|Man in a Desert||
The Arab street exists. That long-ridiculed term has been laid to rest by the Tunisian people who have today forced President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country.
Also today a Tunis Air captain refused to fly 5 of Ben Ali's immediate family to Lyon and abandoned the aircraft.
On December 17, 2010 Muhammad Bou Azizi (Bouazizi) set himself alight protesting the heavy hand of governmental injustice. He succumbed to his wounds on January 5, 2011. On December 19 clashes broke out between demonstrators and police and gradually spread all over the country resulting in the heavy-handed Ben Ali today handing power "temporarily" and sneaking out of the country.
I remember a taxi driver in Tunisia years ago telling me, "We do not like Ghannoushi [founder of the Islamist Renaissance Movement], we know if he comes to power we'll be walking barefoot. But the government needs to give us some breathing space."
Today the Arab world is full of Ben Alis. We now know the Arab street exists and the other Ben Alis will be anxiously watching with great trepidation. Good! Tonight I sleep easy but I am certain many of them won't.
This is an historic moment for the Arab world.
A man on a long journey through a perpetual desert.
The opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the views of any of my employers, past, present or future.