Decent Life For ALL

That is the point, Tunisia is so centralized, you’d find everything in the North, and nothing in the South, sadly… so yes I already have had a questionnaire sent to a sample of 150 citizen of Medenine belonging to the different target groups that I mentioned above, and I have had so many positive feedbacks (I can share the results with you) and I am preparing a focus group of 7 people to discuss more the insights and the objectives of this project, my point is that I want this space to be made by the people of Medenine, with their ideas and needs, and not mine.

I do have a space in mind, I want to rent a house that would make everyone feel like home, I don’t want an open space neither a bureau, I just want it to be a house, a home for all.

Well I would love to help you with anything you need!

Aw Hazem you got this point wrong, because Medenine is a coastal city that owns one third of the Tunisian coast, with :smiley: and even more it has, land, air and sea boarders :smiley: so we can say that it has a strategic position.

I will go and check the ones you mentionned can help me more with this project :smiley:

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Yosser, that was really interesting to read! Also interesting: Is this the beginning of a larger trend towards communal spaces in MENA region countries? We have come across several early-stage initiatives over the last weeks … maybe the timing is right for this type of community organizing / community self-management now.

At Edgeryders, we’d certainly welcome it :slight_smile: As Hazem mentioned, we are pushing some ideas around for a network of “OpenVillage houses” – all independent spaces of different kinds and with different names, all managing their own economic sustainability, but also supporting each other in the network.

Not sure how relevant / attractive this sounds for your initiative, but let me make a guess: Medenine probably suffers from brain drain as many of the young folks who go to college in the north will stay there, or even go abroad. Though on a different scale, it’s the same problem draining rural areas of young people, all drawn to big city life. But then, big city life is not what it seems either: lots of pollution, traffic, high expenses compared to earnings etc… So what an international support network of communal spaces could do is, to become a way for making rural life and life in smaller cities attractive again, countering the brain drain. In addition it could help in cross-cultural understanding through frequent visits.

I don’t imagine it would be that hard:

  • All communal spaces in the network agree on a simple way how people from the OpenVillage network can visit other communal spaces. Ideally, no rent has to be paid for guest rooms, as all spaces would agree to host people in return. A free and open source, web based resource scheduling software can be used for the whole network to “book” a place as a visitor. Of course, some kind of reputation system is needed to manage trust between people who never met.
  • Create and tune instructions for “effortless travel” between the different OpenVillage houses, including tips and tricks for obtaining visa, templates for visa invitation letters, lists of low-cost travel options, ride sharing coordination.
  • Actively look for groups of people with interesting initiatives (both cultural, tech and entrepreneurial) who want to work from varying places in the network in a way that provides a good amount of engagement with locals.
  • Develop a manual, including instructions for tools to build, for “creating your own decent life”. I like your vision to make the feeling of the space “home-like”, and whatever contributes to that could be documented to let others achieve the same. In addition, tips for events etc. to “create your own fun” where it’s not provided by the living environment.

But maybe I’m just naive, since I’m not a city dweller anyway. So, feedback welcome!

Hallo :slight_smile:

So maybe a good thing to do before our workshop in Tunisia is to look at other examples that could be relevant for what you want to do? If you want to articulate a question, we can push it out to the bigger network asking for input to help us do the research…what do you think? If you want we can maybe work on it together?

I love this idea! to be honest, I have always imagined that the space that I will be working on would be included within an international network, since I wanted that people who’d to the space would get aglimpse of what it is going out there, meaning that they get out of their comfort zone which is Medenine, and see thing from another perspectives through both, having foreign people coming to Medenine, and having people from the space going to foreing countries!
I absolutely love what you have suggested! as for the brain drain it is a huge problem in here! I mean, I have just graduated two months ago, and I already have most of the people asking me to go back and settle in the capital because they believe that it doesn’t make sense for me to go back to Medenine… maybe I am seeing things differently here, I just want to, as you have mentionned, to make the living in smaller cities attractive again!

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Hello Nadia :smile:
That would be super helpful for my case! Well, one of the things that I still have in my mind, as I was discussing with @matthias, is would be people from outside of Tunisia, with such spaces, be interested in the exchange of people and knowledge with us? And, as a begginner, what sort of activities should I focus on in this space? and also, to maintain the financial sustainability of the space, I am thinking if having a café in it, but is there any other activities that may generate some income to ensure the space sustainability?

And I think that can really work, with a well-connected space like you have it in mind.

This is speculative and all, but I think this space networking idea really has potential, also for Edgeryders as an organization. It would not be that much work to realize and could attract quite some existing communal spaces to join. And it adds a nice twist to the OpenVillage vision, by adding international exchange to the current focus on creating “the good life” in communal spaces.

So I just wrote a detailed proposal. Much welcome to discuss further over there!


Greetings @Yosser! I am so impressed by your vision and your spirit. And I love these approaches that are positive (I just read @Sabouny 's clown topic) - going toward something that is good and right instead of opposing something. No illusions about what is bad, but - make the world you want to have.

Do you have good people helping you?

And is there a decent infrastructure for communications there?

I think big city, small city, countryside all are ripe for change!

One thing though, if you get too far out in the country, the air is pure but you won’t be logging in much! I live in a pretty mountainous region of the California coast and while my house has a good internet connection, everyone farther out than us does not and they won’t be getting it anytime soon. So, small town and rural, but connected to the wider global community.

Finally, “Those youth are the future of Medenine, they are the ones who hold the keys to break all the stereotypes about the region and to change their current passive situation” is right on…so well said. Gets to the heart of the matter.

