And what is one hope for Tunisians try to start anew?
Capitalize on the country's place in the Star Wars saga:
TATOUINE, TUNISIA – Residents of the town that sprouted the Rebel Alliance in the "Star Wars" saga say they hope their country's own revolution, combined with Friday's Blu-Ray re-release of the classic movies, will bring a much-needed economic boost to this North African nation.
The original 1977 "Star Wars," later given the expanded title of "Episode IV: A New Hope," put this scruffy, sprawling desert oasis on the map when the surrounding region was used for principal photography.
The director, George Lucas, even took Tatouine's name as inspiration for the sandy, twin-sunned home planet of lightsaber-wielding hero Luke Skywalker. The spelling and pronunciation are slightly different in the films than in real life: Tatooine ("Tatoo-een") versus Tatouine ("Tat-ween").
Today the town is a casual stop-off point on desert tours for curious French and German tourists and foreign journalists streaming into Libya to cover the fall of yet another toppled Arab dictator, Muammar Qaddafi...
There are no dedicated tour companies serving the "Star Wars" sets, which are connected by some 600 miles of poorly-signed, potholed roads and open desert.
Four-wheel-drive off-road trips briefly take in the occasional site along the way, such as the subterranean Skywalker homestead at Matmata - once a home for members of the Berber tribe - and the alien-infested Cantina at Adjim on the island of Djerba. The spaceport of Mos Espa was built to scale for "Episode II: Attack of the Clones" in 2000, and the huge set remains intact at Oung Jmel, 24 miles from the southwest town of Tozeur...
With the universal popularity of Star Wars, William Shatner excluded, I think Tunisia may have a potential tourism gem.
I mean if New Richmond, Ohio can make the Cardboard Boat Museum a success, while Georgia Southern University can promote their hosting of the U.S. National Tick Collection, the combo of Tunisian desert and Star Wars sounds downright appealing to me.