A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, December 17, 2012

Two Years Ago Today, Mohamed Bouazizi Couldn't Take it Anymore

Two years ago today a young Tunisian, Mohamed Bouazizi, who despite a college degree was employed as a street vendor, responded to police harassment by setting fire to himself in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid. He died a few weeks later, but the fires he lit are still burning.

Given the agony of Libya, the carnage in Syria, and the ongoing uncertainties in Egypt, we don't hear the phrase "Arab Spring" quite so frequently. But the sheer extent of change in the Arab world in only two years means that Mohamed Bouazizi deserves to be remembered, as do many others in many countries who decided they couldn't take it anymore,

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