14 January 2011

A Little Focus on Tunisia

AFTER A WEEK of focus on America's democracy, it would be a welcome development if the media would focus on what has been happening in Tunisia over the past few days. One of the benefits of having international news stations on our cable list (CNN International, BBC World, etc.) is that we get a lot of international news that 'national' news broadcasts often miss (and, fair enough -- they are trying to reach domestic markets -- I get that).

Like the Iranian protests a couple summers ago, there is a real sense that something big is happening. Today's development alone is worth noting: the current President of 23 years has agreed to to run for re-election. Yes, President Ben Ali has been in office for nearly a quater century. He has also told his security forces to stop shooting at protesters. Hopefully that means an end to scenes like this one:

Tunisia is just across the 'pond' from France and the area where we live is full of Tunisian immigrants so you can imagine the reaction the protests are getting here. I have several students who are of Tunisian background and one of the told me today that "it's all we do in our house...watch the television for news from back home."

Update: even more is happening since I first put up this post. Big things!

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