Sfax, Capital of Arab Culture 2016

Tunisia will proudly bear the colors of Arab culture in July

June 15th, 2016

The city of Sfax just unveiled its promotion campaign for the festival of Arab culture it will host throughout July. The event's motto, 'Culture unites us, Sfax gathers us', is a call for peace and for increasing the importance of cultural diplomacy.

After Constantine last year in Algeria, Sfax will host in July the 60th edition of the famous festival of Arab culture. Around a hundred cultural events are planned for a total of 30 millions dinars. This huge sum will be used to build infrastructures like the electrification of the 'old Medina, the restoration of the school Hussaynide or the old caravanserai Fondouk el-Haddadine and the transformation of the church into a numeric library'.

A sports and culture and complex will also be built and more space will be devoted to art in the streets. 'The festival will not be limited to the city of Sfax but extended to the hinterland of the country', said Houda Kchaou, the main coordinator of the festival. This festival resonates with the Tunisian constitution which guarantees culture for all Tunisian people.

In spite of its status of second city of the country,Sfax have been ignored and isolated in the last years under Ben Ali's governance. The city have been abandoned, it has had no new infrastructure since the colonization, has a small harbor that works at 30% of its capacities and its roads are in a terrible state; investments there fall freely.

However, before it was abandoned, the city was flourishing with arts and culture. The event could bring tourists and investments back to this city.

The objectives of the festival are numerous. It aims to bring together the cultures of the Arab countries and restore Sfax's former prestige.


Cultural Diplomacy News
Julie Essertel, CD News