Sunday, September 29, 2013

Round 'n Round We Go

Just as I was getting to my textile journal page for the third political assassination of last July, Mohamed Brahmi's death came to the fore again, adding to the long list of tragic scandals and scandalous tragedies that characterize the religious party's rule.

And so, one sunny, summer day...

Toward the beginning of July, information came to the authorities about a possible political assassination to happen the month of July. The 14th of July, the CIA sent a message to the Tunisian authorities warning of an assassination plot against Mohamed Brahmi, an opposition member in the Constitutional Assembly. The PM was informed the 15th, but, not the Minister of the Interior...for some reason. In any case, nothing was done and Brahmi was gunned down in front of his house July 25th.

The plot thickens.

At the beginning of September, the CIA note was leaked to the press, creating a furor. A government spokesman said the note had required verification.

Well, verified it was a week and a half later.

This reads like a cheap, barely plausible, espionage or detective novel. Except that a popular novel ends with some kind of resolution: problem solved, even if a big stretch of the imagination is required.

However, guess what?

No problems solved for Tunisians. The government has made no effort to conduct a serious, non-partisan investigation to determine responsibility. A number of criminals have been arrested, however, judges have become notorious for acquitting extreme right militant thugs and the assassins will probably be set free. All this smacks of duplicity and complicity. 
July 25, 2013, Mohamed Brahmi assassinated.
They knew, and did nothing.

Is anyone surprised?

And yet, a shred of hope remains. A courageous group of lawyers, called "Initiative for the Search for the Truth about Chokri Belaïd's Assassination," is taking the Tunisian government to court in France for State crime (crime d'Etat). Thus, they hope to bring international attention to this affair. If the French courts should determine responsibility, then it could go to the international court at The Hague.

That should be interesting.

Will Tunisians remember all this? Certainly, yet because the Tunisian government goes from scandal to scandal, one scandal will erase another. 

Already another scandal is in the making.......

Process photos here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

An Open Letter

Dear Blogging Friends,
      First of all, I would like to thank all those who left a comment about comments over at MulticoloredSnippets. As I explained, my work load has increased due to family circumstances and a teaching job that starts tomorrow, and I had debated about shutting down the comments section since I am simply unable to respond to comments. I truly appreciated the feed-back and so I have been able to decide (without feeling guilty) that I will leave the comments section open with the understanding that I won't be able to respond for the time being except to specific questions, which I will try to answer immediately in the comments section. Like everyone else, I enjoy getting comments and on certain rough days I live for those comments. I appreciate the recognition of my work and this is the only place I get it, for the time being. Now I will look forward to visiting your blogs and leaving comments during vacations--this is such a creative community of which I want to be a part. 
      Secondly, I went to Tunis today to see my dentist (you needed to know this, right?). Wouldn't you know, two days before classes start, I had a sharp broken filling that wounded my tongue. Tomorrow I have to talk all day [my husband says I talk too much. I say it's lucky I got a job that pays me to talk] and how do you do that when you can't move your tongue? Thus, the visit to the dentist. 
       The point of all this is that I was thoroughly horrified by the filth of all kinds in the big city. Street vendors have taken over quite a number of streets--the word "rabble" comes to mind. The police seem totally overwhelmed (or else they're not getting orders to keep order), the situation is chaotic. My dentist, who owns a lovely apartment for his office in an old colonial building is now seeking another location--mind you, this is prime real estate in downtown Tunis. I've never seen the capital like this and I feel so sorry for all the Tunisians I know. They are just as horrified. And, of course, the state of the streets reflects the state of the State.
      Suddenly, I didn't want to be here anymore. Like in so many other countries, the city is moving out to engulf the agricultural regions. Our farm will not be able to resist much longer, especially with the total lack of local authority and rampant, uncontrolled construction taking place. Maybe I can face changes with more detachment, now. Or maybe the status quo will continue, but we will entrench ourselves and not go into the city unless necessary. My artwork will probably reflect this more and more--a terrible, wrenching cry from the guts.
      Today was a hard day. And yet, the sun shines, a warm breeze rustles the leaves, I have a roof over my head, food on the table, and loved ones around me. Tomorrow will be a better day. Thank you for listening and understanding. Thank you for your virtual presence and encouragement. Thank you for clicking and taking the time to read.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sparkling Garden

Last year at about this time I complained about my Gasping Garden (here) and the relentless heat that went from June into October. This summer has been pleasant, with only a few excessively hot days in August. In fact, it has rained off and on over the past couple of weeks, causing my garden to sing and to sparkle. The result: my succulents have been multiplying when I'm not looking, to the point of overrunning the nursery corner under a lemon tree. Take, for example, my kitchen patio plant table that now looks like a jungle--to my delight.
Just love all that green. The bidet (on the right) has been engulfed. The walls have had a fresh coat of whitewash and I painted all the wrought iron black to get rid of the rust that was eating it away.
The white painted barrel tucked behind the table will host a small tree once the temperatures drop so I can transplant safely.
But, what has me jazzed today is my new plant table in the patio on the opposite side of the house, a result of using up junk from the garage as I clean it out (still an ongoing project). I tried to figure out a way to get rid of some unused gas bottles (we don't have city gas) by making a table base with them and putting a leftover piece of wrought iron fence on top. I was desperate. Then my husband told me he had found a buyer for the bottles (finally). So I went on to this idea:
The boulders came out of a field behind our property. We suspect that there was a Roman house built there as the rocks I collect look very much like the rubble at Uthina (here). Next, leftover floor and wall tiles sit on top of the wrought iron to make a table top:
The lovely, built-in tile benches still require grouting, but are almost finished. I'm particularly fond of my shabby chic shutters on the old wall. My husband rigged up wires then attached bamboo to give shelter, with the intention that the jasmine plants on each side will eventually grow over it. I rounded up some plants:
And then along came some rocks, including the foot rocks. I just LUV those old rocks in all shapes and sizes. Come to think of it, this is a table that would look good in Fred Flinstone's house.
Unfortunately, plastic containers have crept into my garden. I can't seem to make enough mosaic pots. I'm planting everything and anything to keep up with recent high reproduction rates. Indeed, my garden sparkles!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Memories of Summer

The little people have come and gone, and daily life has settled into quiet routine. Like last year (here), Grandma's Boot Camp included piano practice, sketching, painting, conversational French and Arabic, reading, math, beekeeping, 

learning to be handy,

visiting Roman ruins,

making a fairy house,

and, of course, several birthday parties and a few days at the beach--an exotic Mediterranean beach at that. They were sad to go and I was sad to see them leave, however, everyone seems happy to get back to their schools, friends, and busy lives. 

Me, too. I finally found time for my textile sketchbook, for which I have several ideas. To start with, "Memories of Summer", for which I used one of the stitched shell sketches mentioned in a previous post. 
I drew over the lines of the fabric with a black permanent marker. 
This seemed rather stark and dark, which might have represented this summer well because of civil unrest in Tunisia. 
However, the threads on my shelf called to me.

That wraps up the summer fairly well. All in all, it was a good summer...

My granddaughters first reaction when they returned to the States was: "It's so clean." Yes, the sad reality of Tunisia right now is a vacuum in authority resulting in filth at all levels. In the absence of dialogue and responsible governing, large protests against the government will take place today. Calls for government leaders to step down [their mandate ended October 23, 2012] have been ignored, so opposition parties are formulating plans to force them to do so. 

It appears that the situation will worsen before it gets better, making memories of summer bittersweet. 

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday."