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the myth of tunisia's exceptionalism | arab spring


tunisia celebrated the seventh anniversary of the downfall of its former dictatorship with protests. for two weeks now, people have been demonstrating in impoverished towns like tebourba and ettadhamon, near the capital, tunis, and towns like kasserine in the mid-west, sakiet sidi youssef in the north-west, and sidi bouzid in the south, where the revolution started in 2010.since the tunisian uprising brought down zine el abidine ben ali in 2011, a series of demonstrations have marked the anniversary of the revolution. and it is likely that they will grow into a more substantial and violent popular unrest.despite continuing popular unrest and obvious signs of the rebirth of the tunisian police state, international media continues to cover tunisia as a relative success story. the peaceful tr






leaders in the arab spring era: where are they now? | news


the killing of former yemeni president ali abdullah saleh by houthi rebels on monday marks the end of another arab leader deposed by the arab spring protests.saleh's death came after he announced the end of his cooperation with the houthis on saturday, in a move orchestrated by the united arab emirates, one of the key forces in the saudi-led coalition battling the houthis.{articleguid}the former president had ruled north yemen since 1978 before north and south yemen merged in 1990. saleh was then sworn in as president of a united yemen. he remained president until 2012 when he formally ceded power to abd-rabbu mansour hadi, the saudi-backed president currently fighting the houthis.saleh's resignation followed the yemeni revolution, which was part of the broader arab spring that took hold o






will the 2010s be the 'wasted decade' of arab hopes? | tunisia


at the turn of the 20th century, three ageing intellectuals with extensive knowledge of the middle east looked back at the previous hundred years and published their thoughts in a book entitled un siecle pour rien (a wasted century). revolutionary ideas, hopes and sacrifices did not produce anything but despair.assessing the arab world in the first decade following the arab spring, one is tempted to call it, similarly, the "wasted decade". but is it?in the early weeks of 2011, the "jasmine revolution" was reshaping tunisia. then when the revolutionary spirit spread to egypt and libya, the term "arab spring" was coined. the jasmine revolution quickly lost its momentum, being an orientalist concept more suitable for a disney movie than street politics. the "arab spring", as orientalist and c






how will tunisia recover from its economic woes? | tunisia


more than 770 people have been arrested in tunisia since protests against the government's austerity measures erupted last sunday. the army was deployed to the streets of several cities and towns after protesters set fire to dozens of state buildings this week. at least one person has been killed in the protests.the government, however, has vowed to stick to its budget.the violence has prompted fears of instability in tunisia, a country that is widely regarded as the only democratic success story from the arab spring uprisings.the north african nation, however, has had nine governments since the overthrow of its longtime dictator in 2011. so, how will tunisia resolve its deep-rooted economic problems? presenter: adrian finighanguests:osama al saghir - mp with conservative ennahda party and






how will tunisia recover from its economic woes? | tunisia


more than 770 people have been arrested in tunisia since protests against the government's austerity measures erupted last sunday. the army was deployed to the streets of several cities and towns after protesters set fire to dozens of state buildings this week. at least one person has been killed in the protests.the government, however, has vowed to stick to its budget.the violence has prompted fears of instability in tunisia, a country that is widely regarded as the only democratic success story from the arab spring uprisings.the north african nation, however, has had nine governments since the overthrow of its longtime dictator in 2011. so, how will tunisia resolve its deep-rooted economic problems? presenter: adrian finighanguests:osama al-saghir - mp with conservative ennahdha party an






wajiha jendoubi: 'theatre is my weapon' | tunisia


wajiha jendoubi is an actress and one of tunisia's best-known comedians. to be a woman comedian in this north african nation can be a challenge, but the country's gender gap is narrowing for the first time in almost a decade and wajiha sees tunisia as a country that stands for women's rights and supports it. "my tunisia is the free woman. my tunisia is the woman who speaks out. my tunisia is the woman who is active; the militant one, the hard-working one. my tunisia is my world," says the popular comedian who is on a mission to make tunisians laugh about the tough things in life."my artistic choices are always about painful subjects. i like to talk about what people are afraid to confront or even don't know how to express. but i always like to say it in a comic way because humour easily re






do mass protests in tunisia mark the start of a new arab spring?


