Tunisia: after the revolution

Diners and passersby at Avenue Habib Bourguiba
Avenue Habib Bourguiba


It’s a new world on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis. This is the Champs-Élysées of the city, where people lounge in sidewalk cafés and tourists usually stroll all the way down to the entrance of the souks in the old town. I have visited Tunisia many times over more than a decade, yet never paid much attention to the tree-lined avenue, named after the founder of the modern Tunisian state. But back in the country three months after the first Arab revolution, which convulsed Tunisia and pushed aside its longtime dictator, I could feel the air of freedom. As if discovering the avenue for the first time, my eyes lingered on the colonial and art nouveau architecture, on the French names of cafés, on the expressions on people’s faces.

By Roula Khalaf

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