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Taking care of Libyan refugees strains generosity of Tunisians

Washington Times, 16 June, 2011

Known for their generosity to strangers, Tunisians are starting to crack under the weight of caring for hundreds of thousands of refugees from the civil war in neighboring Libya.

About 2,000 refugees cross into Tunisia every day, adding to more than 200,000 who have sought shelter there since the Libyan conflict broke out in February.

“The Tunisians have been so generous since Day One,” said Firas Kayal, spokesman in Tunisia for the U.N. refugee agency. “But, of course, you cannot take that for granted.”

Tunisia is struggling with a fractious government and crippled economy five months after its January revolution that overthrew longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the so-called “Arab Spring.” Continue reading

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