Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | Categories: Episodes
Co-founder of Tunisia Live, Zied Mhrisi
The death of Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor with little status and no political connections was enough to help bring down the government of Tunisia and set off a wave of unrest that shook the Middle East. Now, the assassination of a much better connected Tunisian with lots of status, lots of friends and a lot of political clout has again sparked Tunisian fury.
We can't know where last week's murder of Chokri Belaid will take Tunisia. But tens of thousands of mourners choked the streets of Tunis to protest the killing of the opposition politician. And once again, the stability of the country that gave birth to the so-called Arab Spring is threatened.
Sunday, the secular party of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki announced that it was quitting the coalition government - it then changed its mind. The coalition is dominated by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which rose to prominence in the country's first free vote.
Today, many Tunisians are disillusioned with the revolution that once promised so much ... others remain hopeful that change is coming slowly but surely.
Zied Mhrisi is the co-founder of Tunisia Live, an English speaking news site in Tunisia. He was in Tunis.
Panel: Mustapha Tlili / Andrew Marshall/ Maytha Alhassen
No country has ever found a straight road to democracy; the Middle Eastern route may seem more curved and rocky, but is it really insurmountable?
Our next three guests have their own perspectives on this.
Mustapha Tlili is the Founder and Director of The Centre for Dialogues: Islamic World, U.S. and the West. He was in our New York studio.
Andrew Marshall is an independent researcher on globalization. He was in Montreal.
And Maytha Alhassen is a Fellow in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the author of Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions.
For more on the story of Tunisia as the birthplace of the Arab Spring, and Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who started it after his terrifying suicide, here is a documentary by Piya Chattopadhyay called From the Embers ... The story of Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who started the Arab Spring.
This segment was produced by The Current's Jess deMello, Pacinthe Mattar and Patricia Brotzel. .
Listener Valentine Stories
Just two days to Valentine's Day and we'd love to share your true tales of romance with our listeners. We understand that your stories of love are interesting to you -- but remember what makes them interesting to others -- conflict, drama, humour and struggle. Happy endings are great -- but stories of love gone horribly horribly wrong -- well, there's a place for them as well. And this is the place.
Last Word - Senator Brazeau Video
Earlier on the show, we were talking about the reform -- or even abolition-- of the Senate. Last week, Senator Patrick Brazeau was thrown out of the Conservative caucus until assault charges against him are resolved.
Before his difficulties, Senator Brazeau hosted a video aimed at introducing Canadians to the Red Chamber and explaining some of its duties.
For today's Last word, here's a short tour of the Senate from a short term senator.
Other segments from today's show: