"If you don't see me, I'll burn myself."
He was sensitive to the torment inflicted on the innocent locals by the municipal authorities, and he was angry. Rage burned in him like a phoenix which would only burn out after self- immolation, rebirth.
Faida Hamdi and her municipal henchmen had harassed him and destroyed his cart, his means of livelihood. She had slapped him, spat on his face and called his dead father 'a coward who killed himself'.
Standing outside the governor's office, expecting no reply to his cries and complaints against the injustice that life itself had become, Basboosa thought to himself, "When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire."
And then he lit the match that set fire to the Tunisian Revolution.