I think it is amazing how something so enormous like the current revolutions in the Arab world was triggered by a single decision by a single unknown man, by a spillover of someone’s emotions, by a very very personal and singular (though not uncommon) human fate. Obviously, the forces of history and karma have been brewing this epic mangia for centuries, but now we can say we know which was the exact tiny matchstick that brought the explosion. A poor street-vendor in Tunisia, with a family to feed, harassed by the police for one last time, with any faith in the institutions or in basic human fairness apparently lost. At the same fateful moment, he torched both himself and a fire that is still raging across Africa and Asia. Hopefully, a good fire.
In his own desperation, Mohamed Bouazizi didn’t know what was to come after. But now we know.
He died on January 4. He was 26.