The Arab Spring (Arabic: الربيع العربي, ar-rabīˁ al-ˁarabī) is a term used in the media for the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests (both non-violent and violent), riots, and civil wars in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010.
Rulers were forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt (twice), Libya and Yemen. Civil uprisings occurred in Bahrain and Syria. Major protests occurred in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Sudan. Minor protests occurred in Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Western Sahara and Palestine. There were minor protests in countries that are not part of the Arab World, such as Iran and Israel.
There were border clashes in Israel, and protests in Iranian Khuzestan by the Arab minority occurred in 2011. Weapons and Tuareg fighters returning from the Libyan civil war had encouraged a conflict in Mali which has been described as "fallout" from the Arab Spring in North Africa. The sectarian clashes in Lebanon were described as a spillover violence of the Syrian uprising and hence the regional Arab Spring.
The protests shared some techniques of civil resistance in sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches, and rallies, as well as the effective use of social media to organize, communicate, and raise awareness in the face of state attempts at repression and Internet censorship.
Many Arab Spring demonstrations were met with violent responses from authorities, as well as from pro-government militias and counter-demonstrators. These attacks were answered with violence from protestors in some cases. A major slogan of the demonstrators in the Arab world was Ash-sha`b yurid isqat an-nizam ("the people want to bring down the regime").
Etymology[change | change source]
The first specific use of the term Arab Spring as used to signify these events may have started with the American political journal Foreign Policy. Marc Lynch, referring to his article in Foreign Policy, writes "Arab Spring—a term I may have unintentionally coined in a January 6, 2011 article". Joseph Massad on Al Jazeera said the term was "part of a US strategy of controlling [the movement's] aims and goals" and directing it towards American-style liberal democracy. Due to the electoral success of Islamist parties before protests began in many Arab countries, the events have also come to be known as "Islamist Spring" or "Islamist Winter".
Beginning[change | change source]
The series of protests and demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa has become known as the "Arab Spring", and sometimes as the "Arab Spring and Winter" even though not all the participants in the protests are Arab. It was sparked by the first protests that occurred in Tunisia on 18 December 2010 following Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in protest of police corruption and ill treatment. The protests also triggered similar unrest outside the region resembling a 'chain effect'.
Timeline[change | change source]
- December 18, 2010: Tunisia, the protests began, after Mohammed set himself on fire.
- December 29, 2010: Algeria, the protests began.
- January 13 16, 2011: Libya, the demonstrators were controlled.
- January 14, 2011: Jordan, the protests began.
- January 14, 2011: Tunisia, the government fell.
- January 17, 2011: Oman in a small protest was held.
- January 18, 2011: Yemen, the protests began.
- January 25, 2011: Egypt, the protests began.
- January 26, 2011: Syria, a person burned himself.
- January 28, 2011: Palestine, the protests began.
- January 28, 2011: Djibouti in a small protest was held.
- January 30, 2011: Sudan, the protests began.
- February 1, 2011: Jordan, the government was dismissed.
- February 10, 2011: Egypt, the President, the assistant handed over the powers.
- February 10, 2011: Iraq's small-scale organized protest. Nouri al-Maliki announced that the forthcoming elections would not be a candidate.
- February 11, 2011: Egypt, the President Hosni Mubarak resigned.
- February 14, 2011: Bahrain, the protests began.
- February 15, 2011: Libya in the demonstrations flared up again.
- February 19, 2011: Kuwait, the protests began.
- February 20, 2011: Morocco, the protests began.
- February 25, 2011: Mauritania, the protests began.
- February 27, 2011: Lebanon, the protests began.
- March 2011: Djibouti, the protests end.
- March 3, 2011: Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi lost control of the majority of the country.
- March 5, 2011: Libya Libyan Air Force began to bomb the cities. Opposition forces retreated.
- March 11, 2011: Saudi Arabia, the protests began.
- March 15, 2011: Syria, the protests began.
- March 19, 2011: Libya, bombing by foreign air forces began.
- April 15, 2011: Iran, the protests began.
- April 18, 2011: Iran, the protests end.
- May 2011: Oman, the protests end.
- May 15, 2011: Israel, the protests began.
- June 5, 2011: Israel, the protests end.
- August 3, 2011: Egypt, the President Hosni Mubarak in the trial began.
- August 21-22, 2011: Libya Dissidents also entered the capital Tripoli.
- September 29, 2011: Saudi Arabia, elections were held.
- October 20, 2011: Libya's town of Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi killed by the rebels.
- October 23, 2011: Libya, the civil war ended.
- December 2011: Lebanon, the protests end.
- December 13, 2011: Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki became interim President of Tunisia.
- January 2, 2012: Algeria, the protests end.
- February 27, 2012: Yemen, the government was dismissed. President Ali Abdullah Saleh resigned.
- March-April 2012: Morocco, the protests end.
- May-June 2012: Egypt, elections were held. Mohamed Morsi was elected.
- June 2012: Somalia, the protests end.
- September 4, 2012: Palestine, the protests began. Salam Fayyad states that he is willing to resign.
- December 23, 2012: Iraq, the protests began.
- mid 2013: Syria, the Kurdish fighters, enter the Syrian Civil war.
- April 13, 2013: Palestine's leader, Salam Fayyad resigned. In Palestine, the protests end.
- July 2013: Kuwait, the protests end.
- July 3, 2013: Egypt, the president, Mohamed Morsi was dismissed. The military dismissed the replacement government.
- August 14, 2013: Egypt, raids occurred.
References[change | change source]
- The Atlantic: Muslim Protests: Has Obama Helped Bring On an Anti-U.S. 'Islamist Spring'?, 23 September 2012, retrieved 2 August 2013
- Foreign Policy: Learning to Live With the Islamist Winter, 19 July 2012, retrieved 2 August 2013