[At-Large] A huge day for Internet in Tunisia

Khaled KOUBAA khaled.koubaa at topnet.tn
Thu Jan 20 12:24:12 UTC 2011

Roberto and all,
For those who don't know Tunisia :
Tunisia: Small country, great nation. First Arab country that abolished 
slavery in 1848. First Arab country to establish a constitution in 1861. 
First Arab country to abolish polygamy in 1956. First Arab country to 
legalize abortion in 1973. Tunisia is the first Arab country to kick out 
its dictator and this without the help of any foreign nation!
Today Tunisia has reached a critical and important point in its history 
after succeeding in its revolution. President Ben Ali has left the 
country, and government has collapsed leaving the country in an 
unpredictable situation.
A new “Coalition Government” has been announced bringing old dissidents 
and Human Rights activists in team with a main focus of preparing a 
democratic transition.
Friday January 14th 2011, I have been inside the huge protestants in 
front of the ministry of Interior and I witnessed brave people asking 
clearly their dictator to leave.
Since then Tunisian retrieved their freedom lost many years and began 
interesting politics.
Young people went on the street asking for more n and more social change 
without being politically coached.
I have witnessed, and have been part, of the strength of the "real" 
Tunisian Internet community to use Internet and Web 2.0 ( Blogs, Video, 
Facebook, Twitter, … ) to support the revolution and everyday’s riots 
showing to the world what’s happening due to a lack of official local 
media coverage.
My life has been different during these days : my house is in a hot 
spot; near El Aouina Army Casern and just between the Airport and the US 
Embassy. So I took my wife to her father house, and I stayed alone 
during 5 days. Everything was different each day; night riots with fire 
shooting between protestants and police during the first 2 days , near 
helicopter surveillance between army and snipers belonging to Ben Ali 
Presidential militia during the last 3days.
I have never felt the importance of the security before that. It was the 
same feeling that had the Tunisian people which led them to go out and 
organize “Population committees” in each city to protect each city from 
Ben Ali militia.

@ Roberto,
I want to say that havn't seen the real Internet community but only what 
the old regime want to make you see. You have not seen any of our problems.
The festival was their to choose a "Miss Net" and not to discuss Net 
Neutrality issue. A word that was forbidden even to be mentioned.
Tunisian Internet community is free today and will soon show to the 
world what we are capable to accomplish.

Vive Internet and thank you Vint and Internet pioneers to gave us this 
wonderful tool that helped our revolution.

 From the free Tunisia

Khaled Koubaa

Le 20/01/2011 00:46, Roberto Gaetano a écrit :
> I had the honour and pleasure to be invited to the "Festival International
> de l'Internet" in summer 2009, representing the Board of ICANN.
> I was impressed in particular by a couple of things, that I could witness in
> practice, and that I could discuss with the people over there.
> First, the concept that they wanted to bring the internet where people were,
> not waiting for the people to come where the internet geeks were, and
> second, the idea that it was not sufficient to bring the internet to the
> large cities, but that the connectivity had to be extended to reach rural
> areas.
> The festival was held in El Kantaoui, a place that is crowded in summer with
> people on vacation. That addressed the first point: people were there
> relaxed, had time to browse the stands, and were getting contacted more and
> better than in a conference hall. I found there people that were
> enthusiastic about the internet, stands that were dedicated to specific
> groups of people (I remember in particular a stand for elderly people, where
> the concept was that they have specific needs that have also to be
> addressed).
> All this to say that I was impressed by the potential growth of the internet
> in Tunisia, the interest that the subject was getting by the population, and
> the innovative ideas of the organizers. Incidentally, Tijani was part of the
> organization, and managed to introduce me to a lot of people with whom I had
> very interesting conversations (besides showing me the place where I could
> buy the best harissa I have ever had!!!).
> I am sure that now, with the situation evolving towards more freedom of the
> media, the internet will see further development. I hope that our friends in
> Tunisia (Khaled? Tijani? Others?) will have the opportunity to use this
> powerful tool to support the change. I saw this evening a reportage on the
> French television on Tunisia that was telling also about the new freedom of
> the press, with journalists that were describing the changes. I found that
> it was a pity that they did not mention the internet. But I am sure that our
> people and ALS there will work to make sure that the internet will be one of
> the drivers for the change.
> Cheers,
> Roberto
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>> [mailto:at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] On Behalf
>> Of Khaled KOUBAA
>> Sent: Friday, 14 January 2011 00:40
>> To: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>> Subject: [At-Large] A huge day for Internet in Tunisia
>> Hi all,
>> After very dark days, tonight Tunisia is living a historic
>> moment after the President speech.
>> The President has ensured that he will not be candidate for
>> the 2014 election.
>> He ensured that all freedom of expression and speech will be
>> open to all.
>> Internet is really open there is no web site closed.
>> I am know watching for the first time of my life "real"
>> opposition leaders on governmental TV Tunisie7.
>> I am positivist because I know that this is a real window for
>> better situation.
>> Best,
>> Khaled
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