It’s been almost eight months since the first Arab dictator, ousted President Ben Ali of Tunisia, fled the country under unprecedented popular uprisings signaling a snow-ball effect that has swept across North Africa and the Middle East like a political tsunami.
Since then, events in Egypt led to similar outcomes with the spectacular demise of President Hosni Mubarak and the subsequent initiation of his trial in Cairo. Indeed, these are tense times to be in power in the Arab world as the fear and prestige of office all but disappeared amid popular demands for political reform and genuine accountability.
Events in Libya have in the last couple of days developed to the point where the rule of maverick self-appointed doyen of Arab and African leaders, Colonel Gaddafi, has all but collapsed relinquishing the capital Tripoli to the rebels and the political leadership of the transitional council.
Being in Tunisia post the revolution, one can not help but notice the explosion in political debates every where, the public fora held on a daily basis, the endless Q&A programs on all TV and Radio channels, the print press saturated with opinion pieces and open letters and most of all of internet-based social media following every new development and value-adding to it with its own analysis and recommendations for action.
Truly, the scene at the social and political levels have totally transformed.
Of course, there are challenges in this first-ever Arab nation to successfully dislodge a dictator by peaceful means.
First and foremost, has been the security challenge or how to restore a degree of confidence and trust in a police force that for the past half century was seen as the oppressive arm of the authoritarian regime of the dictatorial president.