The Christian Science Monitor

In Tunis suburb, a revolutionary demand: jobs, not freedoms

Oussama Marassi and his wife, Aya Manzalee, live in Douar Hicher on the outskirts of Tunis, Tunisia. In marginalized neighborhoods like this one, the conditions that led to Tunisia’s 2011 revolution – unemployment, marginalization, urban migration, and police harassment – persist. Source: Taylor Luck

Here in Tunisia’s own “Paris suburbs,” the unemployed, unrepresented, and unheard young men who led the Tunisian revolution have a message that is both simple and provocative.

“We don’t want freedoms, we want jobs,” says Yassin Ben, 24.

In neighborhoods like this one at the edge of the capital, Tunis, the very same conditions that led to Tunisia’s 2011 revolution – unemployment, marginalization, urban migration, and police harassment – persist.

Economic experts warn that the government must find a way for the young people of Douar Hicher and neighborhoods like it across the country to be included in the decisionmaking about their future and provided with the means to lift themselves out of poverty.

It was no surprise that Douar Hicher was one of the hotspots of violent protests

The urban migration waveGovernment bureaucracy‘Politicians used us’A way forward?

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor3 min read
Tender ‘Photograph’ Is The Antidote To Bollywood Clichés
The plot of director Ritesh Batra's ‘Photograph’ is a little thin, but its social class issues are handled thoughtfully.
The Christian Science Monitor5 min read
As Southern Spain Dries Up, Its Farmers Get Inventive
Climate change threatens to turn southern Spain’s farmland into desert. Farmers are employing regenerative agriculture to fight back.
The Christian Science Monitor7 min readPolitics
Florida Voters Gave Ex-felons Right To Vote. Then Lawmakers Stepped In.
Last fall Florida voters approved vote restoration for former felons. But under a bill formalizing the measure, not all those people can vote.