Tunisia celebrates Revolution and Youth Day every 14 January, a fairly recent holiday that has its roots only as far back as 2010. The holiday remembers the Tunisian Revolution that ended the over 20-year rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was known as an oppressor of all opposition groups.
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The revolution began when police confiscated the cart of a poor street vendor on 17 December, 2010. The man reacted by stabbing himself to death then and there, which then led to riots and protests erupting against “police bullying”. A large portion of the protesters were youth, thus the “and youth” designation in the holiday’s title.
Protests continued for a month and are considered part of the “Arab Spring” that was sweeping through other Arab countries as well at the time. But it was not until 14 January of the next year, 2011, that Ben Ali finally fled the country. Both economic despair and political oppression led to the revolution, and it is remembered in the hope that better days lie ahead after the overthrow of the Ben Ali regime.