With her laid-back attitude, angelic face and Jasmine revolution experience, Deena Abdelwahed carves a perfect image of a modern, forward-looking Tunisia. She will also make you dance.
"I like to mix dance music that comes from the working classes. It is much more sincere. It appeals to everyone, not just the wealthy who can afford drinks in clubs," Abdelwahed said in an interview with Le Monde"s Nassira El Cherqui from Nefta in central Tunisia — on a break from the Dunes Electroniques festival where the 25-year-old DJ was playing.
Abdelwahed started as a singer but soon chose to turn to Electronic Dance Music (EDM) when she joined World Full Of Bass, a group of Tunisian DJs. She says being a woman in a predominantly male environment has not been particularly problematic: "I've always been treated as an equal, I've never encountered any reluctance or obstacles. On the contrary, I was helped and supported."
In January 2011, Abdelwahed actively took part in the Jasmine Revolution, which she considers a whole new starting point for the country. "Despite the fear that preoccupied us during the demonstrations, we were happy to finally be free and to be able to assert ourselves as individuals," she says.
As a DJ, Abdelwahed admits the revolution did not change much: "What did change is the youth's increasing need to go out and party. EMD is very successful today as it has become an excuse to blow off steam and vent the post-revolution frustration," she says.