New Libyan flag a boon for Libya, Tunisia
By Houda Trabelsi for Magharebia in Tunis - 11/11/11
Tunisians profit economically, and Libyans benefit socially from a growing trade in symbols of the Libyan revolution. The need for hope in the revolution has created a market opportunity for Tunisians. They have taken advantage of the chance, thereby offering some relief to the economic struggles that followed the Tunisian revolution.
In one case, the sale of Libyan revolutionary flags and banners rescued a failing Tunisian textile factory.
"We've made thousands of new banners and flags of the Libyan revolution… we didn't imagine such high demand that rescued us this year from the consequences of our revolution in Tunisia," said Sami Mehrez, owner of a small textile factory.
"We've diversified the products on which Libya's flag was drawn. In addition to flags, we've made plates, shirts and hats, and all of these items won the admiration of our Libyan brothers who flocked to buy them. They even carried large quantities thereof back to Libya," Mehrez added.
"Since the success of Libyan revolution, I've brought many of the new Libyan flag and banners so that our Libyan brothers may get their flags, and then dance and sing as they do every day in the capital streets," Seif Eddine, a street vendor, told Magharebia.
"We would like to thank Tunisian traders, who were attentive to the needs of Libyans, especially those living in Tunisia, and made us the flags of our beloved Libya to make us rejoice with victory," Mohamed, a young Libyan, told Magharebia.
He added, "I think that Tunisians know how to take advantage of things to their benefit. This is good to rescue their economy that was affected after the revolution."
"The young people of Libya's uprising are aged between 17 and 32 years," Mourad Jmai, a young Tunisian man, told Magharebia. "This means that they were born and brought up under the colonel's regime and its distinguishing green colour. I think that Tunisians have helped spread this flag even more."
"This is the flag for Libya's independence and liberation from the yoke of Italian occupation in 1951," Salah, a young Libyan man, explained. "Therefore, it doesn't symbolise a certain political regime or era."
He noted that the "oral history of the Libyan family has played an important role in preserving the image of this flag, which symbolises a glorious event in Libya's history, by passing this image from the generation of grandfathers to fathers and then to children."
Salah added: "We, the Libyan youth, will work on spreading our original flag on a large scale, and will place it everywhere."
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