Course Instructor Ma’m Rida Sohail
International Mass Media and its Impact
Mid-term Assignment – Arab Spring
The Arab Spring, referring to the chain reaction of revolutions in the Arab world, is considered to have begun in Tunisia when a small produce seller lit himself on fire to protest the government taking away his job. Some say that this event, coupled with enough pressure from outside media sources, sparked the revolution of the younger generation in Tunisia that overthrew their prime minister, Mohamed Ghannouchi; others argue that the area was ripe for revolution thanks to the infusion of democracy in Iraq. Regardless of the initial cause, this single countries act started a snowball effect of democratic revolution that has rolled its way through Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Lybia, in a few smaller instances in other countries. Detailed Summary of “Arab Spring”
On 17th December 2010 something occurred in the small Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid that should lead to a so-called “revolution”. On that day, a desperate Tunisian teenager, who tried to support the livelihood of his family with his vegetable stand there, lit himself. Again and again he was bullied and also harassed by the behaviour and conditions of the Tunisian police in this village. His self-immolation happened one year ago and he died of his injuries. This sad act sparked major protests by angry and frustrated young people in Egypt. Some followed Muhammad Buazizi example and also committed suicide after his sad death. The first so-called revolution in the Arab world has been triggered. Whether this “revolution” has been really triggered all alone from within Egypt by this sad act should be questioned. It wasn’t the first demonstration against the rise of food prices, but those protests were not able to overthrow the dictator. This changed with these protests in spring 2011. One should consider that these developments around these demonstrations have been driven from the outside, too. For example, the name of Former U.S. diplomat Jeffrey Feltman appears repeatedly in connection with these so-called revolutions in the Middle East. The events in Tunisia spilled over to other states and for example, the Tunisian dictator quickly left his homeland to find asylum in Saudi Arabia. Some say a bit too quickly. Even before the wave of “revolutions” (“Arab Spring”) reached Egypt, this interesting wave reached the both states Morocco and Algeria. Again, the people took to the streets in protest against rising food prices and against the corruption within the country. Of course, the people in Algeria and Morocco also protested against the injustice. Finally, the demonstrations in Egypt began on 25th of January. These protests in Egypt were primarily socially motivated demonstrations, in which the people wanted to give vent to their anger. Triggered by the financial crisis (U.S. is mainly to blame for this) the food prices and housing prices also increased in the Arab countries. Where the foreign/western countries did not intervene, the demonstrations disappeared again. Take a look at Algeria. It seems that nowadays hardly anyone reminds about Algeria that there people also protested against the government and that these demonstrations were brutally dispersed or even mowed down. It seems that the Western governments decided secretly that an Algeria under the lead of Bouteflika is safer for Europe than an Algeria, which is ruled by Islamists. Some experts of the Middle East talk about the beginning of these demonstrations and revolutions about an “Islamic revolution” (even Islamistic revolution) which is masterful ignored by the West till today. The West even ignores these statements about an “Islamic revolution” gladly. However, the results of the first elections in Tunisia and Egypt speak for themselves: In both countries the Islamists have gained extremely more power and influence....