17 January 2011

Tunisians React to the Luxury of the Ousted President

Tunisian long time president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted and fled to Saudi Arabia on the night of 16th January 2010 after more than 23 years as president.

The following are the feelings and reactions of Tunisians when they took the opportunity to swamp to one of the ousted president nephew's mansion two days after the former president was driven away by a popular revolt and fled the country for safety.

Many Tunisians believe Ben Ali’s family stole much of the country’s wealth, and at his nephew’s Mediterranean beach side mansion, they were taking it back yesterday.

Crowds of people, some in family groups, filed through the villa in the resort of Hammamet, 60km from the capital, to take pictures and remove what some called “souvenirs”.

Visitors helped themselves to an air conditioner, pulled up an underground sprinkler system from the lawn, and tore electricity cables from the wall.

“The people’s money went into the garden,” said one man as he held up two large decorative quartz rocks.

“It makes me sad because he (Ben Ali and his family) stole all the money to build this house from the people of Tunisia,” said Priska Nufar, who was taking a look around the mansion. “He lives in luxury and the people do not have money for food.”

Read more here.


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