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Journal articles

From People to Citizens in Tunisia

Abstract : While Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation will undoubtedly remain the iconic image of the 2011 Tunisian revolution, another set of pictures has also stuck in the minds of Tunisians. On the evening of January 14, despite an army curfew, a man staggered across Avenue Habib Bourguiba, shouting, “Ben Ali fled -- the Tunisian people is free! The Tunisian people will not die! The Tunisian people is sacred!”

The scene, captured on camera by Al Jazeera, deeply moved many Tunisians. Throughout the spring into April, the pan-Arab satellite channel ran the clip over and over as filler for the minutes between the news hour and the preceding programs. Along with other slogans disseminated by Al Jazeera, like the famous, “The people want the fall of the regime,” this evocation illustrates that “the people” (al-sha‘b al-tunisi) has come to be the decisive category of identity in the country. The concept of sha‘b is hardly new, of course, but it was the revolution, as broadcast into Tunisian and Arab living rooms by Al Jazeera, that made it effective for the first time...
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Submitted on : Monday, February 14, 2022 - 7:51:19 AM
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Nadia Marzouki. From People to Citizens in Tunisia. Middle East report, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, 41 (259). ⟨hal-03571740⟩



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