Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Archbishop of Tunis hopeful after Jasmine Revolution

"It is like recuperating after a long illness. But we have hope as the young won't accept being oppressed," Archbishop Maroun Lahham of Tunisia's capital, Tunis, tells me when I ask him about the fallout of the December 2010/January 2011 Jasmine Revolution.

Political instability sees army soldiers and barbed wire outside his cathedral near the French Embassy, yet the archbishop's faith shines through. "I am optimistic by nature and by vocation," he smiles.

He tells me he is invited to meetings with Muslims and government officials. He does not think that radicals will take control in elections now scheduled for September/October after they were postponed recently. Maybe Tunisia can lead the way in the Middle East with a pluarlistic and democratic society?

The archbishop gives thanks to Aid to the Church in Need for help over the years - and thank you from me, too.

Neville Kyrke-Smith, Tunisia

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