What does foreign media make of the Ministry of Tourism’s recent decision to regulate the entry of Jews carrying Israel passports into the country? How will a national debate that encompasses questions of ethnicity, religion, secularism, history, and international relations influence potential tourists to Tunisia? For better or worse, the Djerba controversy and Karboulmania that have overcome Tunisia have yet to titillate the international community; if they have penetrated foreign media, the effects on potential tourists appear yet negligible, and reports are charged with neither the spit nor flame of online articles and commentaries from Tunisian journalists and readers alike.
In the wake of shock and outrage regarding the military tribunal’s recent verdict in the Martyrs of the Revolution Affaire, the ANC seems to have become a veritable scapegoat for the growing pains of democratic transition, its interworkings the perceived epitome of mediocrity, incompetency, inefficiency, and obsoleteness.
Is the ‘Martyrs of the Revolution Affair’ that has inundated Tunisian media over the past week symbolic of an already-failing post-revolutionary justice system? Or does it instead reflect the reappearance of the same sort of political corruption that thrived under old regime? Either way, the gaping division between a recent decision announced by Tunisia’s military tribunal and public opinion has Tunisians up in arms or at least on edge about the political, legal, and moral integrity of the State.
Will continuing threats of strikes, milk siphoned across borders and spilled onto streets, and official demands for reforms within the dairy industry inspire more interest in prioritizing the needs of a suffering agricultural sector? Until now, articles and current issues of agricultural significance prompt little public response in comparison to other highly mediatized and provocative and agriculturally-relevant issues such as immigration, smuggling of contraband, border tensions, unemployment, international economic cooperation and trade.
Whereas abroad, «it is whispered in the halls of Washington that Mehdi Jomâa’s profile pleased [Americans] because it is that of a ‘pragmatic businessman,’» his discourse addressed to Tunisians pertaining to the country’s delicate economic situation has «stirred gossip and accusations of exaggeration and conspiracy theories.»
Perusing the articles available in American media on Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa’s visit to Washington, one is faced with the gradation of quality and specificity and attention to detail that exists among different news sources…one is reminded that The Washington Post is a reliable outlet for fluffy pieces about the US’ benevolent role in the so called developing world, for sweeping generalizations about terrorism, the Arab Spring, democracy, etc. Unsurprisingly, most US news sources follow in this line of reporting.
With Article 15 on the table for debate, peaking intensity of conflicts in Medenine over the closure of Ras Jedid, and Jomâa’s glowing reflections about his visit to Washington, and widespread public cynism about the volatility and apparent inefficiency of politics and politicians, the past week in politics in Tunisia captures the give-and-take, all-but-constant process that is ‘democratic transition’.
In the past month during which Tunisia celebrated its fifty-eighth year of independence from France, political parties have crowded public space and consciousness—an ebullient Ennahda rally on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Hamadi Jebali in news headlines, and rumors that Tunisia-Libya border tensions have been exacerbated by political party backing.
The ‘open’ letter to Secretary Kerry, endorsed by and intended for US government officials, is written accordingly, in polished diplomatic terms where the return of every initiative is measured in dollars and proposed projects and investments perpetuate the image of the US abroad as a benevolent (soft) power.
Two themes that prevail in blogs, reports, news articles, and interviews about art and artists in Tunisia are the gap between politics and people, especially youth, and the criminalization and marginalization of art and artists that has continued after the revolution.
With the electoral law on the table for discussion, the nomination of several ministry candidates, and the naming of eighteen governors, it is not surprising that election campaigns have rolled into action. Security remains a prominent issue in the National Dialogue and national media, and although the common concern is that insecurity is a block for the political process and efforts to precipitate democratic elections this year
This week’s highlights in Tunisian news and media: on the serious side, defining international relations and prospects for alliance-building; on a lighter note, Marzouki’s unwitting knack for comedic relief.
88% de Tunisiens estiment que l’économie du pays se porte mal et seulement 50% croient en une amélioration pour l’année prochaine. Ils ne sont plus que 30% à privilégier une démocratie solide à une économie forte. Selon une enquête du Pew research center, basé à Washington, le désespoir économique des Tunisiens s’est intensifié depuis 2012.
في الذكرى الأولى لحادثة الاعتداء السلفي على سفارتها بتونس يوم 14 سبتمبر، جاء في البلاع الأمريكي أننا «سنبقي هنا ونواصل العمل الهام الذي فيه فائدة لبلدينا وشعبينا».
217 incendies, 3 943 hectares ravagés sur la seule période du 1er mai au 26 août 2013 : ce sont les derniers chiffres, alarmants, communiqués par la direction générale des forêts. 60 % de ces feux sont d’origine inconnue. Les acteurs de l’environnement déplorent des pratiques criminelles destinées à s’accaparer illégalement terrains et pâturages ; sans compter de possibles agissements d’ordre politique destinés à semer la confusion ou à occuper les services sécuritaires.
Existe-t-il une réelle communication qui permet de rendre lisible la feuille de route de la majorité, lisibilité qui requiert en même temps la coopération de l’opposition ? Autrement dit est ce que le consensualisme est la seule clef pour ouvrir la boite du sauvetage tant vanté par l’opposition ? Quelle est la nature de la crise que connait le pays ? Et quelle est la place de l’opposition dans cette situation de crise ?
Depuis un mois, deux hommes, l’ex-juge Mokhtar Yahyaoui et l’ex-bâtonnier de l’Ordre national des avocats Abderrazak Kilani, jouent le rôle de médiateurs entre les partis politiques les plus importants sur la scène politique en Tunisie pour apaiser les tensions.