Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali
A decade after the folks in Thala celebrated their first free and democratic election, all power in Tunisia has become centralized in the hands of President Kais Saied. Yet, paradoxically, Thala’s election organizers were not sad to see the Parliament go. It seems to be a testament to the widely perceived notion that what had manifested after the small successes of the Arab Spring was, in effect, a corrupt and ineffective Parliament, which hadn’t made a difference in people’s everyday lives.
Ten years on, many members of the Ben Ali-Trabelsi clan remain in exile, scattered across the world. But the question that has dogged Tunisians for a decade remains — what happened to the money? Where is it hidden, and will Tunisians ever be able to recover what was stolen from them?
Tunisia, today, remains mired in corruption and offers few prospects to its youth; it is a very different country than the one dreamed of by the thousands who took to the streets inspired by Bouazizi. A returning ISIS fighter on the systemic dysfunction that has set so many of its youth on the path of radicalization.