The blog won the Best Electronic Publication award at the CairoComix festival two years in a row: for Tawahoch in 2016 and Bombyx Mori in 2017. It was also a finalist for the Mahmoud Kahil Award in Lebanon.
Despite his failings, Essebsi deserves credit for holding the country together after multiple terrorist attacks. Contrary to his own beliefs, however, mounting corruption, nepotism and a culture of impunity may be larger threats to Tunisia’s democracy than the one posed by jihadists. To address these issues, Essebsi will have to hold himself, his son and his political allies accountable.
Despite these setbacks, Mathlouthi continues to thrive professionally and dedicate her art to political causes, as she stated in an interview for Okay Africa. “We have to still feel the pain of others. That’s the basis of us not going towards dehumanization. That’s my big point. So that’s political. I just hate the word political today more than ever because it’s so dirty. Art has to find a new definition to fight, to be associated with. I think that my art is always going to be concerned. I feel more comfortable adding [that term] to my art than adding the term political.”
Chahed’s political ambitions emerged in the wake of the ouster of long-time leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. Chahed, infused with the ‘everything is possible’ euphoria of the time, co-founded the liberal/centrist Dal Joumhouri party, with his friend and confidant Slim Azzabi, now the figurehead of Tahya Tounes.
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