Tunisia: Not a Jasmine Revolution, not a twitter revolution but an....
Intifada. That's the word Monitor correspondent Kristen Chick says is most often used by Tunisians to describe what's happening there. The word, which means uprising, is closely associated with the Palestinian cause, a branding that may not be popular with some in the West.Skip to next paragraph
Dan Murphy is a staff writer for the Monitor's international desk, focused on the Middle East. Murphy, who has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and more than a dozen other countries, writes and edits Backchannels. The focus? War and international relations, leaning toward things Middle East.
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I've been wondering who first said "Jasmine Revolution" with regards to the popular uprising in Tunisia... did some digging. The term's been used before. A commenter on Josh Landis' Syria Comment blog spoke about a Syrian Jasmine Revolution in 2005.
But the ever-handy Google books seach function holds the likely answer to why it's not catching on in Tunisia, at least among people who know their history. The phrase was occasionally (at least) used to describe the process that brought the now-deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to power in 1987. Ben Ali was elevated to the presidency in an entirely elite process, in which Tunisia's founding president Habib Bourguiba was declared mentally unfit to hold power, and was replaced by his prime minister.
That's exactly the sort of thing Tunisia's protesters are fighting against.