Arab Spring December 2010-present
After continued harassment by police and other officials, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire on a public street in protest. He died in January 2011, sparking a revolt in Tunisia that would spread to surrounding countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Common factors • Authoritarian government • Corruption • Poverty/Unemployment • Lack of human/civil rights such as free speech • Led by young & urban population • Use media like Facebook to increase support • Seeking more democratic government
Tunisia Updated November 21: (AP) TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia's newly elected assembly held its inaugural meeting Tuesday, ready to start shaping the constitution and the democratic future of the country that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.Lawmakers were elected last month in Tunisia's first free vote — the first resulting from the Arab Spring protests.Tunisian protesters drove out their longtime president in January, setting off revolts in other Arab countries. Tunisia's new assembly is being watched as an example amid violence in Egypt ahead of its elections and escalating tensions in Syria.Tunisia has been spared the violent clashes of its North African and Arab neighbors, but there has been some continued unrest. Assembly room where Tunisia’s newly elected Constituent Assembly will meet.
Egypt (Updated Nov. 21) New York Times -More than eight months after Mr. Mubarak was toppled, the euphoria of Egypt’s political spring began to turn in to discontent. There was widespread gloom that Egypt was again stagnating, its economy heading toward a cliff. As the country headed into the campaign season for parliamentary elections, scheduled to start Nov. 28 and continue in stages until March, the simmering anger boiled over. Thousands of protesters, initially led by the Muslim Brotherhood, once again seized Tahrir Square, and fought off attempts by the military to dislodge them. The protests spread to at least seven other cities, including Alexandria and Suez. On Nov. 21, the government’s civilian cabinet submitted its resignation, in a bow to demands of the protesters. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/11/19/world/20111120-EGYPT.html?ref=egypt
Libya Libya was controlled by Muammar Gaddafi for over 40 years.
Libya In February 2011, the unrest sweeping through much of the Arab world erupted in several Libyan cities. Though it began with a relatively organized core of antigovernment opponents in Benghazi, its spread to the capital of Tripoli was swift and spontaneous. Colonel Qaddafi lashed out with a level of violence unseen in either of the other uprisings. On March 19, American and European forces began a broad campaign of strikes against Colonel Qaddafi and his government, unleashing warplanes and missiles in a military intervention on a scale not seen in the Arab world since the Iraq war. In October 2011, Qaddafi was killed, and a new government was put into power. The country was formally declared liberated three days later, setting in motion the process of creating a new constitution and an elected government. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/africa/2011-libya-slide-show.html#1
Libya (Updated Nov. 21) New York Times By early November many of the local militia officials who helped topple Colonel Qaddafi abandoned a pledge to give up their weapons. They said that they intend to preserve their autonomy and influence political decisions as “guardians of the revolution.” The issue of the militias is one of the most urgent facing Libya’s new provisional government, the Transitional National Council. Noting reports of sporadic clashes between militias as well as vigilante revenge killings, many civilian leaders, along with some fighters, say the militias’ shift from merely dragging their feet about surrendering weapons to actively asserting a continuing political role poses a stark challenge to the council’s fragile authority. The council has pledged in a “constitutional declaration” that within eight months after the selection of a new government, it will hold elections for a national assembly, which will oversee the writing of a constitution. Members voted to name as prime minister Abdel Rahim el-Keeb, an electronics engineer and Qaddafi critic, who spent most of his career abroad.