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Tunisia

Maghreb Media Roundup (October 23)

[Image of election lists in Tunisia during the 2011 elections. Image by Tarek/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria En Algérie, le régime est à bout de souffle Algerian police protested in front of the Presidential Palace for twenty-four hours last week calling for an end to “Hogra,” or humiliation. This unprecedented demonstration comes at a time when many are questioning who is running the country as President Bouteflika has ...

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New Texts Out Now: Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet

[Cover of Linda Herrera,

Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet. London and New York: Verso, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Linda Herrera (LH): In the months prior to the Arab uprisings, I had been conducing research on Egypt’s “wired generation”—their social media habits, ways of doing politics, and networks. When it became known that Egypt’s popular mobilization on 25 January 2011 was launched from a Facebook page, I literally found myself pulled by the astonishing force of events, as if lifted by a political tornado. I did not know where this force would take me—indeed I could not have imagined—but I knew ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (July 26)

[Image of the border between Mauritania and the Western Sahara. Image by David Holt/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria Algeria Plane Crash Site Found in Mali With No Survivors After an extensive search effort, the crash site of Air Algerie Flight 5017, which went missing on Thursday with 118 passengers on board, was found near the border between Mali and Burkina Faso. France Confirms No Survivors in Air Algerie Plane ...

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Tunisia: The Collective Making of a Constitution

Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA) session held on 26 January 2014 did not put an end to disagreements among its members. However, it did represent the culmination of the work done by members. These members were elected by people on 23 October 2011 to draft the provisions of the Constitution of the Tunisian Republic. The draft was ratified during the January session. The ratification of the constitution has thus pushed quarrels and political conflicts among assembly members from center stage to the margins. Before the NCA had begun its work, politicians promised to complete the drafting process in one year. However, drafting the 149 articles of the ...

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Turbulent Muslim Renaissance in Tunisia: Interview with Ennahda's Yusra Ghannouchi

[Image of Ennahda members at a press briefing in Tunisia. Image courtesy of Magharebia/Flickr.]

The political transformations that occurred after the Arab Spring saw the emergence of political Islam with new force. This occurred not only in Tunisia, where the revolutions began, but more widely in the whole Middle East and North Africa region. More than three years after Ben Ali’s fall, Islamists are still part of political processes in Tunisia, whereas in some other places (like Egypt) their role in politics has been significantly restricted. This interview with Dr. Yusra Ghannouchi, the international spokesperson for the Tunisian Ennahda Party and daughter of its founder Rashid Ghannouchi, was held in London at the end of February 2014. It assesses the performance ...

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Tunisian Heritage is Not for Sale: Privatization Threatens Country’s Historic Sites

[Image courtesy of Nawaat.org.]

In a rather low-key, overlooked way, the Tunisian Minister of Culture, Mourad Sakli, announced yesterday on a radio program on Jawhara FM that the ministry plans on privatizing Tunisian heritage sites. The plan is to have private companies lease the sites for periods of twenty-five to thirty years. The minister justified the privatization plan by referencing the dire state of affairs over at the Tunisian National Heritage Institute. Namely, how the Institute only has six offices (in a total of twenty-four governorates) and that there are staff shortages experienced in each office. The conclusion that he (and his ministry) came to is that the Tunisian ...

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Event Report-Back -- Reflections on the 22nd Annual Cairo Papers Symposium: Disabilities, Revolution, and the Politics of Hope

[Logo of the American University in Cairo Middle East Studies Center. Image from aucegypt.edu]

On 15 March 2014, the Cairo Papers in Social Science (CPSS), in collaboration with the Middle East Studies Center at the American University in Cairo, hosted its twenty-second annual symposium titled “Disabilities, Revolution, and the Politics of Hope.” The CPSS, established in 1977 by social science departments at AUC, is a quarterly monograph series under the direction of Iman Hamdy. The symposium brought together both academics and activists, in order to explore how different social thinkers and actors understand the body’s relationship to the state. With that, panelists from Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Armenia, the United States, and beyond came together to share their ...

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Trente ans de recherche sur Tunis et les grandes villes tunisiennes

Recension: Morched Chabbi, L'urbain en Tunisie. Processus et Projets, (Tunis: Nirvana, 2012). Durant les trois dernières décennies, Morched Chabbi a mené de front deux activités: l’urbanisme et la recherche en sciences sociales, principalement sur Tunis et les grandes villes tunisiennes. Ces deux activités se complètent et s’enrichissent mutuellement, et cet ouvrage paru en 2012 en offre l’illustration. Rassemblant les principales publications de M. Chabbi depuis les années 1980, L’urbain en Tunisie est organisé en deux grandes parties respectivement consacrées aux processus d’urbanisation et aux politiques urbaines (au sens large). Du fait de la variété des ...

