I think it is extremely important that the West support this experiment [of Tunisian democracy] with investment, with aid, with symbolic support, not just flows of democracy assistance …If Tunisia can’t make it, what are the prospects for the rest of the Arab world?— Larry Diamond
Most Powerful Tunisian quotations
The problem with what we call the 'Arab spring' is that these are very nationalistic experiences. Tunisians are concerned with Tunisia, Egyptians concerned with Egypt and so on.
Most of the doctors in the Tunisian administration, especially those in country districts, contracted typhus and approximately one third of them died of it
There is a racist attack against Muslims and Arabs, Algerians, Moroccans, and Tunisians in France.
You think that social media is about hooking up online? For these kids [in the Tunisian Revolution], it was a military tool to defend unarmed people from murderers.
Most of the doctors in the Tunisian administration, especially those in country districts, contracted typhus and approximately one third of them died of it.
Everywhere the Salafi are pushing by saying, "We are the guardian, and we are resisting any kind of relationship to the West or provocation coming from the West." And internally, it's unsettling the whole situation. Now in Tunisian, in Libya, in Syria, in Egypt, the clash between the literalists and - the Islamists or the reformists is something which is going to be part of what we have to deal with as to the future of America.
When actually, you have one identity made of different parts.
Depending on where you are, at what time in your life, some things are higher or deeper. That's what I understood later: that I'm French and Tunisian, and I'm accepting the French part of my identity.
I couldn't know about my culture, my history, without learning the language, so I started learning Arabic - reading, writing. I used to speak Arabic before that, but Tunisian Arabic dialect. Step by step, I discovered calligraphy. I painted before and I just brought the calligraphy into my artwork. That's how everything started. The funny thing is the fact that going back to my roots made me feel French.
If you look at the list of the top wheat importers for 2010, almost half of them are Middle Eastern regimes: Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Tunisia. Egypt is the number-one importer of wheat in the entire world. Tunisia leads the entire world in per capita wheat consumption. So it's no wonder that the revolutions began with Tunisians waving baguettes in the streets and Egyptians wearing helmets made of bread.
If you just look at the fact that a woman was central in twittering the Cairo revolution, and women were central to the Tunisian uprising. Women are at the center of everything right now and moving everything forward. And I do think in the next year or two, we are going to see such a woman spring, such a rising.
Under Tunisian law, a woman can divorce her husband. Total equality.
Public agency is emergent, and the ability of the public to literally put any bank or corporation out of business overnight is looming. To paraphrase Abe Lincoln, you cannot screw all of the people all of the time. We're there. All we lack is a major precipitant – our Tunisian fruit seller. When it happens the revolution will be deep and lasting.
The Arab soul is broken by poverty, unemployment, and general recession.
The Tunisian revolution is not far from us. The Arab citizen entered an unprecedented state of anger and frustration.
We like democracy because why? The pathologies of the U.
S. version are so obvious in the aftermath of the latest averted crisis that we need to ask ourselves whether it’s worth it - and why electoral democracy hasn’t self-destructed before. Should Tunisians or Egyptians opt for the Chinese model, where rational autocrats may restrict rights, but no one threatens to blow up world markets in the name of an 18th-century tax protest?