The Revolution We Needed

When having a casual talk with my family or other people in general and the topic changes to politics in the country, I always end up saying “I’m not even sure the true revolution even happened.” then they would look at me funny.

I’m proud to be a Tunisian. I witnessed and lived the revolution (I wish I could say I partook in it.) I know it happened. As if I have the right to confirm or deny whether such a historical feat took place or not! So what went through their minds wasn’t a doubt in my sanity, it was suspision. they probably thought I believed in the toppled regime. I couldn’t care less about the old regime the same way I don’t give a hoot about the new one.

What I meant to say is that I wish our revolution was intellectual as it was about freedom and human rights. The way I see it; the people who took to the streets wanted better living conditions and the current president at the time and his entourage overthrown. They have suffered under the grip of that regime for almost a quarter of a century. All of it was their right to demand. No one can deny that. But also all of it was personal to them. It was something they have demanded for themselves.

I remember seeing the negative sentiments bursting out in chants and shouts. It was decades of  built-up suffering. And the blame fell on the rich and everyone had ties to old regime. To me, I saw hate. And as much as I agree that living under that regime was no living, I didn’t like that. I believe that nothing good comes from negativity. Seeing how our country’s economy suffering now, I was right.

What we truly needed, aside from a revolution for our rights as human beings, is a revolution in our mentality. Here I’m talking about politicians, intellectualls and common folk alike. If all we care about is ourselves then the revolution did not happen. Because the ones who will be in power afterwards will only serve their interests, again. the people will still strike and demand raises in salaries while the country’s economy is bleeding. Intellectuals will promote their schools of thought regardless of what their country really needs. All this happened so many times during the six yers after the revolution and is still happening.

Certainly, we’re the most successful in our post-revolution affairs and our transition to demoracy among other Arab Spring countries. But I’m just not ready to call it a revolution. We’re going to need a few more decades to finally have some individuals  who actually care about the country. So far, the only ones who probably care are the Army.

You know what, I just realized that I might be talking about the whole world after all. I just can’t seem to believe in an honest politician. So I guess the world is doomed!

Anyways, I wrote the first version of this post a year ago but I haven’t posted it because it’s a delicate topic among Tunisians and I didn’t want to be misunderstood. I also knew what I wished for is not even possible; just a theoretical and idealist opinion that’s not going to change anything if posted. So I archived it until I saw the Conventional Wisdom challenge; I thought this is it. it fit! I re-wrote it very loosely (the original is a three A4 pages article).

Here’s a poem I wrote during the revolution as a facebook status. I wasn’t as good in English or poetry back then.

Freedom Space

-1-
From the fire deep within
Rises the rage of freedom
Sweeping the homeland
of faking glorious wisdom…

-2-
They see no smiling sun
Human walls are closing in
Sweat palms rising up
The deep heart is so grim

Craving for a blue sky
That would hold them all
The light of the shining sun
Would guide them all

Did they feel alive?
Maybe now, they are
Scarred screams of change
Reaching every star

But is it alright now?
Should I feel bad of good?
It’s tearing me apart!
Thrilling me to the bone

-3-
There’s something missing
When I think of hope
Will everything be alright?
The future is out of hold…

Waseem Sherif. Jan 16, 2011 4:31pm

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3 thoughts on “The Revolution We Needed

  1. Pingback: Hollywood Live-Action Adaptations of Manga & Anime | Mesteerean Winds

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