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The Tunisian Revolution: Annotated Bibliography, Version 1

11:50 pm in Uncategorized by Sebastos

The Tunisian Revolution has been compared to the storming of the Bastille and the fall of the Berlin Wall; its repercussions are already being felt in Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Sudan, and Yemen. The head of the Arab League has warned Arab heads of state that they might be next if they don’t clean up their acts. Yet the Tunisian Revolution continues to be grotesquely underreported in the U.S. news media, including the mildly left-leaning media such as MSNBC — and on Firedoglake. Only in the foreign media — especially, and unsurprisingly, Al Jazeera — has it been given the prominence that it must have in our minds if we are to understand what drives events in the world of 2011, and not be eternally surprised by them.

As one step toward rectifying this lamentable state of affairs, I’ve compiled this very preliminary first version of an annotated bibliography on the Tunisian Revolution, comprising 43 items. It makes no pretense to completeness (even with regard to events that have already occurred). Currently the main sources are Al Jazeera and WikiLeaks.

Al Jazeera has a “Spotlight on Tunisia” portal:

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/tunisia/

as well as a “Spotlight on Algeria” portal to cover unrest there:

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/algeria/

The total number of diplomatic cables available through WikiLeaks is enormous, but there are apparently only 10 WikiLeaks cables from the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, all available from the following page:

http://wikileaks.ch/origin/19_0.html

It is my hope that this annotated bibliography will make it easier for us to give the Tunisian Revolution the level of attention that it deserves. The section on “Repercussions Outside Tunisia”, in particular, will reward close scrutiny.

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The Tunisian Revolution: Who’s Next?

12:29 am in Uncategorized by Sebastos

The Tunisian Revolution is already being compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall:

Andoni, Lamis. To the tyrants of the Arab world …. Al Jazeera. 2011 Jan 16. Available from: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/2011115135046129936.html.

The head of the Arab League has warned Arab heads of state that they might be next if they don’t clean up their acts:

Arab leaders warned of ‘revolution’: head of Arab League warns regional leaders that recent political upheaval is linked to deteriorating economic situation. Al Jazeera. 2011 Jan 19. Available from: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/2011119165427303423.html.

Nor is this entirely speculation. Not only have there been recent violent confrontations in Albania, Algeria, and Yemen (so far!), but in Albania, even prime minister Sali Berisha has made the comparison with Tunisia:

Four shot dead in Albania clashes: four people killed and dozens injured in extensive anti-government clashes with police outside PM’s office in Tirana. Al Jazeera. 2011 Jan 22. Available from: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/01/201112119754408514.html.

Although, in an unintentionally comic twist, Berisha has compared the socialist leadership of the protests to the ousted Tunisian dictator:

Berisha called the protests an opposition attempt to foment a Tunisia-style uprising. “The bastard children of Albania’s own Ben Alis conceived Tunisian scenarios … for you citizens of Albania,” he said, comparing his Socialist political opponents with the ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

In Yemen, demonstrators are calling for the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh; their chant of protest is “Oh, Ali, join your friend Ben Ali”:

Yemen protests urge leader’s exit: thousands of students, activists and opposition groups stage anti-president protest at Sanaa University. Al Jazeera. 2011 Jan 23. Available from: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/201112314714887766.html.

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