And it’s December 17th. On this same day last year, a young fruit-seller named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after claims of being humiliated by a female police officer who slapped him and confiscated his vegetable’s cart – according to local witnesses’ stories.
Furious with the humiliation he been subject to and the local governor’s closed doors he attempted to set himself a light. A gesture that mobilized the locals for a protest, soon confronted with violent police clashes.
Protesters voices never made it to the local state media but found their way to neighboring cities through social media.
And there the Jasmine Revolution was born, a nickname so many disagree with; too much of a touristic and make-upped name for a bloody and violent uprising.
Ever since, Bouazizi’s name was picked in the media and got illustrated as a hero! Others were content to nickname him only the spark of the revolution.
Today, all over the media a commemoration of the Tunisian revolution is being broadcasted.
Zaynoun Nabulsi, a Palestinian-Russian young man posted:
“I don’t agree on calling Bouazizi a Hero with all due respect! Or his act as heroism! He was not a leader who led a revolution like many great men… He was just a man who unfortunately reached a dead end and chose to give up! So he committed suicide and left behind him a whole family to feed! Honestly I think he chose the easy way to escape! Instead of fighting for his right! And it is a shame that it took a man setting himself on fire to move the people to demand their rights and not their own conscious!”
Hana Trabelsi, a Tunisian blogger posted:
[Ar] لم أذهب إلى “مزار” سيدي بوزيد والثورة لم تكتمل أهدافها حتى نحتفل بها
Translation: I did not go to the “shrine” SidiBouzid and the revolution’s goals are not achieved for us to celebrate it.
On the other side, Zeined Turki, a founding member of Tunisie Tolerance Association and Amnesty International member tweeted:
[Fr] Peu importe ce que l’on pense, le 17 Déc représente le jour où la peur a changé de camps, le jour où l’espoir a commencé à naître #SidiBouzid
Translation: No matter what one thinks, December 17 is the day when fear has changed sides, the days when hope began to rise #SidiBouzid
Mona Eltahawy an Egyptian Columnist and public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues said:
Dima Khatib added:
“One year ago nobody referred to us, Arabs, as revolutionaries. We were still the “terrorists” ! #sidibouzid”
At this level it is important to remind that the Tunisian did not wait for Mohamed Bouaziz’s immolation. The tragic suicide was only the drop that enlarged the cup. Tunisian resistance against corruption and dictatorship has old roots. Perhaps the most recent are the heavily sabotages mining protests in Gafsa city in 2008 and the Ben Guerdane protests near the Libyan borders earlier in 2010.
Walid Kamoun, a Tunisian cancer researcher living abroad mentioned:
[Fr] « j’espere qu’on va aussi se rappeler des martyrs de la revolte du bassin minier de 2008 #sidibouzid”
Translation: I hope we will also remember the martyrs of the revolt of the mining area of 2008 # sidibouzid
I raise the question, is it really time to celebrate today. Tunisia has indeed come a long way since December 17th 2010 but is it over yet? We’re just getting started.
People have died today; it’s thanks to their blood that we’re enjoying today’s relative freedom. Is it really an opportunity to celebrate and rejoice their death? May be yes and May be not. Opinions vary but haven’t the Arab world got enough sadness or we’re just too used to black and blood that we question our parties?
Wouldn’t it be nice to give a thought to those who died and those who got injured to free this country? We can grieve their lives by living life they died for not burry ourselves in sadness. Isn’t it?