Person of the year

In memory of Bouazizi - Tunis - Jan22 DSC_7067

Image by cjb22 via Flickr

I imagine you all know that Time magazine has nominated their person of the year: the Protester. It’s not an altogether ridiculous choice given the Arab Spring, the London riots, the Occupy movement as well as the revolt in Syria.

After all, Time has never said it was supposed to be someone who worked for good (whatever your definition of that word entails). I find it a little wimpy (for lack of a better word) though when they can’t pick one person, like, you know Stalin, or Hitler, or Roosevelt but, that’s just me.

So, I thought I’d nominate my own this year, same rules, newsworthy and important, not necessarily good (or bad) as I said, that depends on your viewpoint.

So here is my nomination: Mohamed Bouazizi.

What, you haven’t heard of him? Not many Americans have, I really don’t know why. Here is the first two paragraphs of his Wikipedia biography:

Mohamed Bouazizi (29 March 1984 – 4 January 2011; Arabic: محمد البوعزيزي‎) was a Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire on 17 December 2010, in protest of the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation that he reported was inflicted on him by a municipal official and her aides. His act became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring, inciting demonstrations and riots throughout Tunisia in protest of social and political issues in the country. The public’s anger and violence intensified following Bouazizi’s death, leading then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down on 14 January 2011, after 23 years in power.

The success of the Tunisian protests inspired protests in several other Arab countries, plus several non Arab countries. The protests included several men who emulated Bouazizi’s act of self-immolation, in an attempt to bring an end to their own autocratic governments. Those men and Bouazizi were hailed by some Arab commentators as “heroic martyrs of a new Middle Eastern revolution.” In 2011, Bouazizi was posthumously awarded the Sakharov Prize, jointly along with four others for their contributions to “historic changes in the Arab world“.

I think that he is a worthy recipient of this recognition, he may have done more to change the world in the last year than any other human being.

My second choice, and almost any other year it would be my first, would be Steve Jobs, who had as much influence as any one man on how we work and play. especially because he did it with hard work and brains without government  help. A classic entrepreneur and capitalist.


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3 Responses to Person of the year

  1. Pingback: The Protester named 2011 Person of the Year by Time Magazine | Marcus' s Space

  2. Pingback: Mohamed Bouazizi « Health Services Authors

  3. Pingback: The Bouazizi ‘big bang’ A year ago, a Tunisian street vendor lit himself on fire in an act of desperate defiance – sparking the Arab Spring. |

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