The story of Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who started the Arab Spring

As the Arab League monitors and the Syrian government continues to kill, it is worth noting that it was exactly a year ago a year ago tomorrow that a frustrated and humiliated young Tunisian street vendor named of Mohamed Bouazizi died. He had set himself alight in a suicidal act a few weeks earlier and fanned the flames of what we now call The Arab Spring. Today, our project Game Changer looks at the life of one man, the family that grieves him, the official who confronted him and the village where change is not absolute.

Part Two of The Current

The story of Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who started the Arab Spring

It's been just over a year since the start of the Arab Spring ... the revolutionary movement that inspired protests, up-ended dictatorships and made reform an irresistible force in the Arab world. The revolt began with an uprising in Tunisia, following a terrifying suicide. It was a death lamented as far away as Washington.

We aired a clip of U.S. President Barack Obama referring to Mohamed Bouazizi, a poor Tunisian fruit seller who was a game changer not only for his country but for the Arab world. The petty humiliation he endured at the hands of the Tunisian authorities inspired millions who suffered government harassment and disdain in their own lives.

With the help of a freelance journalist working in Tunisia, Piya Chattopadhyay spoke with the Bouazizi family. Her documentary is called From The Embers.

And a special thanks to The Current's Pacinthe Mattar whose research and translation work was instrumental in preparing that documentary.

Music Bridge

Artist: Chris Velan
Cd: Twitter, Buzz, Howl
Cut: # 2, Long Way From Home
Label: Mutation
Spine: MM 1101

Tsunami Debris Promo

You may have caught that story over the last few weeks about that massive debris field that's floating in the Pacific Ocean. There is apparently millions of tonnes of stuff shaken loose from Japan by the huge earthquake and tsunami of last year.

Tires, boats, homes ... all traveling towards Canada's west coast. Thursday we'll hear from researchers studying that material and from people who live in Tofino, BC - where some believe they're already seeing the debris from shattered lives in Japan.

Other segments from today's show:

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