Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Bouazizi 'big bang'

A year ago, a Tunisian street vendor lit himself on fire in an act of desperate defiance - sparking the Arab Spring.

By Larbi Sadiki

"....Bouazizi's staying 'effect'

The Arab Spring fervour that sprang in Bouazizi's home town and country has spread further afield in the Arab world, making possible dreams of dignity and freedom which are today palpably catapulting the Arabs into democratic openings. The uprisings and still unfolding revolutions were made by the Arab world's little peoples. Their greatness, like Bouazizi, lies in their capacity for self-sacrifice in the quest for dignity.

Very few of them will make it to the newly elected Arab houses of power. Their presence and voice will always count in the public gymnasiums of open, non-violent and effective resistance from below. Gone the days when 'power' and 'authority' happen not under the direct gaze and scrutiny of the public gymnasiums. Just as they ousted Bin Ali, Mubarak, Gaddafi and Saleh, they can and will oust the Assad's.

All Arabs are breathing in the air of freedom which is expanding the appetite for equal citizenship. They are out of the tunnel. They are more comfortable with their 'Arabhood' than they were 12 months ago. For they have discovered that fellow human beings from Barzil to Sydney champion their struggles and applaud their courage and sacrifices, and some even stage their own protests inspired by the fervour and hope they have generated.

Maybe the Bouazizi 'big bang' is yet to strike again in the future to shake off the relics of power in many a gilded palace. When it does, it will be remembered that its seeds came from the fruits of Sidi Bouzid's vendor.

May he forever rest in peace!"

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