Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tunisian spark

This morning, there was a touching tribute to this man who seems to have started much of what has happened in a short week in Tunisia . I think it was his mother, but it might have been his sister, who said that she hoped his death would bring about a new, representative and democratic government in Tunisia. That should not be so startling, but imagine the courage and appreciation required for her to do so. It would have been so much easier to rant and rave about Ben Ali or his family, or simply to do the normal thing and express tremendous grief over the loss of a son or brother, but, no, she rose above that somehow and said what so many Tunisians seem to be saying – in a rational and coherent, non-radical manner. I just hope they can keep that together. Already, yesterday, there is new Imam for Tunis and I have not seen a good report on the Friday prayers message. Separately, there is now a struggle for ownership of various enterprises in which the family had a stake, including the media where reporters are claiming that the shares owned by the family ought to be redistributed to the workers. These will be very touchy matters, and I think many of them have the potential to cause considerable unrest and consternation. So, it’s still very much doigts-crosses time, I think!

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