Will the Arab Spring Blossom into Democracy?

 

Egyptian protesters with flags

Historic changes are happening in North Africa and Southwest Asia. The world is witnessing such a flowering of freedom and hope that the movement has been dubbed the “Arab Spring.” (This name for the widespread uprisings is a reference to the so-called Prague Spring, the nonviolent democratic revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1968 that failed to oust a Communist regime.) The upheaval began in December 2010, when people in Tunisia started protesting high food prices, lack of jobs, and political repression. Police fired on demonstrators, and several dozen Tunisians were killed. The mostly nonviolent protests escalated, until President Ben Ali fled the country in mid-January 2011. Later that month, Egyptian protesters filled the streets of Cairo calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who had run their country for more than thirty years. On February 11, Mubarak resigned.

Protests erupted across the Arab world, especially in Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen as people called for more civil rights, greater economic opportunity, and an end to authoritarian governments. Many protesters used the Internet and social media to organize events and spread news. Some used their cell phones to photograph and video the violent reprisals. Journalists often braved threats to their lives to cover the story.

Whether the Arab Spring will blossom further or shrivel, no one knows. Violent government backlashes against the protests continue in Syria, Yemen, and Libya. In Tunisia and Egypt, citizens are struggling to form new governments and debate the fate of former officials. The goals of the protesters are varied and may be difficult to attain. Some observers fear that radical Islamists could gain the upper hand. Others question whether women will have more freedom under the new governments. One thing is certain: the upheavals are remaking the Arab world.

Image credit: © Pedro Costas/AFP/Getty Images

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12 Comments

  1. Holland says:

    Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good infromaiotn.

  2. Ray says:

    hi peoples. hows it goin. im very bored. hey lets chat for a while people. soooo… hows it going

  3. Alyssa says:

    What is this about?

  4. Jim says:

    Simple answer to the article headline…NO!!

  5. roberti pd1 says:

    it’s a good story . i agree with every thing they said

  6. Cynamon J P1 says:

    I didn’t quite understand this article. Besides that the upheavals are remaking the Arab world !

  7. herry perez p5 says:

    great they have more freedom

  8. kirk says:

    u.s.a needs to stop takin people oil and stop bein nose .. straight drop!

  9. Louis B p5 says:

    i don’t get the story. but it was a good story

    • Jefri says:

      Disappointingly, aridessdng the grievances of the 99% aren’t on the radar of the elite-who-rule. I felt so disgusted by Obama’s responses yesterday, pathetically excusing and misrepresenting the criminal acts of those on Wall Street who rigged then crashed the system, and through more rigging are still profiting while the rest of us scrounge and scramble for whatever-we-can-find. Seems to me the more money one has, or at least the more deeply entrenched in the owning class one is, the less reason seems to play a fundamental role in leadership mindsets & behaviors. Extremely frustrating.

  10. HI says:

    Historic changes are happening in North Africa and Southwest Asia. The world is witnessing such a flowering of freedom and hope that the movement has been dubbed the “Arab Spring.” (This name for the widespread uprisings is a reference to the so-called Prague Spring, the nonviolent democratic revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1968 that failed to oust a Communist regime.) The upheaval began in December 2010, when people in Tunisia started protesting high food prices, lack of jobs, and political repression. Police fired on demonstrators, and several dozen Tunisians were killed. The mostly nonviolent protests escalated, until President Ben Ali fled the country in mid-January 2011. Later that month, Egyptian protesters filled the streets of Cairo calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who had run their country for more than thirty years. On February 11, Mubarak resigned.

    Protests erupted across the Arab world, especially in Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen as people called for more civil rights, greater economic opportunity, and an end to authoritarian governments. Many protesters used the Internet and social media to organize events and spread news. Some used their cell phones to photograph and video the violent reprisals. Journalists often braved threats to their lives to cover the story.

    Whether the Arab Spring will blossom further or shrivel, no one knows. Violent government backlashes against the protests continue in Syria, Yemen, and Libya. In Tunisia and Egypt, citizens are struggling to form new governments and debate the fate of former officials. The goals of the protesters are varied and may be difficult to attain. Some observers fear that radical Islamists could gain the upper hand. Others question whether women will have more freedom under the new governments. One thing is certain: the upheavals are remaking the Arab world.

  11. shabalabadingdong says:

    wow guys. you peeps are way to into this stuff. i mean, ya

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