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The Arab Spring


The Arab Spring December 17, 2010: Igniting spark was the self-immolation of a Tunisian fruit & vegetable vendor, leading to protests throughout the country – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Arab Spring

The Arab Spring
  • December 17, 2010
  • Igniting spark was the self-immolation of a
    Tunisian fruit vegetable
  • vendor, leading to protests throughout the

  • Bouazizi dies on January 4, 2011 and President
    Ben Alis rule
  • comes to an end on January 14, 2011.
  • Following the example of Tunisia, protests
    against governments and calls for reforms emerge
    throughout the Arab world
  • January 2011
  • first protests in the streets of Egypt, Morocco,
    Syria, Oman, Yemen
  • Especially noteworthy are huge protests in Tahrir
    Square in Cairo, Egypt, against President Hosni

  • February 2011
  • The Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns on
    February 11
  • On February 15, protests break out in neighboring
    Libya against
  • Muammar Gaddafis regime, developing into the
    Libyan Civil War

  • In coming months unrest can be witnessed from
    Morocco to Bahrain
  • protesters in Morocco demand reforms and social
  • protesters in Bahrain demand greater political
    freedom and
  • equality for Shia majority under a Sunni
  • - in March 2011 troops from Saudi Arabia and
    other Gulf States
  • intervene to support Al Khalifas monarchy
  • - dozens are killed the West remains largely
    silent due to
  • security interests via Iran the revolt is
  • various Shia mosques are destroyed throughout
    the nation

Bahrain Pearl
Roundabout in Manama King Al Khalifa
  • June 2011
  • President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen is injured
    and flees the country
  • August 2011
  • Military crackdown in Syria against protesters
    the US and the EU call
  • for Assad to step down
  • Battle of Tripoli between loyalists and National
    Transitional Council
  • Gaddafi is essentially overthrown and goes
    into hiding
  • October 2011

  • November 2011
  • protests in Cairos Tahrir Square against the
    Supreme Council
  • of the Armed Forces (in power since Mubaraks
  • February 2012
  • Former Yemeni President Saleh officially resigns
    and transfers
  • to Vice-President Al-Hadi
  • Syrian government attacks the city of Homs
  • Increased weakening of Libyas National
    Transitional Council and
  • clashes between Arab Zawi and African Tebu
    groups in Libya
  • April 2012
  • - Protest in Egypt for a transfer of power and
    democratic elections

  • May 2012
  • Syrian regime kills more than 100 people
    (including children) in the
  • Houla massacre
  • June 2012
  • Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison by
    Egyptian court
  • Mohamed Morsi (Muslim Brotherhood) elected
    new President
  • of Egypt

  • July 2012
  • Syrian situation gets worse, now officially Civil
    War Syrian regime
  • forces and opposition forces begin battle of
    Aleppo hundreds are
  • killed already more than 200,000 refugees
    fled country
  • August 2012
  • - General National Congress in Libya takes over
    power from NTC
  • September 2012
  • Free Syrian Army moves headquarters from S-Turkey
    into N-Syria
  • October 2012
  • Free Syrian Army makes territorial gains

  • December 2012
  • Controversial referendum in Egypt about a new
  • signed into law in late December
  • January 2013
  • Protests against Morsi on second anniversary of
    2011 revolution
  • February 2013
  • Syrian rebels begin offensive on Damascus death
    toll in the country
  • exceeds 70,000
  • March 2013
  • Syrian rebels capture Raqqa

  • July 2013
  • Morsi is deposed as President of Egypt in a coup
  • August 2013
  • Syrian government hits Ghouta and other areas in
    Syria with
  • chemical attacks (sarin nerve agent) killing
    up to 1,000 people
  • January 2014
  • - Syrian opposition faces ISIS, a new group
    surfacing in the region

  • February 2014
  • Government in Egypt resigns army chief al-Sisi
    can run for President
  • May 2014
  • Al-Sisi elected Egyptian President
  • Syrian rebels withdraw from Homs
  • June 2014
  • - Situation in Libya deteriorates as fighting
    between groups escalates
  • - ISIS declares caliphate in territory from
    Aleppo to eastern Iraq and Raqqa eventually
    becomes the ISIS capital

