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Tunisia: Ben Ali Has Left the Building

This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.

News of the Tunisian coup d'etat or may be the Tunisian revolution made the headlines across the Arabic blogosphere. Bloggers from all over the Arab world wrote to congratulate the Tunisian people.

From the United Arab Emirates, YM, tried to summarize what's been going on in Tunisia in the past three weeks.

فالبداية ، كانت احتجاجا على الغلاء والبطالة .. اندفعت الشرطة لقمعه ، سقط ضحايا برصاصهم ، تطور الاحتجاج إلى دفاع عن النفس ، وامتد إلى أماكن أخرى من البلاد .. اتسع النطاق أكثر ، نزل الجيش بآلياته ، ازداد عد الضحايا برصاصه ، أقيل وزير الداخلية ، استهجن الأوربيون الاستخدام المفرط وغير المتكافئ للقوة ضد المتظاهرين ، ودعت أمريكا مواطنيها إلى تجنب زيارة تونس في غير حالة الضرورة ..
At the beginning, there were protests against the rising cost of living and unemployment. The police went in full force to suppress it. Victims fell to their bullets and the protests developed to self-defense. It spread to other parts of the country. And the confrontations became bigger. The army, with its machinery, was deployed. The number of victims increased. The Interior Minister was sacked. The Europeans spoke up against the disproportionate use of power to subdue the protesters. And the US warned its people against travelling to Tunisia.

Egyptian Abo-Marwan wrote about the Tunisian revolution, and how it might be the spark that could start successive revolutions in the neighbouring countries:

الأحداث تتسارع فى تونس والتى قدر لها أن تكون أول دولة عربية تسقط الطغيان والاستبداد بثورة شعبية
كان انتحار شاب تونسى فقير لا يجد عمل هو الشرارة التى أشعلت الثورة والأخبار الآن تؤكد هروب الطاغية بن على وأن الجيش أصبح مسيطر تماما على الأوضاع
فسلام على شهداء تونس سلام على الدماء الذكية التى سالت سلام عليكم أحرار تونس وستكون إن شاء الله الثورة والشرارة التى ستنطلق لجميع الدول العربية التى تئن تحت وطأة الإستبداد والطغيان
Developments are fast-paced in Tunisia, which has become, by the will of God, the first Arab country to squash tyranny and authoritarianism through an uprising of its people. The suicide of a poor Tunisian young man, who could not find a job, sparked this revolution, and news sources confirm that the tyrant Ben Ali has escaped and that the army is in control of the situation now. Peace be on Tunisia's martyrs, on their pure blood. Peace be on the free people of Tunisia and by the will of God, this revolution will be the beginning of revolutions across the Arab world, which is suffering at the hands of tyrants.

In fact the lack of job opportunities and all the current events in Tunisia are not the only reason behind the Tunisian people's uprising. The Tunisian ruling party and the president, who has been in power since 1987, have been accused of corruption. Mohamed Shackow from Syria published here a Wikileaks cable [Ar] which he believes was one of the reasons behind the people's uprising, while the Egyptian blogger, Diaa El Din Gad, mentioned here reports that he believes contains evidence to Ben Ali's corruption.

وذکرت تقارير اخبارية نشرت في وقت سابق أن الأموال التي تم “تهريبها بشکل غير شرعي” من تونس نحو بنوك أجنبية خلال الفترة ما بين 1987 (تاريخ وصول بن علي للحکم) والى غاية سنة 2008 فاقت 13 مليار دولار أي ما يعادل ميزانية البلاد خلال عام واحد.
News reports published earlier state that the money funneled illegally abroad from Tunisia to foreign banks in the period from 1987 to 2008 exceeded $13 billion, which is equivalent to the country's budget for a year.

From Libya, Abdel Nasser El Baah, wrote about Ben Ali's departure and the consequences of the coup d'etat there.

أعلن رئيس الوزراء التونسي محمد الغنوشي اليوم الجمعة توليه السلطة الرئاسية في تونس بعد عجز الرئيس التونسي زين العابدين بن علي عن ممارسة مهامه حسب بيان السلطة
وغادر بن علي بلاده اليوم،.
Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced on Friday that he has assumed the presidency in Tunisia after President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was not able to function, according to the official statement.

Abdel Nasser however wondered if it is really a coup d'etat, or is it too soon to judge.

