Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tunisia Gloria! Onward to Egypt...

Are we witnessing the dawning of a new age of democracy in the Arab-Muslim world, or will this wave of protest tip the scales and hand the balance of power to the radical Islamic fundamentalist movement?

The land of Hannibal and its people who fought three glorious wars against the Romans entered the limelight of the world stage!  Glory to Tunisia that ushered in reform and a new government by the people protesting in the streets and sacrificing themselves in order to break free from 50 years of dictatorial rule.  I must confess my ignorance to this fact.  While they filmed "The Life of Brian", the Tunisian people were suffering under oppression.  For a pop-culture nut like me, that puts things into perspective the fat and comfortable lives we enjoy in America.

And to think that it all began because of a desperate street vendor who resorted to self-immolation after he was stripped of his livelihood and dignity by the police state.  To refer to his act as a "spark" would be an insult and a defamation of the man whose name I don't even know, not just a terrible and inappropriate pun.  It appears now that this Tunisian Revolution may go down in history as the touchstone of Arab democratic revolt in the 21st century, in the same vein as the fall of the Berlin Wall brought down the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain of Eastern Europe in the waning years of the 20th.  This case is even more remarkable because there is almost no democratic tradition in the Arab world.

Who would have even thought that this type of protest would spread 11 days later to Egypt?  Is there any doubt that there are more demonstrations and protests to come?


Young said...

Name of the aforementioned Tunisian man will be honored in France...

Paris to name street after Tunisian man whose action sparked uprising

By The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – Wed, 9 Feb 9:14 AM EST

PARIS - City Hall says a Paris street or plaza is to be named after a young Tunisian man whose self-immolation late last year sparked the uprising that toppled the North African nation's dictatorial regime.

The City Hall says the city council unanimously approved the proposal to honour the memory of Mohamed Bouazizi.

Bouazizi a 26-year-old set himself alight on Dec. 17 after a police officer confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold to support his family. He later died.

Bouazizi's desperate gesture touched a nerve and sparked mass protests that spread through Tunisia, toppling the country's autocratic leader last month.

Unrest has spread to nearby countries, including Egypt.

Young said...

Lessons of the Jasmine Revolution (al-Jazeera)