The World Affairs Councils of America based in Washington, D.C. is part of a national network of influential councils dedicated to educating and engaging the residents of our region in global issues. The Peace Symposium is an annual daylong conference featuring internationally recognized experts as well as local community leaders working to bridge differences, promote appreciation of diverse cultures and create peaceful societies in Central PA and beyond.
Board member Dr. Zied Mhirsi represented TAYP at the Peace Symposium this year and was its Keynote speaker at the World Affair Council of Harrisburg, an affiliation to the WACA. After interesting and enriching panels on Peace Movements under Siege and Prospects for Peace in the World’s Hottest Spots such as Ukraine, Iraq and Syria, Tunisia was featured as the positive story coming from a troubled region. Dr Mhirsi reminded the participants that Tunisia is where the Arab Spring began in 2011. He gave an overview on the events that followed the departure of former President Ben Ali and led to the adoption of a progressive constitution in 2014. The participants saluted some of the progressive features of this constitution such as the promotion of women’s rights, access to healthcare and the protection of the environment. Dr. Mhirsi has also explained the complex politics of the parliamentary and presidential elections and the necessity for Tunisia to mature into a functioning democracy that is able to address its people’s most urgent need.
TAYP is grateful to the Council’s president Joyce Davis for the kind invitation. This visit was also an opportunity to discuss the prospects for future collaboration between TAYP and the city of Harrisburg and the possibility of organizing an exchange program or a trade mission to Tunisia.