yesterday marked seven years since protests in tunisia ousted its corrupt authoritarian leader, sparking the arab spring and setting the middle east on fire. as if by some cosmic irony, tunisia is once again being rocked by mass protests and its government, once again, is cracking down.thousands have taken to the streets since demonstrations first began early last week. this kind of political unrest has a habit of spreading fast, not just within a country, but, as history shows us, throughout a region. is the middle east seeing the early days of its second arab spring?demonstrations began in the capital city of tunis as a small gathering to protest a hike in taxes on things like cars and phone calls, which took effect january 1. but the protests quickly spread throughout the country over t






tunisia suspends emirates flights after ban targets women


tunis, tunisia — tunisia has suspended all flights by emirates to and from tunis after the dubai-based airline barred tunisian women from boarding its flights last week.the tunisian presidency said monday the united arab emirates' authorities explained that they made the decision following "serious security information" about alleged plans for attacks by tunisian women, or women with tunisian passports, from "tense hotbeds" in syria and iraq.uae's minister of state for foreign affairs anwar gargash wrote on twitter that the ban was temporary and due to security reasons.the barring of tunisian women has caused anger among rights groups and political parties in tunisia. a protest was scheduled outside the uae's embassy in tunis later in the day.tunisia summoned uae's ambassador on friday fol






break-dancing for social justice in tunisia |


tunis - in tunisia, a country gripped by economic uncertainty and still in the midst of rebuilding its identity after the arab spring, hip-hop culture is viewed as part of an ongoing dissident movement.just a few events, such as the recent mafia wallitili festival in the heart of downtown tunis, offer the local hip-hop community an opportunity to share their values with the broader population.this year, the three-day event focused on tunisia's youth, offering free workshops and performance events. crowds packed the whole block, saying they were determined to keep practising the arts of dance, graffiti and music."it gives a lot of hope to the youth," festival host chouaib cheu told al jazeera. his association, art solution, has also served as an important bridge between people from tunisia'






jihadi launchpad tunisia hesitates taking extremists back


kelibia, tunisia (ap) — tunisia has the unhappy distinction of being one of the world’s biggest exporters of jihadi fighters, only to see young men trained by the islamic state return home to kill western tourists, soldiers and even an unfortunate shepherd.now, as the extremists suffer one battlefield defeat after another, tunisia is being torn by a furious debate over what to do with returnees from among the 3,000 to 6,000 who left — and even how to determine the threat they pose.“the danger is there. these are people who were indoctrinated. these are people who left and who destroyed their tunisian passports and who announced that they belonged to the nation of daesh,” or is, said dr. boutheina chihi ezzine, a leader of a protest movement against a government she fears is too willing to






jihadi launchpad tunisia hesitates taking extremists back


kelibia, tunisia — tunisia has the unhappy distinction of being one of the world's biggest exporters of jihadi fighters, only to see young men trained by the islamic state return home to kill western tourists, soldiers and even an unfortunate shepherd.now, as the extremists suffer one battlefield defeat after another, tunisia is being torn by a furious debate over what to do with returnees from among the 3,000 to 6,000 who left — and even how to determine the threat they pose."the danger is there. these are people who were indoctrinated. these are people who left and who destroyed their tunisian passports and who announced that they belonged to the nation of daesh," or is, said dr. boutheina chihi ezzine, a leader of a protest movement against a government she fears is too willing to downp






a tunisian synagogue set on fire by molotov cocktails


tunis, tunisia — two molotov cocktails have been at a synagogue on the tunisian island of djerba, setting fire to the building.a reporter at the scene told the ap the synagogue was empty and the fire was quickly extinguished. the reporter could not be identified in accordance with her company policy.djerba is home to tunisia's main jewish community. the 2,500-year-old ghriba synagogue, which was targeted in a 2002 extremist attack, is located on the island.tuesday's fire was at a smaller prayer site.in recent days, violent protests over price hikes have left one person dead and raised fears of broader unrest in the country that was the birthplace of the arab spring.






