Last month, Mohamed Bouazizi wrote a Facebook message to his mother hours before setting himself on fire. The suicide triggered the social protests that crescendoed with Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali abandoning his post and fleeing to Saudi Arabia Friday. A copy of his final message surfaced, and you can read it below.
In a country where the average unemployment rate for college graduates is 23 percent, Mohamed Bouazizi was just another former student who did what he could to survive. Despite his academic preparation, he was selling fruits and vegetables on the streets of Sidi Bouzid, a city in Tunisia. When the police confiscated his vendor cart for not having the appropriate permits, Bouazizi tried to file a complaint with the local authorities, but it was rejected. For Bouazizi, that would be the last straw: He left a Facebook message to his mother begging for her forgiveness, bought a can of gasoline, doused himself in front of a government building, and set himself on fire.
His self-immolation began a violent and dramatic string of social protests in the African country, and the end of a presidency that had lasted 23 years. Arab Crunch first posted a copy of Bouazizi’s final Facebook message to his mother, along with an English translation. Here’s the latter, punctuation intact:
I will be traveling my mom, forgive me, Reproach is not helpful, i am lost in my way it is not in my hand, for give me if disobeyed words of my mom, blame our times and do not blame me, i am going and not coming back, look i did not cry and tears did not fall from my eyes, Reproach is not helpful in time of Treachery in the land of people, i am sick and not in my mind all what happened, i am traveling and i am asking who leads the travel to forget.
Facebook has become a central method of communication for Tunisian dissidents, and possibly an avenue for that country’s government to fight back. Now what do you think about Facebook steadily becoming the medium through which people say their “last words” to the world?