Basma Khalfaoui, the widow of Tunisia’s recently assassinated political and social leader Chokri Belaid, was one hour late for our meeting at her home last Saturday. She is often late these days, occupied with an unending stream of interviews and inaugurations of the Tunis streets and squares that are now being renamed for her husband—the lionized 47-year-old lawyer, political organizer and left coalition leader who was gunned down while leaving their apartment on the morning of February 6. Read more »
TUNIS, Tunisia—Energy has been running high in Tunis this week, partly because the city is still reeling from the February assassination of the country’s lead social and political opposition figure, Chokri Belaid. On Thursday night, a thousand people gathered on the central Avenue Habib Bourguiba – site of the Tunisian Revolution, which began the Arab Spring – to rally in remembrance of the man many called the “Arab Chavez” for the hope he represented in leading the country toward genuine democracy. Read more »
It’s not easy figuring out which of the 350 or so daily panels to attend at the World Social Forum this week in Tunis. Human rights, women’s freedoms, immigration conflicts, agriculture policy—the list runs the gamut. Sometimes you just want to drink a coffee and stand in one of the crowded sunny plazas at El Manar University, where the global gathering is in full swing, and meet some of the tens of thousands who have shown up to exchange ideas, advance projects and get inspired. Read more »
TUNIS, Tunisia—Marching down a boulevard ringed in razor wire, and in view of armored vehicles mounted with water canons, tens of thousands from across the world called for new measures of liberty and dignity as they descended Tuesday afternoon on Tunis to open the weeklong World Social Forum.
La Marea, Spain’s radical new monthly magazine, operates out of a narrow, lime green-colored office space in southeastern Madrid, in the working class stronghold of Vallecas. There is a small foyer with a couch to receive visitors; some cramped desks with three second-hand computers bought at 70 euros a piece; and a back room with a tiny kitchenette and one sprawling glass-and-mosaic table where the staff holds meetings. There is no rent because the magazine’s editors worked out a deal with the small web business that agreed to share its space; La Marea covers the monthly 100 euro electricity bill, and that is all.