Laetitia et Amarum

Time spins! After an uprising which threw 23 years under the Ben Ali regime, it took only 2 months to feel that those decades took place in a distant past. Tunisia faces a challenging transition to a democracy and global economy, but Today is about Libya.

The Libyan transition has become more difficult in the last week, and the Gaddafi’s seem to have put hands together to face the uprising and control the oil, so they keep their dad’s war machine going. And so he aimed straight to oil reserves and refineries. The Libyan people were faster to understand the importance of oil, but forces pro-Gaddafi were merciless in their counter attack and were able to recapture, Azawya, Misrata, Ras Lanuf, Brega, and now are heading Ajdabiya. Yet, Benghazi is the stronghold of the Libyan people and will not be given up easily. Gaddafi is also not likely to win an urban war, unless he destroys the city of 670,000 people. Postal! This comes bitter, and announces, not the end of Libyan uprising, but a Libyan civil war. How long? damage? deaths? All will be discovered in few years. For me the question is: why does it take so long to impose a No fly zone over Libya?

The answer may come from Tunis, as secretary of state Hillary Clinton comes in a 24 hours visit on Wednesday. Officially to congratulate the people of Tunisia, but certainly to check up the relationship between the US and Tunisia in this new era. Tunis may keep the sec of state on hold and give her an answer on July 24th after the election of the constitutional committee . This time, it won’t be a blank check behind closed doors, as politics changed recently in the Kasbah. In the meanwhile, The cheikh of the Kasbah, Beji Caid Sebsi put himself under a hectic travel schedule, as he spends Tuesday and Wednesday in Algiers and Rabat to meet Bouteflika and Mohamed VI. For me the question is: Was it that important?

Thursday will certainly be a long day!

Laetitia et Amarum

Tweeting your revolution


wikileaks played a major role in fueling the anger / determination of Tunisians. However, the wikileaks reports only put further light on what we already knew. They confirmed our doubts and detailed the different events.
Twitter and Facebook played a very important role in our revolution, and I am confident that if we were not using social media we wouldn’t have accomplished our goals.
Social media empowered our communication infrastructure.
It countered the traditional media, the propaganda machine of our government. It allowed us to detect patterns that one would not notice if left alone, such as noticing that all the presidential police cars are rented (rented cars in tunisia have blue license plates). Traditional media fostered crowdwisdom, by sharing thoughts, feedbacks, and opinions. And finally on the battle field, we even used in the final hours of our government to share snipers’ positions. Then, the final demonstration was an event on facebook that everybody shared.
And now we are using to find the militias, and share their positions. There are volunteers working on developing web 2.0 applications to place events on maps.
More importantly, we knew how to tweet and we were hooked to facebook. Something, that our ennemy, including the state run media, and the brutal yet illiterate “intelligence”.
Other governments in the region are as blind as the ben ali’s regime. I hear Morocco blocked and contained a demonstration in front of the Tunisian embassy in Rabat, Syria is censoring what is happening in Tunisia. They didn’t understand that we do not demonstrate and we are not going to demonstrate in the streets until we know that we reached the critical mass, in the meanwhile we will be tweeting our revolution. And they can not beat us in our territory.


Tweeting your revolution