Those Left Behind

Lauren Bohn's dour dispatch from Tunisia isn't fun, but it's worth your time:

The southern cities have long been the epicenter of violent protest against the regime. Bread riots in December 1983 in the same cities launched the most serious challenge to the Tunisian regime. If things don't improve, as seems grimly likely, rebellion may return. "Trust me, we will repeat the revolution here as soon as we can," Firaz declares, signing a petition to a Tunisian company to hire more youth from the town. "There's no dignity. We are dead."

"Are we even a part of Tunisia?" asks farmer Mohammed Hidi Bin Saleh, pointing to the only road that leads in and out of a village in the poor governorate of Kasserine. When it rains, the road's un-navigable and the children can't get to school. "We don't have faith in politics. Not before, not now. Just show us projects and development, no fancy ideas," he demands. "We'll vote for the party of bread."