A family member volunteered to be an observer as thousands of observers were required to help the voting process run smoothly. Tunisia's elections under dictatorship have always been falsified, consequently the role of the observers was even more important in order to break a very bad habit. I drew an observer's badge into my small sketchbook to commemorate this historic event.
And historic it is. Tunisia has never had truly democratic and free elections for either Parliament or President. It is now official: with 55.6% of the vote, Beji Caid-Sebsi of the 'Nida Tunis' Party will be the first democratically elected president of Tunisia.
The need for vigilance remains. Certain Western powers and their satellites are unhappy with the development of a true democracy in the Arab world. Certain Gulf countries do not want to see women sharing equality with men in a Muslim country (nearly half the Parliament is women). And certain thugs associated with dictatorship would like to grab back power and bring back the dictator. This budding democracy must be defended, tooth and nail.
Although much work remains to be done, a festive mood is in the air and it is the holidays. The Transition Period has come to an end and Tunisians can celebrate the New Year with hope.
May you have a peaceful and joyous Holiday Season.