Al Jazeera World

A Tunisian Family: High hopes, desperate lives

A Tunisian family, once full of hope after the 2011 revolution, now struggles with poverty and some impossible choices.

Family, feuds and the future: the Tormsi family, struggling to make ends meet, reflects on the lack of opportunities in Tunisia today – and the older children especially weigh up their options.

There is little money for the family of six that is heavily dependent on their ageing father and the eldest son. Some hard choices need to be made. The two teenage boys consider whether to complete their education in Tunisia or risk everything by taking an illegal boat trip to Europe. They think they stand a better chance of getting European residency if they land in Europe as minors – but their agonising choice has no certain outcome.

The parents balance the reality of trying to feed their family against the aspirations of the younger generation. They want different opportunities, careers, experiences, and modern consumer goods – all of which are unattainable on a brick labourer’s wage in a struggling economy.

Like many around them, the Tormsi family have largely given up on Tunisian politics and are disillusioned about the near future. The 2011 revolution offered high hopes for the nation, but many people remain poor and this optimism has faded. Despite the difficulties, the family retain a degree of positivity and believe there are many other Tunisians worse off than them.