The Tunisian Revolution: An Exemplar for Action

[Picture is from Tunisia, but you gotta love the Palestinian flag hanging from the balcony.]

Algeria: A man has died after setting himself on fire at a government building in Algeria, state media has reported, echoing the self-immolation that triggered the protests that toppled the leader of neighbouring Tunisia… Several Algerian towns, including the capital Algiers, have experienced riots in recent weeks over unemployment and a sharp rise in the prices of food staples. Official sources say two people have been killed and scores were injured during the unrest, which unfolded in parallel to street violence in Tunisia and demonstrations over high food prices in other North African and Middle Eastern countries. The fall of the Tunisian president on Friday is the first time in generations that an Arab leader has been toppled by public protests. The demonstrations that brought down Ben Ali erupted after the self-immolation of 26-year-old vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire on December 17 because police had confiscated his vegetable cart. Bouazizi died weeks later of his burns, becoming a martyr to crowds of students and the unemployed protesting against poor living conditions.

Egypt: Video.

Jordan: “Queen Rania of Jordan became the butt of many ominious jokes over the weekend when she tweeted that she was ‘watching developments in Tunisia and praying for stability and calm for its people.’ She was met with a barrage of Twitter taunts, including ‘lol Jordan is next!’ and ‘start palace hunting in Jedda.’

Libya: Fearing that his people may learn from the Tunisians and rise up against his decades long dictatorship, Qadhafi had these pearls of wisdom to share: “You [Tunisians] have suffered a great loss … There is none better than Zine [El Abidine Ben Ali] to govern Tunisia… I do not only hope that he stays until 2014, but for life.”

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