The Arab Spring was triggered by the self-immolation in the former French colony of Tunisia, in December 2010, of Mohamed Bouazizi.Bouazizi was not a labourer but a businessman since the age of 12, who very much wanted more capital (ras el mel in Arabic). A Eurocentric classification system blinded us to the fact that Bouazizi, in reality, was leading an Arab industrial revolution of sorts.
It wasn’t just him. Thereafter, we discovered that 63 other entrepreneurs, within two months, all inspired by Bouazizi, attempted public suicide throughout the Middle East and north Africa, and galvanised millions of Arabs to pour into the streets, toppling four governments nearly immediately.
Over two years, we interviewed about half of the 37 self-immolators who survived their burns. All the self-immolators were driven to suicide for being expropriated of what little capital they had. About 300 million Arabs live in the same circumstances as the entrepreneurial self-immolators. We can learn several things from them.
To read the complete article, please visit news24.