Tunisians strangled by inflation and scarcity

In one year, food prices have risen by 8.7% and the middle classes are now struggling to shop.


Nothing sets this small restaurant apart from the others in the popular Bab Souika neighborhood on the edge of Tunis’ medina except the crowds. At 6:50 pm – five minutes before Iftar (breaking the fast) – this Sunday evening, the hall open to the street is almost full. And for good reason: the meal is free. Those “Tables of the Merciful”, organized by associations, they settle in closed restaurants during this holiday period to offer food to the needy.

Looking tired, Mohamed (name has been changed) patiently waits for his bowl of soup: “I come here several times a week. It allows me to eat meat that has become too expensive for my worker’s salary. But also to see people. Dates and a glass of milk at the end of the fast, then chorba (traditional soup), chicken jelbana (a kind of stew), Fatma’s fingers (briquettes topped with mashed potatoes) with salad: the menu is simple but consistent. After asking …

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