The following stamps were affixed to the Tunisian flag-on-postcard that I received early this year.
The postcard (posted previously, click here) and stamps were my firsts from Tunisia.
The sender, Nour, actually sent me two postcards – the Tunisian flag-on-postcard and another one showing the Tunisian’s traditional costume for women. How the postcards got to Cambodia is a story in itself.
Nour emailed me in the first week of December asking me for swap. I don’t usually accept private swaps unless the swapper comes from a country that I consider difficult to get postcards and stamps from. So I quickly said yes but asked him to postpone the swap till after the Christmas holidays. We all know what happened in Tunisia, right? In the days that followed after our initial contact massive protests and riots happened in the streets of Tunisia (now known as the Tunisian Revolution) that stretched for months. People were clamoring for reforms. During this period I was afraid of Nour’s safety as he went to the shops in Tunis to find the postcards that we agreed to exchange and mailed them. I felt a tinge of guilt. Fortunately, Nour was safe, so is his family, and the postcards arrived in Cambodia just over a month after. Merci beaucoup, my friend. شكرا جزيلا لك من أعماق قلبي.
When I received the postcards, the old government was already overthrown and the then- President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family already fled the country. And what a strange coincidence it is. If you look at the stamps, it is a commemorative issue celebrating the 23ème Anniversaire du Changement (23rd Anniversary of the Change) in Tunisia. Mr. Ben Ali, was a former prime minister who took over the Presidency in November 7, 1987 in a bloodless coup d’état from then-President Habib, was only the second president of the country, which won independence from France in 1956. I could not exactly find info specifically what is “The Change” but now I can only assume that the Movement of Change was launched when Mr. Ben Ali took power. (Source)
The Tunisian revolution paved the way for the citizens in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, and other Arab countries to also begin protesting against their governments. Let us hope that the mass movements going on these countries will yield positive results.