Moving Tunisians from Despair to Hope

Signs of Hopelessness

Tunisia is held up as the sole success of the Arab Spring. But the
freest people in the Arab world are also some of the most frustrated.
Eight years after Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, sparking the
Tunisian revolution, overall hopelessness about the prospects for a
better life is high and growing.

Realities of Daily Life

Why are Tunisians in such despair? Put simply, their goals—“work,
freedom, and national dignity”—remain unfulfilled. The concept of
work was at the heart of the revolution, with youth at the center. But
in stark contrast to tremendous political progress, Tunisia continues
to experience major economic and social challenges. More needs to be
done to meet Tunisians’ expectations for a better life.

What Can Be Done

As Tunisia embarks on the next phase of its democratic transition,
the government, civil society, and international community need to
fully grasp where the country is, where it’s headed, and how to keep
the transition from being derailed. To give its people real hope,
Tunisia must prioritize far-reaching economic and social reforms.