It is fare to say that few events in contemporary history have had as great an influence on the change of world equations as the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia which was followed by protesters and ultimately led to the ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January 2011. This revolution triggered the most dramatic wave of social and political unrest in the Arab world in almost three decades. The social changes caused by the Arab Spring which can rightfully be seen as an Islamic Awakening have influenced perhaps each and every individual living in an effected country. As we are approaching the 2nd anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution today’s documentary looks at the events from the vantage point of an average Tunisian citizen. The documentary is a very intimate portrayal of rural life in Tunisia and takes place with the backdrop of Eid el Adha the second of two major religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year.
TIME CODE : 00:00_05:00
Faicel's got two of them with the mark “F”
“F”is marked in red on the right
Ezzedinebraiki, Citizen Of Sidibouzid & Member Of Ennahdha Party, Tunisia:
Reverse in from here
Turn round this way...
Go that way and drive ... through that large wooden gate on the outside...
Let's say the situation is stable, There's nothing to fear now ,Let's hope, God willing
The latest news about the Party is that a new government will be formed within 7or 10 days and it will be a government of national utility grouping all parties belonging or not to the Constituent Assembly and key national figures...
Anyone competent and ready to do their utmost for their country is welcome to have a part in it...
These are, roughly speaking, most declarations made by Ennahdha Party...
But any information concerning me and not the Party...
TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00
These things concern other people and not me as a rank-and-file member of the Party But I can't take a stand on anything for which myself or the Party will be held responsible...
Which one, dear?
He'll choose for himself, I won't choose for him!
He knows what he is up to...
He said he'd take 4for 1000 dinars... He'll take his pick
I can’t offer any discount, my family and I worked so hard He was offered 250 dinars for it ,Except this one, each is worth 250 dinars I'll give him his due...
How many sheep will he take today? He'll take 12 Tomorrow, he'll take the 8 left .
The healthy, strong sheep were sold ,Those I brought yesterday one had an abscess, one was thin and one not bred for its wool not meant to be sold for Eid al-Adha
(Feast of the sacrifice)...
TIME CODE : 10:00_15:00
Let it move!
That's the one!
That's it, I got it
Move the flock to one side, Mohsen!
As I've been actually trained to country life and almost no relative belongs to other parties the Islamic Party is closest to us since all of us are practicing... out of habit we are not politically professional
My father, grandfather and my maternal and paternal uncles have found themselves on that track out of habit No training...
When I was young, I sometimes used to pray and then stop praying until in the 1980s, when I was indoctrinated by people ,I met at school Starting from about 1984-1985, I joined training circles of sympathisers of Islamic movements Up to 1987 when we actually joined the Islamic Movement...
My own training made me sympathize more with the Islamists than with the other parties ,I feel I can't get along with the other parties which I feel are rammed down our throats But I feel the Islamic Movement is close to our lives
and is intrinsically part of the people Because man is, by nature, part of Islam
"Nature is synonymous with Islam for Allah"
But he who decides to remain a Muslim, let it be and he who opts for a different ideology, that's his right The Tunisian society is religious by nature...
The whole of the society, with no exception Even those who advocate Marxism,
Leninism and Trotskyism and the ideologies denying religion are deep down Islamic
When life takes a nasty turn, they remember God When they die, their corpses are laid out and prayers for the dead are made...
We can't say the country strayed off Islam It hasn't strayed off Islam
These are trends. Everyone's got their own beliefsBut we need some individual liberties, mainly the freedom of worship, which were violated under Bourguiba and Ben Ali I was jailed at the end of 1994 for belonging to an unauthorized organization, The Ennahdha Movement I was placed under arrest for the first time in SidiBouzid prison After a period of arrest and one week after the verdict, groups of 4 or 5 were transferred separately to other jails
My lot was "BorjErroumi" prison Visitors had to come on one day and bring food on another Visiting relatives were punished too From Tunis, I was sent to Jendouba prison When we were in prison, they went through all our belongings
and they did more than they had to!
