Democracy activists across the Middle East are taking solace in the Nobel recognition for Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution while their own Arab Spring dreams remain unfulfilled.
Protesters from Tunisia’s poor rural heartlands chant slogans during a demonstration by the prime minister’s office in Tunis, Jan. 23, 2011. (photo by REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)
Political reformers from Morocco to Egypt to Syria say the Tunisian quartet’s peace prize win is a small but symbolic victory for a protest movement that has either fizzled out or exploded into chaos everywhere else. They hope it will recharge activists while showing Arab leaders the virtues of peaceful democratic change.
“Tunisia was the only Arab Spring country that carried out the revolution correctly, thus it deserves to reap the benefits,” Tamer el-Kady, spokesman for Egypt’s Revolution Youth Union, told Al-Monitor. In Egypt, he said, “We have now been deceived, [we have] returned to something worse than the [Hosni] Mubarak regime, violating all principles of the constitution.”
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Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa
Former Prime Minister of Tunisia
Dr. Marwan Muasher
Vice-President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; former Foreign Minister of Jordan
Dr. Bessma Momani
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Waterloo;
Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)