There have been rumblings and debates, even books discussing the likelihood that the Middle East was a tinderbox needing only a spark to erupt into rebellion, civil war, and worse, large numbers of people protesting oppressive regimes that would be willing to open fire in the town square.
Mohammed Bouazizi became the spark, quite literally when, after being forced to pay high bribes and then having his fruit stand closed down arbitrarily, he found himself so frustrated with the corrupt and oppressive regime in Tunisia that he doused himself with gasoline and set himself ablaze in the city of Sidi Bouzid.
From this single act, by a frustrated man who simply wanted to feed his family and educate his sisters, set off the blaze that is yet burning out of control in the Middle East. Beginning in Tunisia, protests toppled a corrupt leader. Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, even Iran and more have seen protests, violence by governments against protestors and now a situation in Libya where a dictator and his mercenaries fully intend to "cleanse" the country.
One man, no vote. Simple goals: feed and educate his family. Constant theft, bribe demands equating to everything he earned on some days, and even closing his fruit stand or denying him a stall from which to sell on other days. An amazing, and likely world-changing act - setting himself afire - the rippling effects of which will spread outward steadily, bringing with it the desire for freedom. Even the smallest freedom, such as being left alone to sell his fruit, might well have satisfied him, This article is worth reading: