Are Tunisians “Happy”? by Rahma Sghaier, Tunisia

imageI woke-up on a morning that started like many others. All over the country, there was news of terrorists being chased, surrounded, shot and arrested at different locations.

“God bless the police!” shout old people. “They are finally doing their real job” say younger people. They realize that the murderer of Chokri Belaid had been killed just two days before Belaid’s one year memorial service. “What a coincidence!” thought nearly everyone. “A Coincidence? I don’t buy it! This is a failed government’s play, in order to calm down the opponents,” said a colleague of mine at the university. Where do I stand in this chaos of opinions, doubts and accusations? I have always been a skeptic; that’s why I feel totally lost now. What and who shall I believe?? I am unable to judge… there is no trusted evidence of anything. Everyone is accusing everyone and everybody hates everybody else… well, not everyone. Even at this confusing time in our history, there are still some young people who are enjoying life, who know what they want, who, despite of all odds, of all the mess going on, of the ambiguity and threatening insecurity, are unapologetically “HAPPY”. It all began roughly two months ago, I think. So many amazing young people have been shaking up both my YouTube home page as well as my soul with beautiful video covers of the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. These are young people from cities all over Tunisia, who still radiate hope and create pieces of art that put up a smile and bring warmth to everyone who watch them. This cyber phenomenon, which began earlier in famous world capitals such as Paris and Berlin, had now reached Tunisia. It caught us by surprise, yet at the same exact time, we feel extremely depressed. Those people- ones who radiate happiness- make you feel better. They make you see life in this country (Tunisia) differently, treasure what you have and even more, they make it work. No matter how simple it seems, this artistic gestures has a real psychological impact on web surfers. It is, indeed, the kind of spirit we need to build a country. Today, youth challenge extremists and prove that terrorist attacks fail to break their spirit or disfigure the country’s image. They smile, dance, have fun and share their love for this country which I thought didn’t exist anymore among the youth. I believe that these young people reminded me of a basic, though crucial life lesson: if you want to defeat the hands of death, be a soldier of life.

Enjoy the positive vibes and go check-out some of these amazing videos (in the order put by Youtube) on the links below: (Bizerte) (Tunis) (Nabeul) (Marsa) (Carthage) (Monastir) (Sfax) (Djerba)

Rahma Sghaier, Happy YaLa young Leaders

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