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The Arab Spring is a term given to the popular revolutions that broke out in a number of Arab countries to overthrow their rulers under the slogan “The people want to overthrow the regime” and to demand improvement of economic conditions.

The first spark was launched in Tunisia on December 17, 2010, and prompted its late president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to flee the country. Then it reached Egypt after the demonstrators left on January 25, 2011, and ended with the late president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak stepping down.

Protests also erupted in Yemen on February 11, 2011, demanding that its then president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, step down. He acquiesced to this demand and handed over power to his deputy, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The demonstrations extended to Bahrain on February 13, 2011, and citizens protested, demanding improvement in their conditions. At the same time, they moved to Libya, and their first spark ignited on February 17, 2011, and ended with the killing of the late former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Coinciding with the Libyan revolution, the Syrian revolution broke out on March 15, 2011, and its flame was ignited, which has not subsided until now, leading to thousands of deaths and the displacement and asylum of millions inside and outside Syria.

reason of calling

It is most likely that the term “Arab Spring” has a Western origin, as opinions have varied regarding who was the first to use this name, as some believe that the term was used for the first time on January 15, 2011 by the American newspaper “The Christian Science Monitor” after it commented on Ben Ali’s flight. .

Others believe that the name goes back to the French journalist Dominique Moisi, who used the term for the first time on January 26, 2011, after the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution. There is a third opinion that attributes the term “Arab Spring” to the Egyptian diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei - who won the Nobel Peace Prize - as he coined it. On January 26, 2011, during a press interview with the German newspaper “Der Spiegel”.

There are also other opinions that attribute the term to former US President Barack Obama and the American newspaper "Newsweek".

Arab Spring countries


The first spark of the Tunisian revolution was launched on December 17, 2010 - and it was known as the “Jasmine Revolution” - when the young Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to his body in front of the headquarters of the Sidi Bouzid Governorate (central Tunisia) after he felt angry after his goods were confiscated, and he continued to receive... He was treated in hospital until he died on January 5, 2011, as a result of severe burns to his body.

The incident prompted citizens to protest in Sidi Bouzid, and demonstrations spread throughout the country demanding the overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime and the improvement of living conditions.

The growing revolutionary movement led to intensified confrontations between citizens and security forces, which led to a number of casualties and a widespread arrest campaign that included political and human rights activists, which increased the intensity of the demonstrations in all governorates.

Ben Ali sought to absorb the people's anger by dismissing Interior Minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem, but the street did not calm down, prompting the declaration of a state of emergency in the country.

Although Ben Ali announced his intention not to run again to rule the country in 2014, this was not enough to calm the demonstrators, which forced him on January 14, 2011 to announce the dissolution of the government and hold early parliamentary elections. Then he left the country on the evening of the same day, heading to... Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The most prominent political milestones following the outbreak of the “Jasmine Revolution”

  • January 15, 2011: The former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Tunisian Parliament, Fouad Al-Mabzaa, was appointed interim president of the country, and the Prime Minister at the time, Mohamed Ghannouchi, was assigned to form a new government.

  • December 12, 2011: Moncef Marzouki was elected interim president.

  • Tension escalated between Islamists and secularists over some issues in writing the new constitution related to the role and rights of women and the status of Islamic law.

  • December 2013: Ennahda relinquishes leadership of the government and is replaced by a government of technocrats.

  • January 2014: The new constitution was issued in the presence of Marzouki. The constitution recognizes the division of power between the president and the prime minister and guarantees personal freedoms and minority rights.

  • December 2014: Beji Caid Essebsi wins the first free presidential elections after the revolution.

  • October 17, 2019: Kais Saied wins the presidential elections following the death of Essebsi, becoming the country’s fourth president after the revolution.

  • July 25, 2021: Kais Saied dismissed the government, suspended Parliament, and lifted the immunity of representatives, which his opponents described as a “coup against democracy.”

  • June 30, 2021: Kais Saied announced the draft of the new constitution, which differs fundamentally from the 2014 constitution, as it transformed the political system into a presidential system, gave the president greater powers, and allowed him to appoint the head of government and the rest of the ministers, and considered the executive, legislative, and judicial powers to be mere functions, and did not Provides for the civil state.

  • In 2023, Kais Saied’s grip on the country continued with his arrest of the head of the Ennahdha movement, Rashid Ghannouchi, party leaders, and a number of opposition political figures and businessmen, and prosecuting them on charges of conspiring against state security and other charges.


Coinciding with the start of the “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia, calls were made via the Internet from activists and politicians in Egypt to take to the streets to demonstrate on January 25, 2011, corresponding to Police Day, to protest the repression and violations practiced against citizens and express their anger at the poor economic conditions.

Thousands of people from various opposition political parties and Muslim Brotherhood youth responded by holding peaceful demonstrations on the aforementioned date in various governorates, raising the slogans “Live... Freedom... Social Justice,” and “The people want to overthrow the regime,” calling on President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak to step down after... A reign that lasted 30 years.

The police used excessive force to confront the demonstrators on January 28, 2011, in what was called “Friday of Rage,” and cut off the Internet in the country. Mubarak ordered the army to take to the streets in all governorates to maintain security and impose a curfew.

The role of the deep state began to emerge after causing chaos and setting fires in the headquarters of the ruling National Party, facilitating the exit of prisoners from prisons, and spreading an atmosphere of riot in the country.

On February 2, 2011, Mubarak’s supporters attacked the protesters in Tahrir Square with horses and camels in a battle known as the “Battle of the Camel,” inflicting casualties on them without any intervention from the army or police.

Mubarak appointed Director of General Intelligence, Major General Omar Suleiman, as his deputy for the first time in the history of his rule, and assigned Lieutenant General Ahmed Shafiq to form a new government.

