Daily VideoNovember 26, 2013
Three Years After Revolution, Tunisia Struggles With Democracy
The Arab Spring began in Tunisia in 2010 when an out-of-work fruit vendor whose wares had been confiscated by authorities publicly set himself on fire.
Since the ouster of Tunisian dictator President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali just a month after the self-immolation, Tunisia has struggled to transition to a functioning democracy. The pains of transitioning from a police state to democracy has left some disillusioned with the promises of freedom and revolution.
“My wish? That Tunisia would stop and go back to the way we lived before,” said Nabiha Ben Said, an unemployed seamstress who had high hopes for democracy. “Life has gotten more expensive, too expensive in Tunisia. The population can’t handle freedom. It’s true. I swear to God. Look what freedom has done, where it’s taken us.”
Among the goals of the protesters who succeeded in bringing down the government was creating more opportunities for quality employment and reducing poverty. However, this has not happened, and Tunisians are worried about escalating violence and social tensions.
“The security situation makes a lot of people nervous, because they are used to the eerie stability of a police state, in which nothing really ever happened,” said Monica Marks, who studies Tunisia’s political system at Oxford University. “For average Tunisians this is a fragile situation, but it’s also a frightening situation. And that kind of fear and feeling of instability I think, make people very vulnerable to these discourses of stability, of authoritarianism bringing more stability.”
Warm up questions
- What is a police state?
- Where is Tunisia? What do you know about it?
- What is the “Arab Spring”? For an interactive timeline of the “Arab Spring” click here
- What seem to be the biggest concerns from the people of Tunisia?
- How long do you think it takes to transform a revolution into a healthy democratic government? What pieces need to be in place to make that happen?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Schools in Baltimore, Maryland are experimenting with meditation as a way to help students deal with stress and trauma. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
February 19, 2017, marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s controversial executive order, which allowed the government to incarcerate Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Dozens of cities throughout the United States have been deemed “sanctuary cities,” where local governments resist cooperating with federal immigration officials, including handing over undocumented immigrants who have may committed very minor offenses. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In order to address the homelessness problem facing students, a school district in Kansas City, Kansas, with over 1,000 homeless students, partnered with Avenue of Life, a nonprofit organization that brings students out of homelessness by supporting the entire family. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In places where violent conflict makes it difficult for human rights investigators to observe, social media platforms now make it possible to document abuses.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld