Unrest in Tunisia and the wider Middle East


by Rumbold
1st January, 2011 at 12:07 pm    

For those of you who have sobered up and are not hungover *ahem*, Nesrine Malik has a good piece on how protests in Tunisia, which erupted after an unemployed man set himself on fire, relate to the greater Middle East:

There are few moments in the political atmosphere of the Middle East that fill me with genuine pride. While eyes have long been fixed on opposition movements in Iran and Egypt, suddenly Tunisia has provided one of the most inspiring episodes of indigenous revolt against a repressive regime.

Following the self-immolation of an unemployed man, riots and demonstrations have swept through the country.

Lebanese journalist Octavia Nasr wrote on Thursday: “I never thought this day would come. Certainly not in Tunisia. To be quite honest, out of the Middle East region, I thought such a rebellious act would come from Egypt where the opposition to President Mubarak’s regime is so fierce and vocal that public demonstrations of anger and dismay have become a routine.”


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  1. joe1990@yahoo.com — on 1st January, 2011 at 2:18 pm  

    Tunisia has an unemployment rate officially at 14% and a more closer look will see it’s around 35%.

    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.1524.MA.ZS/countries/TN?display=graph

    That combined with your typical corrupt dictatorial regime, IMF austerity plans which usually impact the lowest income families, riots/rebellion will eventually happen.

    The protests will be beaten down in a brutal fashion. The champions of democracy lol america and EU will be silent because tunisia is an important “ally” you can look at their hospitality for rendition flight suspects which means torture chambers and a cosy military cooperation with the US.

    As the state department quote on their website

    “The United States and Tunisia have an active schedule of joint military exercises. U.S. security assistance historically has played an important role in cementing relations. The U.S.-Tunisian Joint Military Commission meets annually to discuss military cooperation, Tunisia’s defense modernization program, and other security matters.”

    I only hope the poor fella who killed himself, his death can spark a rebellion against these despotic rulers something the entire region needs.

  2. damon — on 1st January, 2011 at 8:08 pm  

    Tunisia has an unemployment rate officially at 14% and a more closer look will see it’s around 35%.

    That has to be closer to the truth. What even constitues a job in Tunisia? Having a shoeshine kit, being a waiter in ordinary cafes that serve the poor, or a freelance shop worker running after the tourists?
    I spent a month there five years ago, so I’m always going to have some memory of the country. I liked it, but felt it was a very sad place too.
    Going back to Italy on the overnight ferry from Tunis at the end of my trip was particularly memorable, as it was all Tunisians going to Italy. Nearly all labouring class people and their families.

    Although I’ve never been to Algeria, listening to this report on the BBC’s ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ a couple of moths ago, reminded me of Tunisia, as I had had a conversation with a nice educated young man in Tunis who was frustrated that they couldn’t even get modern computor technology imported into the country.

    From Our Own Correspondent is in Algeria this morning with a tale about miles of red tape and a missing chest of drawers.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v699t#p00bjqzf

  3. halima — on 2nd January, 2011 at 11:34 am  

    Interesting article to read on Tunisia, though I don’t normally think of Tunisia as the Middle East. This would probably be true of Algeria and Morocco.

    Also saw Of Gods and Men (based on a true story) this holiday which is highly recommended.

  4. joe90 — on 21st January, 2011 at 10:00 pm  

    America this week sends its top so called anti terrorism expert john brennan to algeria to advise how to hijack current tunisian revolt and prevent other tyrants from falling.

    http://www.newsonwall.com/312/the-senior-adviser-to-obama-john-brenann-in-algiers/

    americans and their puppet regimes sihting their pants lol.

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