The beginning of the Review

IBLA Review was started in 1937. Back in 1928 while still in the first study centre, which was also called a “House of Studies”, brochures would be distributed to students to help them deepen their knowledge about the Tunisian milieu, the Arab culture and the Muslim religion. They contained tales, poems and proverbs, as well as conversations. They were all translated to French with introductions and glossaries.They formed two series: The Tunisian Papers and Tunisian Documents. The two dimensions of the IBLA became clear from the 1940s onwards: on one hand, trainings and studiesand on the other hand, relations and influence not only with Muslims, elite and masses, but also with the European Christian elite.

The preferred instrument became IBLA Review. It began as a simple newsletter between European sympathisers who wanted to know Tunisians. It was carefully read by colonists who wished to offer better employ opportunities their agricultural workers and some of whom played a part inCatholic Action movements. It sought to enlighten and bring together the Franco-Tunisian elites: understanding the people, providing guidance for deep relations and amendment of universal morality. The edition reached 2,500 copies in 1944. A parallel collection, Le Bled, is based mainly on dialectal Arabic.

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