The Literature on the Democratic Transformation in Tunisia

The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development— REFORM implemented an online dialogue session with the Tunisian journalist, Mohammad Walid, a member of the Tunisian Human Rights League and a number of young men and women activists.

the impact of the Tunisian revolution on the reality of Tunisian youth participation

The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development— REFORM implemented an online dialogue session with the Tunisian journalist, Mohammad Walid, a member of the Tunisian Human Rights League and a number of young men and women activists. This session aimed to discuss the literature on democratic transformation in Tunisia, the changes made on the rules of political action, the impact of the Tunisian revolution on the reality of Tunisian youth participation and the reality of civil life in Tunisia.

At the beginning of the session, Mr. Mohammad Walid considered that what the Tunisian revolution presented is a major challenge for many postulates that have been discussed by academic and political elites in the past few decades. These included the inability of Arab societies to be democratic, the ability of permanent systems to survive, the inevitability of dependence on the balance of international powers in democratic transformation and the need for a gradual and balanced transition towards democracy. He also affirmed that the impact of the Tunisian revolution was another challenge to the identity of the Arab country, which presented itself as an independent political unit separate from its Arab surroundings, where the slogans of “Egypt first”, “Kuwait first” and “Jordan first” appeared. Mr. Walid also stressed how there is Arab solidarity with the Tunisian revolution. The revolutions in Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria all stir in favor of radical reforms in Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait. The Iraqis and the Lebanese are revolting against sectarianism, demanding a civil state and calling on the Palestinians to end the division. The young men and women participants asked the following question during the session: Would all this have happened without the Tunisian revolution?

 

Palestinian youth movements

While the participants affirmed the success of the revolution in Tunisia, they also discussed how it encouraged large sectors of Palestinian youth, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, to launch Palestinian youth movements, as they culminated in practical steps. These movements were also initiated abroad, where Palestinians demand an end to the Palestinian division and the regularity of the democratic process in the Palestinian territories.

The young woman participant, Marah Harezalah, indicated that the younger generation, specifically those who were born during and after the Oslo Accords, is not one that is desperate and frustrated, but is rather filled with challenge and persistence, and is still characterized by optimism, hope and aspiration for the future. Therefore, this generation seeks direct change towards building a more beautiful future based on justice and freedom and opposes the Palestinian division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

This meeting comes as part of the “PARTAKE II,” which is implemented by the Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development – REFORM, in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. This project aims to promote the socio-political participation of women and youth and provide equal access mechanisms that enable them to engage in organizing policies responsive to their needs.

The project also seeks to foster civic engagement by providing safe and interactive spaces that link young activists with decision-makers to bridge the gaps between them by knowledge sharing. It aims to enhance the participation of young women and men in advocating for positive change in democratic processes through monitoring public policies, drafting policy papers, and providing policy suggestions.

To achieve this, the project provides the social and political activists with the ability to engage in a deep analysis of power dynamics between different social components and points of access through facilitating public debates. “PARTAKE II” increases youth’s awareness in democratic processes and enhances their abilities in pressuring policymakers to hold elections with their participation.

Logo of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
Reform Logo on white background
Logo of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
Reform Logo on white background

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