French Ligue I RC Lens striker Issam Jemaa said he was proud of the Tunisian people for the month-long uprising that ousted ex-President Ben Ali on January 14.
At a press conference in Lens on Wednesday transcribed on the club’s official website, the Tunisia international said the recent events in his homeland had been a nightmare for him.
“It was difficult to bear for all Tunisians living in Lens,” Jemaa said. “It was hot out there in Tunisia, on the streets, in the cities. We were feeling badly for our families. It was complicated."
“I was following the situation on a daily basis. I was having sleepless nights. The armband I wore against Saint-Etienne was dedicated to all those who died in the violence. But now it's calming down, and I'm very proud of what the Tunisian people did,” said the 26-year-old former Esperance Tunis forward.
A young unemployed Tunisian graduate who set himself on fire after having his fruit and vegetable stand confiscated by police who assualted him in December sparked nationwide job and anti corruption demonstrations which left some 70 peaceful protestors dead at the hands of security forces and culminated in the departure of the former president who had ruled the north African country for 23 years.