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Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

What does the 'Jasmine Revolution' in Tunisia mean to you?

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Rafik Dammak
Student, 29 (Tunisian)
The revolution means a lot to me. When I was in Tunisia, like my fellow citizens I was afraid to criticize the regime. It is a really incredible feeling now to be free and have the right to express myself. The regime and many people underestimated Tunisians and didn't expect them to react and fight against injustice and struggle for freedom and dignity. We wasted 55 years after independence in 1956 under an authoritarian regime. We cannot waste any more time.

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Rim Nefissi
Student, 32 (Tunisian)
The Tunisian revolution is a first, huge step by Tunisia toward democracy, freedom and justice. This historic event is the revolution of all the people against corruption, unemployment and government repression. Through this revolution Tunisians demonstrated to the entire world that they are civilized and educated. My sincere gratitude to my brave compatriots for achieving this long-awaited dream of all Tunisians: the dream of democracy and freedom.

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Essam Rashed
Researcher, 34 (Egyptian)
A few days ago, it was almost the same political atmosphere in my beloved home country, Tunisia and several other Arab countries. I was completely surprised to see the unexpected results of this revolution. It means to me, and to many others, that change in Arab countries' ruling systems is possible, if people just have enough desire, commitment and courage. The Tunisian revolution simply means that we still have the chance to share in reforming our countries in a better way.

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Tomoko Michigami
Marketing manager/writer, 34 (Japanese)
I spent seven years in Tunisia. I was advised to not talk about politics with Tunisians, but now all my Tunisian friends and acquaintances are talking about it, which is impressive! We can see how Tunisians were so afraid of the old regime. There are foreigners who were deceived by Tunisians, as Tunisians themselves were deceived. We really expect working and dealing with Tunisia to get easier. I'm so happy about this change, and now hope that they can find a good Tunisian leader.

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Abdelfatteh El Omri
Student, 31 (Tunisian)
I am so proud to be Tunisian. The revolution was fueled by tyranny, unemployment and injustice. It is not a Jasmine Revolution; it is a revolution of the oppressed, a "dignity revolution." I am so proud of my own people for the solidarity and spirit they have shown the world. Today Tunisia is looking for new friends who believe in democracy, and in freedom as a way of life, to help start a new era without corruption or tyranny. Long live the Tunisia-Japan friendship. Viva Tunisia.

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Asma Aouini
Student, 31 (Tunisian)
Tunisia's revolution is the first of its kind. It was just a matter of time, a popular uprising to end a system that failed to deliver the free society for which the Tunisian public has long been ready. I feel pride and hope: pride for a country that has shown the world its readiness to establish a genuine, secular democracy, and hope for what is to come. At this time, the world's help is especially important in ensuring the extradition of Tunisia's thieves and criminals. Let justice be done.

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