Tunisia Celebrates the Life by Celebrating the Death of its Guests by Marwa Farhat, Tunisia – photo essay –

John C. Maxwell said once that “there are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. Good pride represents our dignity and self-respect; bad pride is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.”

Before December 17, 2010, those words didn’t mean a lot for me, but after that and more specifically after the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, a poor young boy working as a street seller, who burned himself to death after being slapped by a municipal worker. That day I got the real meaning of the two kinds of pride. The seller had that kind of good pride; his dignity meant, for him, more than his life, and the worker had the second type; she saw herself superior compared to the poor boy. This incident was a sparkle of hope, a new window for desperate people, people who lived under tyranny for 23 years, and from that emerged the “Revolution.”

This was a revolution that took its fair share not only of positive changes such as the recognition of human rights by new “Democratic governments”, but also of terrible events like the spread of terrorism. When talking about terrorism, the best example to give is the attacks of Bardo, where about 20 people were killed, some of them guests and tourists.

Terrorism is new phenomenon for us; we are not used to living in fear since we are a peaceful people and don’t use violence or own arms. In response, about a week ago, Tunisia celebrated the gift of living in its own way by hosting an international march with the presence of some foreign presidents, a march that has been transformed into an endless festival. It reminded me of the city of New Orleans as it was pictured in the TV series “The Originals”, a city where throwing a party is the only known way of making a day. That’s the Tunisia I saw that day; a colorful sky which was decorated by all those waving proud flags and not only Tunisian ones, but you could also see Algerian, Moroccan, and Palestinian ones as people came from all over the world to participate. Human values were sacred, no political opinions were considered, and no differences were strong enough to divide us. It was a magnificent day, a real meaning of solidarity was the spirit moving all those people who came out walking as if they were kissing the earth with their feet to say “we are not afraid”, “we are united against terrorism”, “we are all Bardo.”

The march started at 10 o’clock from Bab saadoun and went to Bardo where there is the museum of Bardo and the Parliament.The people stood there for hours singing and even dancing.My friend from Burma came to participate in the “Forum International Mondial” and she participated in the march as well.

That day, I understood that joy and sorrow are inseparable and I learned that sorrow is what prepares us for joy, that it violently sweeps everything out of our hearts so that new joy can find space to enter. It pulls up the rotten roots so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow, so whatever sorrow shook from our hearts, far better things have been taking their place.

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