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Africa North
Belaid's Widow Becomes Symbol of Tunisia's Left
2013-02-16
[An Nahar] Besma Khalfaoui, Chokri Belaid's widow, has become a symbol of Tunisia's secular opposition and scourge of the ruling Islamists, waving her fingers in a victory sign just hours after her husband was killed.

On February 6, Tunisians saw the mother-of-two, her face lined with grief and her trousers still covered in blood, urging people not to react to her husband's liquidation with violence, as she joined outraged protesters in central Tunis.

Those televised images transformed the discreet 42-year-old lawyer into an instant icon.

Moved by the presence of so many people at Belaid's funeral, which became a mass opposition rally thought to be the largest since the revolution, she cried out: "How beautiful Tunisia is!" before launching into the national anthem.

On Saturday, she will take part in another memorial ceremony in the northern town of Jendouba, birthplace of her husband who was bumped off beside her outside their Tunis home in an attack that sparked a major political crisis.

Belaid was a prominent leftist politician and scathing critic of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, and Khalfaoui seems to determined take up the torch.

"It is from Chokri that I draw my strength. I will continue his struggle," she said, while not hesitating to accuse Ennahda, elected 14 months ago in Tunisia's first post-uprising poll, of orchestrating her husband's liquidation.
Posted by:Fred

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