At the end of 2010, with the events of Sidi Bouzid, I felt something had changed in Tunisia, but it took me a few days to me like to most of us to realize that it was more than a local revolt. A Revolution. I remember the tears of joy on January 14 and the pride I felt to be Tunisian, and I remember thinking Tunisians changed Arab History forever. At that time I wished so strongly that it could happen to my other country, Egypt, but I was afraid to be too optimistic: when you walk in Tunisia streets, you are afraid of the police, secret services and a powerful extended presidential family, but when you are in Egypt, you fear an Intelligence agency almost at level of Mossad and an army potentially stronger than Saddam Hussein’s, all in hand of one strong olligarchy. But they did it: a wave of millions of people, on Tahrir Square and everywhere else in Egypt made it, they made the Revolution. And since there is no limit to my optimism. There is an empirical statement that basically says: what happens in Egypt, ends happening in the rest of the Arab World.
I dreamt about two things: first, that the Revolutions spread, second that it’ll breaks enough of Israel’s self-confidence and arrogance to force them to accept a Palestinian State. Both of hopes are “in progress”. Everywhere in the Arab World we are seeing Revolutions, and though it seems sometimes difficult, we know and hope, it’ll end coming. Change Square in Yemen, Pearl Square in Bahrain, inspirations of Tahrir Square (in fact, they are inspirations of simultaneous Egyptian Tahrir Square and Tunisian Qasba events, that took place after January 14 and was for real the second revolution in Tunisia in less than one month).
But once again, things went beyond my hopes: Tunisia and Egypt are inspiring more than the Arab World. An Eritrean Revolution is in preparation and a facebook event annouces a start for the movement in May 28 in Asmara. And now a “Tahrir Square model of revolt” is taking place in Spain. In Puerta del Sol, youth is gathering every day after 7pm or so, for protesting: unemployement, injustice, lack of means, like in Tahrir square and Qasba the crowds were gathering every day to protest through the simple act of civil desobediance consisting in sleeping on the ground of the place, just because it challenges curfews and non-authorizations to protest. They are in revolt actually against a whole European political and economical system that broke their country. Almost half of young people in Spain are unemployed. Yet they don’t call for “toppling the regime” like Arabs (“Al Chaa’b yorid isqat an-nizam“), for they have the chance we didn’t have to be able to change their regimes with free elections, but their demands are so similar to Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions that it is clear that they are part of the same wave of freedom. In fact, Europeans do not live in autocratic states, but the fact that European politics totally escapes the direct control of people makes European citizens almost as powerless as were Tunisians under Ben Ali or Egyptians under Mubarak.
This wave of change begins to sweep Europe and represents the only serious effect to oppose the rise of populist right wing in Europe. With this new wind of freedom, Europeans stand to say their problem is not immigration, but the unsocial policies of the econimical Europe, the big capitalist machine crushing nations in their lost battle against debt. Belt-tightening policies when the banks are back to profit, bonus and risky markets?
And after Spain, don’t we see it coming? Portugal, Greece, Italy,… And one day, isn’t it going to reach the core of politcal economical Europe: France and Germany? Tahrir Squares will blossom all over Europe. Tunisia and Egypt, you changed Arab History, you also might have changed the World History.