Arab Spring Uprisings Essay

2653 words - 11 pages

Arab Spring ProtestsWhen a man set himself ablaze, it sparked an uprising like no other. Originating on December 18,2010 in Tunisia, the world watched as pro-democracy protesters across North Africa and the Middle East rose up against the dictatorial regimes that had ruled their home countries for years. Countries have been conducting protests and demonstrations in hopes of overthrowing their countries dictatorship governments. Strikes, demonstrations, marches, and rallies are important techniques of civil resistance that have been used to persuade government officials to step down, along with the strong influence of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and the like. The catalyst for the revolts in all North African and Persian Gulf countries had began when Muhamad Bouazizi, a local street vendor in Tunisia, felt that police officers were mistreating him and his rage had provoked him to set himself on fire in protest. As a result, others were quick to join the revolution. Other significant catalysts for the revolt include human rights violations, economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, and a number of demographic structural factors, such as a large percentage of educated but dissatisfied youth within the population who refuse to accept the status quo. With successful protests in Tunisia, the wave of unrest quickly struck Yemen, Libya, and Egypt. It then quickly spread to other countries. The legitimacy and righteousness of the protest is evident. It is a revolution that will not stop until it has swept away every remnant of the old order. However, instead of enhancing democracy, these revolutions are putting secular freedom at greater risk with the option of the Muslim Brotherhood to take over power. This, in turn, brings about the question; how much freedom and democracy have these revolts actually brought to these 'liberated' nations? It is feared that without proper guidance, the Arab Spring movement, particularly Egypt, will follow in the footsteps of the Iranian revolution of 1979; history will surely repeat itself.Throughout history, any revolution is a result of many events that completely change the nature of the society and its political life. There is a "lesson of history" that Mona Eltahawy talks about in her Toronto Star Column. She writes:The people of Tunisia and Egypt have unleashed their power, and they believe they're in charge. Yes, maybe for a while. But for them to remain in charge, they need a leader, someone to guide their explosive energy in the right direction and, we hope, to a free election. But in the absence of such a leader, power is up for grabs. This is the lesson of history (n.pag.)This "lesson" goes back thirty-two years into history. In 1979, a similar revolution to the Arab Spring movement rocked the Middle East and changed the world we live in today. This is formally known as the Iranian Revolution. Iran was facing much of the same issues that people of the Arab Spring are facing today, resulting in...

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