Thursday, October 27, 2011

Historic moments of Tunisia

Cat in Kasserine
I remember the first time I heard that "things"were happening in Tunisia, I was in the car going somewhere, when the radio broadcaster announced that Ben Ali was about to deliver an important speech.
I asked my husband what was happening and he told me that a man had burned himself to death and the people of Tunisia are revolting against the regime.
I did not think much about it, it never crossed my mind that Ben Ali will escape the country and I definitely never thought the day will come when I will be observing the historic elections of Tunisia.
When I received the invitation from the Carter Center, I was delighted.
Being part of the Middle East new History is certainly something to be proud of. I have spent years working with the communities, for the well being of this region, and now I had the chance to be part of the new arab awakening.
When I was deployed to the governorate of Kasserine, I was proud.
Kasserine is 300 km away from Tunis, it is the governorate next to Sidi BouZid (where Bou Azizi set himself in fire). Eventhough, everybody considers that this is where the revolution started, the people of Kasserine have a different story, and I would not have discovered that if I had not been sent to that poor area.
Kasserine is not a rich governorate eventhough it has all the potentials, but for long it was ignored, according to the inhabitants it goes back in time, because Kasserine has always been the rebel town.
Anyways, let us focus on the modern day revolt of Kasserine. The poeple of Kasserine admit that the death of Bou Azizi initiated the revolution, however, they consider that they have continued the revolution, they have marched in the streets day and night till the fall of the dictator.
You go to Hay AlZouhour, the Martyrs' Square, you find in the Middle of the Town a newly erected monument for the 20 martyrs that were killed by the regime forces.
And I had the chance to be there for their elections. The people of Kasserine woke up on Sunday to continue what they had started. They went to the polling stations proud and happy to elect their new leaders.
At this stage, it does not matter you won the elections. What matters is that people like the people of Kasserine believe that they can be part of the building of their country, that they can be part in deciding what kind of lives they want to live.

And I was there...


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