Ben Ali

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Golden butterflies are fluttering across this town. They’re the symbol of Movies that Matter, the
Few would dispute the significant advances Tunisians have made towards democratization since escaping Ben Ali's dictatorship in 2011. But these accomplishments have remained elitist matters, viewed with apathy by the wider population.
TUNIS, Tunisia -- Exactly five years after the Arab Spring, Tunisia's revolutionary achievements have disappeared. Once considered the country that resisted the chaos that took over most of the MENA region after 2011, it seems to be sliding back into its pre-revolutionary situation. There is only one cause for this: poor leadership.
The majority of Muslims see no real contradiction between Islam and democracy. Today, the most profound struggles in the Middle East are between democratic visions, whether secularist or religious, and authoritarianism, whether secularist or religious.
As soon as the Tunisian elections results were announced with Nidaa Tounes overtaking Ennahdha party, celebrations of the "Islamists'" defeat at the hands of the "secularists" got underway across the media in France and many other western capitals.
In the days after Brahmi's assassination, Prime Minister Ali Larayedh announced the government's intent to push through the
The repatriation of $28.8 million of Ben Ali's stolen assets is a victory for the people of Tunisia. Now, let's try to keep it there.
The fear is that the growing climate of violence, intimidation and polarization could rip the fabric of Tunisian society apart, just as this new democratic space and culture of pluralism are forming. But I left the country feeling optimistic that, despite all its challenges, Tunisia will navigate these waters and find its way forward.
If we consider what has happened in countries such as Mali and Sudan, and what is now happening in the CAR, it appears that radical political change in the failed or failing states of SSA is the new normal.
The Constitution has not been drafted, the date of the next election has not been set, and we continue to plod through the various crises agitating our society and an economy that does not stop sinking.
They took everyone by surprise, including themselves," reads the introduction to The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolution, a new book by Marwan Bishara, Senior Political Analyst for Al Jazeera English.
Contrary to this recent pessimism, there is strong reason to believe that the Arab spring will spread in the short term and succeed over the longer term.
Jean-Pierre Filiu's book "The Arab Revolution" is timely to say the least, offering a short but concise series of historical perspectives and modern analyses to form 10 lessons from what he terms the "democratic uprising."
About a month ago, my husband Paul and I were en route to Tunisia, which was largely calm and peaceful, to see what the revolution was like on the ground. In my experience, there is media, and then there is reality.
To no one's surprise, the regime ruling Iran is watching the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, searching for a way to exploit the outcomes to its advantage.
The script that should be paid attention to is that Saudi's King will run the oil world until Middle East tumult threatens his family's power.
Berlin reporter Jabeen Bhatti and I created a project on the crowd-sourcing platform Kickstarter to help fund a trip to Tunisia to go to ground, talking to people and figuring out what is really going on, then telling those stories.
It was no surprise to learn that George Lucas filmed some of the most memorable scenes from Star Wars in Tunisia: its desert landscape is indeed alien and has a stark, evocative beauty.
Why would Duvalier, a Haitian living in France, care about a law change in Switzerland? Money -- that's why.
When I woke up, it was made immediately clear that there was no other option than to leave Egypt. Things were still incredibly hectic. Use of the internet and cell phones was still blocked.