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From Dictatorship Toward Democracy: Creating Change in Tunisia

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

Until the events of January 2011, Tunisia was likely not a conversation topic for most households across the U.S. Since then, it has taken center stage as the country became the launching pad of a wave of revolt that has swept through the Arab world and beyond. The “Jasmine Revolution” triggered a sudden and explosive wave of street protests that ousted president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, an authoritarian leader who’s repressive rule had lasted 23 years, forcing him to flee the county. In March, Portland attorney Steven Goldberg was part of a delegation of lawyers from the United States, England and Turkey who visited Tunisia at the invitation of the Tunisian National Bar Association. While in Tunisia, the delegation met with representatives of the interim Tunisian government, including the Prime Minister and Justice Minister, and a broad spectrum of others who were instrumental in bringing about the dramatic changes in the country: human rights and labor organizations, opposition party leaders, lawyers, journalists, women’s organizations, and young social media activists.

Please join City Club of Portland and World Affairs Council of Oregon for a special Friday Forum, as Goldberg discusses the conditions and events which led to the downfall of the Ben Ali regime, including the role of the US; how this change happened so rapidly and the importance of young people and social media; and the implications for future US involvement with Tunisia in their nascent journey to democracy.

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