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November 1, 2014

Weekend Roundup: Why the Arab Spring is Still Flowering in Tunisia

Tunisia Getty/WorldPost Illustration

The savagery of ISIS, the slaughterhouse of Syria's civil war, the marauding militias in Libya and the restored autocracy in Egypt have devoured the hopes of the Facebook generation that spawned the Arab Spring. In Tunisia alone the spirit of the Jasmine Revolution still flowers.

While the character of Tunisian society and culture has much to celebrate with its success, including just-completed peaceful elections that favored the main secular party, there is another factor: the absence of outside intervention, particularly from the West.

In The WorldPost this week Rafik Abdessalem, Tunisia's former foreign minister, explains why despotism will never return to his country. Soumaya Ghannoushi argues that the many years that activists from the moderate Islamist Ennahdha Party spent in exile abroad taught them "the art of compromise and consensus, which may be the hallmark of the nascent Tunisian political model." Jonathan Labin, head of Middle East, Africa and Pakistan for Facebook, chronicles how the same social media that fomented political upheaval is now connecting young people in the region to jobs. (continued)

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