In my last blog I described a country of paradox and acceptance of people. In this blog I relate what is a retaliation against the countries progressive and accepting ways. You can’t blog about or learn about Tunisia in the modern day without learning about the horrors of the terrorist attacks that took place there in the not too distant past.
This article by the Economist addresses what is usually one way of radicalizing a generation. Lack of jobs, and money. These young people who are leaving the country to be trained as “Freedom Fighters” for ISIS and other terrorist organizations, were also some of those who took to the streets to demand change during the Jasmine Spring in Tunisia. Now as the country struggles to expand its democracy, and new ways of thinking while keeping with their old ways too, young people are being disillusioned and swayed by these terrorist organizations. In some ways Tunisia faces a peculiar issue that not many countries have dealt with. The new trend is that some of these young people are now coming home after fleeing to other warn torn countries. At first the government seemed lax if not apprehensive about them returning. However, recently they have taken to arresting them upon their return. As the government has stated, a lot of the reasons these young people left have not been fixed, so their current worry is that these returnees will carry out terrorists attacks in their own towns and cities. Part of the problem is that many of the young people being radicalized on in these border cities of Libya, and the government has not been able to totally contain Libya’s violence or rhetoric and keep it away from it’s own citizens. Many fear that while Libya remains in shambles there will be increased attacks and young people leaving to fight what they believe are holy wars in other countries.
These are two articles that represent what I have read in many other places. That while there have been many attacks against the people of Tunisia, the larger more deadly attacks seem to be aimed at tourists. As I stated in my last blog Britain still has a travel ban in place against Tunisia. In many ways terrorists get more air time, and in some perverse ways credibility amongst the disillusioned when they kill what they consider the enemy, rather than the Tunisian people. In another article I read one of the victims of the the Soussee attacks, mentions that the only reason she was not killed was because she was speaking Arabic to the terrorist begging him not to kill her, she stated he was clearly after tourist and non-Arab peoples.
While I have been completely delighted to learn more about the country of Tunisia as whole, it saddens me to see the problems they are facing in this day and age. Unfortunately, even this amazing little country is not immune to the horrors the rest of the Arab world is grappling with. As they push for democracy while still respecting the past, they have a lot of work to do. They also need to make sure their young people don’t get radicalized by the bad situations around them. Hopefully they can navigate these tricky waters and still come back together as a united country that has had such a rich and vibrant history.