// you're reading...

Arab World

Bouazizi Lives

Contributed by Raghda Salama

“How do you expect me to make a living?”

These were the last words believed to have been uttered by Mohamed Bouazizi before he set his body aflame on December 17, 2010. With only a cart of vegetables, the 26 year old supported his family of eight. Earlier during the day, he had gone about his daily routine only to be met with a police officer who confiscated his scale, allegedly slapping him, beating him, and insulting his dead father. When he went to formally complain to municipal authorities, they refused to meet him.

He took to the street, and sparked a fire that is still burning today. He has become a hero, a legend, and a symbol for what the world was bound to witness.  Simply put, Tunisians, Egyptians, and Yemenis have overthrown some of the most long-standing dictatorships of the region.

Immediately following his self immolation, men and women from his small hometown Sidi Bouzid protested the injustice that Bouazizi experienced on the day of the incident. Demonstrations spread like wildfire across Tunisia, and following former President Zineldine Ben Ali’s self-exile, to Egypt and then Yemen. The next dominos to fall were former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, later followed by former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The cause of the protests was clear. There was a myriad of Bouazizi’s in the region, all of whom became victims of injustice every day more than the day before. Rising poverty rates, unemployment rates, illiteracy rates, corruption, police brutality topped with nearly non-existent political freedoms made the revolutions inevitable.

Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen have arguably passed through a year of relative progress. Tunisians have elected an assembly in November, which has voted for human rights veteran Moncef Marzouki as Tunisia’s first interim President after the revolution last week. He is due to appoint a prime minister from the Islamist majority party, Ennahda, while the assembly drafts a constitution.

Image from Illume Magazine

About 2000 km away, Egyptians continue to fight ongoing corruption, oppression and violence, this time personified by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the army. In the meantime, parliamentary elections are currently in progress. Two out of three rounds have been completed and so far, the Freedom and Justice Party (the Muslim Brotherhood) are ranking quite high in this popularity contest. Other major players are ElNour Party, which follows Salafist ideology, the largely liberal Egyptian Bloc, and the Revolution Continues Coalition, which brings together Islamist, socialist, and liberal political parties. However, SCAF members have stated in a press conference that this parliament will not be representative and that SCAF holds all final decisions on all matters to be discussed in parliament.

In Yemen, current President Saleh is scheduled to leave his post and cede all his powers this December 23, following negotiations brokered by the GCC. His deputy would then assume responsibilities of the president until elections take place. In return, President Saleh is granted immunity from prosecution, which undermines the forming of a new non-corrupted justice system.

Precisely how far the people of Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen have come to gain their rights and privileges as citizens remains unclear. The initial demand throughout the mass demonstrations across the region had boiled down to a complete and grassroots change of regime, hence the revolutions.

Also witnessing mass demonstrations are Syria and Bahrain. Under a media blackout inside and out, specific details about demonstrations in Syria remain vague. We do, however, know that there are Syrians who are massacred in large numbers on a daily basis, with Al Assad’s regime showing no signs of collapse and no will for negotiating with protesters. In Bahrain, demonstrations at Manama’s Lulu Roundabout escalated in March, then quieted down following a serious crackdown by Bahraini authorities. Bahrainis continue to organize demonstration in protest.

Yet, evidence indicates that poverty and unemployment rates remain relatively unchanged. Authorities are still continuously

Image from TIME. Peter Hapak.

abusing citizens. Human rights violations have not come close to reaching their end, and not without reason. So far, the journey has been a complex obstacle course, characterized by international pressure on governments in an attempt to secure foreign interests. Another factor significantly hindering progress is the absence of leaders or spokespersons to clearly list demands of protesters and to sit at the bargaining table when and if necessary. Furthermore, one of the factors that has proven to be a big obstacle is that most demonstrations are peaceful and most demonstrators are unarmed, and may be armed with nothing but rocks. Because a state, represented by the oppressive regime, is by definition the entity that holds a monopoly over violence, the basic survival and endurance of the unarmed protesters becomes a significant challenge. The figureheads currently in power in the region have become preoccupied with securing their own interests and are continuously trying to defenestrate the demands of the demonstrations. Instead of investing in the struggling local economies, heads of state are betting on suppressing the demonstrations and undoubtedly violating principles of human rights.

