Tunisia Election Talk

Today, I attended Dr. Shehata’s “Observing Tunisia’s Presidential Election” lecture. Although I could not stay for the whole talk due to class, I still found it extremely informative! Being a music major, I am definitely not an expert on the Arab Spring or Egypt, but this talk helped me learn more about how the Arab Spring got started and where Egypt is going as far as transitioning (or attempting to transition) into democracy. I learned about what amendments the writers of their constitution wrote, and some of them were very intriguing, such as establishing Islam as the country’s official religion and supporting equal rights for women. I think I realized I have always associated “constitution” and “democracy” with American ideals, so observing a constitution with Middle Eastern or Islamic ideals, such as establishing an official religion, was interesting. I also felt very fortunate to live in America. Some of the pictures Dr. Shehata showed of the riots were pretty shocking, and I felt lucky to live in a country with an established democracy. As I left the talk early and headed to my next class, I was thinking a lot about what it would be like to live in Egypt when the Arab Spring began. Interestingly enough, I sit by a foreign exchange student from Egypt in the following class I had to attend. Since it was on my mind, I talked to her briefly about living in Egypt during the Arab Spring. She said something along the lines of “well, it’s not as scary as the media makes it out to be. Especially for Americans. Like, if we were to go to Egypt together, I’d probably be more scared than you.” I thought that was interesting. Finally, when I asked her what she thought about the recent elections, she replied “Honestly…I think it’s all bull****”. I thought that was hilarious. :)