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About

Our Mission

Our Vision and Mission

Building on an ancient friendship between Britain and Tunisia, developing a brighter future

The aims of the Society are:

  • Further friendly relations and understanding between the people of Tunisia and United Kingdom.

  • Connect people with a common interest or connection with the UK and Tunisia.

  • Preserve the centuries-long tradition of close relations between the UK and Tunisia.

  • Propagate knowledge of Tunisia and the United Kingdom and vice versa – to all those interested.

Our History

Our History: the British Tunisian Society

1662

Britain’s relationship with Tunisia goes back to 1662 when a treaty was signed with Charles II under which Britain was given a site, at the entrance to the Medina in Tunis, on which to erect a Consulate. Britain used this site, for its Consulate General and, later, Embassy, until 2004 when it opened its new Embassy at Berges du Lac. 

This long and warm relationship  is commemorated by the plaque placed on the former Embassy building by the British Tunisian Society in 2004.

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1855

What had been essentially a commercial relationship grew stronger in the mid-19th Century due largely to the influence of the dynamic British Consul-General Sir Richard Wood, who persuaded the Bey to grant the initial building, land and financial grant to construct today’s beautiful and historic Residence in La Marsa, near Carthage.

Image: Mayer, Lieron; Sir Richard Wood (1806-1900), Consul-General to Tunisia (1855-1879). Source: Government Art Collection

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1881  - 1956

Tunisia was a French Protectorate from 1881 to 1956, but from 1942 to 1943 was the scene of the culmination of the war in North Africa, involving thousands of British and allied troops, and the final surrender of Axis forces in May 1943, following which General Alexander set up his HQ at the then British Consulate in La Marsa

Image: Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis

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1963

Lord Alexander developed a deep affection for Tunisia and in 1963, he played a major part in establishing the British Tunisian Society (BTS), whose first Chairman was Lord Listowel, former Cabinet member and Governor-General of Ghana.

Image: William Francis Hare, 5th Earl of Listowel

by Walter Bird, bromide print, 15 October 1962, ©National Portrait Gallery

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1963 - now

For the next 45 years the BTS worked to spread greater knowledge of Tunisia in Britain and closer cultural ties in a broad field including archaeology, architecture, natural history and music, as well as promoting closer links in trade and education and tourism. In 2018 it was decided to re-found the BTS in order to continue, and build on, the achievements and values of the BTS over its first 45 years.

Honorary Members

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Nabil Ben Khedher

HE The Tunisian Ambassador and President of the BTS

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Lord Jeremy Purvis

Honorary Patron of
the BTS

Committee members

Committee Members

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Robert Ness

Chair

Former official with the British Council, strongly committed to cultural relations. Director in Tunisia for six years, to 2022. Previously in Hong Kong, Colombia, Portugal, South Africa, Cyprus, Oman, Brazil, Austria.

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Professor Charles Tripp

Political and Academic Links

Vice-President of the British Academy for the British International Research Institutes; Professor Emeritus of Politics, SOAS University of London.

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Claire Belhassine

Cultural Events

A British - Tunisian filmmaker based in London. She directed and produced the feature documentary ‘Papa Hedi - The Man Behind the Microphone’ released 2017, the first UK/Tunisian co-production. Her role within the BTS is to build cultural bridges across the film and creative industries. 

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Amine Braikia

Committee Member

Actuary and Vice President at a reinsurance group, in charge of Middle East and Africa. A committee-member at several charities. He is also an abstract painter and Essayist.

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Wafa Zaiane

Secretary & Facebook Lead

TV newsreader, program presenter and field reporter working for BBC World Service (Arabic Department) since 2003, covering different areas of Middle East and North Africa current affairs.

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Nour Zarrouk

Tunisian Embassy Representative

Counsellor, Tunisian Embassy in London

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Nozha Karmous

Website & Communications

Tunisian banker in London, passionate about traditional arabic music, translating talks for TEDX and farming in northern Tunisia. Within BTS, she focuses on the website and community membership.

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Salima Mhiri

Committee Member

Salima works in the investment banking sector. She likes hiking and discovering new places and cultures.

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Haythem Dachraoui

Treasurer

A Senior Broker at Lloyd’s of London specialised in Aviation & Energy Insurance; he is also a Business Producer and Account Executive for North Africa and Francophone Africa.

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Ann Wyman

Committee Representative
in Tunisia

Ann Wyman is a Senior Partner at AfricInvest and Senior Advisor at Gatehouse Advisory Partners. Also Board member, of Tunisian American Enterprise Fund and American Cooperative School of Tunis.  

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Narjess Hachena

Committee Member

Narjess worked in three continents. Experienced in international development, project management, policy support and education. Committed to dialogue and intercultural communication. Embraces innovation for more prosperous societies, economies and our planet.

Image by JR Harris

Join Us

Support and sustain the British Tunisian Society in fulfilling its vision and mission to build on ancient friendship, develop a brighter future.

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