As I walk the streets of Tunis and watch the frowning faces passing by, I feel so desperate and bitter.
It was last week; a salafist-looking man (Beard, Kamees…) appeared in the crowd. He was holding a medium-sized sports bag, walking super-fast and looking nervously left and right.
A few months ago, nobody would have cared about him or have given such a scene a second thought. People were too secure to notice him.
But that day, I watched all the people, who were walking on the same sidewalk as the salafist-looking man, move to the other side and give him confused looks as they were trying to get away from him as fast as they could.
I never saw that coming, at least not until two years ago; this unfortunate day when I saw Tunisian people walking the street and feeling insecure.
I am sure that many political opponents of the old or even the current regime felt/feel unsafe at a certain point. But when it turns out that today all Tunisians feel like they are walking on thin ice, you know that the terrorist wave which hit Tunisia lately has left real traces.
It went from targeting opposition politicians to targeting army and police forces. Lately it targeted tourists (hotels), political symbols (Bourguiba’s tomb) and even civilians (artificial bombs).
Despite the failure of the last attempts, Tunisians seem to not recognize their country anymore. Many of them cannot accept the fact that terrorist activities (including the finding of fake bombs) became a typical part of the national daily news.
As far as I am concerned, living as a normal Tunisian has become a psychological war. I only hope that there will be no trivialization of the human losses. I hope we will not get used to watch bloody news because it breaks my heart when I see people watching the news of Syria or Iraq (and other conflict zones) and not reacting anymore.
When 200 people dying daily in the MENA region doesn’t mean anything, doesn’t move any soul, doesn’t disturb any mind, doesn’t generate any reaction, this is what I call the apocalypse of humanity. This is the progressive disappearance of any empathy or humanly feeling towards fellow human beings.
This is an urgent matter. Before it is too late, let’s re-humanize our relationships through education. Before corrupting the future generation with the inhuman “values” of our shameful history, let’s show them that we have learned that extremism is stupid and that we don’t want them to have the same life we had. We must do this simply because “there is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds for children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that children’s rights are respected, that their lives are free from fear and that they grow up in peace.” (Kofi Annan)