As Tunisia's economy falters, its autocratic president, Kais Saied, is struggling to hold onto the powers he seized in 2021. Yet suspicion of the Islamist Ennahda party — the country’s largest and best organized political force — still divides the opposition, Monica Marks tells New Lines magazine's Erin Clare Brown. Can Tunisians restore their hard-won democracy without them?
Marwa Tahlaoui knows exactly how much inflation rises monthly in Tunisia, and the increases in the prices of taxis, bread and gasoline. Yet “for the first time,” she says, she doesn’t “even know the names of the candidates” running for parliament in her district.
Following the Arab Spring’s upheaval, a new wave of Tunisian women filmmakers is now dominating their nation’s film industry and telling the stories of a country that has traditionally served as a backdrop in Hollywood.
A month after Tunisia passed its controversial new constitution, analyst Mohamed-Dhia Hammami joins New Lines’ Lydia Wilson in The Lede to talk about the alarming power it grants president Kais Saied — and what that means for Tunisia’s hard-won democracy.
On July 25 — Tunisia’s Republic Day — the 2014 constitution will almost surely be discarded via referendum in favor of one written by Tunisia’s ascendant autocrat, Kais Saied, a former adjunct law professor who has amassed sole control of the country over the last year as he has systematically dismantled the Parliament, government, judiciary and independent election commission.
Rached Ghannouchi’s colleagues may claim he is coming out against Saied late in the day. But in this interview, he says his position has aligned with Tunisians who initially supported Saied’s constitutional coup only to slowly turn against him with increasing evidence of anti-democratic plans for the country.
Even among the skeptics, there is more to Stambali than mere cabaret. It is to Stambali that the marginalized, the overlooked, the descendants of slaves, ex-prisoners, sex workers and unwed mothers look for advice and solace. But Tunisia’s last remaining practitioner may be the end of Stambali.