Palestinians in Gaza celebrate the revolution in Tunisia
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01/20/11 Pam Bailey
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

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People across the world, including the Middle East, celebrated the peaceful revolution that toppled Tunisia's government. The former president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, was forced to leave the country on Friday. WMNF's reporter in the Gaza Strip, Pam Baily, tells us, Palestinians are inspired by the uprising in Tunisia.

As news of Tunisian revolution spread like wildfire around the world, Arabs living in countries struggling with their own oppressive governments and soaring unemployment were celebrating on the streets, on Twitter, and on Facebook. The Gaza strip was no exception.

"We, as Palestinians, salute the Tunisian people and any Arab nation rising against injustice."

Devu Sadr Abineen coordinator of the local initiative committee in the northern Gaza strip. However, most excited were the youth of Gaza who saw the uprising of Tunisia as evidence of the latent power of their generation. The biggest challenge facing the Arab world today is youth unemployment. In the Gaza strip nearly 59 percent of youth between the ages of 20 and 24 are unable to find jobs despite a high number of university degrees. This is 23 year old blogger Samia el Wan

"There was much excitement for what happened. I spent the whole day just following up what's going on in Tunisia. I was actually very proud of what the people have done. It gave me some hope and I got back the faith I had in people."

The Hamas government of Gaza organized demonstrations in downtown Gaza city celebrating the Tunisian uprising, not seeming to realize that this same power could be turned against them. Eliad el Masau, a leader of a youth group commented:

"The Tunisian people have suffered dictatorship for long years and promises of democracy and freedom were never delivered. The Palestinian people are experiencing the same thing. After democratic elections in 2006,never repeated until this moment, we have two separate governments. One in the Gaza strip and the other in the West Bank. This has caused the frustrations among the Palestinians and made them feel desperate to do something."

Despite this frustration, nearly every one in Gaza is in agreement that there is one big difference between Tunisia and Palestine.

:"The Tunisian people they have got faith ... from the government and they suffered deeply for their situation. For the Palestinian people, we have one enemy who take our land, who take our progress, who take our dreams, who take our sons."

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