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Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Arab Spring and the Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa: A Compendium

Going on two years have passed since Mohammed Bouazizi, a young Tunisian fruit seller, set himself on fire to protest the difficult economic condit ions he faced and the humiliat ion 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: January 16, 2013
Number of Pages: 647
Order Number: C12001
Price: $79.95

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