Brain Bush’s Blog

One Year Ago Today

  • By : Brian Bush
  • December 17, 2011
  • 7:57 pm

Hi Everyone,

Sorry to have missed you yesterday – I was sick!

But now I am up and able to concentrate, so it's a weekend edition of the Brian Bush Blog!

And it actually works out nicely as today is the one year anniversary of the beginning of the so called 'Arab Spring'.

And marring the free elections in Egypt today was violence in which things got ugly in Cairo with ten dead and over 440 wounded as army forces rushed Tahrir Square and dispersed the amassed protesters.

It was this week last year that the so-called 'Arab Spring' began.

It was a 26 year old fruit vender who made an estimated $150 a month selling on the street in Tunisia.

The story goes that officials confiscated his goods because he wouldn't pay them bribe money. He was beaten when he wouldn't give up his scales.

The frustrated Mohamed Bouazizi went to the govenor's office to reclaim his goods the official would not see him and Mohamed went and doused himself with gas and lit himself on fire.

He, like others, was fed up with the corruption, the feeling of helplessness and going nowhere in his attempt to feed the eight people in his family.

People gathered, then rallied, and after Mohamed died of the wounds, hundreds more died while protesting President Ben Ali's rule of the country at the hands of 'security forces'.

It took another nine days of protesting and Ben Ali was out, having fled the country.

Decades of anger at mistreatment from the governing powers boiled over and soon nearly the whole of the Arab world and the Middle East was seeing people wanting change.

Today, a statue was unveiled for Mohamed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid. At the ceremony was Tunisia's newly elected president – picked by the people, along with thousands to memorialize the man whose action may will be noted in history as the one who broke centuries of rule and brought democracy.

Not a politician, world leader, or war hero, but a grocer wanting to be free of corruption. Because of him, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen have new governments – and Syria may be next.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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