Now people in Algeria have cast their votes and re-elected Bouteflika, Egyptians look likely to follow suit in selecting an individual (El Sisi), rather than a style of government. Countries like Libya, Tunisia – and possibly others – may witness the same event later this year or next year. We all agree that elections are a defining moment in any country’s history. However, amid the uprisings that rocked some countries of the Arab world resulting in the demise of ruthless dictators, the focus now and in the near future should not be on WHO is going to rule a country but on the style of his leadership. Throughout history the Arab world has produced in abundance some of the most callous dictators in the history of mankind. From now on such brutal leaders must be prevented from rising to power and should vanish from the world stage forever.

If we really desire a better world for ourselves and the generations to come, we must change the way that we look at our prospective leaders. We should not look at any man as an idol to be glorified. People in the Arab world are asked more than ever before to be vigilant and to prevent any dictator from establishing himself in power and glorifying his own leadership.

In order to achieve this, we should nurture creativity and include critical thinking in the syllabuses of our educational systems. Moreover, any leader who rises to power should bear in mind that freedom and human dignity are red lines not to crossed under any pretext. The 21st century is the century of the masses and not the elites. If we used to say that all roads lead to Rome, now is the time to reverse that premise and make all political decisions emanate from the streets. A look at news headlines coming from countries including Venezuela, Ukraine, Egypt, et cetera, testify to the truth.

Imed Lassoued, Bouficha, Tunisia

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