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Tunisia cultural insights

The following cultural insights are intended to provide snapshots of the overall social and cultural norms as well as the workplace environment that a Canadian might face working in a specific country. The content in no way reflects official policy or opinions of the Government of Canada, Global Affairs Canada or the Centre for Intercultural Learning.

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Local and Canadian perspectives for the following subjects:

Conversations

Local perspective

When you meet someone for the first time and you would like to make a good impression tell him how much you like the country: the food, the cities, the culture. Tunisians are very curious, they will ask you a number of questions about your stay in Tunisia, about your work and Canada. If they have already been to Canada they will tell you about the places they visited.

Generally, discussion topics are sporting events, movies (latest film playing on the big screen), the weather, and international news. Tunisians often avoid talking about politics and sexually related topics. It is recommended that a foreigner not criticize the local politics of the host country or allude to the Middle Eastern conflict. Also, avoid making comparisons or talking about the origins of religion. These topics may offend certain Tunisians and should be avoided in order to not create a negative image or tension between the Canadian and the people around him. Tunisians do not want their hospitality to be rewarded by criticisms or distasteful jokes. They expect compliments or a word of thanks to show the foreigner’s satisfaction during his sojourn in Tunisia.

Canadian perspective

Talking about the host country is always a good choice for an initial discussion topic; however, avoid subjects that are too political and do not draw attention to negative impressions. Tunisians are proud of their country and their background. Talking about your country is also a good discussion topic. Tunisians travel a lot and it is not unusual for them to know a lot about different countries -- even if they have not visited your country it is likely that one of their friends or family members has already been there. The discussion will naturally lead to talking about similarities and differences of the two countries. Even if the family and children are core values, Tunisians do not go on at length about their family’s state of affairs; once you have brought up the topic, it is best to let the person with whom you are speaking guide the conversation. Do not force the matter if he/she changes the subject.

Work may also be another topic that you can broach (although not at first). Depending on the context, it is best to not dwell on the nature of junior employees’ jobs if their supervisors are present or if they know that you are in contact with their supervisors. It is preferable to let people take the initiative and not press them to talk about it in detail.

Avoid questions about the internal political situation in Tunisia. This is not to say that Tunisians do not have opinions about it, but that they keep them to themselves. It would be inappropriate to forward interpretations or judgements of the political system without intimately knowing the background. Furthermore, you should know the person to whom you are speaking very well before talking about Tunisian politics or any topics related to the Arab world. It is best to avoid talking about the overall regional context.

Tunisians see themselves as being somewhat distinct from the Arab world even though they maintain that they are part of it and believe in Arab solidarity. Tunisians are vocal about their support for Palestine and may want to talk a lot about the situation; however, it is recommended that, even if the person perseveres, you try to stick to general topics of conversation.

Subjects to be avoided: The United States and Muslim extremists. Neither is very popular. Tunisians are generally very tolerant.

Is it okay to show that you have a sense of humour? Absolutely! But, you should make the effort to learn about (and recognize) the Tunisian sense of humour. It is best to start with simple topics such as snow in Canada and the way Tunisians drive.

Communication styles

Local perspective

Tunisians are very warm, emotional, and expressive. Physical contact and gestures are commonly used to express feelings or to communicate. However, when they are with a stranger, they will stand a metre away from the person to whom they are speaking and will speak politely.

Eye contact greatly differs from one situation to another. In general, Tunisians avoid making eye contact when they are with older people or in a meeting with their bosses. This is interpreted as a sign of respect. This type of behaviour helps avoid the risk of being judged as a person who is wary of order or authority. At work, eye contact is sometimes made to show that you are listening and to also illustrate that you have correctly understood the topic of conversation.

In most situations, you should shake hands with men and women when meeting for the first time. Sometimes, men (women also) greet one another with two kisses, one on each cheek, especially if they have known each other for a long time. This general rule also applies to the professional world. Keep a certain distance when first meeting someone and avoid touching. The exchange of kisses between men and women largely depends on the level of familiarity between the two. You often must evaluate the situation before reacting.

