The Arab Spring
is a series of protests, uprisings and wars occurring since 18th
December 2010. These protests started in Tunisia and sparked off a
growing dissatisfaction in Arab countries with absolute autocracy for
a long time, unemployment, rising food prices, human rights
violations and corrupt government practices. The protests involved
strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies and the effective use of
social media to garner attention, spread words about the protests and
to organize, communicate and raise awareness about state attempts at
repression, internet and press censorship.
pro-government forces have used violent means to crush these protests
and protesters have responded similarly. A major slogan of the Arab
Spring protests has been “Ash-shab
yurid isqat an-nizam” meaning “the people want to
bring down the regime.
In terms of their scale
and significance, the Arab Spring movements have often been compared
to the Revolutions of 1989, also known as the “Autumn of Nations”
which overthrew the communist states in various Central and Eastern
Summary Table of
Constitutional / Leader Status
||Type of Government
||Duration of leadership
||Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali
||1987 - 2011
||Republic and semi-presidential
||1981 - 2011
||1969 - 2011
||Presidential Representative Democratic Republic
||Ali Abdullah Saleh
||1999 - 2011
||Unitary semi-presidential Constitutional Republic
||Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
||Presidential System, Semi- presidential system
||Federal Parliamentary Representative Democratic Republic
||Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
||Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
||Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah
||Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf
||Qaboos bin Said al Said
||Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
||Dileita Mohamed Dileita
||Abdelkader Taleb Omar
Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti and Western Sahara: Minor protests
Algeria, Iraq, Jordan,
Kuwait, Morocco and Sudan: Major Protests
Bahrain: Civil uprising
Tunisia, Egypt, Libya
and Yemen: Rulers have been forced from power.
Syria: Civil war.
Note: Saudi Arabia,
UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Iran, the major oil-rich nations, have been
able to keep their ruling families in power.
Status after the protests:-
functions as a multi-party democracy. After Ben Ali fled into exile,
a caretaker coalition government was established which included
members of Ben Ali’s Party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally
(RCD) as well as opposition members from other ministries. As a
result of daily protests, Mohamed Ghannouchi resigned and
removed all RCD members and dissolved the party. The first
post-revolution election took place on 23rd October, 2011 to elect
representatives to a 217 member Constituent Assembly to draft a new
constitution. The leading moderate Islamist Party Ennahda won the
election with 37% of the votes and elected 42 women to the
After Hosni Mubarak
resigned his presidency, the Egypt Military took control and
immediately dissolved the Egyptian parliament as well as the Egyptian
constitution. Elections took place amidst widespread protests. Muslim
Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was the winner of the
Presidential election. Protests continued as Morsi tried to rush
through a new constitution without giving time for debating or
improving it. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory in the
constitutional referendum. Large scale protests are still on with the
opposition complaining of unfair means as well as large scale rigging
and demanding an enquiry.
Following the collapse
of the Gaddafi government in August, 2011, Libya is under de-facto
administration of the National Transitional Council (NTC). On 7th
July, 2012, the NTC supervised democratic elections to establish a
200 member General National Congress to replace the Council. The
assembly will choose a Prime Minister and conduct parliamentary
elections in 2013. A new constitution will also be written
Ali Abdullah Saleh
signed a power-transfer agreement in exchange for immunity from
prosecution brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, under which he
would transfer power to his Vice President Abd
al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi
within 30 days and leave his post
as president. A Presidential Election was held on 21st February, 2012
and Hadi won resounding victory with 99.8% of the vote. Hadi was
sworn in as the President of Yemen on 25th February, 2012.
Timeline of Protests:
broke out in Yemen and there was a failed assassination attempt on
President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
A 26 year old Tunisian
Bouazizi, set himself afire in front of a local municipal office in
protest against the police and authorities when the police
confiscated his cart and beat him because he did not have a permit.
protests break out in Bouazizi’s hometown the day after and soon
spread throughout the country representing the Tunisian public’s
boiling frustration over living standards, police atrocities, and
rising unemployment. Protests broke out against the Tunisian
president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali
and lasted for almost a month. Around 219 people were killed and 510
injured during the protests.
president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali
and his wife with their 3 children flee to Saudi Arabia.
for a Constituent Assembly were held. The center-right and moderately
Islamist Ennahda won
the elections with 37% of the votes.
Tunisian uprising sparked off protests in Algeria against the 19 year
old emergency rule.
The Algerian uprising was highly successful and culminated in the
lifting of the 19 year old state of emergency.
the success of the Jasmine Revolution named after Tunisia’s
national flower, protests broke out in Egypt. Egyptian protestors
assembled at downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square to protest against the
emergency law, poverty, unemployment and Hosni Mubarak’s
government. The government’s efforts to crush these protests with
armed forces escalated into violent street battles.
resigned his presidency and handed over power to the army. Social
media such as Facebook and Twitter performed a key role in spreading
word about the Egyptian revolution and garnering support.