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In Conversation with Artist Nadia Ayari

[Nadia Ayari's

Since the start of her artistic practice over a decade ago, Nadia Ayari has engaged painting and the history of its development with marked intensity and seriousness. Adding to the complexity that one finds in her usage of the medium is her subject matter, which is not easily decipherable; figural but somehow abstracted and simultaneously sensual with tinges of the grotesque. Her “figures” are outwardly peculiar, psychologically laden, and allegorically political—a combination that is accentuated by the painterly force with which they are rendered if one considers the artist’s stirring palette, her cinematic usage of space, and the densely executed brushmarks that add a ...

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Jihadism and Contraband on Tunisia's Borders

[Logo of International Crisis Group. Image from crisisgroup.org]

 [The following briefing was published by the International Crisis Group on 28 November 2013] Jihadism and Contraband on Tunisia's Borders Executive Summary and Recommendations Tunisia is embroiled in recurrent political crises whose origins in security concerns are ever more evident. While still of low-intensity, jihadi attacks are increasing at an alarming rate, fuelling the rumour mill, weakening the state and further polarising the political scene. The government coalition, dominated by the Islamist An-Nahda, and the secular opposition trade accusations, politicising questions of national security rather than addressing them. Meanwhile, the gap widens between ...

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Nouveau Webdoc: Au centre de Tunis: géographies de l’espace public après une révolution

[Screenshot du site

Un nouveau web-documentaire intitulé Au centre de Tunis: Géographies de l’espace public après une révolution est paru sur le net. Il s’agit d’une recherche universitaire réalisée par des géographes de l’Université de Cagliari (Italie), du Politecnico de Turin et de l’Université Montpellier 3 (UMR GRED), conçue et produite avec des professionnels des médias (photographes, vidéastes et journalistes), en collaboration avec l’agence Prospekt Photographers de Milan, et financée par la Fondazione Banco di Sardegna. Au centre de Tunis est une recherche urbaine multimédia sur le changement des pratiques et des usages des espaces publics de Tunis, à trois ans de la Révolution de ...

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The Tunisian Constitution: The Process and the Outcome

[A copy of the new Tunisian Constitution lays on a parliament member's desk at the Constituent Assembly, in Tunis, Monday, 27 January 2014. Image by Hassene Dridi/AP Photo.]

The National Constituent Assembly (NCA) recently passed the new Tunisian Constitution on 26 January (and endorsed it officially on 27 January), to emotional and widely reported scenes. This constitution may be as important in the way it came about as in what it actually says. In both its formation and its content, much is at stake for Tunisia, the continuing revolutions in the Arab world, and beyond. In a previous extended article, I discuss the culture of constitutionalism in Tunisia, and how this latest episode is related to this tradition and bears its imprint. The first phase of the transition after the Ben Ali dictatorship was rich in constitutionalism. ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Crowds and Politics in North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya

Andrea Khalil, Crowds and Politics in North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya. London: Routledge, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?             Andrea Khalil (AK): In the fall of 2010, I was researching a book on the 5 October 1988 riots in Algeria. I was in France and Algeria from July-December 2010 looking for documents, archives, photos, testimonies, and literature about the riots. The events in Tunisia in the middle of ...

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Djerba, Tunisia: Garbage Disposal, the Environmental Crisis, and the Awakening of Ecoconsciousness

Djerba is an island in the south of Tunisia, often referred to as “the island of dreams.” In Homer’s Odyssey, Djerba is the enchanting land of the lotus-eaters; the land whose flowers charmed the companions of Odysseus and made them forget all thoughts of return. Today Djerba is one of Tunisia’s top tourist destinations. Home to al-Ghriba, Africa’s oldest synagogue, the island annually attracts hundreds of Jewish pilgrims from all over the world. Djerba also boasts fifteen centers of thalassotherapy and ...

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Mohamed Bouazizi, l'ouvrier agricole : Relire la « révolution » depuis les campagnes tunisiennes

Bouazizi, l'autre histoire On pourrait commencer l'histoire au début des années 2000. Mohamed, orphelin de son père, devient responsable de sa fratrie et doit subvenir aux besoins de sa famille. Lorsque son oncle maternel, Salah, achète une terre agricole de 18 hectares dans la région de Regueb (gouvernorat de Sidi Bouzid, Tunisie), Mohamed commence à travailler sur l'exploitation. Lui, Salah et d'autres membres de la famille ainsi que des ouvriers saisonniers s'occupent des oliviers et des cultures ...

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'Mind the Gap: Bridging Knowledge and Practices of Activism' at the Fourth Arab Bloggers Meeting

Since the political movements known as the Arab Uprisings erupted in late 2010, some of them leading to the toppling of a handful of long-lived authoritarian regimes in the area, the influence of networked communication technologies on social change and activism has taken center stage in an animated debate spanning across multiple communities and discussion sites. More specifically, the Internet, because of the participatory and social dimensions suggested by web 2.0[1] platforms and social ...