Some gestures are generally considered impolite especially showing the extended middle finger, pointing your foot at something or belching. These gestures may be misinterpreted or considered to be offensive in certain cases.

Tunisia expects that foreigners coming from another society or culture will express themselves in a different manner. Indeed, you should behave naturally and have an open mind and not adopt a behaviour or attitude that could create tension or misunderstandings. Tunisians expect foreigners to be happy and have a good experience in Tunisia.

Canadian perspective

The general rule is to keep an arms length away when speaking to someone. This is particularly relevant when speaking to someone of the opposite sex.

Of course it is important to keep eye contact, but Tunisians hide their intentions well from others. Nevertheless, should they lower their eyes or avoid eye contact, do not take this to mean people are not trustworthy. This may simply mean that individuals are having problems talking about something that is difficult for them or that giving their opinions in the particular situation makes them uncomfortable. Even if, within the Arab context, Tunisian women are "quite liberated", Tunisian culture and social context dictate that, if a woman avoids meeting your eyes, as a foreigner, you should not try to make eye contact. This is even more pertinent if the woman is wearing a veil.

Touching when speaking to others is acceptable between people of the same gender, especially between two men. This is simply to show that they are in agreement with one another. It is also common to briefly hold hands or to see two people of the same sex hug each other.

At the beginning and end of a conversation people always shake hands. Tunisians do this instinctively as a way of initiating conversation. This custom may be followed even when someone brings water to people in a meeting; he may greet everyone and shake their hands prior to pouring the water.

Do not hesitate to take the initiative in shaking hands—it will be appreciated. You should follow this custom even when, for example, you have been pulled over by a policeman; before getting to other business he will insist on shaking your hand.

Display of emotion

Local perspective

Public displays of affection, anger or other emotions are not acceptable in public and especially not in the professional world. It is best keep your composure, to keep your cool make an effort to hold back. Indeed, being calm and diplomatic may help you avoid many unpleasant surprises or problems. This self-control is common in Tunisians’ daily life and may tell you a lot about their behaviour and lifestyle.

Canadian perspective

Tunisians are very emotional people. They tend to show surprise and even anger (particularly if another car hits theirs, which is something not all uncommon!!!).

It is not unusual to see two people of the same sex greet one another with a kiss on the cheek followed by a big hug. This is quite normal and is an acceptable gesture that indicates friendship. Children, teenagers, and young adults in particular will sometimes walk hand-in-hand or with their hands around the other person’s waist; this demonstrates friendship and nothing more.

Out of respect, Tunisians will refrain from such gestures with foreigners as they realize that customs are different in their societies. However, once a friendship has been established with a foreigner, Tunisians will likely forget about the difference in behaviour and will spontaneously kiss the person on the cheek when meeting.

There is little contact between people of the opposite sex. If you see two people of the opposite sex walking hand-in-hand or with one hand around the waist of the other they likely have a strong romantic bond or are married. People never kiss on the lips except perhaps in specific public places where there are also many foreigners (e.g., in a tourist area).

Dress, punctuality & formality

Local perspective

You should dress and behave properly at work. This means that you should arrive well dressed, on time, and use appropriate language. Each workplace has its own behavioural norms and dress code. People place a lot of importance on clothing, which can reflect personality and social standing among other things.

It is recommended that you use "Monsieur" (you can say ’Si’ as well) or "Madame" followed by the family name when speaking with a supervisor or director. Among colleagues, addressing one another by the informal form of you (’tu’) is often the norm. They call one another by their first names. Punctuality and reliability are expected and are important factors in employee evaluation and for the company to run smoothly. Employees are often allowed to arrive and leave the workplace after or before regular work hours providing the direct supervisor has agreed to it. If you are going to be absent, the human resource department should be notified as well as your direct supervisor.

