Originally posted by Sewell Chan on nytimes.com/on October 9, 2015—
“A coalition of labor union leaders, businesspeople, lawyers and human rights activists won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for what the Nobel committee called “its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.”
The prize to the coalition, known as the National Dialogue Quartet, comes nearly five years after an unemployed street vendor set himself on fire, touching off a political earthquake that toppled Tunisia’s longtime authoritarian president and proceeded to reverberate throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Among the disappointments of what has become known as the Arab Spring — collapsed states in Libya, Syria and Yemen; the return of rule by a military strongman in Egypt; and the rise of the Islamic State in the sectarian caldron of Syria and Iraq — the relative success of Tunisia’s transition to democracy has been a wisp of hope.”
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