Going on two years have passed since Mohammed Bouazizi, a young Tunisian
fruit seller, set himself on fire to protest the difficult economic
conditions he faced and the humiliation he experienced at the hands of
local police. Bouazizi’s protest was personal, but it resonated with millions
of people across Tunisia and the Middle East who identified with his suffering
and his defiance.
Across the region, people took to the streets, calling for political and
economic reform. They expressed frustration with high unemployment,
deteriorating living conditions, and a lack of economic opportunity. They
called for transparency and accountability from their governments and a
greater say in the decisions affecting their lives. They stood up and demanded
basic rights in a region long dominated by authoritarian governments.
Nobody could have predicted what the spark for large-scale demonstrations would
be or how quickly and widely these demonstrations would spread, but the
seeds of discontent were evident across the region in growing labor
strikes, protests over socio-economic conditions, and public outcries over
regime brutality and corruption. Adding fuel to the fire, citizens feared that
shifts in leadership might not lead to real change, as leaders seemed
intent on hand-picking their successors.
This Compendium examines in detail so-called “Arab Spring” and other
conflict-related developments in the countries of Afghanistan, Bahrain,
Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine,
Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen
Date of Report: September 28, 2012
Number of Pages: 551 Order Number: C-12001 Price: $59.99
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