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The Arab Spring. IAFS 1000. Outline. Tunisian Trigger Misconception re Status Quo Ante Spread of Arab Spring Role of Social Media Implications for Syria Conclusions. Origins. 17 Dec 2010: Mohammed Bouazizi , Tunisian fruit-seller, self-immolated to protest abuse

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outline
Outline
  • Tunisian Trigger
  • Misconception re Status Quo Ante
  • Spread of Arab Spring
  • Role of Social Media
  • Implications for Syria
  • Conclusions
origins
Origins
  • 17 Dec 2010: Mohammed Bouazizi, Tunisian fruit-seller, self-immolated to protest abuse
  • Protests spread throughout Tunisia
  • 14 Jan 2011: President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali forced into exile
tunisian themes
Tunisian Themes
  • Focus on economic issues
  • Mass uprisings spontaneous
  • Young people central to protests
  • Uprising successful in driving Ben Ali from office
misconceptions about pre rising status quo
Misconceptions aboutPre-Rising Status Quo
  • Autocrats’ tight control of military

> varied widely from state to state

  • Autocrats’ ability to use oil money to buy off disgruntled citizens

> yes, except in Libya

  • Weakness of Pan-Arabism

> leaderless revolts won broad Arab following

spread of unrest
Spread of Unrest
  • Egypt (Jan-Feb 2011): Mubarak handed power to military
    • Muhammad Morsi (Muslim Bros) to power
  • Yemen (Feb 2011-ongoing): Saleh handed power over to crony VP al-Hadi
  • Bahrain (Feb 2011-ongoing): protests put down by Saudi forces
spread of unrest1
Spread of Unrest
  • Libya (Feb-Oct 2011): Gaddafi killed
    • Jul 2012: parliamentary elections
  • Syria (Mar 2011-ongoing): military response from government
    • Jul 2011: emergence of Free Syrian Army (FSA)

~ Nov 2011: civil war

role of social media
Role of Social Media
  • Calls to protest on Facebook
  • Social media a primary news source
  • Egyptian efforts to limit internet backfired
  • WaelGhonim (Google): “We Are All

Khalid Said”

social media
Social Media

Young Egyptians post videos of events in Tahrir Square, 7 Feb 2011)

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/12/25/sunday-review/25YIP_ARABSPRING-4.html

social media1
Social Media

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-07/how-pentagon-program-and-hacker-assisted-revolution

slide12

Social Media

Images: Mandy Terc, “The Arab Spring and Social Media Research” 10 Mar 2012 PPT

slide13

Appropriating Well Known Images

Images: Mandy Terc, “The Arab Spring and Social Media Research” 10 Mar 2012 PPT

http://npgportraits.si.edu/

slide14

Social

Media

“We are all Khalid Said”

slide15

Social Media

Images: Mandy Terc, “The Arab Spring and Social Media Research” 10 Mar 2012 PPT

slide16

Social Media

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/translated-egyptian-protest-signs

slide17

Social Media

Antigovernment protesters in Bahrain’s Pearl Square Feb. 20.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/12/25/sunday-review/25YIP_ARABSPRING-8.html

social media challenges
Social Media Challenges
  • Anonymity
    • “Gay Girl in Damascus” hoax
  • Social media dominated by US private companies
    • Result of clash of business or national interests?
arab spring s impact on syria
Arab Spring’s Impact on Syria
  • Military conflict
  • Entire country disintegrating
  • Assad’s Alawite regime supported by China, Russia, and especially Iran

> hope to preserve “Shiite Crescent”?

new-middle-east.blogspot.com/2012/03/making-sense-of-arab-spring-7-syria-and.html

arab spring s impact on syria1
Arab Spring’s Impact on Syria
  • Assad opposed by US, Saudi Arabia
  • Possible proxy war?
  • Syria at heart of multiple conflicts:
    • Arab-Israel
    • Saudi-Iran
    • US-Russia
    • Hezbolah-Israel
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Complicated events, varying results
  • Arab Spring not over yet, esp. in Syria
  • US relations with new Islamist governments?
  • HaythamBahoora: watch for ongoing conflicts to be coopted by a range of interests for their own purposes