Schlagwort-Archive: Tunesien

A Revolution On The Banks Of The Nile?

For days now Egyptians are taking to the streets in protest of the Mubarak government. Hundreds have been arrested, some  – including policemen – died. „In the Shadow of the Tunisian Revolution“, reads one article at the website of the Egpytian Muslimbrotherhood. Although it is doubted even by the protesters themselves that Egypt´s long-time ruler will face the same fate as Tunisia´s President Ben Ali – the signs of change in North Africa are visible and heard.

The picture above was taken in Cairo two days ago and might become an iconic image of the 2011 uprising of Egypt´s youth. It is the call for freedom, democracy and a righteous and just government, not the chanting of „Allahu akbar!“ or „Long live Bin Laden!“ that is coming from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan. For too long Arab leaders and the West, especially Europe´s former colonial powers, have ignored the demands of a growing young generation of North Africans calling for change and end to oppression.

2011 could be for Maghreb what 1989 was for Eastern Europe. Thus one should never forget – „Change does not equal progress in the Middle East“

Tunisia´s Historic Revolution…Without The Jihadis

The main goal of the North African Islamist movements was and still is: oversthrowing the secular, Western-backed rulers and regimes of the Arab countries – a requirement for establishing a Sharia-based Taliban-style Islamic State. An overthrow of an Arab leader is a quite rare event in itself but an overthrow of a regime by the people is even rarer. This is just happened in Ben Ali´s Tunisia. Academics, doctors, lawyers and people of other professions took to the streets, a protest that resulted in the run-away of the President and its notorious family clan.

Human rights activists, political opposition and scores of unemployed youth demanded the resignation of President Ben Ali for years. Now their goal has been achieved within a few weeks of – partially – violent protest. But what about the other element of Tunisia´s opposition to the ruling family – the Islamists? They also worked for years to topple Ben Ali´s regime.

Blogger colleague Aaren Zelin has written about the question of Islamist´s involvement in Tunisia´s „Jasmin -Revolution“. He describes how the North-Africa terror network „Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb“ (AQIM) is trying to use the political situation in Tunisia and turning it into an Islamic Revolution – without any effect.

„The uprising, after all, fulfills a top jihadist goal, but it also rebukes their belief that only violent and pious struggle can bring down a man like Ben Ali“  – Aaron writes. Calls for Jihad were silenced when Tunisia´s people took to the streets. Radical Islam has not played any role in the historic revolution in this Maghreb-State – „In Tunisia at least, the jihadist call to arms has rarely seemed less relevant.“

Read Aaron´s article „Jihadists: The Wallflowers of the Tunisian Uprising“ here

The Tiger of Tunisia is Dead

by Florian Flade


On July 27th 2009 the US-Ambassador to Tunisia, Robert F. Godec,  in a diplomatic cable to the Foreign Ministry in Washington D.C., described his experience during a visit to the home of the daughter of Tunisia´s President Zin Abedine Ben Ali and her husband. Godec had been invited for dinner to the mansion of Nesrine Ben Ali and her husband Muhammad Sakher al-Materi in Hammamet. In the document Ambassador Godec describes the compound he visited, writes about the extensive meals, all the foreign staff he saw and the unusual pet of President´s son-in-law Muhammad Sakher al-Materi – a tiger.

„Al-Materi has a large tiger („Pasha“) on his compound, living in a cage“, Ambassador Godec wrote, „He acquired it when it was a few weeks old. The tiger consumes four chickens a day.“ The whole situation, the American diplomat stated, reminded him of Saddam Hussein´s son Uday who owned lions he kept in a private zoo in Baghdad.

After Tunisia´s President Ben Ali fled to Saudi-Arabia last week, angry protesters attacked buildings and property owned by the former ruling family clan. Ben Ali´s son-in-law Muhammad al-Materi has left the country last week, too. It is reported the 30 year-old notorious playboy traveled to exile in Paris. His pet, the tiger „Pasha“, has become the latest victim of Tunisia´s violent riots that toppled the Ben Ali regime.

A mobile phone video uploaded onto Youtube allegedly shows the killed pet tiger of al-Materi being skinned by rioting Tunisians. If the shaky footage does indeed the dead tiger „Pasha“ is not confirmed till now. The cat itself looks rather small, not the size of a full-grown tiger but more like a leopard-type cat. When and where the video of the dead tiger was recorded is not known.