RESMYLE in Tunisia or how to find the lost Hammamet through solidarity between young Mediterranean people


There was a large crowd on Sunday morning, 21 November 2021, at Dar Sebastian, a crowd that came especially to attend the closing ceremony of the international field training workshop organised by the Association of Environmental Education of Hammamet (AERE) on the design of a discovery trail of the International Cultural Centre of Hammamet (CCIH).

After brief speeches by the president of AERE, Kadhem Mankai, the secretary general, Salem Sahli and the workshop leader, Emna Charfi, the young actors of the workshop - 9 tunisians and 3 jordanians - presented the results they reached after 2 weeks of investigations, documentation, meetings with resource persons, field visits, reflection, exchange and elaboration of scenarios for the development of the discovery trail within the Dar Sebastian domain which covers an area of 9 hectares.

In front of a packed room and a captivated audience, the young volunteers dissected the chosen circuit with its different landscape, architectural, historical, cultural and artistic stations.

The development choices made meet a triple objective:

1- To respect the spirit and authenticity of the place;
2- To put forward proposals to enhance the different areas of the centre
3- To encourage the discovery of the natural, cultural and heritage resources of the site.

The history of the CCIH, George Sebastian, Dar el Kbira, the Marabout, the open-air theatre, the Roman remains, the sculptures, the Hammamet International Festival, Porter Woodruff, the orange grove eco-museum, the site's birdlife, the gardens and the various landscaped environments... are all elements which, if properly developed, constitute a treat for the visitor to the centre, an opportunity to learn about the environment and a chance to enrich and diversify the tourist product in Hammamet. Moreover, the young people have produced several educational aids, including some twenty QR codes which they have installed along the circuit and which contain information on the various selected resorts.

At the end of the presentation, the participants were applauded and did not hide their emotion and pride in having contributed to the environmental and eco-tourism development of the prestigious Dar Sebastian estate.

Indeed, in the room, listening to them and browsing through their exhibition, we had the impression of rediscovering the buried treasures of this Centre and that it was enough to follow the recommendations of this workshop for it to open up to new audiences and new generations, to revive its vocation as a cultural, natural and architectural heritage, and this, for the greatest happiness of the inhabitants, visitors and tourists passing through Hammamet.

Sunday 21 November was the time for the young volunteers to go their separate ways. And however painful it may be, it will of course be mitigated by the strong feeling of having lived this beautiful adventure together, of having forged bonds of friendship, of having acquired professional and personal skills that will favour their future social integration and, above all, of having given MEANING to the notion of solidarity between young Mediterranean people. And if they had to do it again, they would all go for it!

This workshop was organised by the Hammamet Association for Environmental Education (AERE). It is part of the RESMYLE project - Rethinking Employment and Social Integration of Mediterranean Youth through Sustainable Development, supported by the ENI CBC MED programme of the European Union.