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The Arab Spring, 10 years on: Tunisia still facing economic, political challenges

Naji Lamari, 33, is unemployed and frustrated by the lack of prospects in resource-rich Tataouine, Tunisia.
Naji Lamari, 33, is unemployed and frustrated by the lack of prospects in resource-rich Tataouine, Tunisia. © France 24

This week marks ten years since deposed strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia, the first leader to fall as the 2011 Arab Spring took hold across North Africa and the Middle East. A decade on, Tunisia remains the only country to have transformed itself into a relatively stable democracy. But high unemployment remains a major problem, not least in the region of Tataouine. FRANCE 24 brings you the first in a series of four reports from the country, a decade after the Arab Spring watershed.

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Today, the national unemployment rate in Tunisia stands at nearly 15 percent, while in some regions, like hard-hit Tataouine in the south, almost 30 percent are unemployed in an area rich in natural resources.

The name Tataouine is familiar around the world to Star Wars fans and served as a location for shooting films from the science fiction franchise, but global Covid-19 travel restrictions have deprived the region of another precious resource as tourists are kept at bay.

FRANCE 24's Karim Yahiaoui and Mohamed Farhat travelled to Tataouine and filed this report, voiced by Alexander Aucott. To watch, click on the video player above.

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