Lilia Weslaty

Internet activist and journalist Lilia Weslaty has been speeking up against tyranny since the start of the revolution in Tunisia last year. Weslaty grew up in Tunisia in an 'a-political' family who did not speak up aginst the regime. She earns a master's degree in classical languages, and is a teacher for one year. Dissatisfied as she is about the educational system in the dictatorial state, she meets other peers. In 2008 she becomes an active ‘cyber blogger’.

Currently, she works for Nawaat.org, the weblog that in 2004 was brought to life with the purpose to give a voice to independent bloggers. Nawaat.org is seen by many as the catalyst of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. The website leaked documents – Tunileaks – about corruption and human rights violations in Tunisia. Images of a corrupted family clan, that tyrannised he Tunisian people, while they themselves lived in luxury, reached citizens all over the country through the internet and Al-Jazeera. Many see this as a push in the right direction that the Tunisian people needed to finally speak up.

To honour activists like Weslaty, the American magazine Time awarded ‘the activist’ as ‘person of the year’ in 2011. The first activist to fit the profile was the 26-year old Tunisian street vender Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire as a protest-act against the situation in the country. This was the beginning of the up rise in Tunisia.