MagazineJan 18, 2011
The Tunisian Revolution
Tunisia is a country in Northern Africa. Corruption is widespread and is practised on a grande scale by the families connected to (former) president Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali. For example, any car imported into Tunisia had to pass through a company owned by the Trabelsi family. And Ben Ali's second wife just happens to be a Trabelsi. Add massive unemployment, a faltering economy and educated people selling fruit in the streets to make ends meet and you've got a powder keg situation. The regime change started when a young street vendor set himself on fire in the town of Sidi Bouzid because police confiscated his only means of providing for his family. This course of action shocked many in the Arab world, whose leaders were used to having obeying subjects. As the news spread of the young man's action, so did the riots. Twitter, Facebook, Wikileaks and some hacking by Anonymous all added fuel to the fire that has resulted in the fleeing of Ben Ali, after 23 years of ruthless rule, the fall of government and hopefully a better future for Tunisia. They'll have to make do without the one and a half tonnes of gold Ben Ali's wife apparently stole from the central bank just before fleeing the country. The big question now is, which Arab nation is next? Egypt are the bookmakers favorites.