The Arab Spring

By: Biftu Osmon

The Arab Spring was a series of protests and revolutions that spread throughout Northern African countries as well as Middle Eastern countries.

It all began in Tunisia when an unemployed man selling goods was stopped by police because he didn’t have a license for selling things and instead of getting a fine, they stole his goods and didn’t return them.

He filed for harassment but they refused to listen to him. This drove him to protest by setting himself on fire. Less than a week later the whole country was protesting against the government because of the realization of how poorly the working class was treated.

This spread on social media quickly and inspired other nearby countries, whose government was corrupt, to protest against them as well. “The Arab Spring is kind of a perfect model for how people are going to use technology to act collectively in their own interest in the future. There’s never been a revolution that was coordinated by social media to the degree that the Arab Spring was.”

Tunisia and Syria are similar in terms of the Arab Spring in numerous ways. Both countries had corrupt governments which didn’t provide them basic human necessities, as well as not serving the citizens justice where it was needed, which was one of the main reasons why both countries began to protest.

Both countries also began their revolutions with peaceful protests and due to the circumstances of their situation, even citizens who steered clear of politics came to the streets to protest which was a sign of unity among the countries. The number of protests that sparked across the entirety of both countries was a shockingly large amount, showing what’s possible when citizens unite under one cause.

Although both Syria and Tunisia had several similarities in terms of the Arab spring, there were also a good amount of differences. One of the biggest differences is the fact that Syria’s peaceful protests escalated into a civil war but Tunisia’s protests didn’t. The government’s response to the protests were also different.

Syria’s government responded to the protests with weapons and violence even though the protests were all peaceful. Tunisia on the other hand had successful protests and the government responded in a more orderly fashion. “I believe democracy will succeed in Tunisia, but I also believe that it will succeed in the other Arab Spring countries.”

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