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Séminaire: Quel modèle de décentralisation des services urbains en Tunisie? (6 juin, Tunis)

Vendredi 6 juin 2014, 8h30-17h30, Hôtel Golden Tulip, El-Mechtel, Tunis Conférence organisée par l’Association Tunisienne des Urbanistes, la Direction Générale des Collectivités Locales (ministère de l’Intérieur) et l’Unité de Recherche Droit et Gouvernance. La question territoriale a été au cœur de la révolution tunisienne. Les déséquilibres régionaux et les difficultés d’accès à l’emploi et aux services ont dès lors fait partie des thèmes les plus médiatisés sur la scène politique de l’après 14 ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Women, Gender, and the Arab Spring

Andrea Khalil, editor, Women, Gender, and the Arab Spring, special issue of The Journal of North African Studies 19.2 (2014). Forthcoming as a book with Routledge. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue?  Andrea Khalil (AK): During my fieldwork in Tunisia (2011-13) working on a book, I was sensitized to the profound problems that women in Tunisia were facing since the Revolution, and more generally, the urgency to address gender issues and activism in the new context. The ...

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وقفة احتجاجية لعاملات الجنس في تونس

 "من كان منكم بلا خطيئة، فليرمها بحجر" السيّد المسيح  مطلع شهر آذار/مارس الفائت، وقفت عشر نساء أمام المجلس الوطني التأسيسي للمطالبة بإعادة فتح ماخور مدينة سوسة المُغلق منذ سنة وأربعة أشهر، بعد حملات نظمتها مجموعات من الشباب السلفي. يصل خبر النسوة إلى نائبة رئيس المجلس، السيدة محرزية لعبيدي (من حزب حركة النهضة)، فتأذن لثلاث منهن بالدخول للاستماع لمطالبهن المتمثلة في إعادة فتح الماخور المُغلق بناء على حُكم قضائي.يبدو أن لا أحد تساءل عن مصير عشرات السيدات اللاتي هُدمت بيوتهن ونهبت ...

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About Human Breakage and Fragility

Nezar was a twenty-three year-old man with a Schizoid personality disorder. He became a regular visitor to my clinic after he entered my office once by mistake. I started to follow his case since that incident, and we developed a strong treatment relationship when I got to know him. He was in a state of severe autism but by coincidence he saw one of Salim Barakat’s novels on my desk on that day, and it took him out of his schizophrenic autism and drew him closer to me. “The pain of the tamed, ...

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Tunisia’s Consensus, or When a Kiss Is Just a Kiss

With the constitution out of the way and a technocratic government appointed to oversee the country up until the election, Tunisia’s cultural wars have taken a backseat, but that does not mean they are not over. Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa replaced the Ennahda-led coalition government after it stepped down on 29 January following months of negotiations between representatives of the governing parties and leading opposition parties and facilitated by a quartet of civilian organizations. The various ...

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القانون الانتخابي في تونس بين فخّ المال السياسي والصعوبات القانونية واللوجستية

استخدام المال السياسي في الانتخابات التشريعية والرئاسية هي جريمة استفحلت في جميع الدول ولكن بمستويات مختلفة. وتتباين خطورة هذه الجريمة بين دول العالم بمدى التزام كل منها بتطبيق قانون انتخابي ذي معايير دولية يراعي في كل فصوله ضرورة غلق الأبواب أمام أية محاولات لشراء أصوات الناخبين خصوصا من طرف الأحزاب الكبرى. ففي تونس مثلا سجّل المراقبون خلال انتخابات المجلس التأسيسي التي جرت يوم 23 أكتوبر من سنة 2011 آلاف التجاوزات التي تصب أغلبها في استغلال أصوات الناخبين من ذوي الدخل المحدود بمقابل مادي أو من خلال عدم ...

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The Janet Abu-Lughod I Knew

I first met Janet L. Abu-Lughod in December 1990 when I invited her to be a keynote speaker for the biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) held that year in Berkeley, California. The conference theme, “First World/Third World,” was right down Janet’s alley. She was, of course, by then a recognized public intellectual and a well-established scholar whose contributions spanned fields as disparate as urban sociology, planning history, and ...

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ثورة كطوق الياسمين

تنفجر الثورات حيث لا يشتهي المنظرون. هكذا بنى كارل ماركس نظريته الشيوعية (التحررية) وألمانيا الصناعية (المتقدمة) نصب عينيه، فانتفضت روسيا الفلاحية (المتخلفة) وقامت جنة العمال الاستبدادية. وعلى نفس المنوال رأينا شعب كوبا راقص السالسا ومدخن السيجار يتحول إلى مصدر للاشتراكية، وأصبحت الجزيرة الصغيرة مسمار جحا الأحمر في قلب أمريكا الرأسمالية. هكذا إذاً فاجأتنا تونس الخضراء، بلد الفرح الدائم، وطن الأمن والأمان: شعبها أراد إسقاط النظام! ولشدة سلمية الشعب التونسي وهدوء أمواج تاريخه لم يتمكن المستشرقون الأوربيون ...

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