tunisia's youssef chahed names new cabinet | tunisia news


tunisia's prime minister youssef chahed has replaced 13 ministers, in a wide cabinet reshuffle which included the interior, defence and finance posts.speculation had been rife for several weeks over new faces in chahed's government following his consultations with political parties and organisations such as the powerful labour union ugtt.tunisia: protesters demand more jobs and higher investmentchahed, in power for just over a year, on wednesday restored ridha chalgoum, a former finance minister close to the ruling nidaa tounes party, to that ministry.he also named lotfi braham, another nidaa tounes ally, as interior minister, according to a statement on the appointments released by the prime minister's office.he appointed ennahda member taoufik rajhi, one of his economic advisers, to the






tunisia's youssef chahed names new cabinet | tunisia news


tunisia's prime minister youssef chahed has replaced 13 ministers in a wide cabinet reshuffle that included the interior, defence and finance posts.speculation had been rife for several weeks over new faces in chahed's government following his consultations with political parties and organisations such as the powerful labour union ugtt.tunisia: protesters demand more jobs and higher investmentchahed, in power for just over a year, on wednesday restored ridha chalgoum, a former finance minister close to the ruling nidaa tounes party, to that ministry.he also named lotfi braham, another nidaa tounes ally, as interior minister, according to a statement on the appointments released by the prime minister's office.he appointed ennahda member taoufik rajhi, one of his economic advisers, to the ne






a tunisian synagogue set on fire by molotov cocktails


tunis, tunisia (ap) — two molotov cocktails have been at a synagogue on the tunisian island of djerba, setting fire to the building.a reporter at the scene told the ap the synagogue was empty and the fire was quickly extinguished. the reporter could not be identified in accordance with her company policy.djerba is home to tunisia’s main jewish community. the 2,500-year-old ghriba synagogue, which was targeted in a 2002 extremist attack, is located on the island.tuesday’s fire was at a smaller prayer site.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.in recent days, violent protests over price hikes have left one person dead and raised fears of broader unrest in the country that was the birthplace of the arab spring.






the new new things that weren’t


we’re always looking for the new new thing in tech, since long before michael lewis coined the phrase. often we are entirely too successful. there are so many new new things — and so many of them fall from the sky like burned-out flares soon enough, to further litter the graveyard of old new things. can we learn from them? probably. will we learn from them? probably not. but it’s worth remembering them anyway, from time to time. and so i give you this highly idiosyncratic list of yesterday’s tomorrows from the twenty-teens:2010chatroulette was perhaps the most mayfly-ish of all the once-new things. it launched in november 2009. three months later it was a cultural event. three months after that its creator was the subject of a length new yorkerprofile. three months after that it shut down.






the new new things that weren’t


we’re always looking for the new new thing in tech, since long before michael lewis coined the phrase. often we are entirely too successful. there are so many new new things — and so many of them fall from the sky like burned-out flares soon enough, to further litter the graveyard of old new things. can we learn from them? probably. will we learn from them? probably not. but it’s worth remembering them anyway, from time to time. and so i give you this highly idiosyncratic list of yesterday’s tomorrows from the twenty-teens:2010chatroulette was perhaps the most mayfly-ish of all the once-new things. it launched in november 2009. three months later it was a cultural event. three months after that its creator was the subject of a length new yorkerprofile. three months after that it shut down.






tunisia rallies simmer before arab spring anniversary | news


hundreds of people clashed with police, blocked roads and burned tires overnight in a northern tunisian city, with more protests expected before january 14 - the anniversary marking the removal of zine el abidine ben ali, the country's former president.at least eight security officers were injured in the coastal town of nabeul during clashes with young protesters late on tuesday, according to tunisia's press agency tap.tap reported that six government vehicles were also destroyed, while 23 people were arrested. in the neighbouring city of kelibia, an estimated 300 demonstrators fought with police, and some were accused of looting a shopping centre, tap also reported.individuals with "criminal records" infiltrated the protests in kelibia, in the nabeul governorate, tap said.at least five pe






