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Tunisia racism: 'I lost the will to leave my home'

By Abdirahim Saeed

BBC News Arabic

According to a survey commissioned by BBC Arabic, 80% of Tunisians believe that racial discrimination is a problem in their country - the highest figure in the Middle East and North Africa region. With black people making up 10-15% of the Tunisian population, there are fears the fight against racial discrimination is now at a standstill after the suspension of parliament, the country's first black female MP has told the BBC.

Lassad Karim loved his job and had spent 12 years at the same company, until he said he faced racism at the hands of a new manager.

"We were having a discussion when out of the blue she insulted me," he told the BBC.

Mr Karim accuses the manger of using a term commonly used to demean black people as servants: "This is not an acceptable word, it's hurtful."

"I was in shock. Why? What am I guilty of? What did I do? I was broken."

It shook his self-esteem, even to this day.

"I loved being out and about. Now I've lost the will to go anywhere beyond my front door," he told the BBC.


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