This month, presenter Hala Gorani travels to the capital of Tunisia, Tunis, to host November’s edition of ‘Inside the Middle East’. The programme takes an in-depth look at how Jewish and Muslim communities in Tunisia interact more peacefully than in the rest of the region, visits an ancient architectural wonder that has become a tourist site and attends the regional première of the first Saudi Arabian feature film.
Roger Bismuth is the only Jewish legislator in the Arab world. He is a Tunisian parliamentarian who grew up alongside Muslims he considered his family. He started out digging ditches for a construction company, aged 13, and worked his way up to become a highly successful entrepreneur, and now owns one of Tunisia’s largest conglomerates. Gorani profiles the life and legacy of a man who is highly successful in the business world, but who most cherishes his friendships, his family and the close, peaceful ties that Tunisia maintains between its Jewish and Muslim people.
‘Inside the Middle East’ also goes to the première of ‘Keif El Hal?’ (How’s it Going?) – the first feature film from a country where public cinemas are banned. The film itself explores a range of sensitive social issues, such as women’s rights and the political struggle between moderates and fundamentalists. Produced by Saudi Prince Walid Bin Talal’s media empire Rotana, this is seen as one of the first steps on the road to establishing a Saudi film industry.
A port built by King Herod of Judea, which sank into the sea off the Israeli coast 2000 years ago, has become a modern day tourist attraction, and ‘Inside the Middle East’ correspondent Ben Wederman takes a dive into the harbour to give viewers a guided tour. The dive unveils the fascinating architectural work of the ancient Roman world and the shipwrecked boats that litter this remarkable underwater museum.
Hala Gorani also travels to Matmata in Tunisia, to see caves lived in by locals, and which featured in the original Star Wars films.
‘Inside The Middle East’ hosted by Hala Gorani, can be seen on Saturday 4th November at1930 GMT / 2030 CET.