In this essay forwarded to the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, 2011 Peace Prize Winner Tawakkol Karman shares her insights regarding the Arab Spring. She will be speaking at the Forum on Sunday, March 10, which is open to the public ($10 for students, $40 for general admission).
Arab Spring is not the governments that follow the fall of the regimes. It is rather the Arab youth who started the revolution, and adopted and protected its big project. Our spring is that youth who are tired of corruption and tyranny states, and the states dominated by individuals or a family. It is the youth who have dreamt of a state of equal citizenship, of a state that guarantees freedom and dignity life. It is that youth who has the courage and the enough power to sacrifice in order to overthrow those regimes and change them. Therefore, the success of the Arab Spring revolutions should not be judged according to the success or failure of the governments that followed the fall of the regimes. They should be judged according to what extent the Arab youth will maintain their self-confidence and ability to repeat and retain the revolutionary action to ensure the achievement of the objectives of their revolution, and to resist any deviation or default in achieving the aims for which the revolution was started.
We can say that the first lesson of the Arab Spring revolutions is that the governments and its officials are believed to be guilty and have to prove themselves innocents every day, and that they are projects of tyrants, which would be foolish to rely on their good intentions. Their good intentions would only be trusted by relying on control and popular accountability, that go in line with the sustainable revolutionary action in the streets and squares. Thus, the dynamic of the streets and squares in the Arab Spring countries are the measure of the success of the spring revolutions. It is not by letting the atmosphere be clear to the governments, not is it by the governments’ ability to convince the youth, deceive, suppress, or make them silent. A big greeting is directed to out great youth in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, and a big greeting is to all streets and squares, as well as to all youth that are not convinced.
In short: No need to worry, nor to be surprised. This is the Arab Spring. This is our extended Spring. Regimes Held Accountable by the People and Governments Being Run by the Squares.
[Note: Tickets are now on sale for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Forum - March 8-10 in Minneapolis. Tawakkol Karman will be speaking on March 10 for Global Studies Day.]