"Let your downhills carry you uphill."

As the spirit of 2011 has faded this year amid religious violence in Egypt and Libya and the bloody sectarian civil war in Syria, Tunisia remains the Arab Spring’s most promising success story, with a contentious but robust political system and an economy that is growing again.

Much of the credit goes to President Moncef Marzouki, who has provided vision and wisdom since taking office in December 2011. At the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September, the doctor-turned-democracy activist called on the United Nations to declare dictatorship a “disease” and launch an official campaign against autocratic rulers, including establishing an international court to arbitrate elections and government legitimacy so as to prevent dictators from taking power in the first place. “It behooves us to implement an ambitious, bold program to eliminate dictatorship in the same way in which we got rid of polio and small pox,” Marzouki said.

Foreign Policy's 2012 “Top 100 Global Thinkers”, No. 2 Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia

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