Tunisia was once a tourist paradise. But the arrival of relatively wealthy people, mostly from Europe, has given way to the departure of relatively poor people, mainly from Africa. We examine the changing dynamics of Tunisia in this six-part series.

A capsised ship that originated from Libya and which according to the United Nations refugee agency was transporting an estimated 850 refugees, lies on a sandbar 35 kilometres (22 miles) north of the Tunisian islands of Kerkennah, Saturday, June 4, 2011.
A capsised ship that originated from Libya and which according to the United Nations refugee agency was transporting an estimated 850 refugees, lies on a sandbar 35 kilometres (22 miles) north of the Tunisian islands of Kerkennah, Saturday, June 4, 2011. (AP Archive)

The sea has always been kind to the people of Kerkennah Island.

For generations, Tunisian fishermen have made a good living there. However, now they're seeing boats carrying a very different type of cargo.

Rising unemployment and record low wages are creating a sense of hopelessness in Tunisia. In 2016  about 1,200 Tunisian migrants reached Italy by boat.

Last year that number leapt five-fold‚ exceeding 6,100. In the first half of this year alone, more than 3,000 Tunisians had made the journey.  But not every crossing is successful.

The story of the fisherman of Kerkennah begins this six-part report on Tunisia from TRT World’s Melinda Nucifora.

 Unemployment driving illegal migration to Italy

Tunisia is grappling with a wave of immigration. Rising unemployment and record low wages are driving thousands of Tunisians to seek illegal passage to Italy.  In the past year, the number of migrants has risen five-fold.

In the following story, we meet two men making money out of this dangerous journey.

Tourists return three years after terror attack

A Tunisian gunman opened fire on a beach full of holidaymakers in Sousse in June 2015. Thirty-eight people were killed, 30 of them British tourists.

The Tunisian government says the following downturn in business cost the country $4 billion.

However, that is changing, and the tourists are coming back. The country's tourism board says arrivals could hit a record high of eight million this year.

This story looks at the revival of an industry that is key for Tunisia.

Survey shows corruption even more widespread

Tunisians call corruption their country's cancer and it infiltrates every aspect of their lives.

Everything from electrical goods to fuel and food is smuggled into the country illegally, and then bought and sold "off the books."

Widespread corruption was one factor that led to Tunisia's 2011 revolution. but independent surveys have found Tunisians consider the situation worse now.

Under the old regime, corruption was concentrated at the top, but since then, it has filtered down into every level of society.

Daesh militants returning home to Tunisia

As Daesh loses ground in Iraq and Syria and Iraq thousands of the terror group's foreign combatants are abandoning the fight and returning home. 

Authorities estimate almost a thousand Tunisian militants have managed to re-enter the country undetected.

Raising security concerns about reintegration, as well as security. 

Victims await justice

For more than 60 years, Tunisia’s leaders have been accused of serious human rights violations — including murder, torture and illegal imprisonment. 

After the 2011 revolution, a commission was established to investigate alleged crimes. 

But many victims fear the current government is preventing the truth from being exposed.