This page will probably remain a work-in-progress for some time.

Last week (March 26th, I believe) I noticed on a Duke University calendar that a young Tunisian blogger had started talking about 30 minutes before I looked at the calendar! A phone call to Duke got me an email with a link that allowed me to use my computer to watch the event, which went on for a couple of hours. Olfa spoke in very good French while a translator summarized for some of the people in the audience.

While she talked, I managed to discover her trances on twitter and send her a message. I was delighted a few hours later to get a phone call from her. We arranged for her and her South African colleague Xoli Molloi to visit on Saturday.

I’ve only had time to post some photos of Olfa and Xoli. I hope to fill in a bit more detail.

Olfa Riahi and Xoli Molloi at our house

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Visiting Chapel Hill and Carrboro

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Their first truly American meal at Allen & Son

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Olfa fait un succès fou à la Table Française!

Olfa gave us the best overview of post-revolutionary Tunisia that I have heard. I wish I’d recorded it. She got terrific questions, and her fans gathered around her after Maria rang the closing bell at 1:00.

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Olfa has so many Facebook friends that Facebook won’t let her have any more!


But you can become a follower and browse her Facebook page where she has posted an enormous number of photos of her visit to the US.

It is worth clicking through them, especially this photo, with written testimony to my linguistic abilities!

You should also look at this page, where Olfa posted some photos from her visit to our house. Pay special attention to the comments where one of my former students in Gafsa - from 1964! - recognized us!


Olfa’s visit made the news in Tunisia. It’s especially interesting to read the comments written by her fellow Tunisians.

And, of course, Olfa is a very serious blogger.

Olfa came to Duke with gifts

Tunisian journalist and activist Olfa Riahi will donate a signed copy of the new constitution of Tunisia and several books on Tunisian history, politics and revolution to the Duke University Libraries.

The libraries will accept the donation at a public event from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, in Room 218 of Perkins Library