The Arab Spring
Article By Chaimae NACIR*
History has proven over centuries that when a society is facing high unemployment rates, political corruption, inflation and sectarianism, revolution is an obligation rather than a choice.
Over the last two centuries, the world had been exposed to three main revolutionary waves which are: the European revolution 1848 “July Days”, the 1989 revolution “Spring of Nations”, and recently the 2011 revolution “ the Arab Spring.”

During the 19th Century, fundamental economic changes characterized by the consolidation of wealth, caused massive unemployment as well as the outbreak of famine, which led to uprising and revolutions.

The Arab Spring is similar to the “July Days” since it is the amalgam of socioeconomic and technological changes. During both the “July days” and the “Arab Spring”, the main demands of the revolutionaries were a liberal constitution that set limits on government power and an end of the oppressive regime. In those two waves, the protests started peacefully, however, it ended with a violent repression.

The recent revolt in Tunisia, known as the Arab Spring, inspired uprising elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. Strong regimes that lasted for almost two decades began to fall like dominos. History, in this case, repeated itself. In 1884, French citizens rebelled against the government and an angry crowd took to the Paris streets in protest.

This seism (vibration) of the oppressed citizens spreads throughout all of Europe.  The Arab regime did not learn a lesson from history and approached peaceful protest similar to the way many European monarchies did, which was violent and brutal.

Although many similarities that can be drawn between the European and Arab governments, there is also a lot of contrast. In North Africa and the Middle East, most of the protests were against a ‘secular dictatorship’. For example,  Ben Ali, who was the president of Tunisia, and Hussnei Mubarak who was the president of Egypt, were the main dictators in North Africa; while in Europe, the main protest was against the communist government.

Will the Arab countries that revolted during the 2011 Arab Spring see the same outcomes as those of Europe in 1848? Will Arab countries be able to have stable economies like European countries in the present day? Ultimately, each revolution must determine its own success and demands. Each also has its own impact which is impossible to predict based solely on the example of history. The 2011 revolutions spread much like bacteria from one place to another. They merged to a limited extent; however, the drama of each revolutionary wave presented separately. Each had its own catalyst, its own hero, and its own crises. Therefore, each revolution requires its own narrative.

Four year a Tunisian fruit vendor’s self immolation in act of defiance that would blaze protest and ousted long-established dictatorships, a harsh chill is coming over the Arab world. The question that is fair to ask in such chaotic Arab World is: whether it is an Arab Spring or Arab Winter?

The peaceful protests in every single Arab country: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen had the goal to bring democracy instead of chaos and civil wars.

A chaotic experiment in Egypt has landed an elected president behind bars and the old regime took over the country. Although Tunisia had a smooth democratic election, the elected president is an 88 years old and has served under the old regime. Unemployment and oppression still trigger Moroccan society; thus the new constitution did not bring any change. After all, democratic transitions are often brutal, lengthy and violent; Arab countries had embarked in a long winter.

[*] Also contribution made in this by
Shirish Bohara, Youth Rep.
NGO to the United Nations Department of Public Information
The Light Millennium |

– Posted on October 7, 2018

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