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Arab World: Congratulations Tunisia!

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

Human rights activist Moncef Marzouki, 66, has been elected as Tunisia's new interim president today. The opposition figure, who has been imprisoned and exiled under the regime of former President Zeine El Abidine Ben Ali, will stay in power until the new constitution of the country is drafted, and legislative and presidential elections are held.

His appointment drew reactions from Tunisian netizens, who were divided between critics and supporters. Elsewhere in the Arab world, Marzouki's appointment, which was followed by a moving acceptance speech, was noted by netizens, who cheered on Tunisia's progress towards democracy, wishing the same for their countries.

Inaugural address of Mr. Marzouki, the new president of the Republic of Tunisia. Image by hamideddine Bouali, copyright Demotix (13/12/11).

Inaugural address of Mr. Marzouki, the new president of the Republic of Tunisia. Image by hamideddine Bouali, copyright Demotix (13/12/11).

Tunisia was the launching pad of an Arab revolution which started in the town of Sidi Bouzid when unemployed Mohammed Bouazizi set himself ablaze on December 17. Since that day, millions of Arabs across the region took to the streets of their cities, towns and villages, calling for democracy, equality, human rights and political, economic and legislative reforms.

Here is a snap shot of reactions from Arab netizens from Twitter.

Yemeni Noon Arabia dreams:

@NoonArabia: I wish one day in Yemen we get to feel proud of the person who “we” choose to be our leader, as the Tunisians are today. #Yemen #Tunisia

Fellow Yemeni Abubakr Al Shamahi provides a link to Marzouki's speech at the Tunisian parliament and shares another dream:

@abubakrabdullah: Amazing – Marzouki's speech at the Tunisian parliament today – I hope to see something similar in Yemen one day..

During his swearing in ceremony, Marzouki cried when he mentioned the martyrs during Tunisia's revolution.

Journalist Andrew Hammond reports:

@Hammonda1: #Tunisia president Marzouki chokes up at mention of the revolution's martyrs; cites ongoing struggle of Palestinians, Syrians and Yemenis.

On this, Egyptian Menna Alaa comments [ar]:

مصرمش تونس لأنك مش هتلاقي عندنا مسئوول بيعيط على دم الشهداء و عمر ما مجلس الشعب هيقول:إذا الشعب يوما أراد الحياة فلا بد أن يستجيب القدر

@TheMiinz: Egypt is not Tunisia because you will never see any one of our officials shedding tears over the martyrs. And you will never see the Parliament rise up and chant: “If the people wanted to live, destiny would have to respond.”

The chant is part of the Tunisian national anthem. A translation of the full anthem is available here.

Egyptocracy agrees:

@Egyptocracy: Amazing speech by Al Monsef Al #Marzouki. Congratulations #Tunisia. You give us hope. #Egypt

And Egyptian Abdelrahman Ayyash laments:

@3yyash: Tunisia made a revolution, they are the genuine and we are the copy .. Ours sucks! #envy #Tunisia #Egypt #Jan25

Marzouki's blog is available at www.moncefmarzouki.com and he tweets at @Moncef_Marzouki.

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

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