1st clue of the Jasmine scent trail tale... part I

I thought it might be interesting for readers to see into my insights into experiencing the Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia 2010/2011 by posting all my Facebook comments during the chaos that ensued. It serves as a timeline of historic events.

So, the Jasmine Revolution was 'quiet' in its humble beginnings... It's no wonder as I had been living in Tunisia under a repressive regime where journalism & internet censorship was on high alert. The inception started down in the south in a little town, Sidi Bouzid on December 17th. This, of course, was the day that a young man immolated himself (set himself on fire) in an (apparent) effort to escape his oppression.

When did I first hear about all this? December 23rd, when I was in Istanbul visiting friends for the holidays. I remember the exact moment well. I was sitting on Elizabeth's chair at her computer in Ortakoy in her 3rd floor flat overlooking the Ortakoy Camii & Bospherous Bridge spanning over to Asia. It was a beautiful scene to set the scene...

My 1st posting of this information came on Christmas Day, December 25th. I emailed solo_ojo, who would later be shot by the loyalist police forces in downtown Tunis in our neighborhood of Lafayette on January 13th while we were getting foodstuffs and checking in on what was happening...

So I emailed him this article, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE6BO00R20101225, from Reuters Africa with my title as OMG. As well this article would be my 1st FB posting. Now remember, I knew that internet content was scrutinized as well as censored, so I was a little apprehensive about emailing articles I was finding while I was in Turkey. I was genuinely concerned that I would be watched, as well as the people I was emailing these articles to...

So this article got through to Stephen. This next email to him did not at first so I had to try a couple of times, and he finally received it: http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/bin-ali-visit-.jpg   What you are seeing here is a (well planned photo opp by the ex-dictator/president of Tunisia, Ben Ali, or Dictator Dilbert (herein referred to as DD) as I so fondly referred to him as. The story goes... the person in the hospital bed is Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who immolated himself back on December 17th. DD at 1st declined to let his fellow countrymen know what was happening inside Tunisia. The government-controlled news agency, Tunisia Online News (in English & French), issued its 1st article on December 28th, 2010 as follows:
Because the link will not open, I have provided the content below...
Political parties denounce media manipulation of Sidi Bouzid events

