Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tunisia: Portrait one of a revolution

Tunisians celebrate the one-year anniversary of the revolution that kicked off the Arab Spring.

Larbi Sadiki

Celebration without complacency

January 14 stands for the enactment of popular will. The revolution Tunisia staged and won is the gift of that will.

Anniversaries come and go. They should not be killed by routine. The road ahead is so long and will be fraught with endless challenges.

Tunisians are equipped to measure up to them, and to any "power" instituted during the period of democratic transition. The new rulers must draw one lesson: they will not be tolerated more than needed should they fail to mind the simple terms: "people", "freedom" and "dignity" - woven into the legend which has become January 14, a people's revolution and an entire Arab nation's spring.

Whether when framing the constitution or making or executing laws, they must be working to honour the values which conceived the people's revolution. The collective mind and psyche must now be geared toward constructing a system that is imbued with the standards of freedom, dignity, equality, and good governance.

The Tunisian people have brought to the public sphere - when resisting in January 2011 and when voting in October - the intelligence, defiance, resources, creativity, and norms worthy of a government matching what they achieved: releasing imaginary birds of hope into freedom, and forcing one infamous dictator on an aimless one-way flight out of the country of the free."

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