Since the beginning of the month, the hunt for al-Qaida-linked militants in Mount Chaambi, a region near the Algerian border, has instilled widespread anxiety and fear among the population. At least 17 soldiers and police have been seriously injured while searching for militants during the past few days. And back in December an encounter with the group costed the life of a young national guardsman.
The new book of the President of Tunisia Marzouki, The Invention of Democracy: The Lessons of the Tunisian Experience (L’invention d’une démocratie, les leçons de l’expérience tunisienne), might have little chance to restore faith in the democracy project under the leadership of Troika.
Tunisia’s Finance Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said last week the government expects to sign a $1.8 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund by May. An IMF team arrived in Tunisia for talks on April 8 before another meeting in Washington later this month, Fakhfakh said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Middle East headquarters in Dubai.
The debate over nudity and feminism kicked off in Tunisia since Amina posted a photograph of herself with the words “Fuck your morals” written across her chest, to the Femen-Tunisia Facebook page. The reactions were tense and angry. Interestingly, Tunisian self-identified secular activists denounced Amina and her photos.
“White smoke” appeared at the Bardo Palace with Tunisia’s new government winning a vote of confidence in the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) this past Wednesday. The creation of a new government came after the assassination of the Leftist opposition leader Chokri Belaid and the resignation of former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali. The late PM promised to place “country first” by forming a government of technocrats, only to fail and cede his position to his Interior Minister.
In a country riddled with political problems, the occasion of International Women’s Day turned to yet another opportunity to protest against the government. Chants of ‘the people want the fall of the regime’ dominated a rally that was initially organized to support women’s rights in Tunisia.
Less than a week after the resignation of Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, Ennahda chose Ali Laarayedh to form a new mixed government of technocrats and politicians as the country deals with a major political crisis—the most crucial since the fall of the previous regime. A secret meeting of the Ennahda “Shura (Consultative) Council” convened on Thursday night to internally elect a new prime minister replacing Mr. Jebali who stepped down early last week after he failed to form an apolitical cabinet.
For two precarious weeks following the assassination of the opposition leftist leader Chockri Belaid, the political factions have not reached a compromise yet. The question remains whether a government of technocrats or a political government would heal the political paralysis in Tunisia.
Picture this as a cryptic phenomenon in the modern history of Tunisia, a script that is currently being written by revolting masses. It is not one about the true start of this modern history in 1837 with Ahmed Bey’s access to power and the initiatives he undertook abolishing slavery, 18 years before the US, modernizing education by establishing the Saint Louis school in 1845, with its all-inclusive philosophy, giving equal access to modern means to Tunisia’s Muslims and Jews equally
The week promised to shake up considerably the political landscape in Tunisia. Contrary to the expectations of most observers, the long awaited cabinet reshuffle announcement was delayed due to the lack of consensus among the leading troika as announced Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali on Saturday. The new-born troika of the opposition (Nidaa Tounes, Republican Party al Massar) went almost unnoticed since the Popular Front (a unified political alliance of left-wing parties) seems to be still reluctant to join the new political and electoral front.
They are bloggers, journalists, academicians, students and many of them are tech-savvy activists who didn’t really know each other and met for the first time since the revolution in Douz on December 22nd and 23th during The 45th International Sahara Festival of Douz….
At the heart of the plight of the more than 700 wounded and the families of the 300 martyrs is the fact that they were used for political purposes during the elections campaign. Today, those in power are busy sharing the pie, on the other hand the losers aspire to a piece of the pie and in the midst of this very struggle for power the cause of the wounded is lost.
To the outside world Tunisia, the small country that inspired the Arab world to revolt, is moving towards a substantive democracy. Protestors, from all walks of life, took to the streets of Tunisia and shouted with one voice” the people demand the fall of the regime”. Although the demands were crystal clear “jobs, freedom and dignity”, the current troika government – a coalition government formed by Ennahda after October 2011 elections- has been virtually paralyzed to concretize those demands.
“Où puis-je trouver des prostituées en Tunisie” m’a demandé un ami d’un pays arabe voisin en visite en Tunisie pour la première fois. Je ne pouvais pas trouver de réponse immédiate à sa question plutôt claire. Après avoir réfléchi un instant, je lui ai recommandé un bordel légal situé dans la rue Sidi Abdallah Guech…
“Where can I find prostitutes in Tunisia” asked me a friend from a neighboring Arab country visiting Tunisia for the first time. I couldn’t find an immediate answer to his clear question. After thinking for a while I recommended a legal brothel set in the street Sidi Abdallah Guech, one of the many saints of the Medina of Tunis, a walk down from its famous Zitouna mosque,
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