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Showing posts from January, 2014

Not as soft as Jasmine

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Originally published atD+C Development and Cooperation Also find here the translation to German 
Social media did not topple Tunisia’s dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali – but they proved to be an important tool for democratisation. Today, cyber activism is an important part of the country’s public sphere. When broad-based protest movements erupted in North Africa in the winter of 2010/2011, the media searched for some terms to describe these uprisings. They still speak of "the Jasmine Revolution" in Tunisia, the "the Arab Spring" and the "Facebook Revolution". Many wouldn’t agree that the fate of Tunisian martyrs who died for dignity was anything as soft as jasmine. Becoming victims of tear gas and rubber bullets was not pleasant either. Peoples’ fight for freedom and democracy in the Arab region should not be diminished to the season "spring". Nor would many cyber-activists who have suffered repression and almost lost their lives agree that prof…