Six years have passed since Tunisia’s Revolution of Dignity, which led to the ousting of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and the beginning of a democratic process within the country. The Revolution lasted 28 days, but in some ways, changed the entire Arabic world by inspiring the Arab Spring. Tunisia is often regarded as the lone success story in this series of movements in the Middle East and Northern Africa. “It’s not Syria. It’s not Libya,” says Tunisian investigative journalist Lilya Veslati, adding that the situation in her country is different than in neighboring countries. “The regime changed. New people are governing now.”
In 2014, Tunisia held its second democratic and transparent elections, giving power to some members of the opposition--respecting the vote of the people. And while there have been improvements, Veslati says that people are not very happy these days, and the revolution continues: “Activists, people who were involved in the revolution, people fighting for freedom of expression, for independence of justice, for administrative reform, against corruption, are continuing this struggle and having a lot of hope for a new Tunisia.”
Veslati suggests that Ukraine—also growing skeptical after its 2014 revolution--focus on the real problems in the country: “Don’t be bothered by what the big media say that the problem is terrorists. Our real problem is healthcare and the economy.”
Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Lilya Veslati, Tunisian investigative journalist via Skype on January 13th, 2017.