From March 26-30, an estimated 50,000 people flocked to Tunisia to participate in the first World Social Forum to take place in the Arab world. The theme was dignity -- a term that had become a battle cry during the revolutionary protests that took place throughout the region in 2010 and 2011.
Organizations working on water issues gathered a day earlier to hold discussions on the central role of water in the fight for human dignity. During the December 2010 protests in Tunisia that sparked the wave of revolutions in the Arab World, thousands had marched chanting, "Yes to bread and water! No to Ben Ali!" It was a clear message that the people would no longer tolerate a regime that denied them their basic rights.