tunisia rallies simmer before arab spring anniversary | news


hundreds of people clashed with police, blocked roads and burned tires overnight in a northern tunisian city, with more protests expected before january 14 - the anniversary marking the ouster of zine el abidine ben ali, the country's former president.at least eight security officers were injured in the coastal town of nabeul during clashes with young protestors late on tuesday, according to tunisia's press agency tap.tap reported that six government vehicles were also destroyed, while 23 persons were arrested. in the neighbouring city of kelibia, an estimated 300 demonstrators fought with police, and some were accused of looting a shopping centre, tap also reported.individuals with "criminal records" infiltrated the protests in kelibia, in the nabeul governorate, tap said.at least five pe






hundreds arrested as violent protests spread across tunisia


tunis, tunisia — tunisian authorities said wednesday that 237 people were arrested and dozens of others injured across the country in recent days as violent protests against government-imposed price hikes spread to more cities and regions.the interior ministry said that those arrested took part in looting, thefts and arson. some blocked roads with blazing tires and targeted police stations, municipal depots, stores and banks."these acts were carried out at night and have nothing to do with the ongoing protests," the ministry's spokesman, khalifa chibani, told tunisian news agency tap.he said 58 members of the security forces were injured and 57 police vehicles damaged, but didn't say how many protesters were hurt. one protester died monday.the latest unrest recalled the protest movement th






tunisian government denounces protesters after rioting death


tunis, tunisia — tunisia's prime minister is promising to crack down on rioters after violent protests over price hikes that left one person dead.a 45-year-old protester died, dozens were arrested and several police were injured in protest clashes in several regions over sunday and monday.the incidents recalled the 2010-2011 protest movement that led to the authoritarian president's ouster and unleashed uprisings across the arab world. tunisia's economy has struggled ever since.prime minister youssef chahed said tuesday that the overnight protests shouldn't be considered regular demonstrations but "acts of vandalism, looting and violence against citizens, and this is unacceptable."he insisted that the government respects the right to protest but said the rioting was "outside of the law" an






tunisian government denounces protesters after rioting death


tunis, tunisia (ap) — tunisia’s prime minister is promising to crack down on rioters after violent protests over price hikes that left one person dead.a 45-year-old protester died, dozens were arrested and several police were injured in protest clashes in several regions over sunday and monday.the incidents recalled the 2010-2011 protest movement that led to the authoritarian president’s ouster and unleashed uprisings across the arab world. tunisia’s economy has struggled ever since.prime minister youssef chahed said tuesday that the overnight protests shouldn’t be considered regular demonstrations but “acts of vandalism, looting and violence against citizens, and this is unacceptable.”most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.he insisted that the government respects the ri






police use tear gas on protesters in tunisia, reports say


media playback is unsupported on your devicemedia captionthe government is seeking to calm days of unrest police in tunisia are reported to have fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of youths protesting against new austerity measures. a reuters witness said young people aged around 20 were throwing stones at police vehicles and setting fire to tyres.the clash happened in ettadamen, a poor district of the capital, tunis.president beji caid essebsi had given a speech there earlier on sunday promising to increase youth employment.joblessness among the young is considered a key indicator of a country's economic prospects, and tunisia's stands at around 35%.the president's comments came as tunisians marked the seventh anniversary of the country's revolution. the 2011 uprising that launched the ar






arab springs and ai winters


remember the arab spring? “revolution 2.0”? remember how we imagined, full of triumphal optimism, that social media would become the web that knit the oppressed masses better, would empower them to join together and overthrow their oppressors and stride shoulder-to-shoulder together into a better world?yeah, those were the days. but now — “disillusioned” hardly begins to describe it. i write to you from tunisia, the arab spring’s poster child, now a secular democracy; but even here, in this lovely country full of hospitable people, whose downtown hipsters and students thronging the carthage film festival could be teleported to brooklyn or the mission and not look one whit out of place, today’s headlines inform me that the nationwide state of emergency has been extended yet again.elsewhere






arrests, clashes as protests over prices persist in tunisia


tunis, tunisia — tunisian police arrested 328 people and fired tear gas as protesters hurled rocks and burned tires during further nationwide demonstrations over price rises.the protests late wednesday in multiple towns appeared less violent than previous nights, as heavy security was deployed at key sites.interior ministry spokesman khalifa chibani said thursday that those arrested are accused of destroying property, looting and theft.speaking on mosaique radio, he said 21 officers were wounded in the latest skirmishes. he did not give estimates of the number of injured protesters.the tunisian government has accused political opponents of stoking the unrest and defended the unpopular price rises as essential to improving the economy.tunisia is marking seven years since a popular uprising






