Well, who-da-thunk-it? A well deserved congratulations to the Tunisian people.
It’s been quite an eventful few days in the Middle East region *yea anyone who wants to argue the geographic location of Tunisia with me is obviously missing the big picture*. The whole Tunisian overthrow of Ben Ali came as a shock to many who didn’t really know much about the region…It’s especially eventful since many news outlet in the western world didn’t really cover the protests and riots *which had been going on for around a month or so* till Ben Ali himself decided to get on a plane and high-tail his dumb ass out the region……welll…i say region…he did leave the region to try to get into France but was rejected *yea…France…the country that gave refuge to the Shah of Iran thinks you’re not good enough for it….talk about kicking a person when he is down…that had to burn*….But not to worry….he managed to find a place called home in Saudi Arabia…which considering how its government and leaders run things…must be realllllly confused over why exactly he got his ass served on a plate to him by his people:
Saudi Official; you mean to say you ALLOW your woman to drive…..you allow a sort of religious freedom…. you allow your woman to dress as they please….you allow your woman to go out and about on their jack-jones…….*let’s just cut the woman list short for the sake of the post not turning into a book of sorts*…you also don’t claim a monopoly on the Islamic religion whilst hypocritically not following those rules….and THEY still weren’t happy? PSHTT… youth these days….so inconsiderate.
But regardless of all that…..the point still stands that what the Tunisian’s did is something which is practically unheard of in the middle eastern region…they did something that is commendable…they stood up for their rights and they did not accept anything less than what they were truly owed….when Ben Ali offered to step down after his term ends in 2014* yea…boi thought that it was the idea of his seeking re-election that had grinded people’s gears….26 years of rule…. alright….anything more..and boi is pushing his luck* years to quell the protest the people did not stop. It’s something which has rightfully sent shock waves through the region and throughout the world….and …it is hoped…that it might finally have woken up the Arabs in the region and shown them that nothing is impossible if they put their minds, heart and soul into it and if they UNITE to achieve the goal…
These corrupt, despotic leaders do not claim a monopoly over their people if the people don’t allow them to.
But of course…..events should be seen in context….there are factors in Tunisia which played into the hands of the population,
Firstly: the employment rate amongst the youth was around 50%….why this is important is because it is the youth who are usually at the forefront of any type of revolution, so their dissatisfaction adds a huge amount of fuel onto the fire
Secondly: the high gas and food prices…as everyone knows when the people are hungry..that is when they are most dangerous…it’s also why you’ll probably see a lot of countries now in the middle east re-assessing and lowering prices …keep people fed and warm…and you will breed a certain amount of complacency.
Thirdly: believe it or not…..the fact that the Tunisian youth are socially active online…the use of things like fb and twitter and other social mediums was instrumental in getting the movement started…so the next time your parents/friends/lecturer/sister tell you to get your face off of fb and into a book…just tell them when a revolution of sorts is needed…they will be rueing the day they asked you to shift on out…books don’t connect people…websites do *respect*…you reap what you sow ay?
The fact that Egypt ticks two of those boxes is the reason why people are looking to it to carry the mantle of the Tunisian movement through onto it’s shores. In fact, Egypt compared to Tunisia is worse off in the first two points in general…. but it’s the 3rd factor which is missing in Egypt that experts say is a problem…they aren’t as well-connected as Tunisia was.
Plus….the reason why this might not be so easy to replicate in countries like Egypt or Saudi or Jordan etc. is because in Tunisia, the military *and even police to a certain extent* where less willing to get extremely violent with the protesters as would have happened in the former countries….That is not to say that they weren’t violent…they where…especially the police …as lives were lost in the protests unfortunately…but the army in a sense took more of a back seat which wouldn’t have occurred in the other countries where they would probably be knee-deep in blood… as nearly everyone knows in the middle east region, generally…the army…instead of the police….would probably the be the first people on the scene of any type of protest….yea….in the middle east…when you join the army…you do end up fighting contrary to what people think…..it’s just you end up fighting your own people.
So in summary, I’m completely in awe of all those people who participated and did what they did in the protests *even though they had been intimidated and threatened with violence* to secure justice for their people….And for those who lost their lives, May your actions be forever remembered in the hearts and minds of the current and future generations…let’s hope your deaths will not be to no avail…and that real change comes to a country which has fought and truly deserves it.
And also, as a sign of respect and recognition to the man who sparked these calls to protest through the actions he carried out in the last few moments of his life, I give a brief summary of what his story is:
‘ Mohamed Bouazizi, aged 26, from Sidi Bouzid, in southern Tunisia, had graduated from Mahdia University a few years ago, but could not find a job. Being the only breadwinner in his family, he decided to earn a living and with his family’s help, he started selling fruit and vegetable from a street stall. His venture gave him very little, enough to guarantee the dignity of his family. But city hall officials were on the look out, and have seized his goods several times. He tried to explain to them that what he was doing was not his choice that he was just trying to survive. Each time, his goods were confiscated; he was also insulted and asked to leave the city hall premises. The last time this happened, Mohamed lost all hope in this life and decided to leave it forever. He poured gasoline on himself and set himself on fire.’
I paraphrased his story from this website for those who are interested:
Till next time,
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” – Malcolm X