Oct. 23 - Reuters interviews the mother of the man recognized as having started the Arab Spring uprisings by setting himself on fire. Julie Noce reports.
Just over 10 months ago, Manoubia Bouazizi's son made a decision that would forever change the political horizon in the Arab world. Mouhammed Bouazizi, a vegetable seller in the run-down city of Sidi Bouzid, was desperate and angry after police confiscated his fruit and vegetable cart, so he set himself on fire. His death unleashed a wave of anger about poverty, unemployment and repression which caused a national uprising that forced out then President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali. As protests spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria... Bouazizi was hailed as the man who started the Arab Spring uprisings. Today, with Tunisia holding its first free elections, Bouazizi's mother says her son did not die in vain. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOTHER OF MOHAMMED BOUAZIZI, MANOUBIA BOUAZIZI, SAYING: "I am very, very proud of him and we thank god he is a man who has changed the world not just Tunisia. Tunisia is very precious to us, he is now the son of all the world not just Tunisia. Thank god Tunisia has triumphed and Libya has triumphed, and Egypt and I hope to god all Arab countries who fight and sacrifice will triumph, we want victory to all nations." Tunisia will vote Sunday on an assembly that will draft a new constitution. Julie Noce, Reuters