Since the president’s sweeping decisions announced on July 25, Ennahdha member Radwan Masmoudi has waged a media war against Kais Saied. A controversial figure, Masmoudi has long juggled between his activities in civil society and in politics. And this is not the first time that his statements have elicited so much controversy and raised questions about his connections both within and outside of Tunisia.
It’s mathematics. In T-minus 10 days, Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def, will be at Carpe Diem in La Marsa for Tunis Block Party (TBP) on May 10. Like the first two editions organized by collectives FRD, Upper Underground and Debo, the event will gather la crème de la crème of Tunisian DJs, Bboys, rappers and graffers. After an impressive turnout for block parties 1 and 2, a performance by the « Bey of Brooklyn » is sure to draw an even larger crowd for the event’s third edition. But TBP is not just a show for hip hop aficionados: with as much emphasis on street as stage, the party promises equal parts entertainment plus much-needed, healthy competition for participating artists.
Since the departure of Ben Ali which symbolized the end of a decades-long case of “state capture,” the push to flesh out US-Tunisia trade relations has manifested in State-driven initiatives to stimulate foreign investment and in calls to adopt a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Among the forces pushing for the facilitation of foreign investment, the American Chamber of Commerce in Tunisia is lobbying for national regulatory reforms—specifically the Investment Code and laws governing intellectual rights—as well as a new bilateral trade agreement.
In Tunisia’s case, there will likely be for many years to come the relentless push, from both without and within, for foreign governments and institutions to supply aid, support, assistance, and know-how to the end/under the pretext of promoting economic growth, social justice, and State accountability. In this context, will Tunisia allow outside interests and impositions to define its foreign relations and, by extension, its own autonomy? or will it remain vigilant, deliberate, and selective in decisions concerning relations with its geographical neighbors, economic ‘partners,’ and strategic ‘friends’?
Integral to Tunisia’s internal security operations is its cooperation with foreign governments. Partnerships with Italy, France, and the United States address national security as well as regional security issues including immigration, trafficking, and terrorism. The operations of G8 Leader countries in the MENA region are (unofficially but observably) distinctive and complementary: Italy oversees migration in the Mediterranean; France via the Ministry of the Interior focuses on national security and the police, and the United States Department of Defense is engaged in a «war on terrorism.»