Arab Spring

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Overview

The Arab Spring is a term that refers to the revolutionary wave of protests that have spread through many North African and Middle Eastern countries. Other terms include the Arab Awakening, the Arab Uprisings and the Arab Rebellion.[1]

The nature of the uprisings has varied from country to country, ranging from relatively peaceful protests to civil war. Nations involved in the Arab Spring are reacting to a general degradation of socio-economic and political conditions in the MENA region, as well as to specific national regimes.[2]

Many protests used online social media tools (such as Twitter and Facebook) to disseminate information and coordinate large numbers of protesters, enlarging the scope of the demonstration and engaging the international community.[3]

An iconic phrase from the protests that has become seen as the slogan for the Arab Spring is ‘ Ash-sha`byuridisqat an-nizam’ meaning ‘the people want to bring down the regime’.[4]


Background

The trigger of the Arab Spring has been traced back to an event on the 17th of December 2010, when Mohamed Biouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, set himself on fire in protest of police abuse.[5] This act of self-immolation was the catalyst for wide spread unrest in Tunisia, which saw large demonstrations taking place throughout December, eventually leading to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in early January 2011.[6] The demonstrations were also fuelled by discontent about corruption, food inflation, high unemployment and lack of political freedom.


The wave of unrest in Tunisia quickly spread to Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Libya; with Egypt being the second nation in the Arab Spring to overthrow the head of state, President Hosni Mubarak.[7] Libya, a country that has suffered a significant amount of violence during the Spring, overthrew leader Muaar al-Gaddafi on the 23 rd of August 2011; the whereabouts of the ex-Libyan leader is currently unknown.[8]

Many demonstrations were met with a violent response from authorities and pro-government groups.[9] The widespread protests have caused several leaders to announce their intentions to step down at the end of their term.

Key countries involved

Key nations involved in the Arab Spring include:

  • Tunisia: starting from December 17th, 2010
  • Egypt: starting from January 25th, 2011
  • Yemen: starting from January 26th, 2011
  • Libya: starting from February 17th, 2011
  • Syria: starting from March 15th, 2011


Progress and the Arab Spring

The significance of the Arab Spring and the geopolitical implications for the region has drawn global attention to the absence of a correlation between a high GDP and national well-being.[10] Several of the key countries involved in the Arab Spring showed a steady increase in GDP over the last five to ten years while, over the same time period, key well-being indices showed a clear decline in several core dimensions of progress.[11]


For each nation involved in the Arab Spring, Wikiprogress is showcasing a number of dimensions of progress,  including: income and wealth, job and earnings, housing, health status, work and life balance, education and skills, social connections, civic engagement and governance, environmental quality, personal security and subjective well-being.
The Wikiprogress Arab Spring country articles are listed below. Please contribute to these articles and help keep them updated.

See also

External links


References

  1. The Arab awakening, The Economist, July 14 2011
  2. Korotayev A, Zinkina J (2011). "Egyptian Revolution: A Demographic Structural Analysis". Entelequia. Revista Interdisciplinar 13: 139–165.
  3. Project on Information Technology & Political Islam, "Opening Closed Regimes: What was the role of Social Media During the Arab Spring", Working Paper 2011 www.pITPI.org
  4. Uriel Abulof (10 March 2011). "What Is the Arab Third Estate?" The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 May 2011
  5. Project on Information Technology & Political Islam, "Opening Closed Regimes: What was the role of Social Media During the Arab Spring", Working Paper 2011 www.pITPI.org
  6. "Uprising in Tunisia: People Power topples Ben Ali regime". Indybay. 16 January 2011. Retrieved 29.09.2011.
  7. New York Times Egypt News — Revolution and Aftermath retrieved 29.09.2011
  8. NPR [http://www.npr.org/2011/05/03/135957775/arab-spring-violence-continues-in-libya-syria 'Arab Spring' Violence Continues In Libya, Syria] retrieved 29.09.2011
  9. Libya Protests: Gaddafi Militia Opens Fire On Demonstrators The Huffington Post. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  10. February 2, 2011, Gallup Egyptians', Tunisians' Wellbeing Plummets Despite GDP Gains retrieved 29.09.2011
  11. February 2, 2011, Gallup Egyptians', Tunisians' Wellbeing Plummets Despite GDP Gains retrieved 29.09.2011

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