Friday, November 18, 2005

The Black Hole that is Tunisia

I can't help feeling, particularly these days, that we have only
barely begun to understand the nature of the violations of individual
rights in our host country. With just a few weeks before our
departure home, we have started to open our ears more to the problems,
though by necessity we keep our mouths resolutely shut. This is not
our home so we cannot speak to the problems we see without politely
but firmly being asked to go, but ask me about it when I get home...

In the mean time, do check out the news. Tunisia is in the middle of
a major scandal around freedom of speech, Internet censoring, and
human rights. It is playing host to the World Summit on Information
Systems which is all about sharing technology and freedom of access to
information. It is a paradox that this summit is being held here and
it's putting in evidence the nature of rulership and it's grip on the
people of the nation.

I can't access the pages myself, but friends outside of Tunisia tell
me there is an article on Human Rights Watch on the Summit and Tunisia
that you might find interesting. Also, Amnesty International has
produced a country report on Tunisia that will be full of interesting

Please keep in mind, when reading these, that we are really not in any
danger here. If there's one thing that Tunisia does very well under
this leader it's to take very good care of its visitors. The police
may be a menace to the Tunisians who are brave enough to go against
the grain, but they ensure that their guests neither see nor hear much
about it.

And furthermore, I promise not to get involved. So you can feel safe
about that.

But do ask me about it over the holidays. There's so much we have to
be thankful for. So much we don't even realize.

Love you all!


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