The demonstrators' sit-in in Tahrir Square continued for 18 days, and on February 11, 2011, Omar Suleiman gave a speech in which he announced that Mubarak would step down from power and that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would take over the administration of the country's affairs.

The Military Council, headed by Field Marshal Muhammad Hussein Tantawi, issued a constitutional statement suspending the implementation of the provisions of the 1971 Constitution, dissolving the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council, making some constitutional amendments, and assuming the presidency of the country’s affairs until the elections for the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council and the Presidency of the Republic are completed.

Following the January Revolution, Islamists opened the way for political participation. The Muslim Brotherhood founded the Freedom and Justice Party, the Salafists founded the Nour Party, while the Administrative Court dissolved the National Democratic Party.

The most prominent political milestones following the January 25 revolution:

  • Islamists win two-thirds of the seats in the People's Assembly elections.

  • The drafting of the first constitution after the revolution marked the beginning of the conflict between the Islamists and some opposition parties.

  • Mubarak and his children were arrested, tried, and then acquitted in 2017.

  • President Mohamed Morsi won the presidency in 2012, becoming the first elected president after the January 25 Revolution.

  • Morsi appointed Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as Minister of Defense.

  • The demonstrations took place on June 30, 2013, and the army secured them.

  • On July 3, 2013, Morsi was removed, and the army took power again.

  • On August 14, 2013, the sit-ins in Rabaa Square and Nahda Square were dispersed, killing and arresting thousands.

  • On June 3, 2014: Al-Sisi won the presidency by 96.91%.

  • June 17, 2019: Morsi died during his trial session after suffering a fainting spell.

  • In late 2023, Sisi won a third presidential term that will last until 2030.


The Yemeni revolution broke out on February 11, 2011, after drawing inspiration from the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions.

Youth from opposition parties launched calls for peaceful protest throughout the country to improve economic conditions, and then the demands escalated to calls for the resignation of the late President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose rule lasted nearly 33 years.

The demonstrations continued in a number of governorates, including the capital, Sanaa, Taiz, and Aden, but the authorities responded to the protests with repression and violence, with continuous attempts by Saleh to calm the situation and call for dialogue, but they deteriorated and continued to escalate without a response from the demonstrators.

Abdullah Saleh yielded to local and regional calls to step down in September 2011, and transferred power to his deputy, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the support of the UN Security Council.

Stepping down did not constitute a success for the Yemeni revolution. Rather, clashes escalated between Saleh’s supporters and the Houthi group, and armed clashes broke out between the two parties, leading to the deaths of thousands and the deterioration of the country’s health and economic conditions.


Coinciding with the January 25 Revolution and the Tunisian Revolution, the spark of the Libyan revolution broke out on February 14, 2011, with the issuance of a statement by a group of opposition forces calling on former leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down, and calls were sent to citizens to demonstrate peacefully on the 17th of the same month.

The police forces confronted the protests with violence, tried to disperse the sit-ins, and confronted the protesters in the cities of Benghazi, Al-Bayda, Derna, Tripoli, and Misrata with live bullets, which led to deaths.

The demonstrators were able to control Benghazi, which prompted Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader, to warn them against falling into a civil war.

On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to establish a no-fly zone over Libya and protect civilians.

A coalition led by Washington, France, and London launched an air bombardment on the headquarters of Gaddafi's forces on March 19, 2011, which prompted the expansion of the establishment of a unified NATO operations unit to protect and prevent Gaddafi from regaining Benghazi and eastern Libya.

The opposition forces received support with weapons and training after the expansion of the NATO mission and the extension of its operations, and on June 27, 2011, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Gaddafi and his son on charges of “committing crimes against humanity.”

On October 20, 2011, Gaddafi was killed in his hometown of Sirte, and the National Transitional Council announced complete control of the country.

After the fall of the Gaddafi regime, the democratic process became unstable, and the conflict continued between the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar and the forces affiliated with the transitional government, which led to the division of the country between two governments.


The Syrian revolution is considered one of the bloodiest revolutions in the Arab Spring, as its first spark broke out on March 15, 2011 after calls for peaceful demonstrations with demands similar to the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

Citizens responded by going out to demonstrate in the cities of Daraa, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, and Baniyas, but the regime of President Bashar al-Assad responded to these protests with the utmost violence, including killing and arresting.

The pace of events between the demonstrators and the Assad regime escalated after the protesters raised slogans calling for “overthrow the regime.” They were met with more ferocious repression, the security grip intensified through arrests and violations, and the number of victims increased.

Splits in the regular Syrian army began to occur with the announcement of the establishment of the Free Syrian Army and the increasing numbers of those joining it to take up arms.

At the end of 2011, the Free Army was able to control several cities, including Idlib, the Hama countryside, Homs, Qusayr, Ghouta, and some areas of Daraa.

The fighting between the regular army and the Free Army continued for many years, with attempts by the Assad regime to impose a siege on some of the cities over which it lost control, and in which its soldiers committed massacres, most notably the Ghouta massacre that occurred on August 21, 2013, in which hundreds of children and women were killed.

The Assad regime received great support for its continued rule through the joining of armed militias to its forces, most of them from Iran and Iraq, especially the military and diplomatic alliance between Iran and Russia to prolong Assad’s rule.

The Syrian revolution did not result in Bashar al-Assad stepping down from power, as happened in the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, and the armed conflict continued in the country.

According to Human Rights Watch, the regime has arrested thousands since the beginning of the revolution, forced about 12.3 million people to seek refuge outside Syria, and displaced about 6.7 million people internally.

Source: Al Jazeera + websites