They confiscated the Koran For us, the Koran reduced our imprisonment by half
For them, the Koran eased our imprisonment and kept us company It's a beacon in darkness and comfort to solitude
TIME CODE : 15:00_20:00
I started a hunger strike that lasted 27 days My health started deteriorating So, they transferred me from Tunis to Kasserine
I spent a short while in Kasserine And I was released there... I left prison What matters for them is not to go out of prison on your own You're driven to the regional police station
They fill out your record card number 2 ,That is, you'll be put on file again Then, you sign and they take you out They tell you to go immediately to the regional police station of SidiBouzid
They sent me to 3 different Home Office stations in Sidi Bouzid
The police station, the security police station and that of the area of "Lassouda" to which I belong, administratively speaking I fill a card and I'm put on probation since the verdict stipulates a 5-year probation I'm entirely in the probation officer's power
After every 6-month period, you go there and fill a new card For example, you were single and you got married...
Who did you marry?
Where's she from?
Who are her brothers and sisters?
Computer science came into general use in the country
They ask you whether you've got a cellular phone or not a TV set or not a parabolic dish or not, Internet or not And in 1987, one of our fellows spoke
about what Tunisian people endured under Bourguiba
" A cry of lamentation went up on the day Bourguibawas on top He behaved badly like a wolf pup leading the way to the sleeping herd Runaways, living in the country ,are hurt and prisoners are about to burst"
And after 1987,an army soldier seized power I wrote: "A cry of lamentation went up when that soldier was let off His qualities were unheard of: thevagrancy of dogs, the treachery of animals,
March against the zionist attack on Syria
SidiBouzid, May 2013
the inquisitiveness of wolves and the rapacity of hawks, the blackness of ravens, the tusks of a young wild boar He who doesn't know a wild boar,
It's a hog with its snout hooting like an owl let out A black cloud behind the fog,
great things promised in vain, separating friends, kith and kin..." After everything was over, I came back home Thank God! I was welcomed by the whole family, all the " Braikis" came They stood by my side although they were harassed and endured visiting policemen who warned them not to help me or stand by my side I was tailed by plain-clothes policemen
The secret police was very active especially in SidiBouzid so much so that when I saw one of my kins, I didn't feel like greeting him.
It was from 2000 to 2005 Things got slightly better after 2005 After I left the civil service, I ended up with a substantial amount of money, a capital my parents preserved They used it for the sheep business
Once back, I did the same and I grew the capital thanks to generous relatives of mine I needed money I used to have nothing at all
At the beginning, they bought me a number of sheep which I grazed, fed and looked after Now, as soon as Ezzedine goes back home from work, he takes them out and grazes them
Mohamed Ali Braiki ,Ezzedine’s Father:
They've got hay, water and everything needed
Allah protects us
TIME CODE : 20:00_25:00
Mohamed Ali Braiki ,Ezzedine’s Father:
Once I got out of prison,I found out the point at issue was more financial power than anything else relating to ideology, politics thought or culture...
All these fields were manipulated Since people of merit are judged by their material wealth, I’ve aimed at acquiring financial power in society
And so, once out of prison, I’ve chosen to achieve financial power by all legitimate, legal and authorized means I registered at the Higher Institute of Childhood Management in 1985, I graduated in 1987, I worked until the end of 1994 and lost my job from 1994 to October 2011 I was a coordinator of children’s activities in the fields of drama, cinema, handicraft the visual arts as a whole, group activities, excursions and sports All activities relating to childhood institutions Lots of people benefited from the general amnesty which allowed me to go back to work I’ve got the same job but I specialized I used to be an educational, cultural and social coordinator And now, I’m in a specialized institute which is the Children’s Regional Computer Science Centre My only activity is computer science The centre’s school concern has damaged
its educational role Its present-day school curriculum has nothing to do with education
This necessitates a general reform of the institution as a whole
-Close the door
-Come this way
-I like to sit in the front near you, Dad
-Not being used to buying, I’m not going to buy her anything myself I'll take her to her cousin who'll buy her what she neeed That's all
-I have to go to "Edhraa"
-I'll leave the car to your Mum
-She’ll drive you home
-She'll help you try on the clothes you need
-Mum will drive your sister Zineb home too
-Ok, here is Nada and I'm going to take the sheep left to their owners
-Not free now for anything else?
-No problem. You can go!
-Is that all?
