Tunisians are commemorating nine years since the culmination of the “Jasmine Revolution”. Since its former president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced out of office in January 2011.
On 17 December 2010, Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street merchant, had his fresh produce cart seized by a policewoman who mocked and hit him when he opposed. Local officials later rejected to hear his complaint. Frustrated and embarrassed at the public humiliation that he had endured, Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of the local municipality building in his town of Sidi Bouzid.
Bouazizi’s fatal self-immolation took the lid off simmering anger about government corruption, social equalities, unemployment and political repression. Facing anger and backlash on On 14 January 2011, Ben Ali stepped down and fled to Saudi Arabia.
Post-revolution Tunisia’s shift to democracy has been seen as moderately smooth and peaceful, by the standards of the region anyway, however, The country’s economic growth remains too weak to subdue the major hurdles of unemployment and social inequality.
The state’s progress has been internationally celebrated with the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize and its place among the Forbes top-10 list of start-up friendly countries.