News / Middle East

Scholar: Tunisians Celebrating, but Keeping Eye on Egypt

Celebrations in the streets of Tunis, January 22, 2011
Celebrations in the streets of Tunis, January 22, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

In Tunisia, the second government in as many weeks struggles to keep the country running, and stability seems a long way in the future. However, in the midst of chaos, say observers, there is joy, as a people long used to suppression of free speech and other basic freedoms are finding their voices and rights again. Larbi Sadiki teaches Middle East Politics at Britain’s University of Exeter and arrived in Tunis on Sunday. He told VOA’s Cecily Hilleary that as Tunisians are celebrating their new-found freedoms, they are also carefully monitoring the popular uprising in Egypt.

Listen to the full interview with Larbi Sadiki:

Asked about the mood on the streets of Tunis, Sadiki describes it as “unbelievable,” adding that new-found freedoms have given rise to a number of new groups in the country all representing different agendas.

“People on the margins of society and the economy are coming in from the hinterland to represent their own causes.”

Exeter University senior lecturer Larbi Sadiki sees pan-Arab solidarity emerging among cyber activists
Exeter University senior lecturer Larbi Sadiki sees pan-Arab solidarity emerging among cyber activists

“It’s like they have re-discovered sovereignty,” says Sadiki after he observed a group of Tunisians gathered in front of the Interior Ministry building protesting the appointment of the incumbent prime minister.

Sadiki does acknowledge that there is a lot chaos and uncertainty, but adds that the changes are almost “therapeutic” for Tunisians, and “amazing to see.”

The Exeter scholar says that Tunisians are also keenly aware of what is going in Egypt, realizing the scale of events there and the strategic importance of Egypt, with implications that add Israeli, US and EU dimensions.

Sadiki also says that there are contacts between Tunisian and Egyptian cyber activists, and that information is being exchanged between them on matters like how to deal with security forces and how to keep the momentum of the protests going. It seems like some kind of pan-Arab cyber solidarity is emerging between the Tunisians and the Egyptians, and it’s all over Twitter and Facebook, says he.

Overall, says Sadiki, the winds are changing and they are blowing from Tunisia further to the east. “No one ever expected this to happen and now it’s happening before our eyes,” adds he.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid