2011 Democracy Award: Acceptance Speech of Jamel Bettaieb

First, I want to thank the martyrs of democracy in Tunisia and Egypt. I thank also American civil society and especially the NED for caring about the democracy in our country. Tunisian people suffered for 50 years from the dictatorship, so, now, we would like a political life based on democracy and respect for human rights. What we want now from the US, as I told President Obama, is promotion of American investment in Tunisia, sending tourists to Tunisia, and helping Tunisia to have elections. That’s all.

Finally, I want to say a poem from the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Delrish

(An excerpt from ‘On Man’ or ‘On Humanity’)

Oh who have the bloody hands and the bloody feet the night is going to end.
The chamber of torture nor the chains will stay in place
Neron (who tried to burn Rome) is forgotten and Rome is still a striving beautiful city.