The WAFAW program gave me the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in Tunisia in the past few weeks.

I had already, over the course of the 1980s, largely made Tunisia the core of my analytical matrix of the Islamist phenomenon. The Movement of the Islamic Tendency (MTI) was then taking its first steps on a political arena that Prime Minister Mohamed Mzali had, with the legalization of the Communist Party, just reopened to a very controlled pluralism.

Rashed Ghannouchi and François Burgat in TunisAmong others, I had a chance to interview President Moncef Marzouki, as well as Rashed Ghannouchi, founder of the MTI and of the Ennahda party, former Prime Minister of Ennahda’s government Hamadi Jabalil, and Khayam Turki, Deputy Secretary General of Ettakatol party.

I presented the frame and main issues of the WAFAW program to the Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain (IRMC), and gave two lectures, the first on the Syrian crisis at the Faculty of Humanities of Sousse, the second at the “Al Montada Djahedh”, in Tunis, on the current trends of Islamist movements.

These interviews are the first of many I intend to conduct on the Tunisian field, which I am happy to re-explore in depth today, as a contribution to the scientific work of the WAFAW team.