Tunisian students in Cairo celebrate Ben Ali’s departure

Dozens of Tunisian university students took to the streets in 6 October City in Cairo to celebrate the departure of Tunisian President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali. The students, who were joined by Arab and Egyptian students, carried Tunisian flags in an expression of joy as they rallied in Hussary Square.

Ali Buhijji, a Tunisian student, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Ben Ali's resignation–following protests that swept Tunisia–was a “huge victory for the heroic Tunisian people.” He said they had endured 23 years of dictatorship, a police state, and conditions of unemployment and corruption.

Another student, Yahya bin al-Azzawi said that Mohamed Bouazizi, the young man who set himself on fire almost a month ago and who has become an icon to the Tunisian people, was the spark for the struggle that liberated them from the authoritarian regime. He went on to say that the overall unemployment rate in Tunisia had reached 14 percent and that the unemployment rate for university graduates was 22 percent, which he described as “a major failure on the part of the government… which eventually led to the revolution."

Student Najah al-Taymoum demanded that the toppled president be brought to justice, and that all those guilty of tyranny, oppression and repression be held responsible for their actions over the years. “What happened will open the doors to change in Tunisia," she said.

Student Ahmed Fahri called on all Tunisian students as well as the expatriate Tunisian community in Egypt to attend the celebratory rally outside the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate to express joy and support for the popular resistance. Fahri also urged the Arab League to intervene, forcing the remnants of the former regime to step down and allowing the Tunisian people to form a “national government.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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