arab springs and ai winters


remember the arab spring? “revolution 2.0”? remember how we imagined, full of triumphal optimism, that social media would become the web that knit the oppressed masses together, would empower them to join forces and overthrow their oppressors and stride shoulder-to-shoulder together into a better world?yeah, those were the days. but now — “disillusioned” hardly begins to describe it. i write to you from tunisia, the arab spring’s poster child, now a secular democracy; but even here, in this lovely country full of hospitable people, whose downtown hipsters and students thronging the carthage film festival could be teleported to brooklyn or the mission and not look one whit out of place, today’s headlines inform me that the nationwide state of emergency has been extended yet again.elsewhere






qatar-gulf rift: can riyadh be triumphant? | saudi arabia


for the past five days, the gulf region has been experiencing one of its most serious political crises in recent history. early on monday, saudi arabia, the united arab emirates (uae) and bahrain cut diplomatic relations with qatar in an apparent attempt to isolate the country.in addition to these three countries, egypt, libya, yemen; the island nations of maldives and mauritius; and countries such as jordan, mauritania, djibuti and senegal have also joined in the campaign against qatar, one of the most prosperous countries in the gulf region. this unwise decision will undoubtedly harm the feeling of unity among the gulf countries and cause serious repercussions for the perpetrators behind it.since the beginning of the crisis, analysts have been trying to understand the motives behind this






q&a: amira yahyaoui on press freedom and fake news | journalism matters


paris, france - hailed as one of the most influential arab women in the world, tunisian amira yahyaoui is a self-described "human rights extremist".she rallies against censorship and fights for free speech.exiled from tunisia while protesting against the government of president zine el abidine ben ali, she moved to france where she remained stateless for a few years until the longtime leader stepped down.al jazeera spoke with yahyaoui in paris, where she addressed unesco's 2017 journalism under fire conference, on the subjects of censorship, "fake news" and the state of journalism in tunisia.al jazeera: how far back does your work as human rights activist in tunisia go?amira yahyaoui: i was an activist before the revolution and mostly part of the crowd against internet censorship. i had to






freedom house: tunisia's democracy downgraded | news


a new report released by the international watchdog organisation freedom house has raised concerns about tunisia's democratic backslide.data analysed by the ngo from 195 countries over the past year showed that tunisia was still the only free country in the arab world, but the north african state saw its political rights rating decreased from two to three, the report said on tuesday."municipal elections were once again postponed, leaving unelected councils in place seven years after the revolution, and figures associated with the old regime increased their influence over the vulnerable political system, for example by securing passage of a new amnesty law despite strong public opposition," said the document titled, freedom in the world 2018."the extension of a two-year-old state of emergen






a tunisian synagogue set on fire by molotov cocktails


tunis, tunisia — two molotov cocktails have been thrown at a synagogue on the tunisian island of djerba, setting fire to the building.the president of djerba's jewish community, perez trabelsi, told the associated press on wednesday that the attack was perpetrated by two people on a motorbike. he said the synagogue suffered no damage."the perpetrators want to sow dissension between jewish and muslim communities living in harmony on the island for many years," trabelsi said.a reporter at the scene told the ap the synagogue was empty and the fire was quickly extinguished. the reporter couldn't be identified in accordance with her company's policy.djerba is home to tunisia's main jewish community. the 2,500-year-old ghriba synagogue, which was targeted in a 2002 extremist attack, is located o






no women no fly: twitter tackles tunisia-emirates spat | news


social media users have blasted the uae after the gulf state banned women from entry, with emirates airline blocking tunisian women from boarding dubai-bound flights.the transport ministry said in a statement on its facebook page the suspension would remain until emirates "can find a suitable solution to operate its flights in accordance with international laws and treaties".the ministry previously described the move as illegal.the uae has cited security as the reason for the travel restriction.emirates said it will stop flying to tunisia as instructed from monday.two hashtags have emerged on social media: #nowomennofly and #تونس_تؤدب_الامارات, which means #tunisiadisciplinestheuae.firas bouzguenda wrote on twitter: "emirates: no women. tunisia: no fly" @khulafiii said it was "amazing" tha






