Revolution, Revisited: Why Tunisians are still protesting ten years after the Arab Spring

Student Activist Narimen Zorgui snaps a selfie in front of Tunisian riot police for social media (Credit: Narimen Zorgui)

A decade has elapsed since the protests that sparked the Arab Spring and ousted Tunisia’s long-standing dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Despite significant democratic reforms in the North African nation, Tunisians are still taking to the streets en masse in 2021. 

To understand why, in this episode, War News Radio speaks with Narimen Zorgui, a student and activist in Tunisia who grew up amidst the 2011 revolution. She has witnessed first-hand the nation’s evolution from a stable but repressive dictatorship to the wavering democracy it is today*. We also hear from Ghaya Ben Mbarek, a Tunisian journalist who covers political and social issues, including the Tunisian police’s human rights abuses — despite the hostility and repression critics often face.  

This episode of War News Radio was written, narrated, and produced by Sophia Becker and Zane Irwin. Special thanks to Ali Abid for helping us research this piece, and to Narimen Zorgui and Ghaya Ben Mbarek for speaking with us. 

*Since the completion of this episode, Tunisia has faced a dramatic threat to its democratic institutions, with President Kais Saied’s removal of the prime minister and suspension of Parliament in July of 2021.