In December 2020, authorities in Sidi Bouzid planned a ceremony to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Mohammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation. The fruit vendor’s protest against harassment from local officials had ignited nationwide protests which swept Tunisia’s aging dictator from power and catalyzed protests from Morocco to Bahrain. A decade later, Tunisia’s democratic revolution is considered the only success story of the Arab Spring.
But when crowds marched through the streets of Sidi Bouzid last December, they were not celebrating the success of the revolution. Instead, they chanted and shouted, railing against unemployment, poor services, and the lack of local development.107 After a decade of failed promises, the people of Sidi Bouzid returned to the street to call for a new revolution. At the last minute, local authorities were forced to cancel the commemoration.
This is the Tunisia section of Sustainable States: Environment, Governance, and the Future of the Middle East. Please click here for the full report.