What If Tunisia Were Set Ablaze Again

What If Tunisia Were Set Ablaze Again!

The little big country we call ‘Tunisia’ is on trial once again. Until recently, we thought that the country that set the Arab world ablaze five years ago paved the way for a safe and dignified future for its people. The fact that it received the Nobel Prize for peace in 2015 is proof enough of the esteem and confidence the world saw in its stride. Dialogue and compromise won the day. But unemployment, despair, and blind ambition of all those who aspire to lead—and there are many who want to do so in spite of the fact that they have neither the skill nor the vision the country is badly in need of—are rife. What is required is a young dynamic team of able people who love Tunisia unconditionally and are willing to put its future ahead of their greed. They must fling away all pride for its sake. Otherwise, we are in for another sudden convulsion the consequence of which no one can predict. We must avoid the bloody scroll of our time.
Tunisia is able to reach a higher ground than the shaky one it is standing on now because it has the capacity to overreach itself as it has done since its inception in 814 BC. What it lacks is a vision for the future and a total eradication of the plague that is called ‘fanaticism.’ This can be achieved. To begin with, what must be dealt with here and now is unemployment, especially in the remote areas—I am thinking of the interior of the country where young people have lost hope—all hope for a better life. The bomb shell that is waiting to be detonated can explode any time if the leadership do not awake from the torpor that has taken hold of most of them. I have in mind those who wear suits and ties and fancy dresses and put on make up with the intention to appear on television in order to impress their neighbors and so-called friends and the rest of us. Those are the poseurs, the gesticulators, the half-made fellows who are blinded by their insights if they happen to have any at all. They may live to regret the day when they had the reins of power. They had better beware of what the future and will of the people hold for them. No one will cry for them if one day they find themselves in the eye of the tornado. When more than 40% of those under 20 years of age cannot find a job that enables them to live not a full life but half a life, the road ahead of them and ahead of all the hollow men and women who call themselves ‘leaders’ is a steep one. Many years of neglect and hogra (the state of being left out of consideration) has plagued the hinterland (Kasserine in particular) since independence and still does to this day.
The will to turn things around seems to be there for all to seize, but there is also a sense of numbness that has taken hold of certain people who would like to keep the status quo so that they can benefit from it in the next election, that is to say, if we last that long. They continue to play with a smoldering fire. As an observer from the outside, one can only pray and hope for a better day for the little big country. In the past, Tunisia overcame many obstacles and climbed many hills one by one. Whether it is able to do so and gaze on another shore where peace, prosperity, and a decent life can be afforded is an open question. In the meantime, those who have been excluded and ignored and sidestepped and diminished and degraded—in fine, those who call themselves the ‘wretched of Tunisia’ continue to wait in vain for a bright future.