If you are working on a specific project or you are preparing a given report, your superiors expect that it will be finished or handed in on the fixed deadline. It is possible that your supervisor might ask you to stay after regular hours or to come in on the weekend to work when it is justified.

Canadian perspective

Dress for work as you would in Canada, particularly if you are working with a private company. Men who work in administration should wear a jacket and tie. Women should wear dark, conservative clothing; it is recommended that they avoid dresses or skirts that are too tight, or short (that fall above the knee), or shirts that show off the necks too much!!!

It is essential that you be polite. Tunisians address one another informally (by using their first names or the informal form of "you") and often make no distinction between the formal ("vous") and informal ("tu"), the French words for "you". It is best to follow Canadian customs in this regard. Tunisians will address people by Mr. or Mrs. followed by either the person’s first or last name (but rarely will they use the two together).

People will be quick to remark that the Mediterranean pace of life is a good thing! However, it is very different from the North American lifestyle. It is the foreigner’s responsibility to deal with this difference since Tunisians will maintain their country’s pace of life. Punctuality is not essential and Tunisians are often late, but this does not offend others.

Being absent due to sickness is quite common. Productivity is not necessarily related to the level of observed "activity".

Preferred managerial qualities

Local perspective

The most highly regarded qualities in a Tunisian superior/manager involve a number of aspects ranging from expertise and skill in the area of activity in question to a good network of contacts in the economic and political worlds. Academic competency is often valued more than years of experience. However, for political reasons, some positions are awarded to people who are not in the field. In most Tunisian companies, decision-making is centralized so the majority of ideas or recommendations are delayed in being approved or implemented.

A superior or manager who comes from another country is very much respected by employees and clients. The people around him expect him to be competent, open, and available. Moreover, he should be interested in his staff’s needs and encourage teamwork and trust in his department. Speaking regularly with staff to understand their concerns and their motives helps the manager to take stock and evaluate the situation. The manager can know how his staff perceives him by maintaining direct relations and communicating clearly and precisely with the people around him.

Canadian perspective

I could not tell you if getting promoted based on work ethic means anything in Tunisia. Local managers will generally not be very successful if they are too totalitarian or authoritarian. Although many managers display these characteristics and this creates high turnover in personnel.

If the manager is an expatriate, he will first and foremost be evaluated and respected for his "technical" skills. However, in order to perform well you should act in accordance with the required objectives, but keep in mind that staff is not always highly motivated.

It is difficult to know how staff perceive the expatriate manager. Tunisians will rarely straightforwardly say how they view their managers; they may not even dare to speak to them and prefer to go through an intermediary! More often than not, they will politely say that everything is fine and that they appreciate the manager’s presence. This is only a show. The degree of cooperation and employee productivity can help the director to evaluate how things are going.

Hierarchy and decision-making

Local perspective

Decisions about the way the company is run are made by managers or department heads. Regarding strategic decisions, it is the board of directors who approves them. Note that there is a certain amount of bureaucracy and that people considerably influence decision making in Tunisian companies.

Ideas generated by staff are more likely to materialize. Nevertheless, they must be supported by the manager or department head and translate into an increase in value for the company. Often it takes a lot of time for these ideas to become a reality.

It is recommendable to consult your immediate supervisor before making a decision that could prove to be not very pertinent or that could have serious internal or external repercussions. Your supervisor may find that this decision is not appropriate. If you have questions or queries about rather specific topics, even personal ones, it is suitable to speak with your supervisor.

Canadian perspective

Even the simplest decisions are often made by those at the top. Tunisians do not often delegate and junior employees stay in the shadows. Ideas are expressed in the same way—from the top down. However, this does not mean that junior employees always follow the decisions that have been made.

Is it acceptable to go to my immediate supervisor for answers or feedback? An expatriate should proceed with caution. Consulting your supervisor is often seen as a sign of weakness particularly if he/she is based in your home country. Tunisians are bold, but they expect an expatriate to be competent, independent, and have the answers for everything! The expat is the EXPERT and should prove his/her skills.

