Arab Spring Protests Are Ongoing—Protests Started With One Act
(Above–Protests in Syria earlier in 2011. Photo by Syriana2011.)
One of the best sources to learn about these uprisings and revolutions is Global Voices.
Global Voices offers reports from bloggers and non-governmental social media users from all around the world.
Here is a Global Voices report about bloggers running for the Tunisian parliament. Two of the 7 candidates profiled are women.
There is no way to be certain if the changes in the Arab world will lead to expanded freedoms or to new forms of repression. It may take years for any accurate appraisal to be given.
Yet the alternative to Arab citizens finding out for themselves what they will do with newfound liberties would have been more long years of dictatorship.
How could that be acceptable to any freedom-loving person?
It should also be recalled that while there are many underlying causes to the Arab uprisings, it is also so that all this started with one act by someone who had not before been widely known.
On December 10, 2010, a college educated 26 year old Tunisian named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire.
Like many Tunisians, Mr. Bouazizi had not been able to find steady work despite an education. Mr. Bouazizi had a number of rough encounters with local authorities in his town of Sidi Bouzid as he tried to peddle goods on the street.
Mr. Bouazizi reached a breaking point and set himself on fire with gasoline. This attracted attention all over Tunisia and led to the toppling of the Tunsian government.
From Tunisia these protests have spread to much of the Arab world.
Please don’t set yourself on fire—But who can know when or where the next act of defiance or despair will set in motion great change.
Hope and change that is more than a campaign slogan is always possible.
Yet just as we are seeing in the Middle East, it is up to everyday people to force change with brave and strong words and brave and strong deeds.
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