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What Is The Arab Uprising? Essay

1460 words - 6 pages

The Arab Uprising. The Islamic Awakening. These are some of the terms that are being used today. The terms are very important especially in the Middle East because that’s where the arab uprising began. The first Arab Uprising actually began in Tunisia where a 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. He set himself on fire in front of a government building because he was publicly humiliated by the police force and couldn’t even earn money for his family. This act of desperation had spread immediately throughout the country and stirred up many protests. These protesters in Tunisia had one interest, which is for President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his regime to immediately step down and surprisingly he had fled a month later. Since 2011, Tunisia is not the only country that has been protesting and demanding for the regime to step down, this has also affected other countries such as Egypt, Libya, and even one of the richest countries, Bahrain. Bahrain is considered to be one of the richest countries in the Middle East along with five other nations; Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. These six nations also form Gulf Cooperation Council known as GCC and are ruled by Sheikhs for over a long period of time. Bahrain’s uprising began in the beginning of February with demonstrations demanding for answers. Ordinary people assume that Middle East strongly desires for “democracy” and yes that is entirely true but there are other important factors that play a huge role in this. Bahranis at this point demand for answers and achieve their goals. However, let’s look back and see what triggered to have demonstrations where this country is considered to be one of the richest ones especially in a sectarian government.
Looking back to the history of Bahrain, this country had gained its independence from Great Britain in year of 1971. Shortly after, the power physically became stronger within the Al Khalifa family. The Sunni minority controls the Bahraini government as it is dramatically outnumbered by Shi’a Muslims with a ratio of two to one. The start of the division between Sunnis and Shias began when the Bahrain’s ruler Sheikh Isa ibn Salman Al Khalifah, had stirred popular unrest in order to destroy the Bahraini National Assembly which was the only political voice supporting the Shi’a majority in the year of 1975. Within that, the relations between Shi’a and Sunni became progressively worse when the Islamic Revolution in Iran had started. The tensions between Sunnis and Shi’a were stable as new Shi’a government had been established which made the Bahranis believe that Iran was supporting the Shi’a majority. Throughout the 1980’s, islamic fundamentalism grew despite Bahrain’s recent moderate religious and storing social sensibilities. Following that year up to 1985, Bahrain had reported two failed Shi’a attempts to overthrow the government and surprisingly, these attempts were fully supported by Iran’s Islamic Republic....

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