Opinions in English

Articles published under the Opinions section reflect the view and opinions of the author, but not necessarily that of Nawaat.



Opinions


09 February 2021

“There is no government, there is no state, we are the state”. These chilling words by a police officer, during a sit-in in the city of Sfax on 2 February, speak volumes about the dangerous turn of events in Tunisia in recent weeks. The latest unrest heightens risks of a return to a police state following years of shaky democratic transition which has failed to end abuses by security services and their rampant impunity for human rights violations.


30 December 2020

Gilbert Naccache, who passed away on December 26, 2020 at the age of 81, was the nexus of multiple stakes and causes which marked Tunisia since the early 1960s. He may have been the last in a line of a particular breed of public intellectuals: Jews of the Arab lands who rejected the Israeli birthright, which is steeped in sectarianism, colonialism and dispossession, and who claimed the right to belong fully to the lands of their birth. As a wave of “normalisation” with Israel sweeps across the Arab world, his positions are sobering. With Arab politics and society turning to the right, it behoves us to reflect on a life spent on the Left and in opposition to dictatorship and sectarianism. And as we reflect on the tenth anniversary of the Tunisian revolution and the rebellious wave it engendered across the region, we have a duty to remember one of those who paved the way. Along with this, and not to be underestimated, we need to recall Gilbert Naccache the writer.


08 December 2020

On October 6, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Tunisia raised their voices and banners in the street, amid the hundreds of demonstrators who were peacefully protesting a draft law that would drastically limit criminal accountability for the use of force by the security forces. By a cruel irony, police attacked the demonstrators, including LGBT activists, and arbitrarily arrested them.


20 October 2020

In the early hours before dawn on Tuesday, October 12th, the municipal police of Sbeitla (governorate of Kasserine) bulldozed an illegally built kiosk where a cigarette vendor was sleeping. Kasserine remains one of the most underprivileged regions in Tunisia. During the demolition, the roof collapsed on the victim’s body, leading to his tragic death and sparking protests in the region.


16 October 2020

I do not engage men in conversations on gender equality, especially cis, straight men. The last time I did, I was called a ‘feminazi’ for shaming a man who unabashedly invalidated a woman’s feelings toward her own menstruation. I did not understand how a man could draw such far-fetched conclusions without even having a vagina, let alone bleeding from it. Moreover, what would entitle him to invalidate her experiences and opinions?


25 June 2020

Since 2014, the Transitional Justice process led by Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission (Instance Vérité et Dignité, IVD) has been anything but steady. After a mandate of nearly five tumultuous years, the IVD completed its task in 2019 with the referral to court of at least 173 cases of serious human rights violations and corruption. It also published a comprehensive report including its findings and recommendations. Today, the report was finally published in the Official Gazette as required by Transitional Justice Law.


09 June 2020

Almost ten years after the Revolution took place, however, the new political scene that has since emerged in Tunisia is creating social friction and a division amongst Tunisians. This article attempts to provide an analysis of this prevalent social friction based on the theory of group polarization, while shedding a special light on the current political events that are shaping Tunisian domestic affairs.


15 April 2020

Suddenly my hands were red. Thick, glass shards—which moments earlier had been a smooth bowl—lay scattered across the tabletop. Small pools of blood followed me like shadows on the kitchen floor before my wife reached me with a towel and instructions to apply pressure. As she gathered car keys, my spinning head brought me to the floor. Seated there, queasy and cold, two strangers—architects my wife had been meeting—helped me wearshoes. They closed the door behind us as we sped to the hospital.


12 April 2020

Worldwide, the outbreak of the Corona virus and dramatic increase in death tolls caused the policies of infected countries to change drastically. This was also the case for the Tunisian government. Initially set on addressing existing troubles, the government has since changed its trajectory and is now focused on the life-threatening epidemic that is challenging the world economy.



13 September 2019

The 2019 presidential campaign began on Monday, September 2, 2019. Between those who have it, those who want to have it, and those who are preventedfrom having it, the fight over power has just started. Like every election, candidates are playing the « Tunisian woman » card and pitting us, Tunisian women, against each other, instrumentalizing the question of equality. Pretending to be the liberators or protectors of the “Tunisian woman” isa tradition which stems from a long history of State-feminism that was key throughout many phases of Tunisian history. Now, however, such discourse is void. We thought that Tunisian women killed the father in 2011 and should not seek to replace him with a new one, and that no candidate should pretend to father us. The time for nostalgia is over.
This article is co-authored by Samah Krichah and Ikram Ben Said.


20 February 2019

“The answer is Tunisia.” That’s what Egyptians say when they talk about a solution to their political crisis and their hopes for democracy at home. It is not only about the possibility of exporting the so-called Tunisian political exception to the Arab region. It also expresses a desire to tap into the dynamism of the professional syndicates, trade unions, and civil society organizations that make up the political landscape in Tunisia and have come to exercise the power of oversight and consultation with the authorities. The National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists (Syndicat National des Journalistes Tunisiens, or SNJT) is one of these professional syndicates with growing weight and influence.