Is it correct to let others know that I will consult my supervisor later? It depends on who your supervisor is. You should only seek advice from him/her under dire circumstances and if you know that your supervisor will support your opinion. Otherwise, you may lose your credibility as an expert.

Religion, class, ethnicity, & gender

Local perspective

Tunisians’ attitudes about certain subjects vary widely. It should be noted that those attitudes stem from a general tendency observed in Tunisian society:

Gender

The principle of gender equality in terms of citizenship and according to law is declared in Tunisian constitutional and legislative documents. Women participate in political and social life and they have the same opportunity as men to enter the workforce.

Religion

Religion is very important in society. People are tolerant and expect that foreigners will respect their religion (Islam). Foreigners are free to practise their religions. A certain percentage of the Tunisian population does not practise religion.

Class

The majority (75%) of the population belongs to the middle class. Recently, the emergence of a wealthy class and an increase in poverty has been noticed. The concept of the family is a stronghold in a society like Tunisia’s that is based on assistance and solidarity.

Ethnicity

In Tunisia tolerance is taken for granted. No matter the ethnic origin, living with another ethnicity is something that exists and is possible.

Canadian perspective

Gender

Gender equality is entrenched in the Tunisian constitution. Now all that remains is for it to be adopted into the culture. Nevertheless, there are many businesswomen and women executives in administrative positions. As in many other countries, the higher up you go in the hierarchy the fewer women there are.

Religion

The majority of Tunisians are of the Islamic faith, which is the official religion. However, Tunisians are generally non-practising Muslims even if they are believers. Proselytizing is forbidden, but Tunisians are very open-minded and tolerant of other foreign religions.

Class and ethnicity

It is more a question of clan and family than of class although it cannot be denied that classes do exist. "Networking" is often the operative system.

Relationship-building

Local perspective

Interpersonal relations with a colleague or a client are very important in Tunisia, especially if you are going to maintain lasting business or work relations. You often need to ask the people around you how the responsibilities are divided within the company and identify the resource people who possess the right information. The relationship is created after a mutual demonstration of willingness to exchange information or to help one another to implement a project.

Canadian perspective

Everything depends on the circumstances and who is asking whom. If a Canadian businessman wants to create business relations or enter the Tunisian market, he should follow the same rituals that are practised in Tunisia.

However, if it is a Tunisian who is seeking aid or cooperation, it is somewhat of a different story! Establishing a personal relationship is still important, but it takes on a secondary rather than primary role. Nevertheless, the Canadian should show sincere interest in the development of the business of the person who is asking for help.

Privileges and favouritism

Local perspective

As a result of your relationship or friendship with a colleague or employee, you should expect that he will ask you for special privileges. These situations are very common in the workplace and in certain cases you may find yourself in a delicate situation. They may even cause you problems. The best way to get out of it is to involve another person in the decision-making process or to send the person asking for the favour to another resource person.

Examples: Someone who wants a raise: the best way is to involve his direct supervisor who evaluates his performance as well as human resources. Someone who wants to hire a relative: send the person asking about it to human resources while assuring him that the skills of the candidate will be evaluated in a fair way.

Preferred treatment or even privileges should be given to a colleague or an employee who would like to hire a handicapped family member.

Canadian perspective

Interpersonal relations, networks, family and the privileges associated with them are entrenched in Tunisian society. It is clear that one good deed deserves another. It may be less obvious for a foreigner than for a Tunisian, but offering a favour may very well imply that you are willing to reciprocate favours.

Conflicts in the workplace

Local perspective

In general, when you have a work-related problem with a colleague, you should confront him directly in private and try to resolve the differences reasonably. It is advisable to treat the problem as soon as it arises and to not wait until it is grows or spreads to other people or departments.

