The Tunisian people had a popular, peaceful revolution that in a few weeks ousted a leader so brutal that Tunisia during Ben Ali’s reign has been called “The North Korea of the Arab World”. The problem is, few in international media cared about what they saw as an insignificant country, so the story of that revolution was not told to a wider audience and written down in the history books..
Not the way Egypt was. The Egyptian uprising was journalistically monitored in detail, described by many as peaceful and beautiful.
Still – everyone I met in Egypt told me it wouldn’t have happened right now, this way, without Tunisia setting the precedent, giving courage. On top of that, Tunisian activists shared lessons learned, for example vinegar against tear gas and paint on police car wind shields. The blogger @sandmonkey described it as a “little penis complex”, Egyptians being jealous about Tunisia beating them to it. @waelabbas compares it to North African antagonism, as for example during football matches.
Are the ones that get the media coverage the ones that write history? Part of this will be seen today, when the Norwegian Nobel committee announces the ones that will receive the award.
Apparently the committee, that consists of retired Norwegian politicians, has had problems agreeing. No wonder. It is hard to see who they would pick without getting a storm of criticism for beeing unfair. When choosing Barack Obama after only a year in office many blamed them for beeing star-truck. Should the award be handed to an Egyptian figure, whoever it may be, the claims will be the same – not fair.
And who would it be in Egypt? Khaled Said? Dead. Mohamed El Baradei? Already got it. Wael Ghonim? Not fair, not the only one Facebook group moderator. 6 april youth movement? Just one of the organizers. Esraa Abdelfattah? Not the only founder of the 6 April youth movement. The Football ultras? Controversial with a peace prize. And the list goes on.
It is hard to think of an Egyptian solution that would be accepted by everyone, not least the Tunisians.
Who in Tunisia? Lina Ben Mehenni has been mentioned, I doubt that she would be willing to take credit for an uprizing all by herself, just for reporting on it in English. Muhamed Bouazizi? Dead. Rapper El General? Hacker Slim Amamou? Anonymous? The Pirate Party? Marc Zuckerman? Bradley Manning? Julian Assange?!
You see. The list just gets crazier the more you try to pinpoint one person to give credit.
How do you award a crowsourced revolution?
The only solution that would be tolerated by all would probably be to give the award to the entire village of Sidi Bouzid…