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One year anniversary of the death of the Tunisian lad that started the middle east uprisings

I am not a writer, so this is just to mention this, and honour this man:

It was in this hardscrabble town in Tunisia’s arid interior that exactly one year ago the death knell sounded for the decades-old system of dictatorships across the Arab world.

With a desperate act of self-immolation, a 26-year-old fruit-seller in Sidi Bouzid unwittingly unleashed a year of turmoil that toppled at least three autocrats in a region once thought to be immune to democracy.

Tunisia’s new leaders are part of a festival for the revolution in Sidi Bouzid starting Saturday, to honor the vendor and the protesters whose indignation snowballed into a nationwide and then region-wide phenomenon.

The changes in the Arab world over the past 12 months cannot be overstated. A region synonymous with stagnant authoritarian republics and monarchies is suddenly rife with change ? for better or worse.

It was one year ago that Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of the Sidi Bouzid town hall after he was publicly slapped and humiliated by a policewoman reprimanding him for selling his vegetables without a license. He suffered full-body burns, and died soon afterward.

Until then, he had spent his days pushing around a cart to sell his vegetables, but when his wares were confiscated and his pleas for restitution ignored by town officials, something snapped and a young man who had never left Tunisia transformed the Middle East.

His act struck a chord in the impoverished interior of the country, where unemployment is still estimated at 28 percent.

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