Tunisia: On the Road to Nowhere

This post originally appeared at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR): Steven Cook’s From the Potomac to the Euphrates blog. Steven Cook is a Middle East’s expert and a senior fellow at CFR. He just visited and wrote this insightful.  I repost here with permission. Enjoy…



“The only things [that have] changed are the names of the streets. They used to be [called] November 7, now they are [called] December 17.”

A young Tunisian said this to me in Sidi Bouzid on Sunday. For those less familiar with Tunisian history, on November 7, 1987, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali pushed the country’s founder, Habib Bourguiba, from power in a palace coup, and December 17, 2010, is the day when Mohammed al-Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of the governorate building in Sidi Bouzid—an act of desperation that began the Tunisian uprising that deposed Ben Ali almost a month later. The quote is a simple and powerful rebuke to the oft-repeated phrase that Tunisia is “the one Arab Spring success story.” The country is not yet a success, but it also is not a failure.

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About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues
This entry was posted in Middle East, Politics, Tunisia and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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