Tunisia and the sign of democracy: The sound of the human voice

"I hear bravura of birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames, clack of sticks cooking my meals, I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice, I hear all the sounds running together, combined, fused or following, sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night."

Walt Whitman


“A leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars”

Mohammad Albou Ezeezi whispered,

He did not deliver a rhetorical speech in front of the location of Sidi Bou Zeid Tunisian province.

He did not preach or threaten,

He did not wait,

He could not bear the humiliation,

He chose "the gossip of flames";

And made his body the fuel of fire,


The oppression burst into flames;

 Roamed all over the country;

The angry, the desperate, the oppressed and the poor come out of their homes.

The workers and the students roared,

They took away the doors, and opened their windows wide,

Women and men shouted together:

“Whoever degrades another degrades me

And whatever is done or said returns at last to me

I speak the password primeval; I give the sign of democracy,

By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms”.


When Arab youth studied the concepts and the mechanisms of democracy in books, lectures, seminars and workshops; then watched their lives deeply and attentively, they thought that democracy is a remote dream beyond their reach. Nevertheless, the eruption of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia taught them practical lessons in exercising democracy. They raised their voices loudly and expressed their opinions openly. They did not only demand their right to a decent life, but also demanded their civil, political and cultural rights. They understood that the people's participation in ruling their country is the twin of democracy.


After Albou Ezeezi burst into flames, some people in Algeria, Egypt and Nouakchott could not tolerate the ashes. Is fire “more merciful than my brothers”?

 The50- year old Egyptian lawyer Mohammad Farouq Hasan set himself on fire in front of the people's council because he could not tolerate the absence of law and the negligence of the complaint he submitted to Sayyida Zeinab police station to help him turning his daughter home.

The Egyptian citizen Abdu Abdel- Moneim (49 years) could not bear the oppression of the officials at Ismailia governorate that refused to allow him an additional portion of subsidized bread for his restaurant. He protested by burning himself in front of the Parliament.

The Egyptian citizen Ahmad Hashim Alsayyed (25 years), who could not stand his long time unemployment, burned himself on the roof of his house in Alexandria.

 Although he was a businessperson from a wealthy family, the 40-year old Mauritanian citizen Ya'aqoub Weld Dahud could not tolerate discrimination and absence of social justice; and before he sets himself on fire in his car, outside the presidential palace in Nouakchott, he wrote a political statement on his Facebook page titled "Enough Corruption and Injustice in Mauritania."  Ya'aqoub said: "It is time for Mauritanian people to choose their leaders seriously and freely; the leaders who can run the country's resources effectively to spare Mauritanians the destructive charity of foreign governments."

Mohsen Bou Tarfeef, an unemployed 27-year old Algerian citizen raised a complaint to the mayor of Khadra Kisp province in the far east of Algiers asking for a job. He poured gasoline on his body in response to the humiliation he felt, when the mayor told him to follow the pattern of Bou Ezeezi.


Suicide by burning is not a *fashion*, and the people who commit it are not death fanatics. Nevertheless, they are ready to sacrifice themselves for the sake of a free and dignified life,

Poverty alone does not incite a revolution, although it should drive people to the streets holding their swords:"I wonder why a man, who cannot find his next meal, does not come out holding his sword",

Human dignity thrives only when social justice prevails.

Through their revolution, the Tunisians declared the end of autocracy and tyranny; and the domination of a dictator over the fate of his people. They materialized the concept of democracy, which means the rotation of power between groups or individuals. They declared that people, and people only, can make the real change, and they will not accept anything less than freedom. They manifested an amazing skill in using the information revolution in their favor. They proved that democracy could not be imported, as it means people's participation in ruling themselves.

Sovereignty is for the people who will choose their government, and they will not accept less than that.

The Tunisians wore the sign of democracy, which is based upon two key elements: sharing and accountability.


Free people of Tunisia…!

“Yaishak”  (Long Live)