Dossier: Tunisia

Arabic calligraphy (photo: Fotolia/Ivan Montero)

The Arab world

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Arabic: the last tie that binds

In terms of politics, economics, religion and culture, the paths of the Arab states diverge. The once proclaimed unity between them has been consigned to the history books. Only one thing still binds them together: the Arabic language. By Kersten KnippMore

Cover of the book "Contemporary Artists – Arab World" (source: Steidl-Verlag)

Book review: "Contemporary Artists – Arab World"

Perceptions of reality

The book "Contemporary Artists – Arab World" shows how different Arab artists have reacted to the upheaval in their countries. By Kersten KnippMore

Relatives of the victims of the revolution demonstrating in Tunis (photo: Sarah Mersch)

Victims of the Tunisian Revolution

The slow and painful search for the truth

Three years have passed since Tunisians took to the streets in protest against their ruler, Ben Ali. The country is now slowly moving towards democracy, but the victims of those early revolutionary days are still waiting for justice. Hopes that the truth will come to light and that relatives will discover who killed and injured their loved ones during the unrest are diminishing by the day. By Sarah MerschMore

Demonstrators in Tunis burning a picture of the former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali (photo: dapd)

Social media and the Arab Spring in Tunisia

Not as soft as jasmine

Social media did not topple Tunisia's dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, but they certainly played an important role. According to the Tunisian blogger Aya Chebbi, cyber activism is now an important tool for democratisation in this North African countryMore

Serious rioting on Tahrir Square in Cairo (photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

The political consequences of the Arab Spring

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Some revolts just take longer

Civil war in Syria, a military regime in Egypt ... at first glance, it seems as if the Arab Spring has gone off the rails. But the battle is not over yet: 2014 will be a decisive year for change in the Arab world. An essay by Karim El-GawharyMore

The chamber of the Tunisian parliament (photo: Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images)

Tunisia's new constitution

The pain and joy of giving birth

It took the political parties in Tunisia two years to agree on the country's draft constitution, which was adopted on Sunday, 26 January. The resulting document, however, is as contradictory as Tunisian society itself. By Sarah MerschMore

A demonstrator and opponent of the new government in Cairo prepares to throw a Molotov cocktail at security forces in Cairo (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Three years after the Arab uprisings

Tyranny has gone unpunished

The revolutions that swept across the Arab world in 2011 could have failed for any number of reasons. However, the fact that their consequences now threaten to drag entire nations into chaos and rehabilitate tyrannous rulers three years after they were unceremoniously ousted is almost worse than if there had been no uprisings in the first place. By Günther OrthMore

Women in headscarves demonstrating in Tunis (photo: Reuters)

Interview with Hélé Béji

"Ennahda has an unbelievable capacity to adjust"

Hélé Béji is an independent Tunisian writer and literary scholar. She is related to Habib Bourguiba, the founder of the Tunisian republic and its first president, and is part of a rather progressive intellectual scene. Béji has been watching the Islamists closely since they took power two years ago and is one of the few people who considers Ennahda capable of learning and becoming a major democratic people's party. Christina Omlin spoke to her about recent developments in TunisiaMore

A man holds up a Tunisian flag and a placard calling for Ben Ali to step down, Tunis, 2011 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Tunisia three years after the Jasmine Revolution

Learning how to deal with freedom

Three years after the overthrow of President Ben Ali, Tunisians are still waiting for their new constitution. Quite a few empty promises have been made since 2011, but there has also been some progress. By Ute Schaeffer in TunisMore

A Tunisian woman gives the victory sign with both hands during a memorial service for the murdered opposition politician Chokri Belaid in Tunis (photo: EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA)

Tunisia and the European Union

Last chance

The Arab Spring seems to be over, but democracy could yet prevail in Tunisia. The EU should promise privileged trade relations on the condition that the country does not return to authoritarian rule. By Markus LoeweMore

The statue of Ibn Khaldun on the grounds of Ez-Zitouna university (photo: Carolyn Wißing)

Ez-Zitouna University

Helping to shape Tunisia's religious future

After decades of secular state leadership, many Tunisians would like Islam to play a greater role in the social and political life of their country. Some feel that Islamic scholars at Ez-Zitouna University could take on the role of mediator in this process. Reporting from Tunis, Carolyn Wißing has the detailsMore

Scene from "Al Oustadh" (copyright: Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud)

North Africa and the Arab Spring in Film

Between Rebellion and Ideals

North African countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria are currently experiencing a boom in cinema that is critical of society and committed to political change. Yet, every country follows its own path. By Aude GensbittelMore

Clipping from Karim El-Gawhary's book (photo: publisher)

"Women's Power in Arabic"

Long-overdue Confrontations

In his new book, the journalist Karim El-Gawhary gives a voice and a face to strong Arab women, while moving beyond the clichés and headscarf debates. Martina Sabra describes the book as multifaceted, revealing, entertaining, emotionally moving, and definitely worth readingMore

A woman wearing a headscarf standing in front of a camera (photo: DW)

Journalism from the Middle East

Tall Tales from the Desert

A blogging Syrian lesbian, Libyan soldiers in a Viagra-fuelled frenzy, Tunisian women on a sexual Jihad: The blend of sex, Islam and war is failsafe bait for western media, which often fall for propaganda from the Middle East. Not all of the stories are hoaxes, but many of them are. By Sonja Zekri in CairoMore

The border juncture between Libya and Algeria (© DW/Valerie Stocker)

Libya's Border Triangle

Trouble Looming

The EU is supporting Libyan border security troops near Ghadames, but local members of the military complain of unclear structures and insufficient equipment. They put the blame on the government in Tripoli. Valerie Stocker reportsMore

Egyptian supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi (portrait) shout slogans during a rally in support of the former Islamist leader outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque on July 9, 2013 (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Essay by Dani Rodrik

The Problem is Authoritarianism, Not Islam

Is Islam fundamentally incompatible with democracy? Time and again events compel us to ask this question. And yet it is a question that obscures more than it illuminates. An essay by Dani RodrikMore

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