Archive for the ‘Tunisia’ Category

Tunisian University a Microcosm of a Nation’s Problems

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Manouba University outside Tunis has become a target of Salafist protests:

Suzanne Daley, “Tensions at Manouba University Mirror Turbulence in New Tunisia, New York Times, June 12, 2012

More on Islamic revival movements



Is Increased Secularization in the Future for the Middle East?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

In the end, the Arab Spring may mean more, not less, secularization whether Islamists like it or not.

“Ironically, the biggest threat to religion may result from the tempestuous rise of political Islam in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The Turkish President predicted as much during a recent visit to Tunisia  , when he warned, ‘If a political party that comes out in the name of Islam fails, it will defame and humiliate the religion itself’”.

Tamer Fouad, “The Arab Spring and the Coming Crisis of Faith,”, May 26, 2012


Tunisia fines TV channel owner over controversial film

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

The owner of a private Tunisian TV station, Nabib Karoui, has been fined for showing the award-winning American-French film, Persepolis. When the film was shown last October, militant Islamists attacked Nessema, the offices of the TV station. This case is seen as the testing of free speech, which is what sparked the Arab Spring uprisings here last year. The court accused Karoui for “broadcasting a film that disturbs public order and threatens proper morals” and he must now pay 2,400 dinars ($1,700). The film is about a young girl who recounts the aftermath of the Iranian revolution. The film includes a scene that depicts Allah, which is forbidden in Islam. Islamists demanded that Karoui be given jail time, while some Salafists demanded that the television boss be executed.


Egypt Begins Drafting New Constitution

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

…but, in a climate of discord between Islamists, secularists, and liberals.

Story at BBC

In Tunisia there is conflict over the writing of a new constitution as well, but of a different sort:

Kareem Fahim, “Tunisia Says Constitution Will Not Cite Islamic Law,” New York Times, March 27, 2012



Arab Spring Interactive Timeline

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

As I was reading in preparation for class this week, I came across this really cool timeline of the Arab Spring.  For people who have a few extra minutes and want more information on the revolutions and aftermath in the Middle East, this is a really helpful website.  What I like is that it gives both quick snippets about the events, but also provides a link to an article on what happened.  Its put out by the Guardian, so all the links are to its own content, but it’s still helpful.


The Arab Revolutions: First Anniversary

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It was a year ago that a Tunisian vendor immolated himself setting off the most tumultuous changes in the Middle East in two generations.  The BBC has posted a video charting the events of the past year. 

Here is a screen shot of a report from an Al-Jazeera correspondent reporting a few moments ago from Tunis.  The caption says that Tunisia will celebrate the “ignition” (sharara ) of its revolution (they were the first to erupt) tomorrow – Saturday, Dec. 17.

Screen shot from Al-Jazeera, Dec. 16, 2011

See the report from CBS’ “60 Minutes” detailing the suicide of Mohammed Bouazizi, a street vendor whose immolation on December 17, 2010 sparked the revolutions throughout the Arab world. 




The Protester

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year : The Protester

Time Magazine

Election Results in Tunisia

Friday, October 28th, 2011

On Sunday, Tunisia held elections with the result recently coming in. The Islamist Ennahdha party won the election with 41.47 percent of the vote. The party was able to accumulate 90 seats of the 217 member assembly that will soon rewrite the constitution along with appoint a president and reform the government. The second place party, the Congress for the Republic, earned 13.82 percent of the vote along with 30 seats and the third place party, Ettakatol represent 9.68 percent of the votes and 21 seats. The real controversy lies with the cancelation of the seats won by Hachi Hamdi for “violations of the ‘electoral code’”. This sparked riots within the town of Sidi Bouzid. Two thousand protesters marched along the headquarters of Ennahdha. The new government under Ennahdha plans for the future hoping to create a new strong government and figure out ways to secure basic liberties. Many hopes come from supporters of Ennahdha to rule the country wisely and “not go against history”. Tunisia is off to a good start as it did not live up to the predictions of post election violence, gaining much western support.

Questions: Do you think that the elections were rigged in any way seeing that it was a major blow out? How much commotion will be stirred by the controversy of the cancelation of Hamdi’s seats? Enough to already take out the Ennahdha party?


Additional Content on riots

Tunisia Holds First Free Elections Today

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

As Tunisia’s liberated Libyan neighbors begin to celebrate, Tunisians began the process of holding free and fair elections today for the first time after nearly nine months of largely peaceful yet economically painful transition. By 4 pm Sunday (Tunisian time), more than 60% of registered voters had cast their ballots, and by closing the numbers rose to over 90%. From earlier surveys it seems as if the Islamist political party “Ennahda”, lead by Rachid Ghannouchi, is expected to win most votes. Outside observers have reported that this election seems fair and transparent.

Question: Do you think that Tunisia’s elections will be used as an example for other Middle Eastern countries in transitional states? What do you think aided in such peaceful and fair elections?




An Islamist Predicts Victory in Elections Sunday in Tunisia

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Tunisian Islamist Rachid Ghannouchi predicts his Ennahda (“Renaissance”) Party will win a majority in elections next Sunday:

Anthony Shadid, “A Veteran Islamist Imagines a Democratic Future for the New Tunisia,” New York Times, Oct. 20, 2011