Tunisia was brought down by years of anger and corruption; but it was the rage and desperation of one man who set himself alight, which kindled the powder key of society. Now, other protesters across the Arab world are trying to help the revolution spread by lighting themselves and public anger on fire.
A 50 year old Egyptian shouted anti-government slogans and set himself on fire outside of Egypt’s parliament. A Mauritanian man, unhappy with government policies, lit himself up outside a government building in the capital Nouakchott. And two locals in Algeria also joined the party.
In westernized Tunisia, the fall of the regime meant the inclusion of all parties in a national coalition. However, Algeria, Egypt, and Mauritania all have strong Islamist opposition parties, making possible the rise of Islamic governments should these nations falter. In a short period of time, America’s allies in North Africa could fall prey to their unpopularity at home.