Tunisians just marked the second anniversary of the toppling of long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, an event which unleashed an entire wave of popular uprisings across the Arab world. Ben Ali’s ouster did pave the way to free elections and the formation of a new government in Tunisia, but it left millions of its people – and not only them – grappling with the question what the future might hold for this North African country. Senior reporter Mohamed Elshinnawi spoke on the subject with William Lawrence, director of North Africa Project at the International Crisis Group.
Among the topics discussed were:
- What are the major challenges facing Tunisia?
- How serious are its economic problems?
- Could extreme Salafist forces threaten its fledgling democracy?
- What would prevent Tunisia from going through an Egyptian scenario?
Listen to this compelling analysis by a leading Middle East expert and share with us in comments below what you think should happen next in Tunisia.
Egyptian-American Mohamed Elshinnawi is a senior reporter at VOA. He covered the Middle East peace process from Camp David in 1978 through the 1993 Oslo Agreements to Syrian-Israeli talks in 2000. He interviewed Arab heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers and as well as ranking U.S. officials, including members of Congress. He hosted "Dialogue with the West," a live TV show which, broadcast via satellite from Washington, reached 35 million Arabs. He is fluent in Arabic and English.