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

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More