February-March 2016

Conor McCormick-Cavanagh: A love letter to my father: The gift of reading for Tunisia’s prisonersMiddle East Eye, March 24, 2016:

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““Books to Prisons,” which aims to bring as many different types of books as possible to different prisons throughout Tunisia, is the brain-child of Ben Mhenni, the writer of the renowned blog “A Tunisian Girl,” and her father Sadok. The goal is to both counter the radicalisation of inmates and to provide some enjoyment to prisoners stuck behind bars. Since the project’s launch on 11 February, Ben Mhenni has been travelling to different cultural centres, libraries and schools to present her new charity drive. Her goal is to collect 15,000 books from around the country in order to deliver them to prisons throughout Tunisia. ”

Ricard Gonzalez: La guinda al invierno negro del mariscal Al SisiEl Pais, March 29, 2016:


“Mientras presidía desde un lujoso yate la flamante inauguración de una ramificacióndel Canal de Suez el pasado verano ante una pléyade de dignatarios mundiales, las expectativas del mariscal Abdelfatá Al Sisi parecían halagüeñas. Un año después de asumir la presidencia, el raïs egipcio había firmado acuerdos de inversiones multimillonarias con Gobiernos y compañías extranjeras, y predominaba entre las cancillerías ocidentales la impresión de que los militares habían conseguido por fin estabilizar el convulso Egipto posrrevolucionario. Sin embargo, el secuestro de un avión este martes por parte de un marido despechado ha sido la guinda de un auténtico invierno negro para Al Sisi. El futuro del gigante árabe vuelve a suscitar muchas dudas a medida que se erosiona la popularidad de su otrora carismático líder.”

Carlotta Gall: Tunisian Town Simmers With Unrest Over Lack of Jobs and InvestmentNew York Times, February 8, 2016:


“After graduating from college and still not being able to find a job, Ridha Yahyaoui protested with 78 other graduates in a sit-in two years ago. Most were eventually given public-sector positions, but Mr. Yahyaoui was left out. So he protested again, this time in mid-January, by climbing a utility pole here in the rain. He was electrocuted and died when he touched a live cable. Since then, his death has inspired a new round of protests by Tunisia’s youth, nearly a third of whom are unemployed and increasingly embittered that many of the promises of Tunisia’s revolution five years ago remain unfulfilled. Demonstrations and violent clashes with the police have broken out in dozens of towns and have shaken Tunisia’s government into ordering a nightly curfew across the country for three weeks.”