Tunisia: The Way Forward

Tunisia: The Way Forward


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Imed Lassoued

Imed Lassoued is a Tunisian journalist. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in literature from the Faculty of Arts, Letters and Humanities La Manouba of Tunis, Tunisia. You can follow him on Twitter at: @imed2010 [/symple_box]

Tunis, Tunisia The heinous attack at the Bardo museum on Wednesday the 18th of March has undoubtedly brought world attention to our country and spilled many inks. This time the scale of the event is by all means shocking and needs a strong message.  A large number of world leaders have condemned this barbaric onslaught on innocent lives and reiterated their unfailing support for this fledgling democracy.  Although Tunisia is seen by many as a success story in the so called Arab Spring, it is not immune from the sweeping terror engulfing the region.  A number of questions have been asked amid the dastardly attack: Is Tunisia a fertile ground for terrorist groups to operate on its soil? ; Aren’t our borders from the Libyan side safe enough to prevent terrorists from having access to our country?

It seems what has occurred in Bardo was inevitable. The right question to be asked now is why such attack happened and what should be done in order to prevent other tragic events. The attack came at a time where Tunisia is preparing its tourism industry to welcome a substantial number of holiday makers. All those who work in tourism know very well that the starting months of each year are the right period for flight and hotel bookings. That is why this attack came in order to hit hard this sector and consequently make the economy suffer a great deal. The second aim behind this attack is to derail the democratic process that Tunisia has embarked on ever since the revolution. Now how should we react in order to pick up ourselves from this blow and stand firmly?

It is a prime time to craft a road map. This road map should include a number of quick but bold measures. This event should be invested positively. It should be an opportunity to underpin our unity. The march on Sunday against Terrorism should showcase our solidarity regardless of our political affiliations. Our political disputes should be left in the dome of the parliament. I think that we all agree that tourism is a shaky sector. Any blow at security may tarnish the whole industry and push tourists to think twice before choosing our country as a destination. For this reason, the government should revamp other sectors that may withstand any security threat. Agriculture is a case in point in Tunisia. Youngsters are not stirred by taking a job in this field. We should think seriously on how to make this sector quite appealing to them. Educational reforms should not take long time to see light. Our educational system is in dire need for a bold reform so as to make it cement the sense of patriotism and openness. Equally important is the introduction of critical thinking in educational syllabuses. Critical thinking saves us from falling into dogma and therefore radicalization. Of most importance is the printing and selling of books. Readership is by far a means whereby to gauge society’s well being, of course among other factors. Book fairs should take place in many cities throughout the year, and books should be sold at a price that an ordinary citizen can afford. Fighting terrorism is a daily work that needs the efforts of all people from all walks of life. But equally important is fighting poverty and igniting the kindle of hope in every young and old citizen, with an aim to making them not only dream but feel that they can fulfill their dreams in their country.

The different events that have marked the transitional phase in Tunisia throughout the previous four years have shown us that moving from an Orwellian style of governance to a democratic one is a costly one, yet one worthy of taking. Maybe I should remind myself and my fellow Tunisians that loving Tunisia is not a matter of words, it is a matter of hard-work instead. The hammering out of a new chart is urgent.