Thursday,14 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1127, 20 - 26 December 2012
Thursday,14 December, 2017
Issue 1127, 20 - 26 December 2012

Ahram Weekly

The Arab Spring: What went wrong

Two years ago Tunisian fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire and the flames of his self-immolation fanned across the region --Read More--

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Al-Ahram Weekly

The Arab Spring succeeded in dislodging dictators who had clung onto power like limpets to a rock. But what would follow? The people who took to the streets, some of whom paid with their lives, gave little thought to what was to follow. In those heady days it seemed enough to rid their countries of detested regimes. Whatever came next must surely be better.
The fact is the revolutions of the Arab Spring have yet to be completed. Heads of state may have disappeared into historical footnotes but the moribund and corrupt systems over which they presided have yet to be uprooted. Democratic transition is proving a far more complicated, and chaotic, process than anyone supposed. Bread and dignity, freedom and justice: the rallying calls of uprising remain as pertinent today as they were two years ago.
In Egypt and Tunisia divisions between secularists and Islamists have grown into a gaping chasm into which the people’s hopes could all too easily drown. The Syrian regime is shaken, but remains determined to hang on whatever the cost in the lives of its citizens. Militias prowl the streets of Tripoli and an arc of countries around Libya’s borders has been destabilised. In Yemen the political crisis ended in a power-sharing agreement between the regime and the opposition with no democratic changes in the horizon.
The winds of change are also blowing in the Gulf. Protesters in Bahrain continue to demand political reform. Oman has witnessed months of demonstrations demanding improved living conditions. Kuwait is witnessing strikes; the UAE continues to detain and harass those demanding reform and in Saudi Arabia the rumblings of discontent grow louder. Yet what the fruits this dissent will bring is unclear.
In this edition of Al-Ahram Weekly, we attempt to answer the question of what went wrong with the Arab Spring.

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