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Indipendence Day Tunisia

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In one of those hot days of August, five years ago, I took the plane, for the first time in my life, heading to one of the most beautiful cities worldwide, Paris, the capital of culture, history, science, democracy and human rights. Tunisia, my home country, was then still governed by the so-called “Change-maker”* regime. Unlike the society where I had just landed, there were in Tunisia neither open debates, nor public discussions or talks, although Tunisia is, economically and socially, far away behind France. However, there were only whispers coming from here and there complaining about their life conditions and worrying about their children future in front of this deaf regime.

Things went so until one day, a poor young man desperately put himself in fire but he also put fire into many of his compatriots’ heart who reacted immediately manifesting their anger about their miserable situation. Many other citizens, especially youngsters, wanted to show their support. They simply went in the streets, denouncing corruption, clientelism and criminality within the state. Some of them chanted a so strange slogan at that time, “Trabelsi** get out”. How could they do it? I did not believe, the population I had always known being scared is shouting against the regime. Unbelievable!

The movement seemed not to stop. Instead, it grew up until the President escape was announced in the media. To be honest, as many Tunisians, I was very anxious on that day because, we were not used to that, we thought the regime was strong, and if it had gone away, the country would enter in big chaos. Some incidents took place after Ben Ali departure, but the population, fortunately, was not exposed to a big danger. The state remained existing (it still does), all the necessary services (electricity, water…) were still ensured. All employees were back on the next Monday.

Several months later, the Tunisian people elected proudly and joyfully his new parliament, in a transparent and fair way (for the first time in Tunisia’s history). Personally, I was proud of it, and saw the same feeling on way compatriot’s faces. The deputies’ mission was to rewrite a new constitution, fairer and more developed, supposed to boost our country toward progress. Just after the elections, the enthusiasm and the optimism were at their top. Unfortunately, few months later, the enthusiasm started to decline among the population.

From one side, the new managers of Tunisia do not seem to tackle the real problems and their approach against the most critical economic issues is not boosting hope and trust in the future. From the other side, the opposition is not that better. It blindly criticizes whatever done by the ruling countries without any concrete alternatives. Both are focusing on their own speeches. In the meanwhile, the population is disappointed; the life cost is increasing, making it harder to find an exit gate out of this political crisis.

 am not a political expert; nevertheless, I still believe this gate exists. Nobody has the key to open it. It will open by itself once everyone focuses on the nations’ interests: all Tunisians should believe in their potentials and go forwards. Fighting for one’s interest is useless, is the ship Tunisia gets lost, all passenger on board will flow. We celebrated few days our “Independence day”, this should remind us, and how far can our people go, if we put all our hands together. (Mohamed Ghassen Ncibi)

*Change-maker: Nickname which designed the ex-president Ben Ali for Propaganda reasons. He considered himself as the one who could remove former president “Bourguiba” and get into power making with that a “change”.

** Trabelsi: family name of Ben Ali’s wife and designs within the Tunisian society her family who controlled a big part of Tunisia’s economy. They were known by corruption.