Monday, January 24, 2011


Here is one of many pictures about the riot in Tunisia. Yeah, I know. It doesn't fit what the mainstream media wants you to hear. Well, here it is anyway.

Interesting pic!! A man stands down the riot police with a loaf of bread.

And here is an interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor. (Thanks, First Domino, for introducing me to this site).


It’s hard to overestimate the extent to which Tunisia’s uprising has captured the imagination of the Arab world.
They’ve been transfixed by the previously unthinkable images carried by Al Jazeera (and delighted by commentators describing other regional leaders as despots and worse on the channel’s free-wheeling talk shows):
Scenes of average Tunisians climbing on the roof of the Interior Ministry (a building whose iterations from Algiers to Cairo to Riyadh stirs fear and loathing in reform-minded citizens); thronging at the offices of the ruling party and tearing up its posters; sacking and looting the palaces of their leaders; the humiliation and rage of the young coalescing into street power that pushed out a tyrant.
One image really caught my attention today, on the Boston Globe’s excellent Big Picture photo blog (number 30 in the list, via the Arabist). A ragged Tunisian protestor facing down riot police with a loaf of bread wielded like an assault rifle. Economic hardship, defiance of the fear everyone lives with, the heady taste of freedom. It’s all there.
Protesters continue to push for all of the old regime's servants to be tossed out of the interim government today, unimpressed that the longtime servants of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Allie's formerly ruling Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD) denounced their membership in the party yesterday.
Adding to the satisfaction – and the power – of events has been that no outside power, certainly not the distrusted US, had anything to do with this. This wasn’t US tanks pulling down Saddam Hussein’s statue or the US-backed Northern Alliance chasing the Taliban from Kabul.
Those events and their aftermath, particularly in Iraq, stirred dread and misgivings among Arab. As the bodies have piled up over 8 years of war in Iraq, they fed whispers that just maybe they were better off with the tyrants they know, the price of avoiding the dreaded fitnah – civil strife and unrest – that regime-backed Muslim preachers were always warning them against. Not this time.
A friend of mine in Cairo – middle class, apolitical, a Coptic Christian generally worried that freedom in Egypt might bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power – just quoted the deceased US labor leader civil rights activist Cesar Chavez on his Facebook page. “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours."

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