August 30, 2012 |
SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia - Bearded and sweaty, they pressed in, their faces shining in the shadow and light beneath billowing tunics hanging for sale outside a mosque. The sun edged higher. A veiled woman hurried past and a boy stepped closer to listen to men complain about no jobs in fields or factories, no water in thousands of homes. "I didn't trust the old government and I don't trust the new one. They lie. I trust in another revolution," said Khalid Ahmedi, his disgust sharpening as shopkeepers slipped past him to pray.
June 10, 2012 |
In the year since the Arab Spring, attention has been riveted on one issue above all others: the place of religious practice in public life. In Tunisia, where the movement began, full-face and body veils, now often worn complete with gloves, are increasingly visible on the streets - an exotic sight for locals and foreigners alike. And the secular opposition seems increasingly strident in its conviction that the Islamist government is driving the country the way of Iran. But it wasn't religion that set off the Jasmine Revolution; it was acute economic injustice and the pervasive and structured corruption that helped produce it. The fate of Tunisia, and its neighbors, may depend most on whether that lingering problem is addressed.
October 23, 2011 |
As Mondher Kouki waited to vote in the first free elections since political uprisings began sweeping the Arab world in January, he complained about the cost of electricity, the dubious promises of politicians and the prospect that he wouldn't be able to afford a sheep to slaughter for an upcoming holy festival. Kouki and dozens of his neighbors stood in the sun in a Tunis slum to cast ballots for an assembly to write Tunisia's new constitution. They all remembered the thrilling days 10 months ago when street protests here led to the toppling of President Zine el Abidine ben Ali — and inspired so-called Arab Spring upheavals in Muslim states across North Africa and the Middle East.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2011 |
After she dropped her 7-year-old son off at school Thursday, Dorsaf Naouali drove more than two hours to Los Angeles to vote for the first time in a Tunisian election. The San Diego mother of two brought her daughter Layla, 4, with her to the voting center at a Hollywood hotel, explaining the day's significance along the way. "I told her the one little paper that we drop in the box could change the future of our country," the mother said, beaming. "She was excited that paper could be that powerful.
February 28, 2011 |
The interim prime minister of the North African country that inspired the ongoing uprisings throughout the Arab world resigned Sunday after a new round of daily protests resulted in three weekend deaths. Interim President Fouad Mebazaa named Beji Caid Essebsi, a former foreign minister who served under Tunisia's long-ago President Habib Bourguiba, as new caretaker prime minister ahead of elections planned for the summer, state television reported. Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, who served in the same post under deposed President Zine el Abidine ben Ali, bowed to public pressure and unruly street protests demanding that any traces of the former regime be purged from public life.
February 28, 2011 |
French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie resigned Sunday after weeks of growing criticism over her links to the former government of Tunisia. In a hasty but widely expected government reshuffle ? the fourth in a year ? Alliot-Marie, one of the government's longest serving ministers, was replaced by conservative Alain Juppe, who served as prime minister and foreign minister in the 1990s but was convicted in a 2004 political corruption scandal. The moves came as criticism swirls over France's inability to come to grips with the pace of change in the Arab world and popular uprisings in some of its former colonies.