Nobel Prize Laureate Tawakkol A. Karman
|Karman displays her Nobel Peace Prize, which she |
accepted in December 2011 in Oslo.
The Arab Spring does not refer to those governments formed after the fall of the regimes; the Arab Spring refers to the youth who set off uprisings and revolutions in their country and shall remain the guardians of its “grand project.”
Our spring—the one we fought for—resulted from the efforts of all those young men and women who resented living under the rule of corruption and tyranny—the rule of the despot and his family. It was achieved by the youth who carried their dream of living in a state of freedom and equality, where rights are guaranteed and dignity is preserved. The Arab Spring is defined by the youth who had the courage to defy those regimes and the ability to topple and replace them.
Thus, the success of the Arab Spring is not to be judged according to the achievements or the failures of the governments who succeeded those fallen regimes. Instead, it should be viewed according to the strength of the youth revolutionaries and their struggles and determination to achieve. It should be applauded for those young people’s retention of high spirits, their confidence in themselves and their ability to ensure the renewal and the reoccurrence of their actions until the purposes for which their revolutions took place are achieved and until the obstacles and deviations in its path are eliminated.
We may rightfully say the first lesson from the Arab Spring revolutions is that the governments that succeeded the fallen regimes shall remain accountable to the youth of the Arab Spring, and these new and transitional governments remain “guilty until proven innocent.” They must realize their youth constituents consider them “potential oppressors,” and their good will means nothing if it’s not supported by good deeds.
The youth of the Arab Spring will monitor these governments, and through public accountability they will hold governments accountable for all their decisions. The permanence of these peaceful revolutions will be seen in all the streets and all the squares across all the countries of the Arab Spring.
The vitality of our streets and squares is the true indicator of success for these popular youth movements. Success should never be measured by the calmness and serenity of the replacement governments who use their public servants to persuade, deceive, silence or even oppress these brave young people.
I hereby give a salute of respect to our glorious young men and women in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Libya, in Syria and in my Yemen. I salute the revolting masses in the streets and each and every young man and woman who never compromised or surrendered.
There shall be no surprises nor shall there be concerns. This is the Arab Spring—a lasting movement governed by the people and ruled from the squares of freedom.