Tunisian students address terrorist attack

Olivia Barfield

A recent attack on a museum in Tunisia’s capital left 19 people dead and at least 44 wounded.

Militants stormed the National Bardo Museum and shot at “anything that moved,” according to the Associated Press.

The militants wore military-style uniforms and wielded assault rifles. They gunned down tourists outside of the museum before charging inside to take hostages.

Two gunmen were killed by security. Authorities are currently looking for accomplices to the attack. The attack was the deadliest attack on Tunisia in 13 years.

Salah Gontara, a ULM student from Tunisia, asserts that Tunisia has problems that can be solved by caring for its citizens, specifically the young generation.

“The problem is within young people, mostly frustrated and lacking education and jobs,” Gontara said. “These young people are desperate and thus easily brain-washable. They come from poor neighborhoods and have no other option than to ‘fight’ for a better ‘afterlife.’”

Gontara believes that addressing the troubles of the young people in Tunisia will lead to less turbulence.

“As the young people are the ones who led the revolution and the Arab Spring, they are the ones who need to be looked into, to have their problems solved so they can lead a normal life,” Gontara said.

Khaled Zaier, also a ULM student from Tunisia, agrees with Gontara in that improving conditions for the young people in Tunisia would benefit the country. Zaier also noted that poor and unemployed young people are easy recruits for terrorism.

“The long term solution is improving the Tunisian economy, which is struggling. That will create jobs and raise the standards of living which will reduce the frustration and depression of our young people. This will save them from falling into extremism and hoping for a better afterlife,” said Zaier.

Zaier believes that Tunisia is progressing towards a better future.

“Achieving democracy is not easy. It is particularly hard for an Arab country given the extremist regimes that are trying to gain power everywhere.

That is the main reason why we are a terrorist target. It means that we are moving in the right direction,” Zaier said.

Until late last year, the ruling party in Tunisia was Islamic. Newly elected President Beji Caid Essebsi leads the now-ruling secular party.

An anti-terrorism rally occurred last Wednesday night.