The term Arab Spring as used to denote these events may have started with an article by Marc Lynch published in the political journal Foreign Policy. The Arab Spring is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, and wars occurring in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010 and have continued since. To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen; civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain and Syria; major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan. Some key characteristics of this revolutionary movement are the key role of social media, difference of results in monarchies and dictatorial political setups and the containment of the dissent to the Muslim world. Enough time has passed to try to make sense of what has happened so far and, perhaps, gain an inkling of where the region is headed.
Like all great social upheavals, the Arab Spring was long in the making, and born of many intertwined causes. The best way to understand what happened in the Arab world in 2011 is to start with the stagnation of the Arab economies. While other countries in the world evolved from agrarian economies to industrial economies to information economies, the Arab world lagged far behind. United Nations’ Arab Human Development Report first pointed out almost ten years ago, the foibles of the inadequate educational method of the Arab world. Before 2011 the Middle East was a democratic desert: only Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories could lay any claim to democracy, and all three efforts were deeply imperfect. The net effect of ulcerous economic liabilities, inadequate education and political lag: unemployment, underdevelopment and yawning wealth gaps. In the Arab autocracies, the poor, the working classes, and the middle classes met only callous indifference, corruption, and humiliation when they sought redress from their governments.
Arab Spring MAJOR EVENTS
Tunisia No one could have predicted that the match struck by Mohamed Bouazizi to set himself afire would ignite the entire Arab world. (17 Dec 2011). A series of increasingly violent street demonstrations through December 2010 ultimately led to the ouster of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January 2011. Ben Ali fled into exile in Saudi Arabia, ending his 23 years in power. Ghannouchi (new PM from RCD (Constitutional Democratic Rally)) himself resigned on 27 February, and Beji Caid el Sebsi became Prime Minister. (2011) On 23 October, citizens voted in the first post-revolution election to elect representatives to a 217-member constituent assembly that would be responsible for the new constitution.
Egypt Inspired by the uprising in Tunisia, protests in Egypt began on 25 January 2011 and ran for 18 days. On 10 February, Mubarak ceded all presidential power to Vice President Omar Suleiman. The next day Suleiman quickly announced that Mubarak had resigned from the presidency and transferred power to the Armed Forces of Egypt. (30 year presidency comes to an end) The military immediately dissolved the Egyptian Parliament, suspended the Constitution of Egypt, and promised to lift the nation's thirty-year "emergency laws". A civilian, Essam Sharaf, was appointed as Prime Minister of Egypt on 4 March to widespread approval among Egyptians in Tahrir Square. Violent protests continued through the end of 2011 in response to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' perceived sluggishness in instituting reforms and their grip on power. Hosni Mubarak and his former interior minister Habib al-Adli were convicted to life in prison on the basis of their failure to stop the killings during the first six days of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. His successor, Mohamed Mursi, was sworn in as Egypt's first democratically elected president before judges at the Supreme Constitutional Court.
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