How do feel about Tunisia? Do we have the energy to gather empathy for the victims, the country, after the terrorist attack, or are we by now so numb that we will just write it off as another horrible event that seems to be the trade mark of our time?
Me myself I’m upset and sad. I have a friend in Sousse where the massacre took place and it seems that each time a terror attack happens, it’s in a place where I have close friends, and I have to send e-mails, make phone calls, send texts, to make sure everyone is ok. The negative side of having friends all over the world is the constant worry. And I would also feel less of the lack of empathy that I sometimes experience for the ever-growing terrorism worldwide. Maybe I should have stayed in Sweden and never started my travels. Maybe my life would be less worrisome then.
But feelings aside, how does this attack feel for Tunisians? We sometimes seem to forget them in the aftermath of this very attack. Therefore I asked a friend of mine, living in France, to hear what he had to say. His name is Aymen El Amri and he was once one of the initiators to the Pirate party in Tunisia. He seemed upset and sad, and said that he doubted that he would feel secure in returning to live in Tunisia, but he still wanted to share his views.
“A gunman trying to kill civilians, I think it happened in some other countries around the world throughout history, but personally I have never experienced such things except in some Hollywood movies. This is new to Tunisia…
Tunisia is a small country and everything is limited there, from natural resources to police security equipment but I appreciate the fact that it has helped and provided humanitarian aid to nearly two millions Libyan refugees. But the fact of being neighbor with Libya, the civil war in this country plus the economic instability of Tunisia gave the advantage to malevolent people and groups to infiltrate to the Tunisian land, by recruitment of teenagers and trafficking of weapons.
I’ve always had a reflection of linking what is happening; IS, terrorism, attacks, bombing, to an economic; oil, gas, and geopolitical; balance of forces context. Seeing this as a religious extremism consequence is right but not enough since this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Firstly, I accuse the incompetence of the current Tunisian government – even if it is a secular government it remains incompetent – and secondly I accuse all the international “forces” that invaded Libya, supposedly to give birth to a democracy while the only change was traded equities of some oil and gas companies that increased overnight following the invasion of Libya.
For sure, I will not be 100% comfortable returning to live there and at the same time I am uncomfortable not being able to participate in getting things progress in Tunisia given the distance.
What happened is very sad but it will happen in many other countries because we’re simply living in the same world.”
What stands out to me in Aymen’s reply, is that despite his country’s current sad situation and his own despairs for the future, he himself can still appreciate the help his country have been giving to two million refugees. War and terror doesn’t have to conquer empathy, at least not for everyone. Sometimes I like to be proven to be wrong.
Photo credit: uknewsroom.tk
I visited myself Tunisia some weeks ago, for few days on a business trip. My host was a company owner and I could see from his eyes what Tunisia is going thru. I discovered a country that still has many things to fix, and terrorism is not the smallest of all, but I found a country with hopes.
I can’t help feeling hope when I see those people on streets, those students on the way to class, those women actively working everywhere, and the restaurants packed at night during weekdays… Certainly I was living a bit of what the “hi-class” lives there… but my eyes were set everywhere.
And I am hopeful.
Tunisia will keep teaching a lesson to the rest of the Arab world.
Thank you for your beautiful comment 🙂 It gave me hope, too.
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