-I'm going back to "Edhraa" right now Ala is home
-What? Ala’s home, OK
-All is fine?
-Fine, God willing!
TIME CODE : 25:00_30:00
-We'll give the remaining sheep to their owners and go back home
-Well, good bye!
-It's all your fault
- What have I got to do with this?
- How could we meet otherwise?
-If I didn't go to the intern, how could I meet you?
Happy “Eid” to all of you!
Uhm... Sheep... as a source of income are all that is left to us
Mohamed Braiki, Ezzedine’s brother:
I used to be a barber I went to jail... for some reason After the floods we had here in SidiBouzid In 1990, On January 20, 1990 Water started flowing in exactly on Monday night
When you stood there, you could see the whole place flooded from there to the town centre, water everywhere... Many people died then We found many corpses here and considered taking them to hospital for post mortem examination and identification But we were stopped by the police that beat us
with cudgels and abused us.. Then, many of us were arrested and accused of causing a breach of the peace and inciting the public to revolt Families started to gather and scream against police oppression
It turned in a sort of peaceful march The police didn't move back but became more brutal, beating people Then, people were arrested Without exception, women, men, children, elderly people They arrested everyone Later, those who had friends in the right places were released and the others were sacrificed like sheep In the end, everyone was prosecuted for different reasons, for trespassing the governor's residence or for carrying corpses or for stoning
Each was prosecuted for some reason I was arrested by the police as I was marching with people They broke up the march and threw people into the police car Those arrested were thrown into oubliettes Arrested for 10 days, beaten, abused, starved and suffering from cold When I remember... frankly speaking... too much injustice
We endured too much injustice all poor people end upstamped on ... our family name, al braiki, is a black mark in sidibouzid because of my uncle and brother another relative prepared the islamists' electoral roll
You can enforce Islam only on yourself You can enforce it only on your family and you can enforce it on your family, relatives and friends Islam isn't meant to impose things on people to my mind, that era's gone forever because Islam never imposes on people things they can't do I'm an Islamist, they say tobacco is sin and I'm smoking! Freedom!
TIME CODE : 30:00_35:00
Anyone who comes to SidiBouzid, whether he’s a cop or a health inspector or a price controller, arrives with an empty basket which he fills to the top free of charge!
The poor pay the price Ennahdha is a movement based on active institutions
Since each one has an institution in mind, when January 14 broke out and the President ran away, we started sending messages, not phone SMSs, of course
We called each other to meet We met in a house Each knew what he could do
Institutions were set up We didn't consider these institutions were blocked or eliminated Even from 1991, the institutions were blocked but the structure was there.
The institutions were there Once we met, each knew which institution to join
at the beginning, like everyone else, we hardly expectedBouazizi' s self-immolation to bring down the regime...
I lived the eventful December 17 as a witness I kept track of it and I didn't take part in it Frankly speaking, I didn't feel like doing it unless to make sure it'll be on the right track and not let the secret police take over the revolution, exploit it domestically and internationally and nip it in the bud
... Because Moslems believe that faith and supremacy are their principles, that is they accept any truth that does not contradict the values of the Koran I was in charge of the electoral campaign as a whole That is, wherever the candidates went, we prepared the meeting facilities That was my contribution...
The revolution lasted from December 17, 2010 to January 14, 2011 This election campaign lasted from October 1 to 23 Roughly speaking, it’s the same period of time
Allah is Great! Allah is Great!
Mohamed was registered like Ezzedine as a member of Ennahdha Then, his name was erased His uncle was like him already under Bourguiba The revolution came and everybody was already sick and tired of the whole situation And so, Bouazizi came.
People were not allowed...
They were fed up, flocking together, some were killed or wounded They attacked them and even shot them with real bullets Everywhere
The police and the riot squad... They are still active today Ezzedine was jailed
because of Ennahdha Thousands like him...
TIME CODE: 35:00_40:00
I voted for Ennahdha or whatever party it was I knew absolutely nothing about it I voted for Ennahdha but who knows if I ticked the right box or not
I can’t read...
No schooling at all I can’t make the difference I put a cross in a box, not sure if it’s Ennahdha’s...
My dear Ezzedine, you buy us no drinks for your victory!