If one of your colleagues seems to be offended or if he has something to criticize you about, you will notice a change in his behaviour and attitude. Taking the initiative to apologize for yourself or explaining your position is very much appreciated and may save you useless confrontations or inappropriate comments.

Canadian perspective

I do not know if the idea of confronting someone directly is even a possibility. You should certainly not do it publicly and only do it in private as a last resort. It is best to try and keep the peace. People prefer it if you try to tackle the subject by expressing things that need to be done and by giving examples.

It is rather difficult to know if a colleague is having problems with you or is offended by something you have done. Usually you will know by observing what he/she is not—or no longer—doing. For example: Are you still invited out? Does he/she still ask for your advice? Will he/she accept your invitation even if it is just to go for a coffee? Does he/she return your calls quickly? HOWEVER, the fact that he/she has adopted this kind of attitude does not necessarily mean that you have offended the person, but rather that he/she is following his/her superior’s order to not get too involved, even on a very innocuous level (e.g. having a coffee together), until a decision has been made about a project. Therefore, everything depends on the contact and the subtle actions you observe.

Motivating local colleagues

Local perspective

The main motivations for employees at work are good working conditions and money. Performance is strongly linked to these factors and significantly increases when the company ensures continued training and quality supervision for its employees. This type of commitment on the part of the company is very much appreciated by the employees who give their best. Professional satisfaction is a very important element, but is often relegated to second place. Moreover, the mere fact of having a job is considered a significant achievement in a Tunisian’s life (the unemployment rate is rather high; there is no social assistance or employment insurance).

Canadian perspective

They would be the same factors that motivate Canadians.

Recommended books, films & foods

Local perspective

To learn more about the Tunisian society and culture you can:

Listen to music

Many Tunisian singers are known abroad especially in Arabic countries. These include for example: Anouwar Brahim, Lotfi Bouchnak, Latifa Arfawi, Hedi Jouini, Saliha, etc. To get to know traditional Tunisian music you can listen to Mizoued, the equivalent of hard rock. Certain names stand out in this genre of music such as Mohamed El Rouj, Fatma Boussah, Lotfi Jormana, etc. The site www.tunisic.com gives you a mix of Tunisian songs as well as some video clips. Also, you can visit the site www.tunisie.mac125.com and discover some of the most popular Tunisian and Arabic songs.

Read books

Most books are in Arabic. However, there are some books that are translated into or written in French that are interesting. I would suggest the following books: Ibn Khaldoun, ’Al Moukadama’ (the introduction - Sociology; Tahar Haddad, ’Imraatouna fi chariaa wa moujtama’ (Women, Law and Society) - Rights and roles of women in society; Mahmoud Mesaidi, ’Al soud’ (The Dam) - Philosophy; and Abou Kacem Chabbi, ’Diwan al Hayatt’ (Life’s Collection) - Poems.

Watch films

Halfaouine, Un été à la goulette, Le silence des palais, Sultan et Medina.

Watch television shows

Al mindhar, Sunday sports, cultural shows.

Read newspapers and magazines

La presse, l’économiste, Jeune Afrique.

The most useful websites

www.tunisie.com. - This is a source of general information about Tunisia and its history, art and culture, media, tourism, etc; www.tunisie.mac125.com - This site has many interesting sections about Tunisia’s society and culture; www.itfarhad.com - Itfarhad (enjoy yourself) is a free website that is updated daily and is devoted to culture, leisure activities, and providing services; www.tunisiatv.com - Live and taped national television broadcasts; www.tn.refer.org - This site explains different facets of Tunisia: including education, research, economy, media-press, culture, daily life, and cooperation in Tunisia; and www.touristie-guide.com - A guided tour and links to hotel, restaurant, and travel agency websites (in French and English).