ولا يستبعد أن يكون ’’ التغيير التاريخي ’’ انقلاب قصر من أجل حماية النخبة المحيطة بابن علي من موجة الاحتجاج التي طالبت بإسقاطه.
We should not be surprised if this historic change is a palace revolution, to protect Ben Ali's inner circle from the rage of the protests that have called for his demise.


My2Cents
wrote here congratulating the Tunisian people on their revolution and quoting the final two two verses of the current National Anthem of Tunisia – Humat Al Hima – which are written by Tunisian famous poet Aboul-Qacem Echebbi:

تونس حرة
بن علي برة
يارب عقبال كل الشعوب العربية
اليوم تحرر شعب تونس من رق اﻹستبداد
اليوم ضرب رجال تونس ونساءها اﻷحرار المثل الرائع لكل الشعوب العربية أن هبوا وأنتفضوا فى وجوه جلاديكم
إذا الشعب يوماً أراد الحياة فلا بد للقيد أن ينكسر
إذا الشعب يوماً أراد الحياة فلابد أن يستجيب القدر
أما الشعوب الميتة فقد كتبت على نفسها الرق والذل
هنيئاً لشعب تونس الحر
وياشعوب العرب من المحيط الى الخليج – تعلموا الدرس وإستيقظوا من ثباتكم العميييييق
Tunisia is free
Ben Ali is out
My prayers go for the rest of the Arab people
Today Tunisia frees itself from slavery
Today the free men and women of Tunisia are a great role model for the rest of the Arab people to stand up against oppression and revolt against the tyrants
“When the people wants to live, destiny must surely respond. When the people wants to live, darkness will disappear, and chains will certainly break.”
Dead people, however, have brought living in slavery upon themselves
Arab people, from the ocean to the Gulf, learn this lesson and wake up from your long slumber.

From Egypt, Magdawia, wrote about what is going on in Tunis, which is always considered as a rival to Egypt when it comes to football matches, but this is the first time for the Egyptians to sit in the spectators seats and support the Tunisians.

هؤلاء الشباب الأخضر من تونس الخضراء الذي أريقت دماءه الطاهرة في سبيل الحرية والحياة الكريمة هم الإجابة
ونحن ما زلنا بملابسنا السوداء والصفافير ووقفات الحداد في مدرجات المتفرجين نشجع اللعبة الحلوة
وننتظر نهاية مبارة شعب تونس مع نظامه الديكتاتوري ولأول مرة نتمنى أن تنتصر تونس وتفوز علينا في ريادة رفض الذل والخنوع
Those young people from Tunisia, whose blood was shed for freedom and a better living, are the answer. We continue wearing our black clothes, and carry our whistles, and stand in mourning at the spectators’ stand, waiting for the good game. We watch the end of the football game between the people of Tunisia and their dictatorial regime, and for the first time, we hope that Tunisia wins and succeeds over us and becomes a pioneer in refusing to continue being downtrodden and despised.

And finally Dr. Farid wrote a post in the blog of The Egyptian Democratic Students Union to congratulate the Tunisian people, and wish for their revolution to continue till they have a democratic country and for other people to learn from them.

واصلوا طريق الثورة .. و اجعلوا الانتفاضة فنـَّا يتعلمه كل شعب مقهور .. أقيموا مؤسساتكم الديموقراطية وصدروا الثورة للجوار .. حتى تعيش الثورة بسلام وتنمو فى عمق وطن حرّ طالما حلمنا به .. فلربما نحتفل سويا بذكرى 14 يناير حين نلحق بكم على درب التقدم والحرية والعدل ..
الخـلود لشهداء الانتفاضة ..
المجد لشعب تونس
Continue in the path of revolution. Make your revolution an art other downtrodden people can learn from. Build up your democratic institutions and export your revolution to neighbouring countries so that the revolution lives in peace and grows in the womb of a free nation – a nation that we have always dreamed of. Perhaps we will all celebrate the January 14th anniversary when we catch up with you on the path of development, freedom and justice. May the martyrs of the Tunisian revolution live in peace.
Long Live the people of Tunisia!

This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.

1 comment

  • […] is Ben Ali Headed to? 14 jan: Tunisia: Celebrations Welcome the End of Ben Ali's Rule 14 jan: Tunisia: Ben Ali Has Left the Building 14 jan: Arab World: Welcoming the Fall of Ben Ali 14 jan: Tunisia: Tweeting Ben Ali's […]

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