Tag: Tunisia

Giving birth to democracy – Tunisian baby at risk of being still-born?

This past week-end, Lina Ben Mhenni and Stéphane Hessel took part in several public debates in France [1] in which the topics of democracy and the influence of new social media were on the agenda. In particular in relation to the upcoming elections in Tunisia later this month. What they had to say would sober up any giddy guest at the democratic “victory” parties.

Lina was this years runner-up to the Nobel Peace Prize – better known as the “Tunisian Girl” from the name of her blog. She is widely recognized as having played an important role in bringing about regime-change in Tunisia through her courageous and effective use of social media to report on events as they unfolded and rallying support across the globe.

Stéphane is perhaps the last person still alive involved in drafting the UN “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” as secretary to the commission charged with the task. He is also a survivor from an extended visit to Buchenwald – curtesy of the Nazi rulers of his birth nation. His latest pamphlet – “Indignez Vous!” – has become an international bestseller with more than four million copies sold in just one year. The English version (“Time for Outrage”) can be found on Amazon. Fair warning: The guy is 93 and in his own words: “… at this age I’m fairly certain nobody will care to punch my face to pulp for what I say, so …”

A battle has been won but the war isn’t over. Read more