For 23 years, Tunisia was ruled by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Considered to be an authoritarian dictator, his way of “appeasing” the people did not last forever. Tunisia’s state-run economy is currently suffering from high inflation and unemployment. As a result, Mohammed Bousazizi, a 26 year old, unemployed college graduate, set himself on fire in the town of Sidi Bouzid. His actions caused further social unrest that spread like wildfire. Ben Ali then fled the country to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, his safe passage guaranteed by the Saudi royals, fellow members of the Arab World Thug Club. While Ali’s successor, Mohammed Ghannouchi, is a member of Ali’s inner circle (he is the prime minister), many are hopeful that this is the beginning of a revolution that will free their country.
The freedom movement is not merely an American one. It is sweeping the world one country at a time. In this case, a brutal and dictatorial Middle Eastern regime, once thought as untouchable, was brought to its knees.
UPDATE: Mohammed Ghannouchi, interim president and member of the Ali regime, has been replaced by Fouad Mebazaa, leader of the Parliament, as per Tunisia’s Constitution.Published in