Kind of surprised to see nothing in here about a revolution in an Arab state after all the stuff about the Iranian protests last summer.
For those who don't know an unemployed graduate set himself on fire outside a government building to protest economic conditions and the governments actions this sparked off protests and government repression that continued with increasing fury until protests started in Tunis which eventually led to Ben Ali saying he wouldn't run again in 2014 and eventually fleeing the capital where a unity government has been formed. This seems to have sent some shockwaves across the Middle East as both leaders and the people have been put on notice that this is a possibility.
Here is a timeline of the unrest and revolution
Everyone here (in Cairo) is talking about it and there have been at least a half dozen self immolation attempts in Cairo or Alexandria. Similar protests have been in Algeria and to a lesser extent Libya and Jordan (although they appear to be growing) and there is going to be a big protest in Cairo on the 25th with a government counter-protest. While I wouldn't call the revolution and the subsequent protests a sweeping force of democracy but it definitely opened up some space in the Middle East. This coupled with Lebanons government falling and succession issues and a Presidential election in Egypt has the potential for a year that can absolutely change the game in the Middle East as we know it.
Here are a few articles about the revolution and some of its possible influences in the region.
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth...156465567.htmlThe Tunisian uprising, which succeeded in toppling Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian president, has brought down the walls of fear, erected by repression and marginalisation, thus restoring the Arab peoples' faith in their ability to demand social justice and end tyranny.
It is a warning to all leaders, whether supported by international or regional powers, that they are no longer immune to popular outcries of fury.
It is true that Ben Ali's flight from the country is just the beginning of an arduous path towards freedom. It is equally true that the achievements of the Tunisian people could still be contained or confiscated by the country's ruling elite, which is desperately clinging to power.
But the Tunisian intifada has placed the Arab world at a crossroads. If it fully succeeds in bringing real change to Tunis it will push the door wide open to freedom in Arab word. If it suffers a setback we shall witness unprecedented repression by rulers struggling to maintain their absolute grip on power.
Either way, a system that combined a starkly unequal distribution of wealth with the denial of freedoms has collapsed.
So what does everyone think? Will we see major changes in the Middle East or will it be the same old across the region?As the French paper Le Monde described it, scenes that were "unimaginable only days ago" are now occurring with dizzying speed. Already, in Egypt, Egyptians celebrate and show solidarity over Tunisia's collapse, chanting "Kefaya" and "We are next, we are next, Ben Ali tell Mubarak he is next." Protests in Algeria and Jordan could easily expand thanks to the inspiration of the tens of thousands of Tunisians, young and old, working and middle class, who toppled one of the world's most entrenched dictators. Arab bloggers are hailing what has happened in Tunisia as "the African revolution commencing... the global anti-capitalist revolution."