This is Nicholas and I in front of the beautiful city of Tunis, Tunisia, in 2008.
This is what the streets of Tunis look like now.
It has been very difficult to watch this all develop. In some ways, I am very happy for the people of Tunisia. There are so many rights as Americans that we take for granted, the most important of which is the basic right to participate in our government. Every citizen of Tunisia deserves that same right. They are a wonderful people with a magnificent country - not to mention, an important beacon of light in a very complicated part of the world.
At the same time, change comes at a cost. So many have already lost their lives and it is probably unrealistic to thing no one else will. The country will be in a state of upheaval and with upheaval always comes tough times and sacrifice.
I don't know what will happen in Tunisia but the one thing I do know is I am so grateful I visited there. It is all to easy as a citizen of America to forget that we are also citizens of the world. However, when you have traveled to place, when you have walked the streets that are now ablaze, news stories stop being just news stories and start being real. I feel invested in the people of Tunisia because I've walked among them.