Photo credit : Tarek Laabidi

But the protests themselves featured desperate people, many of whom felt they had nothing left to hope for from the political system. “I cannot live anymore. I feel like crying as I am talking to you. I went out because I am fed up. We’re hungry” said Ali Ayari, 57 years old, a father of three who was visibly in tears as he was talking to Meshkal/Nawaat in Bardo.

Ayari was one of more than a 1000 people who gathered near Parliament around midday in almost 40 degree weather.

Why would one go out in this scorching sun? I was a merchant but now I am unemployed…I have been unemployed for five years. I am an old man, what is my fate with no job or social coverage for health care?

Ayari said.

Ayari told Meshkal/Nawaat that he is frustrated and just wants the situation to be over so that he can work again. Mohamed Aymen, a 17 year old from the working class neighborhood of Sidi Hassine—recently the site of deadly police violence—said he can’t bear conditions in the country anymore and was planning to emigrate next week with friends.