Tunisia’s secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid was shot this past Wednesday while leaving his house. Many Tunisians believed this assassination was ordered by the government, and huge protests followed soon after the event. Mahmoud Ghedira ’16, a Tunisian native, wanted to do something to help his home country during its time of need, and he settled on making a video with some of his Tunisian friends who also attend American schools.
“The goal of the video is to express our support to Tunisia,” Mahmoud explains, “and to say that even though we’re 6000 miles away, we know what [the Tunisian people] are going through. We believe that we can overcome this without violence. Our message is a message for peace and [a message] against all this political violence that is happening right now.”
Mahmoud (speaking at 2:40 in the recording) hoped the video would uplift the spirits of his fellow Tunisians. But what he didn’t expect was how many other people would be tuning in as well; the YouTube clip has gotten over 11,000 views in less than two days and is set to premiere on Tunisian national television soon.
Inspired by the amount of attention the video was receiving, Mahmoud decided to expand the social media presence of the Tunisian students’ cause.
“With the help of my cousin who goes to Bryn Mawr College and some other Tunisians students across the US, we created a support group on Facebook. We know that it is diffcult to go through this alone and away from our country and to see our people going out in the streets protesting and risking their lives.”
Mahmoud invites the entire Wesleyan community to join the cause. ”Now we want to take this to the next level and make it more international. We want the people of Tunisia to know that the whole world is supporting this peaceful fight for democracy.”
If you want to get involved by recording a short video showing your support, taking a picture of yourself holding a sign of encouragement, or joining the Facebook group, feel free to contact Mahmoud at mghedira(at)wesleyan(dot)edu.