27 January 2011

Arab Spring: The Yemeni Revolution begins as over 16,000 protestors demonstrate in Sana’a.

The Arab Spring refers to a series of pro-democracy uprisings, protests, and demonstrations that swept across the Arab world starting in late 2010 and continuing into 2011 and beyond. The movement was characterized by widespread popular discontent, demands for political reform, economic justice, and an end to authoritarian rule in several Arab countries.

Tunisia (December 2010 – January 2011): The spark for the Arab Spring was the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor in Tunisia, in protest against police corruption and ill-treatment. This event triggered widespread protests against the long-standing rule of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, ultimately leading to his ousting in January 2011.

Egypt (January 2011 – February 2011): Inspired by the events in Tunisia, Egyptians took to the streets to protest against the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. The protests, centered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, gained international attention. Mubarak eventually stepped down in February 2011.

Libya (February 2011 – October 2011): Protests against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule escalated into a full-blown armed conflict. NATO intervened to support the rebels, leading to Gaddafi’s capture and death in October 2011.

Yemen (January 2011 – February 2012): Demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s three-decade-long rule led to a negotiated settlement where Saleh agreed to step down in exchange for immunity.

Syria (March 2011 – Ongoing): Protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime escalated into a brutal civil war that continues to this day. The Syrian conflict has resulted in widespread destruction, displacement, and a complex geopolitical situation.

Bahrain (February 2011 – March 2011): Protests in Bahrain, calling for political reforms and greater representation for the Shiite majority, were met with a government crackdown with the assistance of troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Other countries: The Arab Spring had varying degrees of impact in other countries like Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, where protests and calls for reform occurred to varying extents.