easiest way to have access to their favorite books. But, at the same time they don’t have the same charm as a hard copy: “Turning pages, the smell of books, the bookmark and the highlighter on each page” is mandatory to some of them. Sadly, not everyone can afford it monthly. Can we consider this the main problem that is making the new generation lazy to create and consume considering the percentage of readers in the country, or shall we mention other reasons?
This event carried intellectual people to share their ideas and creativity that have been deepened inside of their souls and enclosed unable to be shared with the world but appreciated by those surrounding them. The same event allowed the writers to shine, share their reasons to write books, to be where they are and who they are today. They were also allowed to widen their network and be appreciated by their target audience. The place was also suitable due to its amazing calm place, big space, and huge library that carried thousands of interesting books.
An article has been written on April 2018 in Middle East Monitor journal that “85% of Tunisians have not read a book in the last year”. Lately, Tunisian activists and the young generation are trying to provide a better environment and means of communication to encourage each other to read more books and read for Tunisian or non-Tunisian writers. Thanks to social media and academic events that are making it easier and clearer to the world.