Canadian perspective

Food

There is an excellent book about Tunisian cuisine which has been praised by critics called "Délices de Tunisie" (ISBN 2-84308-357-5). It includes the best recipes for Tunisian dishes as prepared by the finest Tunisian chefs. The advantage is that it gives an idea of the country’s traditional dishes, but the drawback is that the book has adapted the recipes to the particular chef’s own taste which is not necessarily how people generally eat the dishes.

Also visit the website of the National Tourist Office: www.tunisie.com.

In-country activities

Local perspective

See the sites

Sidi Bousaid (countryside and architecture), Carthage (Roman ruins and museum), Tunis (Medina and the lake front), Bardo (museum: collection of mosaics), Hammamet (downtown and tourist areas), El jem (Roman amphitheatre), Nabeul (pottery), Matmata (cave dwellings), Sousse (el Kantaoui port, the catacombs and the large mosque), Kairouan (the large mosque and the Aghlabite reservoirs), Djerba Island (beach, downtown and Gribha synagogue), Tabarka (diving, landscapes and coral), Menzil Bourguiba (Ichkeul lake & national park), Tozeur/Nefta/Kebili/Douz (Sahara, oasis, dar chrait museum), and Gafsa (red lizard & train).

Discover tunisian food

Couscous is Tunisia’s traditional dish. It may be prepared with lamb, chicken or fish. Besides couscous, there are other dishes such as tagine, faftaji, lablabi, Tunisian salad, mechouia salad, Tunisian dish. I recommend mechouia salad and lamb couscous with fermented milk (leben). It should also be noted that fish and seafood are often included in a number of Tunisian meals. Other dishes brik, chorba, lettuce salad, M’loukhiya, lablabi. Pastries: baclava, chamiya, makroudh, caak anbar. Fruit (depending on the season): oranges, mandarins, dates, apples, peaches, plums, figs, strawberries, apricots. The following restaurants are highly recommended: Dar el jild (Medina/Tunis), Un boeuf sur le toit (Soukra/Tunis) and Le pirate (new port/Monastir).

Most cultural activities in Tunisia are in Arabic. However, some festivals or other events that feature artists from different cultures are held in French or English. It is advisable to attend cultural activities even if they are in Arabic since you will discover a new culture and get to know Tunisian artists. The Department of Culture publishes a complete list of Tunisian festivals categorized by field of interest. As well, local theatre in Tunis has performances of excellent quality. Find out more about it and reserve your seat in advance.

The major sporting events that receive the most media coverage in Tunisia are soccer, handball, volleyball, and basketball games. To learn more about these sporting events, watch Dimanche sportive on Sunday evenings. Channel 7 and Channel 21 (for youth) also have interesting shows. To listen to news or French music on the radio, tune in to RTCI (FM 98).

In Tunisia, there are a number of cafés where people meet for a coffee or to play cards, talk, or smoke a hookah pipe. It is recommendable for foreigners go to cafés in the tourist areas (La Marsa, Sidi Bousaid, Les Berges du lac, El Manar, or La Goulette, for example). The National Tourism Bureau has offices throughout the country and can help you find information on cultural events, brochures, or places to visit.

Canadian perspective

Films

"Summer in La Goulette" is often cited at a film that you must see, but may not be really Tunisian.

Television shows

Channel 7 is the national station, but Tunisians watch Italian or French TV as well as the 24-hour Arab news station.

Places to visit

Tunis’ "Médina", the northern suburbs of Tunis, archaeological sites (such as El Gem, etc), Jerba; in short, all the tourist areas.

National heroes

Local perspective

National heroes in Tunisia include:

The president of the Republic: Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali; Soccer players: Chorki El ouer, etc; Singers: Lotfi Bouchnak, etc and Comedians: Lamine Nahdi, etc. These people are considered to be heroes because they have assisted the community. Society as a whole, values their contributions and accomplishments in their areas of specialization.

Canadian perspective

There are many heroes, beginning perhaps with Hannibal (approximately 200 BC) and including, most recently, Bourguiba (1990). Any history book about Tunisia or tourist guidebooks will provide you with this information.

