Arab spring : Memories of a fallen dictatorship ( Ben Ali’s Tunisia).
There was a constant uneasy atmosphere. Nobody trusted his brother or his sister but everybody was smiling. Truth is, we weren’t protected although we were living in the west. Our families were still inside the hell of dictatorship. Anything we would’ve done would’ve fallen back on them, including here in the west.
We were a group of young people listening to a dissident who was refused entry for his father’s burial. We were being recorded on camera by the embassy spires. As my family was greatly respected, we had no repercussions, but I won’t say the same for the less fortunate….
One of the woman recording I knew. We had welcomed her only son at home when she first came to Belgium. We would drive him to his soccer training, and offer him a temporary shelter. We were hosting big fish, but were never politically involved, nor would we share any opinion on the matter at dinner, it was the law of silence, that killed any patriotic feeling, it left a strong mark on my elders…
I got involved two months before the revolution. Officials were sent to my home to collect data and dissidential documents, and kindly warn me as my mother knew them all…I had felt the time was right to do something for my country. I met with the main dissident living outside of my mother country…I was somehow lucky….the seed of revolution was already there and I wasn’t alone, along with other challenging and educated young people. I had no worries for my family as I knew that they were protected by the valuable services that they offered for the embassy….I was the only one on the line…rest assured. And the revolution finally came, totally unexpected. Tunisia is the only democratic success of the arab spring.
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