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Arab Spring

Arab Spring
Infobox collage for MENA protests.PNG
Clockwise from the upper left corner:
Protesters gathered at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt 9 February 2011;
Habib Bourguiba Boulevard, protesters in Tunis, Tunisia 14 January 2011;
dissidents in Sana'a, Yemen calling for president Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign on 3 February 2011;
crowds of hundreds of thousands in Baniyas, Syria 29 April 2011
Date17 December 2010 – December 2012
Caused by
Resulted inArab Spring concurrent incidents,
Arab Winter,
Impact of the Arab Spring,
and New Arab Spring (2018–19)
Death(s)61,080–140,000 deaths in total (International estimate; see table below)

The Arab Spring (Arabic: الربيع العربي‎) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low standard of living, starting with protests in Tunisia.[1][2] From Tunisia, the protests then spread to five other countries: Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain, where either the ruler was deposed (Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Muammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, and Ali Abdullah Saleh) or major uprisings and social violence occurred, including riots, civil wars or insurgencies. Sustained street demonstrations took place in Morocco, Iraq, Algeria, Iranian Khuzestan,[citation needed] Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Sudan. Minor protests occurred in Djibouti, Mauritania, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara.[3] A major slogan of the demonstrators in the Arab world is ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ an-niẓām ("the people want to bring down the regime").[4]

The importance of external factors versus internal factors to the protests' spread and success is contested.[5] Social media is one way governments try to inhibit protests. In many countries, governments shut down certain sites or blocked Internet service entirely, especially in the times preceding a major rally.[6] Governments also accused content creators of unrelated crimes or shutting down communication on specific sites or groups, such as Facebook.[7] In the news, social media has been heralded as the driving force behind the swift spread of revolution throughout the world, as new protests appear in response to success stories shared from those taking place in other countries.

The wave of initial revolutions and protests faded by mid-2012, as many Arab Spring demonstrations met with violent responses from authorities,[8][9][10] as well as from pro-government militias, counter-demonstrators and militaries. These attacks were answered with violence from protesters in some cases.[11][12][13] Large-scale conflicts resulted: the Syrian Civil War;[14][15] the rise of ISIL, insurgency in Iraq and the following civil war;[16] the Egyptian Crisis, coup, and subsequent unrest and insurgency;[17] the Libyan Civil War; and the Yemeni Crisis and following civil war.[18] Regimes that lacked major oil wealth and hereditary succession arrangements were more likely to undergo regime change.[19]

A power struggle continued after the immediate response to the Arab Spring. While leadership changed and regimes were held accountable, power vacuums opened across the Arab world. Ultimately, it resulted in a contentious battle between a consolidation of power by religious elites and the growing support for democracy in many Muslim-majority states.[20] The early hopes that these popular movements would end corruption, increase political participation, and bring about greater economic equity quickly collapsed in the wake of the counter-revolutionary moves by foreign state actors in Yemen,[21] the regional and international military interventions in Bahrain and Yemen, and the destructive civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.[22]

Some have referred to the succeeding and still ongoing conflicts as the Arab Winter.[14][15][16][17][18] As of May 2018, only the uprising in Tunisia has resulted in a transition to constitutional democratic governance.[3] Recent uprisings in Sudan and Algeria show that the conditions that started the Arab Spring are not going away and political movements against authoritarianism and exploitation are still occurring.[23] In 2019, multiple uprisings and protest movements in Algeria, Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt have been seen as a continuation of the Arab Spring.[24][25] In 2020, multiple conflicts are still continuing that might be seen as a result of the Arab Spring. The Syrian Civil War has caused massive political instability and economic hardship in Syria, with the Syrian currency plunging to new lows.[26] In Libya, a major civil war is ongoing, with Western powers and Russia sending in proxy fighters.[27][28] In Yemen, a civil war continues to affect the country.[29] In Lebanon, a major banking crisis is threatening the economy of neighboring Syria.