tunisia extends state of emergency for 3 more months


tunis, tunisia — tunisia's president has decided to extend the state of emergency in the country for three more months.president beji caid essebsi's office said friday the decision takes effect on sunday in the north african nation.the state of emergency has been in place since november 2015. it gives more power to police, especially to ban strikes and gatherings.the decision comes after a police commander was stabbed to death by a suspected islamic extremist near tunisia's parliament in tunis earlier this month.tunisia suffered major extremist attacks in 2015, including at the famed bardo museum in the capital, where 22 people were killed. in addition, an attack on a beach hotel near sousse killed 38 people and one on a bus carrying presidential guards in tunis left 12 dead.






tunisia, shaken by protests, marks 7 years since revolution


tunis, tunisia — tunisia, shaken by days of nationwide unrest over price hikes, is marking seven years on sunday since the north african nation drove out its long-time autocratic ruler.tunisians are calling for peaceful protests on the anniversary to tell the country's new leaders that they have failed to fix problems that stirred the revolution.president zine el-abidine ben ali fled into exile on jan. 14, 2011, transforming the country into a budding democracy that inspired the arab spring — then defied it by being the only country to keep its transition peaceful.now, protesters are driving home the message that they believe that six governments in power since then have crushed hopes of social and economic justice, and left them feeling betrayed.frustration was in full view last week when






tunisia, shaken by protests, marks 7 years since revolution


tunis, tunisia (ap) — tunisia, shaken by days of nationwide unrest over price hikes, is marking seven years on sunday since the north african nation drove out its long-time autocratic ruler.tunisians are calling for peaceful protests on the anniversary to tell the country’s new leaders that they have failed to fix problems that stirred the revolution.president zine el-abidine ben ali fled into exile on jan. 14, 2011, transforming the country into a budding democracy that inspired the arab spring — then defied it by being the only country to keep its transition peaceful.now, protesters are driving home the message that they believe that six governments in power since then have crushed hopes of social and economic justice, and left them feeling betrayed.most read storiesunlimited digital acc






tunisia suspends emirates airlines flights | news


tunisia's transport ministry has announced the suspension of all emirates airlines flights to and from the north african country.the move on sunday came two days after tunisian women were denied boarding their flights to dubai on the united arab emirates-based carrier.the transport ministry said in a statement on its facebook page that it "has decided to suspend flights of emirates airlines to and from tunisia until the company can find a suitable solution to operate its flights in accordance with international laws and treaties".according to tunisia's state-run news agency, salem zeabi, the uae ambassador to tunisia, was called in to the ministry of foreign affairs on friday to "provide clarification on the measure banning" tunisian women from flying to or transiting through the gulf stat






tunisian pm chahed booed off stage in tataouine | tunisia news


protesters booed tunisian prime minister youssef chahed off stage during a town hall meeting in a southeastern region that has been shaken by protests and a general strike.six years since a revolution ignited by grievances over joblessness, corruption and perceived marginalisation of the country's periphery, tunisia has again witnessed a wave of protests.chahed and several government ministers arrived in tataouine on thursday to find the town closed down by a general strike. the market, banks and shops in the town centre were shut and burned tyres lay in some streets - evidence of barricades erected during the protests of recent weeks.protests return to tunisia as trading route is closedthe prime minister met representatives of civil society and announced measures to develop the region, wh






tunisia demands formal uae apology over women ban | uae news


tunisia is demanding a public apology from the united arab emirates after emirates airlines denied boarding to tunisian women on flights to the gulf country.on friday, the uae-owned carrier stopped accepting dubai-bound female passengers from tunisia. uae officials later cited security reasons for the move, saying that a "terrorist threat" was behind the decision.the move caused public outrage in tunisia, with authorities announcing on sunday the suspension of all emirates flights to and from the north african country.speaking to a tunisian radio station on monday, tunisian foreign minister khemaies jhinaoui said that his uae counterpart, abdullah bin zayed al nahyan, had called him to offer a personal apology.when asked by the shems fm interviewers if a public apology was also necessary,