• Causes include human rights violations, economic decline, as well as
extreme poverty caused by unemployment; a new generation of majority and
educated youth with the drive and determination to force a change.
• Globalization brings Western Culture to oppressed Middle Eastern
• Women are becoming educated and fighting for equality for the first time
ever in some countries.
• Huge concentrations of wealth are in the hands of a select few. Social
media takes the movements worldwide.
• Amnesty International pointed to Wikileaks’ as a catalyst for the revolts by
exposing government corruption to the people.
• Corrupt leaders and governments of several countries have been removed
sometimes by force. Some social changes have been made ranging from
monetary compensation to ending longstanding emergency law. Many
countries saw the release of political prisoners while some saw the prosecution
of criminals and the liquidation of their assets. Women gained the right to vote
in some countries while other countries were given the right to hold elections.
• On the other hand Islamic fundamentalists now have an open door to many
places where they were not tolerated in the past. People who have lived under
the rule of dictators for decades now find themselves in unfamiliar territory and
are looking for leadership. The current elections being held in Egypt is a who’s
who of Islamic groups like Gamaa al-Islamiya, who claim to be “former “
militants, and the most prominent party the Muslim Brotherhood, were banned
in Egypt for being extremists. Riots continue to this day and the entire region is
Demonstrations = rallies, marches, parades, millions take to public squares to
chant/pray/sing, sit-ins and sometimes mob riots
Protest in the streets = sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent/disorganized.
People demand the end of oppression.
Civil disobedience = strikes, boycotts, wide-spread arrests
Social Media = use of Facebook, iphones, twitter, blogs, internet videos/photos,
chats organizing/communicating to raise political consciousness about
Violent reprisal from authorities = police violence, soldiers shooting civilians in the
streets, censorship, political prisoners tortured, enemies of the state have
State sponsored violence
The lack of democratic institutions.
President Ben Ali overthrown after a
month of protests against his rule in
On that particular Friday morning Bouazizi was stopped by local police who
had been known to harass him over the years. Reportedly the police beat him,
made slurs against his family, tossed his produce cart, and took his electronic
Bouazizi went to the governor’s office to complain, however, the governor
would not see him. Desperate, enraged, and humiliated Mohamed went to a
nearby gas station. He acquired a can of gasoline, returned to the governor’s
office, and covered himself with the gas. He stood in the middle of traffic
shouting “how do you expect me to make a living?” At 11:30 a.m., less than an
hour after the incident with police, he lit himself on fire in an act known as self-
Tens of thousands protests in streets for 18 days
846 people killed, 6000 injured
Protesting police brutality, limits on freedom of speech, lack of free elections, govt.
corruption, food prices, high unemployment, low min. wage.
President Mubarak ousted and govt. overthrown February 2011
A woman makes the victory sign in front of thousands of people participating in
the "march of a million, a concentration which are expected to look a million
people. A human tide of more than 100,000 people, according to security
officials, crowded the square and tens of thousands more collapse the
surrounding streets, people who continue to receive even though it is about to
enter into force curfew in Egypt. The protesters are demanding the immediate
resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, and free elections.
On January 25th, 2011 the
protests began in Egypt against
The tension grows in Egypt,
where there have been today
the first clashes between
supporters and opponents of the
regime of President Hosni
Mubarak, while Parliament
adjourned until the review of the
election results. The clashes are
being developed in Tahrir
Square, the epicenter of popular
revolt, where protesters of both
sides are fighting to death and
An Egyptian soldier fired into the air to disperse the Egyptians concentrated in
Tahrir Square, the heart of Cairo, to demand the resignation of the regime of
President Hosni Mubarak, on the seventh day of demonstrations against the
president. The Cairo's Tahrir Square, a symbol of the protests of recent days, is
guarded only by the troops of the Army, even though the police have begun to
be deployed by the city to control traffic and order.
Protesters pray next to a pile of stones during clashes in Tahrir Square. At least
five people were killed in the center of Cairo and fifteen others were wounded by
shots fired by unknown militants of the opposition shortly before morning,
according to the Qatari Al-Jazeera. The fire with automatic weapons were made
beginning at 4.00 local time (2.00 GMT) in a shootout that lasted for about an
Protesters take part in an anti-Mubarak protest in Cairo. At least one million
Egyptians took to the streets on Tuesday in scenes never before seen in the
Arab nation’s modern history, roaring in unison for President Hosni Mubarak
and his new government to quit.
• Revolt began February 2011
• Rebel groups control parts of Libya
• Gaddafi uses troops against civilians.
• Civil War erupts (50,000 dead by August)
• UN condemns crackdown
• Sanctions put on Libya, No Fly Zone
• In March, UN votes to use ‘all means
necessary to protect civilians’
• Allied military forces strike from air
• Gaddafi overthrown and killed
October 20th, 2011
Started out as peaceful protests in Benghazi on Feb. 15th, 2011
More protests and demonstrations followed
Clashes between police and protesters became violent
Rebels move to take military bases and cities from government control
Rebels burn down government buildings
Government moves to reclaim them
Rebel morale high
Rebels start advancing toward capital
3/6/11: Government tries to stop them with air power (missiles and artillery)
Countries urge Gaddafi to step down
Considering creating a no-fly zone to aid rebels
Rebels kill Gaddafi in 2011 after 42 years of his rule.- Thaier al-Sudani
Protests since January 2011
Uprising in March 2011
*President al-Assad to step down.
*End to “Emergency Rule” (ongoing since 1963)
*Freedom of press, speech, & assembly
Brutal repression of protesters
Media Censorship (FB, Youtube, Twitter)
State sponsored terror (tanks, snipers)
Wide spread arrests, torture, executions.
Nearly 4,000 civilians killed thus far…
Massive repression and death in the thousands as Bashir Al-Assad attempts
to hold onto power.
Cities of Homs, Damascus, and Hama saw the most intense fighting and
deaths in the early days. The Syrian opposition received recognition by
many in the world in 2013.
Complications: Syria/Israeli borders. Role of Syria in Lebanon, and the
Lebanon/Israeli borders (role of Hezbollah), floods of refugees into southern
This drew a lot of international attention due to the sheer violence and
complacency of West after vehemently supporting the demonstrators in other
Bahrain is home to the Formula One race (cancelled) and the US Fifth Fleet.
The silence of the White House on the violent repression of protestors caused
many to question the sincerity of the Obama administration’s dedication to
Bahrain • Pearl Roundabout where protestors congregated
Troops Move in
• The Arab League sent in troops to help the royal family forcibly put down the
protests, and the Pearl Roundabout was razed.