Safwan Masri set out with a simple question: of all the countries caught in the turmoil of the Arab Spring, how is it that Tunisia was the only country to successfully replace a long ruling despot with a more or less functioning democracy? His new book Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly takes a deep dive into that question, examining Tunisia’s history, politics and, crucially some decades old educational reforms.
This is a very interesting conversation about both the Arab Spring, and Tunisia’s unique experience. It is the Arab Spring success story–so far at least–and Safwan Masri helps me understand why.
Safwan Masri is Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University.