Tunis - The World Social Forum of 2015 was held in Tunisia from March 24th through March 28th. The theme of the event differed greatly from the event held in 2013, which was considered to be of a “revolutionary” theme. This year, the World Social Forum focused on the idea of “no to terrorism.”
Tunis – The World Social Forum of 2015 was held in Tunisia from March 24th through March 28th. The theme of the event differed greatly from the event held in 2013, which was considered to be of a “revolutionary” theme. This year, the World Social Forum focused on the idea of “no to terrorism.”
Abderrahmane Hedhili stated in a press conference, held in Tunis last week, “March 18th, (the date of the Bardo Museum attack) was a turning point for us. After this tragedy, we have sought ways to maintain the mobilization of foreign organizations and to reassure participants. We’ve directed the activities towards fighting against terrorism.” Hedhili is the President of the Tunisian Forum of Economic and Social Rights (TFESR).
4,500 non-Tunisian associations participated in the World Social Forum (WSF) in 2015, in contrast to 6,000 in 2013. Among the activities, more than 1,200 were devoted to culture.
To denounce the attack at the Bardo Museum, Tunisians and foreigners mobilized to organize a series of cultural events. At the 31st Annual Book Fair in Tunis, held from March 27th to April 5th, the “old intellectuals” flocked to the book tents in Kram Place to discuss various issues, including terrorism. Youth presence was most notable at the Manar campus.
“Usually we organize one march. This time, the anti-globalization participants organized two marches in support of Tunisian and Palestinian people. The attack was pushing associations to participate more effectively in the Forum because their work is one of the responses to terrorism.” Hedhili stated. Foreign organizations responded to the March 18th attack by travelling to Tunisia. “This is a response to terrorists who want to make us afraid,” added Hedhili.
2,000 young people from 121 countries attended the forum in different roles, as volunteers and participants. “Terrorism affects us all. In both the forum and the march, I decided to participate in order to show our Tunisian friends that they are not alone in facing the terrorist threat. I also wanted to tell the world that we, the youth, are in solidarity,” said Drissa Traoré, a Tunisian-Malian student at the Institute of Journalism and Communication in Tunis.
Tens of thousands of participants at the World Social Forum, mostly young people who are active in NGOs, participated in the two international marches.
Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images