• The Arab Spring is a wave of revolutions across theMiddle East, in which the people are calling fordemocracy, and the end of corrupt leadership in theircountries.• People across the Middle East gather in protests,sometimes turning violent. Thousands gather, and manyhave been successful in toppling their governments andreplacing their leaders. Social Media has facilitated thequick spread of the Arab Spring, allowing thousands tosee the events in record time.The TunisianRevolution
• It all started on December 17,2012, when a man by the nameof Mohamed Bouazizi ( ayoung fruit and vegetable seller)went to open his stand and threeinspectors came, asking for abribe. Bouazizi refused, andwhen he refused to give them hisscales, they beat him.• Bouazizi then proceeded to go tothe governor’s office to requesthis goods back. The governorwould not see him.• Because of this, MohammedBouazizi obtained some petrol,and set himself on fire. Thistriggered what would be knownas the Arab Spring.
• The act of Mohamed Bouazizi stirredsomething in the Tunisian people.They felt his helplessness in the faceof corrupt officials, rising prices andthe lack of opportunities thattriggered a wave of sympathy andanger.• The initial act brought angry crowdsinto the streets, but when Bouazizidied, the rioting intensified.Hundreds were killed, and hundredsmore arrested.• Nine days later, the President Zineel Abidine Ben Ali, fled. Thegovernment was overthrown on Jan.14, 2011.• Elections for a Constituent Assemblywere held on October 23, 2011. Thissuccess spurred other revolutions, tocreate the Arab Spring.
• Egypt was the next country to havemajor revolutions, and it eventuallyended in the ousting of theirpresident, Hosni Mubarak onFebruary 11, 2011.• Libya, Syria, and Yemen followedEgypt, and conflict still carries onbetween rebels and the government inmany regions of the countries.• The leaders of these countries werenot only corrupt, and promoted animmense economic gap between therich and poor, but the people werefrustrated. Unemployment was highbefore the Arab Spring, and was a rootcause of the revolutions. One of themain and most harmful reasons wasthe infringement on political andhuman rights. The emergency laws,and the restrictions on rights were inthe people’s minds as the revolutionswent into full swing. They wantedleaders who would take care of thepeople, and allow them a place insociety with freedoms and rights.The Syrian Revolution,which started inFebruary 2011.
• While the revolutions seem like a positive change(the introduction of democracy is the central goodchange), there are other problems with therevolutions.• With the ousting of governments, Radical Islamistsgroups are gaining power throughout the MiddleEast. Groups like the Muslim Brotherhood inEgypt, Fatah, and Hamas are promising to takecare of their people and give them everything theyhave hoped for.• These groups are the same ones that have stagedterrorist attacks across the globe, claiming a war onthe west.• So the problem remains; how compatible areIslamists tendencies and democracy? Will they playnice with the western nations? Are they planning tosuppress the people as well? Will global jihaddominate their agenda?
• Two problems currently exist:the violence across the MiddleEast, and the Islamist groupscoming to power in theirgovernments.• Concerns have been expressedthat because Sharia law may beimplemented, the people will befurther suppressed and othercountries targeted.• However, especially in Syria,these groups are the onesfighting against corruptdictators, and helping themmeans essentially handingdangerous groups weapons sothey can fight their enemies andend the violence against thecivilian population.These arearmedmilitantsfrom theIslamistgroupAnsarDine.
• The United States has given guns to those countries on numerous occasions, andhave supplied them with planes and other machinery.• The problem of violence is often solved with the installation of new governments,per the people’s requests. However, violence can only stop if one side wins.• The United States has offered to intervene in severe situations, as when Syriadecided to use chemical weapons on the civilian populations.• Other countries are providing military support in the region, to try and contain theviolence.• However, the potential problems concerning the Radical groups are wait and see;they have stated that they plan to build their countries as a picture of democracy,with equal rights, and no ill will towards western nations.• In past decades, the U.S. has installed leaders they knew would serve theirinterests, as with a past leader of Egypt. However, this would be hard to do withthe Islamists groups being so far reaching, and it has not been considered.• A solution has yet to be found for the Arab Spring and the problems it poses to theglobe and specifically western nations. The revolutions stand for good changes, butif those happen is just something other countries will have to wait and see.U.S.troops onSyrianborder.
• Being aware is a key step to helping in this event.Knowing what is going on, who is involved, and when itis happening will allow you to be an informed globalcitizen, and essentially make knowledgeable choices inchoosing an opinion.• Social Media spread the Arab Spring, so it can help end itas well; using sites like Facebook and Twitter to spreadnews and updates, as well as voicing your own opinionand thoughts.• Nothing directly can be done to solve these issues;however, be an example for those countries with regardsto democracy. Be active in your local government andput it on Facebook! Someone will see it.• Overall, being aware and active can let you play a role inhelping end this wave of violence and uncertainty.
• "Tunisia one year on: Where the Arab Spring started." bbc.co.uk.N.p.. Web. 21 May 2013. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16230190>.• "The Arab Spring: A Year Of Revolution." npr.org. N.p.. Web. 21May 2013. <http://www.npr.org/2011/12/17/143897126/the-arab-spring-a-year-of-revolution>.• "The Arab Spring: The Root Causes?." almanar.com.lb. N.p.. Web.21 May 2013.<http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=45439&cid=31&fromval=1>.• "Twitter Revolution: How the Arab Spring Was Helped By SocialMedia." policymic.com. N.p.. Web. 21 May 2013.<http://www.policymic.com/articles/10642/twitter-revolution-how-the-arab-spring-was-helped-by-social-media>.• "Demystifying the Arab Spring." foreignaffairs.com. N.p.. Web. 21May 2013. <http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67693/lisa-anderson/demystifying-the-arab-spring>.