Re: Tunisia

The letter below was sent by Emna Zghal (Tunisian artist living here in NYC) to Ammiel Alcalay — both thought it contained useful info that would be good to publish more widely via NOMADICS. So here we go:

Dear Ammiel,

It’s amazing amazing amazing! The most enlightened person on Tunisia very early on is Brian Whitaker, and besides his Guardian column he runs a blog http://www.al-bab.com/default.htm

I just read his article form yesterday. He might be going little too far about the post Islamist stuff. There has been a great reception to Rashid Ghannouchi the Islamist leader of Tunisia at the airport. Some 5000 people or so!

For Tunisia stuff try www.nawaat.org

Tunisia is abuzz with everybody and their cousin speaking their mind! It’s fascinating to watch. We never lived anything close to that freedom of speech. It took me a while to believe that now Al Jazeera has dozens of correspondents in Tunisia!

I was in Bay Ridge this afternoon. I thought Mubarak would fall today, but still clinging on…Folks were in cafes nervous or awaiting the good news. Some think that he won’t fall! The courage of the people has been tremendous. It’s something to behold! A Tunisian paper published a cartoon saying “For once a Tunisian soap-opera is a hit in Egypt!”

I was corresponding with somebody from the opposition in Zimbabwe I met in Senegal and they are waiting things to catch on there. Here is a nice article I found.

http://www.newsday.co.zw/article/2011-01-27-the-fate-of-vultures

I’ll probably quote from it tomorrow. In Senegal the fall of Ben Ali was African achievement. They want their old man to hit the exit as well. I am going to scour for more African articles, which folks here don’t think much about. I am also awaiting to hear from a journalist from Angola. Breyten [Breytenbach] is telling me that comments in SA about Egypt have been lackluster.

I am on Facebook a lot and everybody has been posting articles from all over the place. It’s great! Oddly enough Russia Today had some scoops on Tunisia latest police blunder!

For comic relieve Al Watan from Algeria has the best cartoons:

http://www.elwatan.com/

A week or so ago they one with firefighter informing the president that many young men are self-immolating, the president asked if any of them was fruit vendor!  Another one I liked was an Iraqi with his “US go home sign” saying in his bubble “If only we were invaded by the Tunisians!”

Will send you more sources when I can think of some.

Senegal was amazing! Till soon.

Emna

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