  • September 2014
  • US and five Arab countries launch airstrikes
    against ISIS in Aleppo
  • and Raqqa
  • November 2014
  • armed group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis on Egyptian
    Sinai peninsula
  • pledges allegiance to ISIS and declares the
    Sinai Province
  • December 2014
  • Beji Caid Essebsi elected President in Tunisia
  • January 2015
  • Kurdish forces push ISIS out of Kobane in Syria
    ISIS takes
  • a foothold in Libya in the port city of Sirte

  • May 2015
  • ousted President Morsi sentenced to death for a
    mass breakout of
  • Muslim Brotherhood prisoners back in 2011
  • ISIS seizes the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria,
    destroying artifacts
  • June 2015
  • ISIS gunman kills 38 tourists at the resort
    Sousse in Tunisia
  • government closes extremist mosques in
  • In Syria fight between Kurdish fighters and ISIS
  • between Raqqa and Turkish border

  • July 2015
  • ISIS launches attack in North Sinai
  • September 2015
  • Russia gets increasingly involved in Syria,
    carries our first airstrikes,
  • saying it targets ISIS but West claims it
    targets Syrian opposition
  • October 2015
  • ISIS claims responsibility for downing of Russian
    airliner in Sinai
  • 224 people on board of Airbus A321 get killed

  • November 2015
  • British ISIS militant known as Jihadi John dies
    in a drone attack
  • he appeared in several ISIS propaganda films
    depicting beheadings
  • December 2015
  • France launches air strikes against ISIS after
    November Paris attacks
  • January 2016
  • ISIS destroys oldest Christian monastery in Iraq
    (1,400 years old)

General Causes for the Arab Spring
  • Internal Factors
  • leaders are too authoritarian and dictatorships
    have outlived their legitimacy
  • region has a poor economy
  • low GDP and very little growth
  • economy dominated by the state with big public
  • little engagement with global economy
  • non-oil exports of the Arab world equals that of
  • 3) Large part of Arab society is young (60-65)
  • - high unemployment
  • - prone to political shifts

  • External Factors
  • Why did the Arab Spring (as the Green Wave) not
    happen earlier?
  • Technology
  • - efficient grassroots organizing made possible
    with twitter, Facebook and smart phones
  • 2) Food Security Security in Other Important
  • - global shortages and changes in food
    production impacts of global warming
    occurrence of severe droughts
  • - rising food prices in poor countries leads to
    societal issues
  • - fluctuation in gasoline prices (see Jordan)
    can also act as triggers

  • Lessons of the Arab Spring
  • (Vali Nasr lecture The Arab Spring Where Do
    We Go From Here)
  • Despite Negative Developments, Important general
  • - Arab world didnt have a public sphere before
  • - despite setbacks, people have developed a
    sense of empowerment
  • - growing sense of the right to vote, social
    justice, right to protest, and governmental
  • - thus far the only country with a successful
    transition to a more democratic society seems
    Tunisia (revolution of the Middle Class)
  • Challenges of political organizing
  • - Arab liberals not well organized revolutions
    in Iran and Egypt happened too early
    amorphous uprising without leader(s)
  • - well organized entities like Muslim
    Brotherhood jumped in, but had different
    goals the West didnt know how to deal with them
  • - while countries like Tunisia and Egypt are
    fairly homogenous, others are more diverse
    with many rivaling interests

Religious Composition of Middle Eastern Areas
Example Lebanon
Core Area of Middle East
- The rise of ISIS explained in 14 maps
  • 3) Unfinished Business in the Middle East
  • - colonial powers left, but countries they
    created remain, as do ethnic compositions and
    power structures (political and economic)
  • - Bahrain Sunni minority rules a Shia majority
  • - Syria Alawite minority rules Sunni majority
  • - Iraq post-Saddam Shia government rules Sunni
  • - disenfranchised groups have become larger but
    their status as secondary citizens remains
  • - dictatorships have been suppressing a
    resolution of this issue
  • - importance of national identity vs. national
  • - Middle East needs a successful Civil Rights
  • 4) Lack of investment in the Middle East
  • - no democratization without investments and
    economic growth
  • - 1990s 100 billion invested in E-Europe 0
    in the Middle East