Minister of Egypt,
resigned, after protests.
elections were held in Egypt amidst widespread protests and violence.
Citizens alleged that the original demands made at Tahrir Square had
not been met.
of women protestors took to the streets to protest against atrocities
against women by the military government. Violent clashes took place
between the security forces and demonstrators leading to the death of
people in large numbers protested in Tahrir Square once again
demanding that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) speed
up the transition process to a more civilian government. Many people
were injured or killed in the clashes that followed between the
protestors and the soldiers.
people once again protested in Tahrir Square and demanded a quicker
transfer of power to a new president.
was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Egyptian court.
Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi wins the run-off Presidential
passed a controversial decree which faced widespread criticism and
protest. The decree ordered retrials
for Mubarak-era officials responsible for violence during the
uprising against his rule and stated that all decisions taken by
Morsi until the election of a new parliament were exempt from legal
challenge. The decrees also prevented the
courts from attempting to dissolve the upper house of parliament or
the constituent assembly which is drawing up the country's new
constitution, both dominated by Morsi's Islamist allies.
violent protests, Mohammad Morsi scrapped the contentious decree
granting him unlimited powers but insisted that the referendum on the
new constitution would go ahead as planned. The concession failed to
pacify the opposition and protests continued.
International Monetary Fund Loan to Egypt was postponed after judges
refused to oversee referendum on new constitution proposed by the
stayed away from the polling stations because of distrust and apathy
towards the government’s actions. The opposition complained of
large-scale rigging and violations.
opposition called for an investigation into allegations of fraud in
the referendum on the country's contentious draft constitution, after
64% of voters had backed the new charter.
broke out against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Benghazi, Libya which
soon escalated into the Libyan Civil War.
war reached violent proportions with hundreds of civilians getting
killed. The rebel forces refused to yield to government requests of a
cease fire and reconciliation by the African Union. They captured and
gained control of the capital city of Tripoli and succeeded in
overthrowing the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebels in the city of Sirte.
National Transitional Council (NTC) officially declared an end to the
Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was captured iwhile hiding n
protests began to end the five decade rule of the Ba’ath Party and
obtain the resignation of president Bashar al-Assad.
government deployed soldiers to control the uprising and ordered the
Syrian army to open fire on the demonstrators. The protests evolved
into an armed rebellion. Defected soldiers and civilian volunteers,
who formed the opposition, gradually became more armed and organized
and many of these groups received military aid from foreign
countries. The casualties were reported to be somewhere between
government began an attack on the city of Homs.
Syrian government in an attempt to quell demonstrations carried out a
massacre in Houla killing a very large number of people.
Syrian army carried out a massacre in the village of Tremseh in which
225 people were killed.
International Committee of the Red Cross officially declared that the
Syrian uprising was now a civil war.
forces and rebels began fighting a battle to capture Syria's largest
The UN reports
that over 200,000 Syrian refugees have now fled Syria, ever since the
Free Syrian Army moved its command headquarters from Southern Turkey
into rebel controlled areas of northern Syria.
Free Syrian Army seized control of Maarat-ul Naman ,
a strategic town in Idlib Governorate on
the highway linking Damascus with Aleppo.
Free Syrian Army captured the suburb of Douma, the biggest suburb of
Damascus. They claimed to have captured more than 50% of Syria’s
al-Hassan, a Brigadier General of the Lebanese Internal Security
Forces (ISF) and several others with him died in a car bombing which
came to known as the 2012 Beirut Bombing. Since al-Hassan was an ally
of the anti-Assad camp in Lebanon, it was widely speculated that
Syria or its allies were behind the bombing.
of Syria Summit held in Marrakech. The US formally announced that it
would recognize the Syrian National Coalition as a legitimate
representative of the Syrian people. Britain, France, Turkey and some
Gulf states had already announced their endorsements on November,
months of war have forced at least 2 million Syrians to leave their
home. The Syrian people are living in extremely dismal conditions.
With Bashar al-Assad’s regime targeting bakeries, displaced people
are starving with the harsh weather adding to their trouble.
which had extended unwavering diplomatic and military support,
admitted for the first time that Bashar al-Assad’s troops were
gradually losing ground and faced threat of a defeat at the hands of
head of the Syrian Military Police Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal
defected from the army and declared allegiance to the rising against
President Bashar al-Assad.
announces that it’ll host Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahmi this
week after Syrian officials held talks in Moscow to try to agree to a
plan to end the 21 month old long conflict.
You can also download the timeline of the Arab Spring
Arab Spring Timeline