Tunisia’s experiment with democracy messy but intoxicating

April 4, 2011

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(Getty Images/Christopher Furlong)
Tunisians press forward with democratic changes including an election in July.

Despite fading from the headlines, Tunisia has been abuzz with change since protesters ousted longtime leader Ben Ali earlier this year.  In July, voters in the tiny North African nation will elect an assembly tasked with rewriting the constitution. More than 50 political parties have registered, including an Islamist group.

Meanwhile, Tunisians have watched with concern as neighboring Libya fights a civil war. Libyans and guest workers have crossed the border in droves to escape violence. And Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi hopes to broker an agreement to repatriate Tunisians who have flooded Italian shores. Malika Zeghal gives us an update. She’s a professor of contemporary Islamic thought at Harvard University and a French-born Tunisian.