How long it will take for the revolutions to be completed is difficult to foresee. While a revolution may change a regime and its figureheads overnight, social change may require quite a few years to bloom. Any nonpolitical change needs to start from its seed to ensure that change is in fact deep-rooted. While Tunisia seems to be undergoing a relatively speedy transition, the year ahead of the rest of the MENA region will most likely be a continuation of the obstacle course that has begun earlier this year as signs of deep-rooted change and democratic transition seem obscure.

One year ago, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze out of frustration and despair. Today, economic, social, and political conditions in the region have not been fully altered to benefit their constituents and ameliorate their frustration and well-founded concerns. As the future of the region remains uncertain, a cool breeze is yet to blow strongly enough to put out the flame first lit one year ago. In memory of Bouazizi, the struggle to make a living remains.


Filed Under  , , ,


151 Responses to “Bouazizi Lives”

  1. Good good, pay attention to your next article, thank you very much.

    magtrol http://www.validmagnetics.com/about-us.html

    Posted by magtrol | September 9, 2014, 9:24 am
    • I used to be recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m not certain whether this publish is written by him as nobody else know such special about my problem. You’re incredible! Thanks!

      Posted by visit here | October 31, 2015, 1:58 am
  2. It's a standard impoliteness you don't contain a give money get! I'd unmistakably give money for this magnificent site page Bluehost coupon! That i expect until further recollect that i'll be satisfied bookmarking together with including a solitary's Feed that will my best Msn leveling.

    Posted by see page | September 12, 2014, 2:46 am
  3. I don't usually post in blogs but your blog forced me to. http://www.ultrasoundtechniciansalaryusa.com

    Posted by ultrasound tech | November 1, 2014, 6:47 pm
  4. Hyundai set out to recall quite austinautoguide.com a number of their vehicles from the market in three phases. The target was to get back more than 418,000 vehicles from the roads as a result of various flaws. Most notably, there were questions raised about the oil leaks, brake systems and the suspension systems in these vehicles.insuranceclaimhelpline.com

    Posted by austinautoguide.com | November 7, 2014, 4:24 am
  5. If you’ve gone this far, then selling your business has aroused enough curiosity that you are taking the first step. http://www.seamonkey-project.eu

    Posted by Sea Monkey Project | November 7, 2014, 4:26 am
  6. as well as their cost of living. These tents are designed after the Gers of Mongolia and are designed to provide year round accommodation with a minimalist approach to space and the use of materials.furrykidz

    Posted by Interior Decorator | November 7, 2014, 4:27 am
  7. There are many websites which are made to make customers play online.facebook This can be for online roulette game or the general kids games. Having online casino is most commonly seen.

    Posted by pawanpoker | November 7, 2014, 4:28 am
  8. There are many websites which are made to make customers play online.facebook This can be for online roulette game or the general kids games. Having online casino is most commonly seen.

    Posted by pawanpoker | November 7, 2014, 4:29 am
  9. Anyway I wanted to say that it's nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer. http://www.casinogameshq.info/ http://www.onlinepokerrealmoney.net/ http://www.casinogamblingmaster.com

    Posted by Visit Here | January 10, 2015, 5:58 am
  10. Anyway I wanted to say that it's nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer.

    Posted by Visit Here | January 16, 2015, 2:22 am
  11. Thank you for this post. Thats all I are able to say. You most absolutely have built this blog website into something speciel.

    Posted by View more | January 16, 2015, 2:22 am
  12. Thanks for providing useful information. I appreciate your professional approach. Thank you for the efforts you made in writing this post. I am hoping I'll see more great things from you Click Here

    Posted by Check Out | January 16, 2015, 2:23 am
  13. Wow, nice post,you can find different person searching about that now they'll find enough resources by your post.Thank you for sharing to us.Please 1 additional post about that.

    Posted by More Details | January 16, 2015, 2:23 am
  14. I appreciate you the issues provided employing your web site. Weigh. That's something else I would like to talk about drop is not really specifics about taking a food fashion and looking to eliminate too much unwanted weight which you can within a placed certain period of time.

