A year ago Saturday, a poor Tunisian fruit vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi killed himself.
This sparked public protest in his village, which then spread to all of Tunisia and became a successful call for the country’s corrupt President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali to step down. Tunisia’s success inspired similar protests in neighboring countries.
Thus was launched the Arab Spring, which continues today with clashes and deaths of protesters in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere.
Bouazizi didn’t intend to make a political statement. He wasn’t known to be political at all. Bouazizi reportedly set himself on fire in an act of desperation, some might say emotional instability, due to a life of constant harassment and humiliation by officials. Whether he intended it or not, his death sparked a global revolution.
Here are a few stories of note:
Canada’s National Post Mohamed Bouazizi: Son of the Whole World
A video from Al Jazeera: