The faded scent of Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution

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It was ten years ago this month that the desperate act of self-immolation by street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid prompted not only the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” that would topple the regime of strongman president Ben Ali, but also set in train the “Arab Spring” revolt that spread across North Africa. Mediapart spoke to three young men from Sidi Bouzid who took part in the 2010 protests over Bouazizi's plight, and who reflect on what has become of their revolt that created hope of a new democratic future for their country. Lilia Blaise reports.

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On December 17th 2010, in the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, 18-year-old school student Nidhal Rchidi was sipping a coffee close to the local Governorate administration building. He was taking a break between two lessons, as he prepared to sit mock exams, when suddenly people in the street around him began running.