:smiley: :thumbsup: great, this makes it more appealing to attract people from bigger cities.

this may be off-topic, as I don’t know much about Medenine but may be setting a Wireless Mesh Network could be a good project to start if it is needed. ( one network is already done in Sayda we can learn from )

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I don’t have a team yet but I have lots of people supporting the idea of this project.
Medenine is one of the 24th states of Tunisia, we do have a good infrastructure and technological infrastructure as well so that wouldb’t be a problem :smiley: , you see the point is that people in here are buried alive, the live in the same way with the same dreams, that we get from the society, life, for the people living in Medenine, is a bout School, College degree, Job, Marriage, Children, with nothing happening in between those shifts, no space for innovation for being ALIVE and not just someone living for the society… I want to bring them opportunities, I want them to leanr more about the world, to observe and to liberate themselves of themselves… you get my point?
We used to have acinem back in the seventies, and now it is closed, we have no cinema, no big theater, just a small one, not even coffee shops (except for 2 and they are really bad) ! we only have cafés everywhere that are dedicated for men only… Medenine is drowning, as Hazem said, Tunisia is centralized in the north, so most of the people will have to move (the case of us in Medenine) to the north, to have a better life.


well that’s the time for open cinema like the one in Himalaya :wink:

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I remember @giuseppecik and his enchantment with his organisation of students studying outside Matera, their hometown. Giuseppe, hope you are well and thriving! Do you have advice for Yosser? Anything you found helpful in launching activities locally and giving something valuable to your town? @Yosser, for reference Matera is a South Italian 60000 people town.

Oh and hi, good to meet you, loved the energy!

I would like to commend the following:

This is very, very useful analysis of the situation on the ground. Can maybe @nadia and @zmorda go see Yosser in Medenine?

@noemi: I just used the “invite to topic” feature of the platform for @giuseppecik. See if it works… you (and anyone) can find it at the end of the topic. It is an “Invite” button when viewing from a computer, an item of the “Topic control” menu on mobile.

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Hi :slight_smile: I am already discussing with yousser about the possibility of hosting one of the workshops that will be run in Tunisia, and so far it is going well :), we just need to make sure that there is an exciting community of social actors in the city . Yosser start to get in touch with some of NGOs and entrepreneurs there.


Hello! I have just checked what @giuseppecik is doing and it is so interesting, we share lots in common and I think we canlearn from each other !
@noemi thank you so much for the support and it is super nice meeting you <3

Do you have any space similar to your dream home in Tunis? If yes you might also want to learn from their experience. How do they keep the space sustainable. There are many ways to keep you space sustainable, first you need to identify your business legal form. Is it going to be an NGO, company, or cooperative? (…)
Collecting the community common vision / dream for the space will help in engaging people from the beginning. By community, I mean the large community for example, the local government in Medenine, NGOs who work with youth and employment, or NGOs in the area where you intend to buy the house, local business, the people, the elders and influential ppl, etc. Analise the dreams and ask again how you can all work together to materialize the set of dreams.
We can connect you in a later stage with people from Egypt who can give you some idea or tell you about different forms of coworking spaces and how they generated money. Also it’s good to know your countries development agenda (focus) and multinationals CSR programs related to culture and youth empowerment. Nice project good luck.

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Thank you for the notes! and yes I am currently lloking for such spaces in the Capital as I want to observe how they are working… as for generating money I am thinking about having a café, membership in the space, and making the brand of the space where we will work with women whom make artisanal products, and traditional food as well, also renting a meeting room in the space when needed… so far this is what I am thinking about! And I totally agree, we should work on this together as a community, after all the space belongs to them not to me
And Yes I would love to meet people who are working on such ideas in Egypt,that would be super helpful! Thank you :slight_smile:


I worked in a Fair Trade company. Do you have Fair Trade products in Tunis? Palestinians, manage to export crafts, olive oil and date through Fair Trade. If I found that interesting article I will share it with you. Yes, I can connect you online and physically if you ever pass by Egypt.


I may suggest you no cafe or an anti-cafe (price based on the duration of the stay, not the consumption) to avoid transformation of this place is regular cafe or trendy cafe (which is wayyy worst). And NO-SMOKING. It’s very rare in Tunis so I’m sure it will be popular and attract people more focused on working that lazing around.

If you do in Tunis, South Tunis or Central Tunis (near Barcelone Train Station) is the better place cause of its closer to the rest of the country, to popular area, cheaper, and more socially mixed.

There is a lot of closed boutique/cafe that could be rent or buy for almost nothing (compared to other place pricing offcourse)

About fair trade, you should definitely look for it since there is a real demand for traditional product adapted to modern taste and not pale industrial copy. Other type of service like renting meeting room, temporary restaurant (one dish once a week, it’s very trendy) and so on…


I see, the space will be made in Medenine, so the café idea si here because we don’t have a lot of coffee shops in Medenine, so I thought of havaing a space that will include everything, a small café not a fancy one though, I thought of the anti café but I am not sure whether it can work in Medenine, as it nothing like Tunis the capital… and Yes the fair trade is something that I am going to focus on a lot, as you said there is ealdemand for it, and there are some herbs and products that are known well in Medenine, so we may be promoting them


I will look more about the fair trade in Tunisia, but we do export the olive oil, dates as well with tsome tunisian products such as Harissa, Chamia… I will make more researches about it and thank you so much and I will be waiting for the article

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