  1. ^ "Peddler's martyrdom launched Tunisia's revolution". Reuters. 19 January 2011.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Uprisings in the region and ignored indicators". Payvand.
  3. ^ a b Ruthven, Malise (23 June 2016). "How to Understand ISIS". New York Review of Books. 63 (11). Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference slogan was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Template:Dawn Brancati and Adrian Lucardi. 2019. "Why Democracy Protests Do Not Diffuse." ``'Journal of Conflict Resolution''' 63(1):2354-2389.
  6. ^ "Egypt protests: Internet service disrupted before large rally". The Telegraph. 28 January 2011.
  7. ^ Skinner, Julia (10 December 2011). "Social Media and Revolution: The Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement as Seen through Three Information Studies Paradigms". Association for Information Systems AIS Electronic Library (AISeL): 3.
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference Many wounded as Moroccan police beat protestors was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference Syria's crackdown was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference Bahrain troops lay siege to protesters' camp was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference Syria clampdown on protests mirrors Egypt's as thugs join attacks was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Cite error: The named reference Yemeni government supporters attack protesters, injuring hundreds was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference Libya Protests: Gaddafi Militia Opens Fire on demonstrators was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ a b Karber, Phil (18 June 2012). Fear and Faith in Paradise. ISBN 978-1-4422-1479-8. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Arab Winter". America Staging. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Analysis: Arab Winter is coming to Baghdad". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Egypt and Tunisia's new 'Arab winter'". Euro news. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Yemen's Arab winter". Middle East Eye. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Tracking the "Arab Spring": Why the Modest Harvest?". Journal of Democracy. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  20. ^ Hoyle, Justin A. "A Matter of Framing: Explaining The Failure of Post-Islamist Social Movements in the Arab Spring." DOMES: Digest of Middle East Studies 25.2 (2016): 186–209. Academic Search Complete. Web. 18 November 2016.
  21. ^ Filkins, Dexter (2 April 2018). "A Saudi Prince's Quest to Remake the Middle East". The New Yorker. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  22. ^ Hassan, Islam; Dyer, Paul (2017). "The State of Middle Eastern Youth". The Muslim World. 107 (1): 3–12. doi:10.1111/muwo.12175.
  23. ^ "The Long Arab Spring". jacobinmag.com. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  24. ^ Middle East Eye
  25. ^ TRT World
  26. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/12/us-caesar-act-sanctions-and-could-devastate-syrias-flatlining-economy US ‘Caesar Act' sanctions could devastate Syria’s flatlining economy. Critics say legislation is being used for US strategy and could cause further problems for country and wider region. Martin Chulov, The Guardian, June 12, 2020.
  27. ^ Libya has a chance at peace but Russia and the US are in the way Haftar seems to be on his way out, while Turkey risks creating a new Afghanistan on Europe’s southern flank, by Ahmed Aboudouh, June 9, 2020. Russia’s ally, General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-proclaimed National Libyan Army, has lost his 14-month military campaign to capture the capital Tripoli. His rivals in the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, backed by -extremist militias, managed to chase his troops deep into the east of the country.
  28. ^ Danger of ‘miscalculation’ as global powers scramble for position in Libya. Fighting moves from west to centre and south of country, as Egypt advances towards border, and Tripoli ignores truce calls.Borzou Daragahi, Oliver Carroll. June 8, 2020.
  29. ^ Yemen’s Government demands UN action regards Houthi violation of deal ,Yemen’s government has demanded UN action against Iran-backed Houthi militants for violating the Hodeidah deal, state news agency Saba New reported.Yemen’s Economic Council – a state advisory body composed of cabinet members – said the militants looted the central bank in Hodeidah city and were delaying the fuel and food that arrive at the Hodeidah port.The looted funds were supposed to be used to pay salaries of public workers, who have not received payments for months, according to the report.This money will now “feed the militia’s pointless war,” the council said.On Wednesday, Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryani said Houthis are looting and extorting the private healthcare sector.

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