by Hammouda Salhi
[ED: Not every commentator shares this author's sanguine prognosis for the ultimate outcome of the Tunisian revolution. Let us hope that future events prove him right.]
On 13 January 2011, my close friends invited me to their house in les berges du lac, a quarter located in the northeast of Tunis. This is a symbolic place, as it houses the embassies and consulates of many countries, not to mention the Arab Interior Ministers' Council.
There we drank the famous, extraordinary mint tea, which contains caffeine that increases energy and mental alertness. The warm drink is served especially as a sign of hospitality and friendship -- in fact, it is believed to contain all of the elements necessary to ensure life and hope. I daresay that mint tea is the secret ingredient behind Tunisia's peaceful uprising.Before nightfall, as I headed to where I live in Tunis not very far from downtown, I began to hear the loud and repetitive chants of protests coming from somewhere near Habib Bourguiba Street, the main street in Tunis. When I arrived there, I found that a crowd of thousands had assembled outside the Ministry of Interior, chanting, "Ben Ali, that's enough!" and "Game over!" These people were young, old, rich, poor, and both casually and smartly dressed. Some were armed with Tunisian flags and bread loaves -- a pitiful defense against the tear gas, tanks, and bullets.
I prefer to be realistic, because what we would be asking for, then, is a front ready to hold power and govern. At the present time and facing the actual circumstances, the opposition is only ready for the minimum. This should be based on a programme able to co-ordinate its actions on issues such as the question of liberties, defense of civil society, the press, the lower social classes; the formation of a strong national economy; the openness of Tunisia towards its own environment: the Maghreb, and Europe.
Original URL: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/tunisia_the_end_of_a_23year_re.html
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