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The Life of an American Freelancer in the Middle East

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Published at OpenDemocracy 

“What’s more appealing to me as a freelancer is having the autonomy to go and create my own stories… without losing part of my freedom, or having to uphold any editorial line" - Eric Reidy


 I met Eric Reidy last April in San Francisco, where we both spoke at Stanford University. We quickly bonded through our passion for writing, photography, listening to and telling people’s stories, a combination of what he defines as the package for freelancing.

Knowing him for a short period of time and understanding his motivation when he delivered his speech gave me the impression of him not being a typical American freelance journalist.
 In mid October, I received a message from Eric telling me that he was coming to Tunisia in two weeks time, with no plans whatsoever on where he will be staying, for how long or what will he be doing. A few days later, to my surprise, I met him there. 

Eric’s life appears to be unplanned, as probably most freelancers’ lives are. What…

The Oldest in Civilization, The Youngest in Population: THE FUTURE LIES IN AFRICA

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Published on Foresight For Development-Africa

How can we not think about the future for Africa if the future is Africa itself?
Looking at the past and the future, Africa becomes a crucial part of this reflection. Africa developed the world's oldest human civilization and moving forward, it defines the world’s future. With a comprehensive timeline of at least seven million years, Africa is home to the first tools, jewelry, mathematics, astronomy, fishing, and art, among other essential humankind developments. It gave humanity the use of fire around two million years ago and made all nations rely on our land for their markets.
However, as much as Africa has given to the world, it has been abusively exploited by colonial and postcolonial powers, and dictatorships. The status, privilege, and wealth of the colonizers were often maintained and upheld through the use of policies that violated our rights. Unjust colonial practices and policies as a means to preserve their dominant status, …

SMILES THAT IGNITE PASSION

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Story #17 of the 25 stories of Peace published by UNOY Peacebuilders Dense rows of white tents and long lines of listless people that are queuing for a small portion of food and water, of which there is never enough quantity to reach everyone. This was the daily image of Ras Jdir refugee camp in Rmeda where I volunteered during the Libyan Civil War. When I first arrived to the Tunisian-Libyan border in June 2011 the total number of refuges reached almost one million. We organized caravans brining donations from Tunis (the capital city of Tunisia) to the camp – despite all the conditions of insecurity of the trip. Beside our typical cargo – toys, food, water and covers – we also brought joy and hope to the refugees. Though our main targets were the young refugees, we indirectly sparked the solidarity in the Tunisian society that resulted in the collection of huge donations for weeks to come. When I first arrived, the one mission I had for every single activity I carried out was to draw sm…

The Statement of the Rustler’s Valley Youth Retreat

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TUNISIA: Compromise-style politics

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Published on D+C Development and Cooperation 
Translated to German

My coverage of the Parliamentary Elections and Presidential Campaign 
Around 5 million Tunisians were registered to vote, and 65 % of them did. Nidaa Tounes won 85 of 217 seats. This party was formed in 2012 and unites supporters of the pre-revolutionary regime, trade unions, opposition activists and anti-Islamist groups.

The Islamist party Ennahda, which has historical ties to Egypt’s Muslim Brothers, came in second with 69 seats. In the Constituent Assembly, it was the strongest party, and led a coalition government called Troika for two years after the revolution. Ennahda later gave up administrative power and agreed to a technocratic government when it became obvious that Troika rule had become divisive. People were upset because the government had not been able – or perhaps unwilling – to prevent two assassinations. Partly inspired by the Muslim Brothers’ disaster in Egypt, Ennahda’s priorities became passing the…