In Sidi Bouzid, cradle of the Tunisian revolution, a decade of disappointed hopes

Sidi Bouzid (Tunisia) (AFP) - In the cradle of the Tunisian revolution, the entrepreneur Khouloud Rhimi can now get involved and talk politics in the café with her friends.But, as at the time of the 2011 uprising, "he does not There is no work in Sidi Bouzid ", she laments bitterly.

This marginalized city in the center of the country, which then boiled down to a network of deteriorated streets lined with ragged shops and dilapidated public buildings, has become a symbol of the revolution.

As such, Sidi Bouzid has benefited from particular political attention: it now has a large municipal swimming pool, leisure places and trendy cafes with wifi where young girls and boys rub shoulders and can criticize the authorities without fear.

But if the revolution brought unprecedented freedom, it did not respond to the other demands of young people who took to the streets in 2011 to oust Zine el Abidine Ben Ali from power: work and dignity.

In the towns of the interior, unemployment remains two to three times higher than the 18% recorded nationally, in particular among young graduates.

It is this same scourge of unemployment and police harassment that had pushed the traveling merchant Mohamed Bouazizi to the limit, to the point that he set himself on fire on December 17, 2010, in the main square of Sidi Bouzid.

- Emigrate to Europe -

His act launched the protest in the marginalized interior of the country, a movement which then reached Tunis and spread to the entire Arab world after the fall of Ben Ali on January 14, 2011.

Ten years have passed, and if Tunisia is hailed as the only country to have continued on the path of democratization, many residents of Sidi Bouzid feel that their life is more difficult.

Posted Date: 2020-12-28

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