Abdulhamid bitterly speaks about her feelings of elimination and discrimination on many levels. She cannot find work and her race, she believes, is an obstacle. She does not understand foreigners' amazement when she tells them that she is a black Tunisian. "The Tunisian media obscures us and no political position is given to black Tunisians so how would the world know there are black people in Tunisia?" she wondered.
Abdulhamid is a member of 'Adam for Equality and Development' (AED), an activist group working against racial discrimination. Along with 'Our Dream,' AED joined trade unions and political parties along Avenue Bourguiba in downtown Tunis this past International Workers Day and raised slogans somewhat new to Tunisians: “No To Racism.”
'Wasif,' – a derogatory term white Tunisians use to refer to black Tunisians and (sub Saharan) Africans, which translates as 'slave' or 'servant'— is still used, Musbah said. She argued that Tunisians' ignorance about the term's origin allows the word’s continued use without any understanding about its offensive nature.
"Tunisian Black women often do not have a choice but to marry black men since they, even those with university degrees, are rejected by white families as possible wives for their sons," Musbah explained.
Social network users and human rights activists in Tunisia condemned another incident when African travelers received harsh and inhumane treatment after an African young man posted an article on his blog complaining how officers at Carthage Airport allegedly discriminated against him because of his race.
Activists say they spot racial discrimination on a daily basis. They stress that such practices exist in kindergartens, schools and even in taxis. Local authorities have not conducted any studies about racial discrimination in Tunisia and the constitutional draft does not include any articles that criminalize racial discrimination against Tunisians or foreigners.