Arab Spring is the name given to a wave of protests which sought to change governments. In some cases non violent and in some cases violent, it spread from country to country. It is also significant that it was led by the youth, was largely secular and aimed at bringing about representative democracy. Another significant fact would be the extensive use of social media – probably the first mass movement that relied on Internet and social media.
4 Finance ministers changed in less than a year
Oct 2011,Qadaffi’z convoy was hit by western air strikes and then Rebels found him hidden in a drain pipe, dragged and killed him.
+ Arab Spring VistaMind
+ North Africa & Middle East Traditionally seen as immune to Democracy Democracy has come to South America, Asia, Eastern Europe Typical features Bad rulers (Monarchs and Dictators) Poor Human Development Indicators High Unemployment Terrorist and Fundamentalist fringe elements Sectarian or Tribal loyalties Rule by brute force and by fear
+ Foreign Patronage Saddam Husain -US (Against Khomeini’s Iran) Syria, Yemen by USSR Bahrain by Saudi Arabia International community was neutral Stability of the region Fear of fundamentalism Belief – Unsuitable for Democracy
+ Tunisia Dec 2010 Small Country fringe player in the Arab World Better Educated, Relatively Prosperous nation Non Violent revolution Mohamed Bouazizi – Fruit vendor Millions onto the street Current Status: Democratic Coalition Govt Nahda, Islamist party + 2 Secular Parties Peaceful transition
+ Egypt – January 2010 One of the cradles of the World Civilization 18 years of Hosni Mubarak 18 days of protests at Tahrir Square Army withdrew support from Hosni Mubarak Current Status Democratic and fair elections held Muslim Brotherhood, Army & Liberals key players Extremist Salafist Party Secular Liberals – Disorganized & unprepared
+ Egypt What lies in store Poor state of the economy Dependent on Tourism and Foreign Aid High inflation & Unemployment Muslim Brotherhood Strike a balance Islam and Modernity Well organized and politically savvy Secular Liberals Urban, Educated Army is the key Large reasonably modern disciplined army
+ Libya – Feb – Oct 2011 Oil Rich, Sparsely populated 40 years of Mummar Qaddafi No traces of Democracy or civil rights Rule of terror, megalomania, opulence Flirtation with Terorrism Protests to Civil War Use of force against unarmed protesters Defections from armed forces Western Air support tilts the balance
+ Bahrain – Feb 2011 A key ally of Saudi Arabia - USA The Khalifa Dynasty (Sunni) Vast majority is Shia Protests for democracy, Constitutional monarchy Saudi Troops sent to back the Ruling monarchy USA stays largely silent 30 Killed, 300+ arrested, many missing Key Forces Largest opposition party Wefaq The Suadi Royal Family Kuwait – offered services as Mediator
+ Syria March 2011 onwards President Bashar AL Assad Ruler since 1963 Emergency law since 63 bans opp parties Protests – Repression – Civil War Unarmed protests are brutally put down Armed rebellion escalates to civil war Over 30,000 people killed
+ Syria March 2011 onwards Free Syrian Army Rebels and Defectors from Syrian Army Formation of Government in Exile Recognition by 149 countries Arab League intervention Throws Syria our of the league Imposes sanctions, joined by Turkey
+ Key Learnings Educated unemployed people have high aspirations, can lead to dissatisfaction Aspirations and hope is contagious Social Media is highly effective at organizing protests and difficult to censor Democratic institutions take time to build