    Posted by bluehost cpanel | January 20, 2015, 2:23 am
  15. This piece of writing will assist the internet users for building up new weblog or even a weblog from start to end. find out this here

    Posted by delop | March 12, 2015, 9:13 am
  16. Maybe they have some communities that have different missions. So they will move by themselves based on the communities.
    aeroplane games


    Posted by huseyin | April 2, 2015, 7:47 am
  17. What is a great free blogging site that I can react to blogs and others will certainly respond to me. Visit This Link

    Posted by Check Out | April 7, 2015, 8:56 am
  18. I am not certain if I agree with all of this. That being said, your blog is very informative, and many people will walk away from this post feeling more educated than when they arrived. Overall, you have done a superb job. americancameraman.com

    Posted by Angel | April 15, 2015, 6:45 am
  19. You have really have managed to catch the attention of many it seems, keep it up! helpful hints

    Posted by Bost On Free wifi | April 17, 2015, 4:31 am
  20. An impressive share, I with all this onto a colleague who had previously been performing a small analysis for this. And the husband in truth bought me breakfast due to the fact I found it for him.. visit their website

    Posted by Brasserie Mansfeld | April 20, 2015, 2:15 am
  21. I think you've made some really fascinating focuses. Not an excess of individuals would really consider this the way you simply did. I am truly awed that there is such a great amount of data about this subject that have been uncovered and you did it so well, with so much class. Much appreciated.

    Posted by Manage IT Services | April 28, 2015, 2:19 am
  22. Where may i find legitimate weblogs that are focused on at least delve seriously straight into penis enlargement browse this website

    Posted by Jonathan | April 30, 2015, 7:52 am
  23. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before. check this out

    Posted by Affilorama | May 21, 2015, 8:39 am
  24. Nice post. I learn something more difficult on different blogs everyday. It is going to always be stimulating to read content from different writers and follow just a little something from their store. great post to read

    Posted by Brody | May 27, 2015, 7:57 am
  25. magnificent points altogether, you simply gained a emblem new reader. What may you suggest about your publish that you just made some days in the past? Any sure? my review here

    Posted by Jaxon | June 3, 2015, 8:08 am
  26. I read your post ,that wos so good.

    Posted by riya | June 29, 2015, 6:50 am
  27. Hi,this is roller banner stands .when others just cringe and hide in fear of retribution, the act in itself is SACRIFICE, not suicide. Not many are willing, under any circumstance.

    Posted by Roller Banner Stands | July 1, 2015, 4:12 am
  28. Interesting article ! it is very informative . Thanks for share it .

    Posted by Lottery Specialist | October 1, 2015, 12:01 am

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Posts

question mark
Ever wonder what Bashar Al-Trump would look like?
December 17, 2015
By Guest
[John Locher / AP]
Top 5 Missing Things: The GOP Debate
December 16, 2015
By Guest
Jesus, Jesus was hot.
What Jesus Really Looked Like
December 15, 2015
By Guest
Israeli pigs
Zionist Pigs… Literally
December 14, 2015
By Guest
Worst New Syrian Tax Ever
December 11, 2015
By Guest
hate crime
Possibly the Most American Hate Crime of All Time
December 10, 2015
By Guest
What Anti-Muslim Rhetoric is Missing: Reality
March 23, 2015
By admin
Assad - Syrian Monster2
Oh the Horror of the Syrian Regime…
September 25, 2012
By Nabil
So, Who’s the Threat to America Again?
August 20, 2012
By Guest
So where do we keep Islamophobia?
Where Do We Keep Islamophobia?
August 15, 2012
By Shubnum
 Source: http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2011/12/usccb-political-lobbyists-or-advocates.html
Lobbying Versus Advocacy
August 1, 2012
By Mehrunisa
Jesus Is Alive At Speaker's Corner
On the destruction of Speaker’s Corner
July 17, 2012
By Abubakr
Picture 1
Stateless & Speechless, A Palestinian Regains Speech
July 12, 2012
By Hanitizer
Tyrone in a position of traditional Black prayer
White, Black American groups ‘swap’ summer interns
July 10, 2012
By Guest
The Costs of Stripping
June 25, 2012
By Mehrunisa