Tunisian political parties denounced on Monday, the manipulation by some Arab and foreign media of events that recently occurred  in Sidi Bouzid.
In communiqués issued on Monday, the parties voice outrage over the media manipulation of these events for petty political ends by dramatizing them and exploiting them for suspicious reasons to tarnish the image of Tunisia.
The Socialist Democrats Movement (MDS) denounces the manipulation by some Arab and foreign media of events that occurred recently in Sidi Bouzid.
In a communiqué issued on Monday, the party voices outrage over the media manipulation of these events by some parties for petty political ends by dramatizing them and exploiting them for suspicious reasons to tarnish the image of Tunisia.
MDS says that while being committed to freedom of press and expression, in an objective way, it “denounces practices that distort the reality and lapse into the sensational.”
The Socialist Democrats Movement underlines that dialogue is the way to “find adequate and suitable solutions that preserve social cohesion and peace.”
The People’s Unity Party (PUP) warned, in a statement issued on Monday, against “the serious allegations that some satellite channels continue to broadcast, as part of suspicious orientations seeking to harm Tunisia, by amplifying and distorting events, based on reports whose sources are not credible and by exploiting politically and morally bankrupt figures and individuals and by not taking the trouble to check the allegations of these persons.”
PUP expresses its belief that the allegations of Al Jazeera and some news agencies that have imitated it are now unveiled to the national public opinion, all national forces and all those committed to the objective approach among friends of Tunisia abroad who judge at their true worth the country’s development and political gains and denounce the use of violence, because any damage to the property, rejected politically and morally, is a threat to social peace and an unacceptable practice.
The Liberal Social Party (PSL) denounced the slanderous media campaign conducted for suspicious ends by “Al-Jazeera” TV channel” to achieve objectives that by no means serve the interests of citizens and the homeland.”
In a statement released by its politburo on Monday, the PSL says this channel has opted for manipulation and exaggeration in broadcasting events, “without taking the trouble to check the reality of facts and ignoring deliberately the gains and achievements accomplished by Tunisia of the Change.”
This, explains PSL, shows clearly and explicitly, the unwholesome intentions of this channel and its conspiracies which target the climate of civil peace, stability and development prevailing in Tunisia.
In this statement, the Liberal Social Party expresses belief that discipline, respect of law, attachment to patriotic responsibility, rejection of violence, consolidation of contact with civil society, respect of symbols of the Republic and national sovereignty are likely to face up all those who sow discord and defeat their conspiracies which achieved their targets in several countries by serving neo-colonialism agendas.”
Claiming rights under the rule of law and institutions should not be made by any use of violence and violation of law which provides the opportunity to extremist groups to exploit an isolated event to serve plans and agendas of instigators of disorder.
Events have proved that those who spread lies and slanders find in conflict and tension a favorable environment to hatch their conspiracies which serve only enemies of the country.
The Unionist Democratic Union (UDU) said methods used by Satellite channel “Al Jazeera” to cover the Sidi Bouzid events “are not professional and do not respect the rules and principles of journalism”.
This coverage, adds the party ” is politically motivated seeking to make the situation more tense through dramatization and exaggeration.”
UDU says, in a statement issued, on Monday, that parties to which Al Jazeera spoke for the coverage of the events lost their credibility and attempt to exploit the events for petty political ends, to inflame the situation and push towards a pseudo-crisis.
The party underlines that it realized, through the media coverage of the Sidi Bouzid events, several truths particularly the fact that Al Jazira channel chose to deal with parties known for a certain political affiliation, which means that they are not impartial and that it positioned itself as party through dramatization and political manipulation.
UDU criticizes the use by the Al Jazeera channel of images and videos posted on social networks, without taking the trouble to check their credibility, and committing professional errors, particularly regarding the importance of marches of solidarity organized and their aims, giving them greater importance than they were really on the ground.
Additionally, UDU denounces the media coverage made on many several web sites, which lack professionalism and respect for rules of journalism, reproducing serious distortions in a bias that harms the image of Tunisia abroad.
The Green Party for Progress (PVP) denounced in a statement issued on Monday the biased and slanderous method of “Al Jazeera” channel in covering the recent events that occurred in Tunisia.
This channel, it underlines, deliberately opted for dramatization of events through the continuous broadcast, for several days, of images whose source is not authoritative and resorting to a directed editing of these images to place the course of events outside their context and resort to sectionalism.
The party indicates that “Al Jazeera” channel has been used, since its creation, to divert facts and make an improper reading of events, ignoring objectivity, professional integrity and ethics of journalism.
The statement underlines that anyone knows pertinently that the agenda and programs of this channel are marked by ambiguity, lack of discernment and constant choice of sensationalism and misinterpretation of facts, while seeking to manipulate events to serve purposes known by all in order to undermine the peace and stability prevailing in Tunisia.
PVP adds that “Al Jazeera” Channel should have dealt with the events in Tunisia in an objective and neutral way and not resort to sensationalism and manoeuvres seeking to sow discord, dramatize facts and hide the reality of things.
PVP voices its conviction that the attempts of this channel to sow discord in the ranks of the Tunisian society by denaturing facts will be doomed to failure, thanks to the high level of awareness of all Tunisians and the strong commitment of the Head of State to achieve development in the different regions of the country and create new opportunities of investment and employment.
This last one is particularly disturbing as the entire picture just looks... FAKE? The doctors/nurses etc. on the right are *glaring* at Ben Ali as I see it. The one women looks like she is seething in hate staring him down. I love this picture- because I can't believe that DD actually approved this picture to be published as the disdain for him from the staff looks evident. Unfortunately it is a heartbreaking picture in its content as I believe Mohamed died a few days later. 
To continue on w/TON for December 28th, this... http://www.tunisiaonlinenews.com/president-zine-el-abidine-ben-ali-visits-young-man-mohamed-bouazizi/  - ok that one doesn't seem to be loading so here is the content: 

President Ben Ali takes interest in social conditions of three families from governorate of Sidi Bouzid

President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali took interest, on Tuesday afternoon, in the social conditions of three families from the Sidi Bouzid governorate, when receiving the father of Mohamed Ammari, who died in Menzel Bouzayane, the mother of Mohamed Bouazizi, who set fire to himself, and the mother of Hassan Ben Salah Neji, who died of electrocution.
President Ben Ali extended sympathy to the families of the two deceased, stressing, on the occasion, his keenness to enquire about these families’ living conditions and to lend them all necessary social protection.
(Source TAP)
... and finally this... http://www.tunisiaonlinenews.com/president-ben-alis-address-to-tunisian-people/, which won't load either: 

