Droppin’ Knowledge

While you at work, Tunisia had a revolution, the first one to overthrow an Arab leader.

by The New York Times:

A Tunisian demonstrator holds a placard reading "Game Over" during a rally in front of the country's interior ministry. The president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, has relinquished power after weeks of protests. Photograph: Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images

The reported departure of Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, after popular protests in his North African country, electrified an Arab world whose residents have increasingly complained of governments that seem incapable of meeting their citizens’ demands and bereft of ideology save a motivation to perpetuate themselves in power.

We hope that what happened in Tunisia could happen in other Arab countries where leaders and kings have rusted on their thrones,” said Abeer Madi al-Halabi, a newscaster on New TV, a Lebanese station that supports leftist causes.

Since their beginning, the protests have been closely followed by Arabic-language networks, as well as social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Hours after Mr. Ben Ali’s departure, messages were posted to Facebook celebrating the fall of one of the Arab world’s heaviest handed dictatorships.

The fall of Mr. Ben Ali marks the first time that widespread street demonstrations have overthrown an Arab leader. That it came by way of what was portrayed in the Middle East as a popular uprising, crossing lines of religion and ideology, seemed only to make it more potent as an example.

Smaller protests, many of them over rising prices and economic conditions, have already taken place in countries like Egypt, Algeria and Jordan. Egypt, in particular, seems to bear at least a passing resemblance to Tunisia — a heavy-handed security state with diminishing popular support and growing demands from an educated, frustrated population.

New York Times

To think that this began after a man committed suicide in the streets because he lost his permit for a fruit cart. Unemployed, poor, and nothing to lose, he killed himself. That death marked the beginning of protests which escalated after the Wikileaks cables released  illustrated the Tunisia government rich lifestyle.

Tunisia is the first country to overthrow an Arab leader, and many humans attribute Wikileaks for lighting the match.

Power to the people.