Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mohammed Bouazizi

"The unrest began when Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old unemployed man, set himself on fire after police confiscated fruit and vegetables he was selling because he had no permit."                —Al Jazeera report

Let's not forget this guy. He was an unemployed Tunisian man, probably couldn't afford to buy or bribe someone for a permit, and the police took away his produce, his only means of support. In frustration and despair, he burnt himself to death.
From this, other unemployed took to the streets, the unions supported them and in the end the army supported them. And Ben Ali was the first to flee his country after a peaceful uprising.

Mohammed Bouazizi inspired the Tunisian revolt. And the Egyptians were inspired by the Tunisians. And now Hosni Mubarak is out and Egypt is, we hope, heading for a better future. Two strongmen toppled, shockwaves sent throughout the middle east, and who knows where else, all because one desperate man made a profound act of protest. One man made the ultimate sacrifice, and as a result the world changes, and there is hope, at least, for people who had no hope before.

I am reminded how the self-immolation of Buddhist monks in Vietnam helped turn the American public against the war. Sometimes it takes a horrific act of self-sacrifice to open peoples eyes to the injustice around them. Would that it were not so.

I honor Mohammed Bouazizi, and I hope he has found peace in the arms of Allah.


Scruffy said...


Dorothy Carlo said...

I wish well for all the oppressed people in the Middle East and elsewhere. I hope the Tunisians and the Egyptians do not end up with something worse than they had under the 30 year regime just ended.