The events currently underway in Libya have had their effect on the psyche of Tarik Yousef (Dubai School of Government) ” for over 40 years I have possessed no sense of national pride, until now. Now I feel like telling the world I am Libyan – I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the young people who have brought about this awakening”.
Yousef outlined that the non-democratic regimes across the region have ultimately lost much of their legitimacy, and their ability to reinforce the non-democratic equilibrium. The anti-regime attitude that has emerged, fuelled by a loss of credibility is exemplified in the case of Mubarak who, although having been accepted as a dictator for twenty years, became increasingly disconnected from the voice of the Egyptian people.
He outlined, that the balance of the equilibrium was tipped by the active voice of young educated people across the region in favour of ‘freedom’. Bouazizi, the young Tunisian who set himself on fire in protest against the social injustices created by the passing Tunisian regime, is widely seen to have created the tipping point that has sparked revolutions across the Arab region. The lesson to be drawn from the region’s recent experiences, added Yousef, is that “one man can make a difference”.
“But what happens next?” The future uncertainty lies in the fact that there is no blueprint for how we meet the challenges ahead, but Yousef is confident that “the revolution will translate its energy into economic and political blueprints” that have the ability to sustain democratic transition. However, in parting, he encouraged the U.N. to ensure that their current intervention keeps in mind how the revolution in Libya started – with the people.