- Drinks for victory?
- Oh, yes!
We got together, didn't we?
We congratulated you twice or three times but no drinks!
No benefit to us from this victory It's in the interest of everyone It's in the interest of ever single Tunisian Ezzedine benefitted a lot from this revolution
What benefits did we get?
You've had material advantages I haven't had anything myself There were a few known persons They couldn't even meet When they were in town, everyone shied away from them, especially from those who are notorious like Ezzedine Everyone avoided them You didn't go near them because they were suspicious and were tailed by the police
Don't make life difficult for yourself!
Thank God! We worked, We got a fair share of life Hardship depends on individual capacity for endurance Personally, I didn't suffer from anything What do you mean? You were a respectable civil servant and now, look at you! You are you selling sheep!
True, it's hard but we make money out of sheep
Ok, it’s not so bad but the problem is that you we harassed, constantly tailed
True, I was tailed...
Because you were tailed by the police, very few persons kept you company
Even very close persons to you sat with you in a café and rapidly left
True! But there were other groups, mostly from the Union and from Echaab Movement, who often stayed with us You, the Braikis... anyone with that name can't have a job...
Aymen twice passed the examinations for entry into civil service jobs without being recruited Because most of the Braikis Are fundamentalists!
Well, good bye!
Going back home now?
I'd like to Just 15 minutes left Where can I find bolts?
Go and see Faisal
Faisal the ironmonger
Tell him if he's got some bolts, these will be of no use
- How long?
- You'll see yourself
See how wide this is!
You'd better use a bolt
TIME CODE : 40:00_45:00
Eid al-Adha Prayer, SidiBouzid, October 2012
Allah is Great!
Today, millions throughout the world are flocking together... This country was alienated from its religion
We were prevented from praying for the rain as our Prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) has ordered We were prevented from saying the Eid al-Adhaprayer as our Prophet (P. B.U.H) has ordered Theologians have said...
Consult theology books, learned men and the Internet Saying Eid al- Adha prayer inside the mosque is heresy The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said the Eid al-Adha
prayer only inside the Holy Mosque of Mecca because it can be seen Otherwise, he only prayed in places of worship unless there was rain or heat...
Anyway, enough of that I invite my brethren and myself to express devotion to Allah the Almighty Be respectful to your daughters and wives by ordering them to wear veils because wearing the veil is a duty ordered by Allah
Don't listen to those who aren't true to themselves Women must wear veils Veiled women cover their headsand wear large, loose-fitting and not see-through dresses
It is a duty in accordance with the Koran and Allah's Prophet and following the Prophet's Sunna (P.B.U.H) about his wives and daughters
This is Islam’s ethics I say this and may Allah Forgive me you, your parents and mine and all Muslims
Ask Allah for forgiveness! He is the Merciful and the Forgiving!
Peace be with you and may Allah Bless you!
Marrying several women is a matter of interpretation
In my opinion, I don't think any Tunisian man can be fair to two wives I'm not ready to marry two women I'm not ready to let my daughter marry a man who expects to have a second wife This is my view about marrying several wives, which is essentially a matter of justice
True, I abide by the economic, political, social and cultural projects and all the institutions of Ennahdha but I've no right to speak in its name Ennadha's got its spokesmen...
TIME CODE : 45:00_49:40
To my mind, there should be no fear of a civil movement that is doing its job
Since it's going to implement civil liberties and propose its economic, cultural, educational, social and political alternatives, Let society decide! On top of it,
are we being manipulated?
Or are we deciding for ourselves?
If we feel we're the actual decision-makers in charge of the country, that's a blessing If we doubt ourselves and feel others are manipulating us, let's question ourselves...
Take it like that!
Put it here !
This peace is too boned!
Oh! Leave me alone!
In my opinion and from what I know about the history of Tunisia, I look forward to seeing Tunisia become the Mecca of the world and shine on it like a beacon
I feel very optimistic and consider this dream will come true, if not for me, for my children I imagine that, within one or two decades,
Tunisia will actually become the Mecca for all the peoples of the world in matters of theology, politics, culture and economy All we need in life will be found in Tunisia
Charities... Charities... Charities...
The revolution of December 17