Comparative Politics

Topics: Egypt, Arab World, Facebook Pages: 10 (3350 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Comparative Politics
Mark Ayoub
Revolution in Tunisia and Egypt
In the beginning of this year, some Arab countries experienced a number of riots and protests from the citizens who opposed their respective governments. Citizens of these countries accused their government of being corrupt, oppressive, and dictatorial. Also, many citizens blamed their government for high unemployment levels and high cost of living, poor living standards and poverty in their respective countries. Antigovernment protests began in Tunisia and spread to other countries in both Africa and Asia continents (Oxford Business Group, 2011). The revolutionary momentum became unstoppable, and resulted in shaking of ruling regimes. Revolutionary waves spread from Tunisia to other countries, such as Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, and Iran among other Arab countries (Onyeka, 2011). The revolutionary protests experienced recently in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries aimed at overthrowing dictatorial and corrupt governments from power (Arieff, 2011). These revolutions started in Tunisia, and inspired antigovernment protests in other countries in the Arab world, where protesters fought for democracy in their countries. In Tunisia, protests started in the mid-December 2010 and resulted to the falling of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s government in the middle of January 2011. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was the president of Tunisia for 23 years, and the citizens of this country accused his government of dictatorship and corruption (Justin C. De Leon, 2011). Unlike revolutions that took place in Libya, and the ongoing protests in Syria where the Army supported their governments, in Tunisia and Egypt, things happened to be different. This is because, in Tunisia despite the emergence of clashes between the loyal police forces and protesters, the military forces refused to fire protesters. The military forces in Tunisia stood against Ben Ali’s government. On the other hand, the military forces in Egypt supported President Hosni Mubarak, but it reached a time when the military forces refused to fire on protestors. The most noticeable event happened in Tahrir Square, where exceedingly many protesters had camped to force Hosni Mubarak to resign his power. The army did not attack the protesters since they had also lost confidence in their respective governments. As a result of overwhelming demonstrations in the major cities of both countries, and lack of military support, both the President Ben Ali of Tunisia, and the President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt were obliged to resign their power. After Tunisian protesters had toppled Ben Ali’s government, he managed to flee in exile to South Arabia. Revolution in Tunisia got precipitated by poor living conditions among the majority of citizens in Tunisia, particularly in the global economic crises that contributed to high prices on basic commodities such as food (inflation), and unemployment. Also, these protests got precipitated by the increasing citizen’s frustration at rampant corruption, lack of freedom of self expression among other political freedoms. The protests became extremely severe, and forced Ben Ali to resign, and fled from Tunisia. After the end of protest in Tunisia, new protests emerged in Egypt on January 25, 2011. The uprising in this country resulted to the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. In Egypt, the greatest protests took place in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez. On the other hand, the revolutionary uprisings experienced in countries, like Tunisia, Egypt, and other Arab countries, relied heavily on the social media, the Internet, and related technologies, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TwitPic. These Internet tools helped in the early phases of revolution to accelerate the protest (Ann Macintosh, 2011). Despite the fact that the protests in the Arab countries relied on the social media, there was less evidence that social media played a...
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