The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet in October. It was awarded to people who worked to prevent their country from falling into the abyss due to the winds of change during the Arab Spring.
What the people of Tunisia accomplished speaks for itself, Nobel Prize aside. Taking a look at what’s happening in neighboring countries, like Libya, for example, is enough to tell you that. Tunisia has walked the same path as Libya but it did not collapse into the abyss.
The road is long and a Nobel award in itself does not produce results.Abdulrahman al-Rashed
The country is currently stable thanks to the agreement of the Tunisian brothers who – despite not being able to agree on anything before – decided to sit and work together in what marked a defining moment.
So thank you to Tunisia’s politicians, parties, intellectuals, institutions, organizations and syndicates for producing the reconciliation, and accepting the minimum of their wishes so they can all be partners in the country.
Tunisia and its people became admirable because it’s the only Arab country to walk the path of change with the least amount of chaos and relapses. This is in addition to the fact that Tunisia set the first sparks of the Arab Spring.
Long road to reconciliation
The head of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee considers Tunisia a country that serves as an example. But the road is long and a Nobel award in itself does not produce results. Yielding results requires a determination to continue the country’s reconciliatory project, a commitment to respecting the constitution, and the acceptance of election results. It is a task that requires patience and continuous sacrifice.
Tunisia is a country that does not have a lot of economic resources. A terrorist attack or an explosion is thus enough to sabotage sources of livelihood. It is however not enough to harm the social and political fabric, which is the only safety net.
Political groups that reject the project of a modern Tunisia attempted to resort to violence but failed to sabotage the new regime. The Nobel Prize here represents a global recognition of what the Tunisian people did to confront chaos, choose reconciliation and unite against terrorism.
But why has Tunisia succeeded while the rest of the Arab Spring countries have not?
What makes Tunisia’s Islamists, liberals and leftists finally able to agree on a formula for co-existence, and on basic principles to resort to in parliament and when implementing the constitution?
The question I’m asking those whom justify chaos, and like to blame others, is this: Why have the other countries which passed through what Tunisia passed through in 2011 failed?
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Dec. 14, 2015.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.