Editor's note: This story is part of a GroundTruth project we call "Generation TBD," a year-long effort that brings together media, technology, education and humanitarian partners for an authoritative, global exploration of the youth unemployment crisis.
TUNIS, Tunisia — Hamzaoui Med Amine’s home neighborhood of Ariana, a roughshod working-class district near the Tunis airport, is the setting for the music video of the now nationally ubiquitous song Houmani, performed by Amine and his vocalist partner Kafon.
The video depicts Tunisia’s urban poor, picking through used clothing stands, sipping espresso and smoking cigarettes. Leathery-skinned women wrapped in black headscarves smile into the camera, their crooked teeth and wandering eyes intimately displayed.
Houmani has racked up millions of views on YouTube, and the song’s relentless drum & bass track can be simultaneously heard blasting from cell phones, car stereos and corner store radios.
The song’s popularity owes to its frank illustration of life for Tunisia’s majority, with lyrics about the joblessness, dirty streets, cramped living conditions and worn infrastructure in working-class neighborhoods throughout the country.