Shared historical events with Canada

Local perspective

There are no shared historical events between Tunisia and Canada that could affect work or social relations. Canadians have a good reputation in Tunisia and are considered to be honest, polite, and open-minded people.

Canadian perspective

To my knowledge, there are no shared historical events. Avoid making a simple comparison between the French colonialization of Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French colonialization of Tunisia over the past century. First of all, they occurred at different periods in time and, secondly, Tunisians were colonial subjects while French Canadians are often the direct descendants of the French colonists. The outlook is, therefore, extremely different.

However, there are "common" world events that may be seen in very differently ways. It is best to tackle these subjects with care, particularly the interpretation of the events of "September 11th".

Moreover, history holds different meanings in the eyes of Tunisians and Canadians. For a Tunisian, history spans over thousands of years; Canadian history is only a few hundred years old. "Old Quebec" is actually very new when compared to Tunisia’s "Médina".

Stereotypes

Local perspective

Stereotypes that Canadians have about the local culture that might be harmful to effective relations can relate to:

  • Country: certain Canadians think that Tunisia is mostly made up of the Sahara desert and is economically or socially underdeveloped.
  • Way of life: some Canadians believe that most women wear veils and that using a camel is the common form of transportation and that Tunisians do not have modern technology such as cell phones or Internet
  • Behaviour: some Canadians presume that women in Tunisia do not have rights or freedoms and that human rights are not valued.

With access to more information and better literature about Tunisia (by reading books, visiting Tunisian websites, and meeting Tunisians who live in Canada) you can eliminate existing stereotypes. However, actually visiting Tunisia will give you clear and realistic idea of Tunisian culture and society.

Canadian perspective

I do not believe that there are any stereotypes about the Tunisian culture. However, there are "regional" stereotypes. At all costs, avoid making generalizations about Tunisians being Arabs. Tunisians like to differentiate themselves and often they will highlight the fact that they are of Arab background as well as Berber, Phoenician, etc.

About the cultural interpreters

Local interpreter

Your cultural interpreter, the youngest of three children, was born in Tunisia. He grew up in the city, in Tunis (the capital of Tunisia) and obtained an Advanced Business Diploma at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (I.H.E.C.) in Carthage. During his studies, as the person in charge of internships and former members of the International Association of Students in Economics and Business (AIESEC – HEC), he welcomed, accompanied, and assisted interns from abroad during their stay in Tunisia. His studies took him to Canada for the first time where he completed his Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Since then, he has immigrated to Canada and has been living in Montreal for four years and he works in Finance.

Canadian interpreter

Your cultural interpreter was born in Sherbrooke, Canada, and was the seventh of 13 children. He grew up in a rural area and completed a combined Mathematics and Computer Science degree at the Université de Sherbrooke. Subsequently, he worked in Tunisia as a Coordinator for a CIDA Private Sector Development Fund program. He is divorced and has two children.

Related information

Disclaimer

Intercultural Issues are intended to provide snapshots of the overall social and cultural norms as well as the workplace environment that a Canadian might face working in a specific country. For each country, two perspectives are provided: one by a Canadian and the other by a person born in the selected country. By comparing the "local point of view" with the "Canadian point of view", you will begin to form a picture of that country's culture. We encourage you to continue your research using a variety of other sources and to use Triangulation as an evaluation process. Although cultural informants were asked to draw on as broad a base of experience as possible in formulating their answers, these should be understood as one perspective that reflects the particular context and life experiences of that person; they are not intended to be a comment on any particular group or society.

You may disagree with or object to the content of some responses. This is to be expected given the complexity of the subject and the problems associated with speaking generally about an entire country and its people. We would encourage you to share your experiences; your contributions will help to make Country Insights a richer environment for learning.

The content of Country Insights in no way reflects official policy or opinions of the Government of Canada, Global Affairs Canada or the Centre for Intercultural Learning.

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