While the Tunisian Revolution that ousted the 23-year-old regime of Zein el-Abedin Ben Ali constituted the major inspiration for Egypt’s January 25 Revolution that ousted the three-decade rule of Hosni Mubarak, Tunisians complain that Egypt has not given their revolution enough credit and has not provided it with all the support needed to thrive and capitalize on its demands.
Its Egyptian counterpart they argue also overshadowed the Tunisian revolution.
Several bloggers and Facebook users expressed the disappointment of Tunisians in the way Egyptians dealt with their revolution and the fact their enthusiasm for the Tunisian revolution has remarkably dwindled following the success of the January 25 Revolution.
“To begin with, I would like to ask Egyptians bloggers how many blogs they wrote about the Tunisian revolution after January 25,” wrote owner of the blog Tunisian and Proud.
According to the blogger, Egyptians used to cite the success of Tunisian revolution all the time in order to instigate protestors into taking a similar action in order to oust the regime.
“At that time, Tunisians gave Egyptians all the support they needed to start their revolution. We told them how to access blocked websites and offered advice on ways to minimize the effect of tear gas,” the blogger said.
However, he added, after the Egyptian revolution started yielding fruit in a way that promised an imminent realization of the protestors’ demands, all media outlets became focused on Egypt only and the nascent Tunisian revolution receded to the background.
“Even the Sidi Bouzid hash tag on Twitter started reporting news from Tahrir Square,” the blogger said.
The Tunisian and Proud blogger pleaded with readers not to misunderstand his post as a request from Egyptians to be obliged to Tunisians. He stressed that Tunisians had done what they viewed as their duty toward the Egyptian revolution, and that they were elated at every step Egyptians made toward acquiring their freedom.
However, he pointed out, Tunisians expected more support from Egyptians.
“Egyptians might say that the Tunisian revolution has already achieved it goals and therefore is not in need of such support, but I have to admit that this is a lame excuse,” the blogger said.
The writer said that had Egyptians been following the progress of the Tunisian revolution, they would have realized it was still incomplete for many reasons. First, the former president has not been tried; and second, members of old regime are now forming new parties after the ruling party was disbanded.
Third, he added, the new election law gives precedence to parties over independent candidates; and fourth, the dismissal of the reformist interior minister and the appointment of one from the former president’s clique brought back police brutality.
“Fifth, no measures have been taken against the snipers responsible for the death of more than 200 civilians during the protests; and sixth, involving Tunisians in the futile arguments between Islamists and secularists in order to distract them from following up on the demands of the revolution,” he said.
The blogger ends his post with calling upon Egyptians, together with all Arabs, to give their full support to the Tunisian revolution and treat it as if it had not succeeded.
“We need all the support you can offer so please keep it coming whether through politics or the media,” he said.
The Tunisian and Proud post got an impressive response from a wide variety of Egyptian bloggers and Internet users. They all stressed that Egyptians have never lost interest in the Tunisian revolution and will never stop supporting it.
“People of Tunisia, rest assured that you and your revolution are important for all Egyptians because you deserve respect and will always be appreciated,” said one comment on the post.
Another comment said that Egyptians have never forgotten the support Tunisians gave them during their revolution and that they will do all they can to support them.
A third wrote, “May God be with you. We want to support all our brothers in Tunisia and other Arab countries.”
“We will never forget that you are the ones who made the idea of ousting a dictator possible for us,” said another comment.
The writer of the last comment added that perseverance is what makes revolutions successful and that hadn’t it been for the insistence of Egyptians, the former president would not have been on the verge of trial.
In order to make their revolution complete, he advised Tunisians to get hold of the former regime’s most critical institutions like Egyptians did when they stormed into State Security buildings and when they staged another revolution against misleading media.
“In Egypt, we believe that staging half a revolution is similar to digging your own grave. Keep this in mind and very soon your revolution will be complete,” the post said.
(Sonia Farid of Al Arabiya translated this article from Arabic. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)