The revolution which swept from power in Tunisia a petty, corrupt, brutal dictator, Ben Ali, is impacting nations throughout the Middle East. The stagnant Tunisian economy, the lack of political freedom are similar to what happens in all too many countries in the Middle East. Perhaps, the most direct analogy is to Egypt which has been ruled by President Mubarak for nearly thirty years during which time he has stifled opposition groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. We quote what two Egyptian opposition leaders said about the Tunisian revolution:
Ayman Nour: “What happened in Tunisia is very inspiring. The people of Egypt are very happy.”
Abdel Halim Qandil: “The Tunisian revolution is like an earthquake(and) its aftermath will reach neighboring countries– especially Egypt.” He went on to urge his supporters to “descend into the streets.”
Two men in Egypt set themselves aflame in order to call attention to the corrupt, ineffective Egyptian economy which fails to provide jobs for youth. The US has made Egypt its number one ally in the region. Beware the ides of January which might sweep over Egypt.