Tunis’s inhabitants roll up their sleeves to spruce up crumbling medina
Modernisation of the city led to an exodus that left old town neglected and historic buildings falling apart
Tunis — Ali Boukkaa remembers when his cafe was the only one in the marketplace for traditional chechiya hats in the Tunis medina — a small, green wooden cabin catering to about 400 hatmakers, their apprentices and customers.
Fifty years on, only six hat masters remain in the area, Boukkaa said. His eatery has been joined by other cafes and restaurants that have set up in abandoned workshops, but they are all struggling for business, he added. “There are no regulars — we just have a few people that are here visiting, or students,” the 60-year-old cafe owner lamented...