Saturday, 15 January 2011
Have been, as they say, glued to TV this past two days as events in that country unfold, and as today there is widespread looting and destruction, taking advantage of the apparent power vacuum. I do not know Tunisia, having spent a short holiday in Hammamet in 1998 does not I think count. Sig other was ill for most of that time, and I was around the resort hotel for several days, and was interested to see that quite a number of middle-aged, well-preserved women holidaying there, either alone or in pairs, mostly German or Swiss it appeared, regularly bought the sexual services of the Tunisian waiters. They were not particularly secretive about it either. Anyway. The Tunisian opposition (which has never been any kind of an official opposition) is in "exile" in the UK, or some of it is, the Islamist bit. Rachid Ghannoushi in particular has lived in asylum in the UK (France didn't want him, although he is francophone and did his Master's at the Sorbonne) since the 1990s. He cites his influences as Sayyid Qutb, Hassan El-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, and an approving profile of him was published in 1998 by Azzam "Kaboom" Tamimi. So I think we know where he is coming from. Will he now return to his native land? I think we should be told.