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What is Bezness

Love and Marriage fraud (not only) in Tunisia

The term "Bezness" (also Beznezz, Besness, Bezzness, Beznes, Besnes) in context with a holiday country originates from the English word "business", and generally refers to profit-oriented activities of locals to tourists with the sole aim of creating advantages for themselves.

In a narrower sense, the term is used for the pretention of love feelings toward women with the sole objective of gaining financial or material benefits and/or a residence permit in a western country.

The word was introduced in to the language probably in 1992 by the french-german-tunisian movie "Bezness" by the tunisian author Nouri Bouzid.

The word is nowadays also used as a verb "to bezness someone".

A significant role in making this term popular has played the german language internet website "1001 Geschichte" (1001 stories), where real stories of bezness victims are being published and where victims can find morale support and practical help. This website was the first who informed the broad public about bezness, not only in the internet, but as well through numerous articles and interviews in radio, TV, books and magazines.

Meanwhile, the term "Bezness" is also being used more and more in other languages, as well as traditional terms like "marriage fraud", "immigration scam", "Mariage Gris" or "Mariage Blanc", "Heiratsschwindel", "Liebesbetrug" to just name a few.

By using the same single term in many languages, the awareness of "Bezness" has increased significantly in the past years in various countries all over the world.

But this phenomenon is, as of today, still being underestimated due to ignorance ("justa few cases") and often blamed on the victims only ("it is their own fault").

True is, however, that in Tunisia alone, each year tens of thousands of bezness relations start, and in countries with similar preconditions (eg. Egypt, Turkey, Marocco, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Kenia, etc.) it is not much different.

Large portions of this article can, therefore, be applied a well to Bezness in other countries, but we discuss here especially its appearance in Tunisia.

True is also that each and everyone can become a victim of Bezness, and many have been and are, even if they never knew or (still) do not know it.

In discussions, "Bezness" is often being used as a synonym for "criminal", but this is not always and entirely true.

It is correct, that, the longer a "Bezness" is going on, the probability for criminal acts is increasing (Threatening, Force, Blackmail, Theft, Children abduction, etc.), but Bezness is, per se, not automatically criminal - in the same way in that someone who spends his holiday on the seaside will not automatically go swimming in the sea as well, it is very "probable", but not certain, that he will.

Bezness is, closed looked at, like a game.

In this game, one side, the Beznesser (bezness man), tries to achieve his goals by letting the other in the dark about his goals, in fact, he might even assume that the other side is also having hidden goals of which he is not aware of.

In many cases, "Bezness" does not even start as such, but happens, because one side misinterprets the goals of the other side and assumes that the "counterpart" is also playing to win (gain more).

Often, there will not even be a discussion about it, because the opposing cultural views are not realized by the parties and each side assumes that there is an unspoken agreement about certain things.
For example, a bezness man, who is starting a relationship with a quite unattractive woman is often convinced that he is entering into an unspoken "business" in which his affection will be rewarded with money - in other words the woman receives a lover and the man receives money, or a visa, for his services.

Especially the "lover" features of a man play a big role in Tunisia (and are mostly overrated and overestimated by themselves).
Many tunisian men are, for example, absolutely convinced that western women start a relationship with a tunisian man predominantely because European men can only deliver rare or bad sex (because they are "cold").

And this results then in that they expect a high reward for their exceptional "abilities" - unspokenly of course, as mentioned above.

Most Westerners are not familiar with such thoughts (they view an other culture from their own culture's view and therefore tend to misinterpret situations) and assume instead, that they always find genuine interest and affection.

In other words, the source of most multinational relationship problems (and also bezness attempts) is a result of ignorance and misinterpretation on both sides - and even if there would be some understanding, it would be almost impossible for someone to accept the views of a totally different culture.


The Bezness Man - Signs for Bezness

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