A touch of jasmine. From his small rental apartment in Tunis, where he lives among car mechanics, carpenters and kiosk owners, Gerald Drißner sets off in a minibus, rental car or on foot to explore the country where the Arab Spring began in December 2010. A revolution named after the fragrant national flower that can be bought on every street corner: jasmine.
Together with the people in Tunisia, the author experiences the feeling of waiting; waiting for what is to come, for the breakthrough from standstill and the beginning of the future, he learns about the longing for happiness and money and about occasional doubts whether it was right to overthrow a dictator. On the way between the Mediterranean and the desert, he even ventures into the mountainous regions of the Algerian border area threatened by terrorists; he visits remote villages where the last Berber families live and historical sites that are almost undiscovered and gathering dust in the countryside; he stays in the village from which African refugees in overcrowded boats are crossing over to Lampedusa.
Drißner’s strength is his precise observation, his unbiased and open-minded approach to all situations in life, his dense portraits of the diverse people he meets. His book is a sensitive and haunting documentation.