Arab Spring Violence

Wiki info

The Arab Spring (Arabic: الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in late 2010. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low standard of living, beginning with protests in Tunisia (Noueihed, 2011; Maleki, 2011). In the news, social media has been heralded as the driving force behind the swift spread of revolution throughout the world, as new protests appear in response to success stories shared from those taking place in other countries (see Howard, 2011). In many countries, the governments have also recognized the importance of social media for organizing and have shut down certain sites or blocked Internet service entirely, especially in the times preceding a major rally (see The Telegraph, 2011). Governments have also scrutinized or suppressed discussion in those forums through accusing content creators of unrelated crimes or shutting down communication on specific sites or groups, such as through Facebook (Solomon, 2011; Seyid, 2011).

The wave of initial revolutions and protests faded by mid-2012, as many Arab Spring demonstrations were met with violent responses from authorities, [3] [4] [5] as well as from pro-government militias and counter-demonstrators. These attacks were answered with violence from protestors in some cases. [6] [7] [8] Large-scale conflicts resulted—the Syrian Civil War , [9] [10] Iraqi insurgency and the following civil war , [11] the Egyptian Crisis and coup, [12] the Libyan Crisis , and the Crisis in Yemen . [13]

Many pundits and government officials have praised the “Arab Spring” as a prelude to the rise of a new and more democratic Middle East. But it is difficult to reconcile this notion with the images of growing intersectarian violence within the region, such as the recent anti-Shiite attacks perpetrated in the course of the celebration of the Shiite Ashura festival on December 5 and 6. The event, a traditional catalyst for intersectarian violence, served as a powerful reminder that identity politics continue to play a major role in the region.

The Arab Spring was a series of protests and uprisings in the Middle East that began with unrest in Tunisia in late 2010. The Arab Spring has brought down regimes in some Arab countries, sparked mass violence in others, while some governments managed to delay the trouble with a mix of repression, promise of reform and state largesse.