HAFIDA BEN REJEB LATTA
Born in Kairouan, Tunisia in 1944, Hafida was raised in her grandmother’s house and was among the early beneficiaries of secondary and higher education in independent Tunisia (graduating from l’Ecole Nationale d’Administration in 1965). Subsequently she graduated from the University of Hertfordshire (Uk)and M. ed in language acquisition from the Institute of Education, London University. Later Hafida spent 17 years in the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Castellón learning, Spanish, Valenciano, German, Italian and Russian. But of course her mother tongue is Tunisian Arabic and her second language is French. She has lived in Lebanon, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. In a public speaking environment she feels confortable communicating in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
On graduating Hafida worked for the Tunisian Minister of Culture and Information before marrying into the British Council in 1967 and since then has lived in 8 countries. She has 2 sons: an oil journalist and a British diplomat. Her favourite pastime is to gather groups of different cultures around her dinner table. She has written 2 books: an autobiography and a Tunisian Cookbook published in 2022 by Nomad Publishing.
In retirement she spends up to half the year in her home in Royston near Cambridge, England and winters in Alcossebre in Northern Valencia. Her Tunisian Cookbook is not just about recipes but is as much a history of migration through Tunisia from Punic times to contemporary catering for tourists. It also targets domestic and health promoting diets. Her ambition is to establish and strengthen Tunisia’s distinctive contribution to Mediterranean cuisine.