President Ben Ali’s address to Tunisian people

President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali delivered an address to the Tunisian people on Tuesday evening. Here is the full text of the address:
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Fellow citizens,
I have been following with anxiety and concern the events that took place over the recent days in Sidi Bouzid.
While these events were triggered by one social case, of which we understand the circumstances and psychological factors and whose consequences are regrettable, the exaggerated turn that these events have taken, as a result of their political manipulation by some sides who do not wish good to the homeland and resort to some foreign television channels which broadcast false and unchecked allegations and rely on dramatisation, fabrication and defamation hostile to Tunisia, requires from us to clarify some issues and confirm the truths that must be taken into consideration:
First, we do understand the feelings of any unemployed person, particularly if his search for a job goes on, his social conditions are difficult and his psychological structure is fragile, which may lead him to resort to desperate solutions in order to draw attention on his situation.
We spare no efforts to prevent such cases by providing them with a special and appropriate treatment.
Thus, we pursue our policies and programmes of employment, protection of the disadvantaged categories, care for poor families and vitalisation of regional development, through successive investment programmes covering all regions of the country, the latest being those we decided at last December 15 Cabinet meeting and the announced additional programme which appropriated funds will reach 6500 million dinars.
This initiative is part of our concern to meet all attributes of balanced and fair development among regions and ensure fair distribution of its fruits among all categories.
Second, unemployment is a major concern in the different countries of the world, be they developed or emerging; and we, in Tunisia, are straining every nerve to curb it and deal with its effects and impact, particularly on families who lack resources. The State will exert additional efforts in this area during the period to come.
Indeed, the considerable results we have achieved in the area of education at the qualitative and quantitative levels, and which have earned consideration and tribute from specialised international and UN bodies, materialises a fundamental and constant choice in our policy to produce an educated people.
Among these major results, there is the significant increase in the number of university graduates shared out between all regions of the country without exception and whose number exceeded, last year for instance, 80,000 graduates, a figure of which we are proud; in the same way we accept the challenge it imposes for the employment of this high rate of graduates among the job applicants, and this, thanks to the different employment mechanisms and programmes.
Despite the difficulties posed by this new category of unemployed, it remains a source of optimism for the future, an optimism of an educated people who perseveres on the path of well-being and more progress.
Third, we have constantly sought since the Change to entrench dialogue as principle and method of communication among all national and social sides on issues and developments that occur.
Consequently, there is no possible way, in spite of our understanding, that we accept the exploitation of isolated cases, an event or a fortuitous situation, to achieve petty political targets, at the detriment of the national community’s interests, its gains and achievements, first and foremost, concord, security and stability.
It is not acceptable that a minority of extremists and agitators in the pay of others, and against the country’s interests, resort to violence and street disturbances as means of expression, whatever their form is in a State of law like ours. This is a negative and anti-civil behaviour that presents a distorted image of our country and impedes the flow of investors and tourists which impacts negatively on job creation, while we need them to curb joblessness. Law will be enforced rigorously against these people.
Fourth, we reassert the need to respect freedom of opinion and of speech and keenness to enshrine them in law and entrench them in practice; and we respect any position if it is expressed within the framework of law, the rules and dialogue.
The State will strive to find solutions likely to meet job applications which will carry on increasing in the coming years, as it will act in the meantime to further increase wages and household incomes and, in general, improve living standards of all Tunisians.
Fifth, we are aware of the hardships generated by unemployment and its psychological impact on those who experience it. Consequently, we call on the administration to avoid all shortcomings in dealing with these difficult cases and perfectly follow them up.
It is the duty of all regional and local authorities to shoulder their responsibilities of listening to the citizens and joining efforts of all to identify situations that require special care to find appropriate solutions and meet the most urgent cases or those whose waiting time for employment has lasted too long.
We are always committed to the social dimension of our development policy so that no region or category be deprived of its opportunity for employment and investment.”
(Source TAP)

Now, that's a lot of oral diarrhea, in 1 day no less, from someone who previously stated that there was nothing wrong going on inside the country... Just saying... 

ok this is enough for today as I believe you readers have your homework cut out for you if you find yourselves so inclined to follow this timeline of events that will come to change my life
Enjoy reading the BULLSHIT from Tunisia Online News... Next up I'll show you what really was happening behind Tunisia's closed doors...