As Tunisians take a battering, ram fighting is their escape

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As Tunisians take a battering, ram fighting is their escape

Amid lack of jobs, high prices and deteriorating state services, ‘this lets us get away from our cares’, says ram owner

Angus McDowall

The rams stamped in the dust and charged, butting horns with a crash that drew roars from the crowd on a dusty waste ground near the Old City of Tunis, where young men on the margins of society rear animals to fight.

The rams were raised by two groups of men in the city’s Bab Souika district who said the sport gave them a connection to their neighbourhoods and history, and an escape from unemployment, dreams of migration and Covid-19 restrictions.

In the vaulted cellar down a cobbled alley where they keep their ram, one group said few of them had jobs and that the 2011 revolution that brought democracy to Tunisia had not changed their lives...

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