Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images
Since the victories of the European Revolutions of 1848 then the rise of the Empire on which the sun never sets and later the accession of the United States of America as the only world power, Arabs are preached on Democracy.
We had our ups and downs during French, Italian, and British colonization and Arab-Israel war. Mostly humiliations and defeats but we had our victorious moments. We will never forget the battle of Algiers or the Libyan hero Omar Mukhtar , or may be the 1973 war. But what happened after 1973? I was born in 1973, since then Arabs are walking head down. We were told we are weak and we were accused of being terrorists and Jews haters.
When I have children I don’t want to read them bedtime stories form 1001 nights or Kalīla wa Dimna. I want to tell them a heroic story that I knew and experienced; one that happened during my life time. I want to tell them how excited and happy I was during the events of this story. I want to tell them the story in detail, try to make them visualize every single scene the way I watched it on Al-Jazeera*.
Three hundred million Arab are in a state of ecstasy, except for few for obvious reason. Arabs are happy now! It is not because the Tunisians toppled their government or because they kicked their dictator leader out of the country. Arabs are happy because finally they defeated the curse of humiliation. For once after 38 years Arabs had a good story to tell their children and to tell the world. They now can look straight in the eyes of Europeans and Americans and tell them we don’t need to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of civilians and waste trillions of dollars for the sake of democracy.
Yes, democracy needs lives to be sacrificed. That is what Lebanon learned after its civil war. But for once Arabs prove they can take matters by their own. For now I want to feel the happiness the man in the video is experiencing and I want to cry out of happiness like the the woman shooting the video. I didn’t stop watching it since I first knew about it, two days ago. It is a very emotional clip that made every Arab weeps like a baby. Nothing is compared to feeling free. Happiness in contagious.
O people of Tunisia, thank you for making us restore our dignity back. May Allah be with you and grant you wisdom during this transition.
* I will never forget how on Friday Jan 14th I nervously switched between Fox, CNN, and MSNBC TV channels trying to hear the story of Tunis. Alas, a story of Arabs peacefully rioting against their government and eventually causing their dictator leader to flew away was not a story worth showing to the American viewers. American media’s motto is clear to me now; don’t show news about Arabs if they are not blowing themselves up. Typical to the American media, the story is worth covering now. Arabs are trying to restore order while looting their country, this is a headline Americans want to read. Shame on you, American mediae. I am mad at you, shame on you. You lost a viewer to Al-Jazeera.