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Tunisia – The Arab Spring Ten Years After Sidibouzid Street Vendor, Mohammed Bouazid Immolated Himself: A Not-So Sentimental Analysis. KGNU Boulder. Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues Hosted by Jim Nelson. Tuesday, December 22, 2020. 6-7 PM Mountain States Time. (details below)

December 19, 2020

Christian Baptismal Bath from the Roman Era in Tunisia (Bardo Museum – Tunis)

Ten years ago on December 17, 2010, a street vendor in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid – after his unregistered fruit and vegetable cart was confiscated by local authorities – poured a container of flammable liquid (gasoline) on his head and body, lit a match and immolated himself. The fire he set not only killed him but was the spark that set off the greatest revolt in modern Tunisian 1956 post independence history.

Four weeks later on January 14, 2010, as a million people gathered in protest demanding he step down, Tunisian President Zine Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi and both of the family entourages fled the country. More than 300 individuals are said to have died in the uprising against Ben Ali — most of them at the hands of regime forces.

The Arab Spring had begun, in Tunisia of all places.

Now ten years later, Ibrahim Kazerooni and I look back – what happened in Tunisia in particular and the Arab Spring in general. Did the revolt lead to radical reform or revolutionary change? If not why not and what happened. The mainstream media in the U.S.A and elsewhere still praise Tunisia as “the only successful revolution of the Arab Spring. Accurate? Or something of an overstatement, if not a lie?

Stay tuned to KGNU Boulder Colorado. Tuesday, December 22, 2020 6-7 pm Mountain States Time. 1390 am, 88.5 FM. Streaming at http://www.kgnu.org.

In many ways, because of the dry climate, Tunisian Roman ruins are among the best preserved in the world. Above, a well preserved Tunisian Christian baptismal bath. Hidden in what today is an overwhelmingly Moslem Sunni religious emphasis today is an almost 500 year Christian period from around 200-700 BC. Three significant theologians arose in North Africa, all enjoying native African ancestry: Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine.

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